It’s a Cars Land Christmas at Disneyland Resort

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Disney Parks, In the Parks

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Published on November 09, 2012 at 5:04 am with 27 Comments

There’s no denying it, the Holidays have arrived at the Disneyland Resort. Some of it is wonderful and some a bit disappointing. But there’s one real standout as Christmas zooms into California Adventure’s Cars Land. We’ll show you all the high octane decorations. It’s a great week to be In The Parks, let’s take a look.


In other news the Fantasy Faire Village is becoming more and more defined.


More work has also been done on the control booth inside the Fantasyland Theatre.

The control booth is getting a major rework.


More atrocious decorations are being strewn in Toontown. It is such a shame to see the standard fall here from the whimsical, less cookie-cutter, decorations of yore.



There is great news coming out of Disney California Adventure. The new Christmas decorations that are appearing in the new areas of the park are simply wonderful.  What’s even better, they aren’t going the cheap route and simply stringing bits of garland along the buildings outside.  No, they are giving this area the Main Street U.S.A treatment and doing the buildings in thematically appropriate ways both inside and out.

The Holidays arrive on Buena Vista Street.

Realistic pine garland is spun around the light poles.

A massive wreath adorns the Carthay Circle Theater.


Poinsettias crowd nearly every planter.


Even the windows are decorated, but they have still been peppered with product.

A large tree sits in the planter in front of Elias and Company, facing the Carthay Circle Theater.

Vintage toys are grouped under the tree.

The Train actually puffs steam.

We move inside and find holiday touches which are just as charming.

Clarabelle’s IceCream counter has a confectionary theme

Small Christmas trees are perched on top of merchandise racks in each store.

 Inside the Elias and Company department store, each area has its own unique flavor, just as any department store would have.

Five and Dime gets festive as well:

Women’s Department is dressed in its holiday finest:

Glittered birch branches are situated in the atrium windows.

Not to be outdone by the Women, the Men’s Department also gets fancy:

Got to love the old style tinsel

The Jewelry department has been reworked as a Holiday rotunda of sorts.  It will be home to an old school department store Santa meet and greet.

Another wonderful thing we noticed were the awesome Christmas designs on the print T shirts and sweaters.  So vintage and fun!


Notice, it says “From Disney California Adventure Park”.


If you liked the decorations in Buena Vista Street you will go nuts and bolts over the additions in Cars Land.

Above the main drag, bunting made of tires and air filters hang between the light poles and telephone poles.

Inventive snow flakes made from wrenches are everywhere.


Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is decorated.

Out in front of each one of the locations on the street, there are unique tree creations that reflect the character they were made by.

Fillmore’s tree is the only one with a car angel on top.
A subtle memorial to George Carlin perhaps?

There is even a tinsel tree inside the Manager’s Office at the Cozy Cone Motel, complete with rotating color wheel.

The courthouse is, of course, the centerpiece.

Taking a quick side trip into Ramone’s we also see that the doorway leading to the expanded floor space for the store is now complete.  This area should be opening any day now.

Ramone's Body shop at Disney California Adventure

His decor is pretty cool too.


Even though Buena Vista Street has its own tree, Paradise Pier is keeping its tree as well. It’s a lovely one too.

The Paradise Garden Grill area is receiving the usual decor

You can also pick up holiday merchandise along the pier.


Don’t forget Duffy!


The Muppet Vision 3D attraction will be down until Friday November 16th, a full week after the Holiday Season officially begins at the Disneyland Resort.  When the venue reopens it will house a new Prep and Landing 4D attraction for the holidays.

That wraps things up for us this week at the Disneyland Resort.  We will be back next week with a full review and rundown of all the Christmas offerings at the resort. Let us know what you think of Disneyland Christmas so far.

We also have an update on filming of the Saving Mr. Banks film at Disneyland for you HERE

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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  • Barbaraann

    Since I’m not coming out to California for Christmas, I sure do appreciate all the photos. I appreciate all the great photography done by the wonderful photographers here at MiceChat. Thanks again, it all looks so festive. Certainly gets a person in the mood for the holidays.

  • whamo

    I didn’t see the new decorations last Sunday, nor the parade on Saturday, but I did see “Fantasmic”, “World of Color”, “Alladin”, got on Radiator Springs in 5 minutes (at the opening gate, and I got into the single-rider line). I hate the new Matterhorn, and I used to like that ride. It’s too uncomfortable sitting with your knees up. The highlight was a lunch at the Carthay Circle. It blows the other restaurants at the park away. Try the pork starter. The meat melts in your mouth.

