Can you hear it? Can you feel it? I’d say there’s something magical in the air, wouldn’t you? It’s the spirit of the season at Disneyland! But that’s not all that’s going on. We have a full update of photos, news and info for you from the Happiest Place on Earth . . .

Happy Holidays

Yesterday we posted a special Holiday update covering the general offerings that Disneyland has offered up for the holidays. We’ll talk about a few of those things here, but for the meat of the info on the holidays, start there.


Christmas is here again. Reds and greens are everywhere and you can almost smell the gingerbread. But everyone else is smelling it too. This weekend was a Veteran’s Day holiday on top of a runDisney event on top of the first day of Holidays at Disneyland so it has been very busy. Disneyland Today even announced on Twitter that they ran out of parking spaces around mid-afternoon. That’s a major warning sign to expect packed conditions.

The turnstiles have frozen over

I’ll give you fair warning right off the bat: I don’t think they finished putting up decorations for the opening of their holiday celebration this weekend. Either that or the holidays have been majorly scaled back this year, but I’m hoping it’s the former.

The main thing I was hoping for was the garland to be strung across Main Street since Paint the Night moved to DCA, but it wasn’t up this weekend. Let’s hope they didn’t neglect it and are still working on getting more decorations up both here and everywhere else around the resort. Word is that the garland won’t return until they’re done taping the Christmas Day special. I hope that’s true.

It’s been two years without the Mickey garland across Main Street…

The rest of Main Street is still looking great.

I love all the characters in their Christmas gear!

For popcorn bucket collectors, be on the lookout for these Christmas Pluto buckets. They were causing long lines at the popcorn carts, so expect them to sell out quickly not unlike the Oogie Boogie ones.

I’m glad to see the castle looking more up to snuff with its winter makeover; the diamond roofs were falling apart. Make sure to check it out during different times of the day as it has three forms. It’s fun to walk by during the evening when some of the lights turn on and then after the fireworks when the “snow” lighting appears.

Just around sunset

The Christmas tree also has multiple forms. Check it out during the evening for its classic lights and then later at night for the twinkling “snow” lighting.

Evening has warm colors
Nighttime is much cooler colored with a twinkling snow light scheme

The shop windows are looking festive.

I could write a whole update on Main Street, I love Main Street during the holidays.

Walt’s in the Christmas spirit

I noticed these small trees were only planted on one side of the Hub. This is one of those things that leads me to the conclusion that Disney just didn’t finish putting up decorations yet as these little guys are supposed to be in all four of the center planters.

While you’re on Main Street, stop by and check out a Christmas Fantasy Parade and the fireworks show, Believe…in Holiday Magic.

This parade is getting rather old, but it’s still fun. Hopefully, we’ll get an update sooner rather than later, though.

We posted a poll in yesterday’s update (here). Here’s the result:

Believe…in Holiday Magic has added projections this year to enhance the show.

It’s not quite as old as the parade, but it’s pretty old too. I’m glad we got something to breathe some new life into it.

Disneyland West

Unsurprisingly, I always seem to spend most of my time at Disneyland on the west side of the park. The first thing I noticed is the lack of decoration around Adventureland. That’s partly to do with the omission of Jingle Cruise this year.

A couple lights and this knick-knack tree are all that were to be found.

In New Orleans Square it’s a Mardi-Gras Christmas!

A lot of the usual decorations are out, but New Orleans Square is always so picturesque during this season.

Jack’s occupation of the Mansion continues through the holidays. I’ll get tired of it by the end of December, but it’s still fun right now.

My ride stopped right underneath these lovely things. Take a look at those teeth!

A shame this is tucked in the attic, it would look really good on my wall….

I love New Orleans Square at night during the holidays, the lights are awesome. Looks like some of them weren’t on yet, though.

With Veteran’s Day this weekend, the line for Pirates stretched all the way to the French Market and back, but I was able to squeeze in a voyage when the line died down during the evening.

Don’t tell him, Carlos! Don’t be cheeeeeekin!

Walt Disney World has announced that the auction scene on Pirates will be changing in early 2018 for their version, but there’s still no word on when we’ll be getting our update.

It seems one of our musician friends has returned, but another has disappeared.

Another barrel serenade?

Let’s roll on over to Frontierland.

The River Belle Terrace continues its refurbishment and I noticed what looks like a new sign above the entrance. It looks like the sign above the Hall of Presidents; same gold color and typeface.

The restaurant will re-open on November 21st (that’s my birthday, someone save me some barbecue).

Frontierland has its own garland and lights up as well.

Disneyland East

It’s not my update without a photo of the Matterhorn.

Small World has returned from its Holiday makeover and now has a holiday package sitting atop its sign.

It also brought something not so cheerful: long stand-by lines due to a new FastPass integration. This was always an attraction that never needed FastPass, even during the busy holiday overlay, yet here we are. This will likely be a test for over the holidays more than anything, but it’s needlessly adding 30-45 minutes of extra time to the stand-by wait right now.

When our own Brian Pinsky arrived, the wait time was 60 minutes but it took about 90. Expect hiccups for a little while as they get everything working smoothly and figure out FastPass integration.

There’s a new wait time board and it’s missing the cute face the non-FastPass one had. Apparently, it also wasn’t turning off during the fireworks and was a bright distraction.

If you don’t have MaxPass, the Small World FastPass distribution is over at the Matterhorn.

2pm and the return times were close to 6pm…

The attraction itself exudes the feeling of the holidays and can be considered the best version of Small World by some.

He’s checking his list…

Siemens hasn’t been fully pulled from the attraction quite yet, even though their sponsorship has ended.

Which version of small world do you like best? Classic or Holiday?

At night, the cute wreaths around Small World have very bright and vivid colors.

Unfortunately, a lot of the other lights in Small World mall seemed to be missing.

What wasn’t missing was the grand Small World light show on the facade. It’s one of my favorite things about this season at Disneyland and it’s incredibly fun (and challenging) to photograph. Don’t forget to check out the projection show that periodically plays on the facade as well.

I may have gone overboard with the editing on this one, it’s made up of eleven different photos.
See Ya Real Soon
All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Each week we’ll feature different photographers and commentators (often more than one). Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Scott Attula with additional photo contributions from Dusty Sage, Brian Pinsky, Dsny Debbie, and Suzanne Lee.


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That’s it for today’s update. Join us later this week as we look at California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and the Around the Resort.