Disneyland Hallow-Christmas

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disneyland Resort, In the Parks

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Published on October 26, 2012 at 5:01 am with 35 Comments

The Disneyland Resort is celebrating refurbishmas.  No, perhaps Halloween. Wait, there are lights and Christmas decorations up. I’ve got it, it must be that beloved holiday . . . Christmaween.  We are now in that strange transitional period where it’s technically still Halloween, but Christmas is slowly moving in.  It’s also the time when the fall refurbishments are rounding the bend and heading closer to completion in time for the busy holiday season. There are a lot of ongoing projects including Storybookland Canal Boats, Indiana Jones, Casey Jr. Circus Train,  Fantasy Faire Village and some facade refurbishments. And not to worry, we have a delicious update on Earl of Sandwich and the Downtown Disney district too.

As stated at the beginning, we are now between Halloween’s farewell and the arrival of Christmas. The park is taking on a clashing of holidays that is normally reserved for Haunted Mansion Holiday.  Disneyland seems taken over by Jack Skellington himself.

 Snow on the castle, pumpkins in the hub.

For Halloween fans it is always a downer to see their favorite holiday go out with a whimper rather than a bang.  But with two wildly popular holidays back to back it is the simple reality of an operating theme park.

Over in New Orleans Square Christmas is progressing even faster.  The normal, ornate garland and ornaments are already up.  In fact, you can even get your holiday plush Donald just in time for Halloween.

Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice. But Christmas before October 31st just feels wrong. What do you think? Can’t Christmas be scheduled to wait until at least November 1st?

City Hall continues its extensive refurbishment of the facade and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile the Fantasy Faire village is a tangle of metal framing and construction scaffolding.

it’s a small world holiday
The classic attraction, it’s a small world, is currently closed until Friday, November 9th, in order to install the holiday overlay.  The Holiday season doesn’t technically begin at the resort until Monday, November 12th.  So, that gives you a few extra days before the madness to get a few rides in before the huge crowds start showing up.

Ooooooo change! – but not the change you’re looking for. Move along.

While the two classic attractions, Casey Jr. Circus Train and the Storybookland Canal Boats are set to return on Friday November 16th, there is still plenty of work to be done.  Monstro is slowly coming out from behind the scaffolds and is looking great.  But inside the bridges above the canals are still stripped down to the framing.

Toontown continues to languish, even as some enhancements are going on.  Minnie’s house, while open, is still getting some yard work done, though the hills behind her house are still peeling. The restrooms are currently having the exteriors touched up, and Bennie the Cab is still missing from the entry of Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.  You know, if he had GPS he might be able to find his way back.

Another indication that the performance space will soon be returning comes with the appearance of construction on a projection/control booth for the theatre.


It seems that Critter Country has gotten a lot sunnier.  There were several large trees, some behind the gift shop, some near Splash Mountain, that have been removed.

With very little fanfare, Disneyland hosted the arrival of the Stanley Cup.  In a quick photo op held in front of the Castle the trophy was toted out, held aloft then whisked away to the Harbor gate near the casting office where Cast Members got a close up look at it.  The appearance was strangely unnanounced and hardly publicized.


Venturing over to California Adventure, we spy some rebar and more construction peaking from behind the last remaining construction walls at the front of the park.

The new entry planter on the West side is finally taking shape.

work continues in front of the Carthay Circle Theater for replacement of the terrazzo floor entrance.


In front of Radiator Springs Racers, the beautiful neon Fast Pass sign was removed due to the expansion of Ramone’s body shop.  A sad goodbye to a lovely piece of neon, but it was out of place in the reconfigured area.  What is strange is the awkward “Entry” sign that replaced it.  The hastily installed red arrow feels tacked on and is likely a temporary installation.

The entry into the expanded floorspace is being built now.

The temporary carpet has been installed in the lobby of the Grand California Hotel.

It wouldn’t be In the Parks without a tantalizing update on the Earl of Sandwhich restaurant in Downtown Disney.  The paint job is mostly done and suddenly the progress has picked up.  Patio heaters and string lights have been installed on the canopy in front of the store and it seems that they could open within the month to take advantage of the busy holiday season.

Don’t forget, the ice skating rink is now open in Downtown Disney.  For the absurd price of $15 dollars for yourself and $12 for your toddler (do toddlers even skate?) you can ice skate on the commercial for the new direct to DVD Tinkerbelle release.  Skates are $3 extra.