  • Dusty Sage

    Christmas at DCA looks mostly wonderful. Cars Land has the most creative decorations in the park, the title Toontown once held. Unfortunately, Toontown’s decorations have gone to the dogs. Why on earth would they have gotten rid of all those highly detailed decorations in favor of the boring ones they picked for this season?

    There’s also a trend developing which should have Muppets fans worried. They’ve been using the Muppets theater to show all sorts of other things lately. The willingness to use Muppets as a sort of transitional multimedia theater indicates they’ve more or less given up on the attraction. Both the old Millionaire building and the old Hollywood and Dine are big enough to be quickly converted into theater space as needed. Yet they’d rather shutter an attraction to host these promotional blitzes. A decision full of hidden meaning.

  • rstar

    I was there Tues night and saw some of them up here and there. Then a CM friend got off at 9:00 that night and said the decorations were up in Carsland. He’s new, so I don’t think he knew there were more, unless they have started putting them up durring operating hours…

  • KingEric

    simply stunning

  • SFDave

    I’m still hoping they will change the Muppet theater to Mickey’s Philharmagic. That is the first thing I head to at MK

    • Dusty Sage

      I’m not sure that any movie based attraction can hold an audience for more than 2 years at the Disneyland Resort. Too many locals. Using this as a transitional space may very well be the solution, but if they are going to go that route, they should plus up the whole experience so they can use the preshow room as well. I wouldn’t mind them dressing up the facility to suit whatever the hot new film is. But it is unnerving looking at all that great Muppet theme and not being able to experience it.

  • r1hert2

    Love the update it does indeed get one in the holiday mood. Also love the face with the windows at the end of main street Route 66.

  • Kevin

    Honestly, seeing those card land and Buena Vista Street decorations makes me a little homesick. They look so good!!! Thanks Fishbulb!!!

  • JCSkipr79

    The store decdor is amazing! Holiday Services at WDW barely even touches the merch. stores in the parks!!! WOW!

  • churrocharlie

    Those Decorations are terrific! Well done Disney and thank you fishbulb for all the great pictures. Just curious, does anyone have photos of the old Toon Town decorations? I don’t remember them and I’d love to compare.

  • indianajack

    I’m still hoping they change Muppets to Philharmagic as well.
    The decorations on Buena Vista and in Carsland are superb, kudos to the Imagineers.
    Toontown used to have some of the best decorations in the park, and then they imported Orlando’s castaways last year. What a terrible decision!

  • terp79

    The extra layering of holiday decor is amazing…only thing I have a problem with that tensile tree and color wheel. That color wheel should be pointing at a gold evergleam aluminum tree (which are VERY RARE), not a knock off. LOL!

  • Nocturne

    Wow the decorating in DCA is absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to go and see them for myself this weekend. It is so comforting to know that Disney is making a huge effort to create a truly nostalgic DCA Holiday season. The parks are going to be nuts this December so get ready!!

  • Gregg Condon

    Great pictures.

    As far as Muppets changing to Philharmagic, I’d love to see it because Philharmagic is my favorite 3D show, but the Muppets theater just isn’t big enough to fit that screen.

    Sadly if Star Wars land comes into play for DHS we could actually be seeing the closure of Muppets on both coasts. I’d really like to see them combine the current theater and the Millionaire building and build a Muppets dark ride. Maybe even the long-rumored “Muppets Movie Ride”.

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for yet ANOTHER excellent update, Norm!

    I’ll reiterate that Christmas before Thanksgiving is obnoxious, though they are doing a GREAT job with DCA–so maybe showing off Christmas a little early in DCA THIS year isn’t so bad. Building Buena Vista Street at the same time as Carsland was kind of brilliant because these two areas fit well together. Carsland artfully celebrates kitchy, small town, out-of-the-way America, while BV St. looks expensive, urban, and almost beautiful. BV ST. could be grander. See older L.A., including some buildings on Wilshire to see what I mean. But I’m more than satisfied with what they created, if the store windows celebrate the 1920s theming.

    Back to Christmas creep. Isn’t Universal starting Grinchmas on Dec. 1? As Shakespeare put it, “If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be a tedious as to work.” Because I’ve seen Disneyland’s Christmas in years past, this Christmas–which started festering in Disneyland back in October–seems tedious to me, like getting served a hot fudge sundae for breakfast and being told that I’ll get the same for lunch and dinner. Stay classy, TDA.