Finally they have decided what to do with those abandoned old information booths that were closed way back in 2001.  It appears that the Disney Vacation Club is taking them over and will now begin their trademark, no-pressure sales push as you enter either side of the esplanade.

Prepare to be smiled at as you enter the parks!

And that is all we have here for you today from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.  We bid a fond farewell to Halloween, say hello to Christmas and patiently wait for all of the projects to conclude.  Well folks, are you ready for Christmas? Because a lot of it has already been installed.

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • HMF

    “Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice. But Christmas before October 31st just feels wrong.”
    Christmas before Thanksgiving feels wrong to me.

  • Rex Dopey24

    i love seeing christmas stuff. i dont mind seeing some stuff there at all.

  • redrocker

    you guys make it sound like it can all just go up in one day. maybe if you know the complexity of the install, how many actual hours it takes after hours to do this, all the man power to install it, plus have it complete in time for the Christmas film shoot among other film shoots occurring..all the while the same after hours work of the park has to happen., then maybe you can cut some slack. Trust me when i say the night of Halloween after the park closes is going to be a madhouse

  • DisneyDrums

    I know, Christmas is popping up quite early… but it seems to taking a lot longer to get everything in place…….. or maybe they don’t have enough cast members to put eveything in place starting 11/1/12…

  • disneychrista

    Other than the too early parade taping is there any reason why they can’t take down Halloween & put up Christmas, so that transition is complete for Thanksgiving?

  • SuburbanGiant

    Well, I work at Home Depot, and we started putting up Christmas sets 3 weeks ago, so Disney is far from the first ones. They are all trying to extend the lucrative Christmas shopping season, and with the spending dollars at stake, who can blame them.

  • Barbossa

    I want Mike Bolt’s job, taking the Stanley Cup to Disneyland (he’s one of the cup keepers). Met Mike a few years back. Great guy. Had some great stories to tell about his travels around the world with the trophy. And yes, I got to hold the cup! :)

  • Tinkbelle

    I’m just sad about less shade in Critter Country :( . I’ve always appreciated all the tall trees and shade on the west end of the park. I wonder if the trees were dying or why they decided to remove them.

  • judearmstrong

    Earl of sandwich opens Friday the 2nd!

  • Professortango

    I think we all understand how much work it is to put up Christmas, but every year Universal takes down far more extensive Halloween mazes and decorations and puts up some large detailed displays. Tape the parade a week later or don’t sell me tickets to Halloweentime then give me Christmas instead. I’m sure people would be quite angry if they came to the park on Dec 19th and found Valentine’s day decorations in prominent locations.

  • Fukai

    You don’t see this type of baloney at the Tokyo Disney Resort: all the Halloween decorations stay up until Oct.31, then are replaced over the following week or two by the Christmas decorations. If the Oriental Land Company can manage the transition without a collision and premature Christmas exposure, why can’t the Walt Disney Company?

  • whamo

    One of my Disney AP friends loves the landscaping at Disneyland. So do I. But I have to wonder what is going on when I see dying trees and such. An update documenting the neglected landscaping might motivate Disney to take care of one of their best assets. Disneyland is a special place. The Corporation should keep it that way.

  • JMazz

    I don’t see Xmassween in any photo. There is snow on a castle with pumpkins in the foreground.
    As for NOS, the early xmas decor seems natural since just to the north sits a house where the two holidays collide. If they can bang those decorations out, then it is one less area that needs the man power for the rest of the park in early Nov.

    Too many comparisons to Knotts/USH/SW. They don’t have nearly as much seasonal decor as DLR. So far, Disney hasn’t committed a holiday faux pas!

  • Gullywhumper

    I saw Christmas trees and decorations for sale at Target over Labor Day Weekend …

  • darkamor

    My thoughts on putting up Xmas Decor before Halloween is here @ a Theme Park are as frowned upon as seeing shops put Xmas Merchandise on shelves for sale @ the beginning of October vs the beginning of November (why, oh why, can’t this wait until after All Saint’s Day?) …

    I blame the cramming of Holiday Seasonal Decor before they truly need to be scene in theme parks on the fact shops start putting out Seasonal Merchandise months earlier then before (back in the day, I never ever saw Halloween items in shops until the end of September – now I see it in the beginning of August ! & again, seeing Xmas items in shops at the beginning of October? It’s just so tacky that if Mr Blackwell was still alive? Why, he would have a hissy fit!) …

    Team Disney Anaheim can sure be chinzy some times

    C J