The holidays arrive at Disneyland with new offerings and returning favorites

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features

Published on November 11, 2013 at 6:26 am with 32 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • eicarr

    Not an animation fan but Olaf looks cool!

    THOR looks great, even Marvel banners liven up a dead land. Can’t wait for more marvel and Star Wars.

    Wonder if Bill Hill and the Hillbilies chose to leave the nice Horshoe Stage and then they actually chose to retire?

    • The Billies did not choose to leave on their own. They are being forcibly retired.

  • Kateyandstitch

    Everything looks great! Thanks for the long update! The sad part is, I am reminded the court of Angels will be gone this year 🙁 I’ll miss it!

    • Larry Parker

      Agree totally regarding Court of Angels. And we had such high hopes for Michael Colglazier, Disneyland’s recent new president. Instead, we get a profiteer akin to another Michael who unfortunately used to lead.

  • peoplemover1

    Happy Anniversary Andy and thanks for 6 years of some of the most beautiful pictures of the park (especially at holiday time) I have ever seen! I can always count on great information and commentary on everything going on in the resort … Good or bad! 😉 I know you sacrifice personal time, sleep, and sanity to bring us what we want every single week!!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!

  • FerretAfros

    Thanks for the update! Are the reindeer returning to Big Thunder Ranch this year? I didn’t see them mentioned anywhere

    • Sparky

      They don’t have the reindeer anymore. They haven’t for a couple of years now.

  • Wendygirl

    This was NOT the Billys decision. They were told just before the announcement went up on the Disney Parks Blog. They were as shocked as the rest of us were. What a way to be treated after all they’ve given to not only us but Disney.

  • Wendygirl

    Also, if you are so inclined, please sign the petition. If you elect to leave a comment, please be respectful in what you say.

  • 3rdGateFan

    Happy 6th anniversary Dateline Disneyland , and probaly the best DD of the year, keep it up, I love how guests try to get Tony Baxter spill some beans on new attractions coming to the parks, you know he won’t answer any of them but at least they try, LoL !

  • ParkerMonroe

    Nick Cannon’s wardrobe appears to be very Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday inspired.

  • Sparky

    Happy 6th anniversary to Dateline Disneyland! Thanks for the reporting and great photos! I got the chance to ride Jingle Jungle Cruise on Saturday. The decorations were good, but the holiday jokes need some work. Most were pretty weak, some were cringe-worthy. I heard little laughter from others in the boat I was in. If this idea is to work, they need some really good and clever jokes and puns.

  • Big D

    Glad to see the holiday decor on Jungle Cruise is actually pretty good. I like the blend of Christmas and jungle themes (especially the Santa hat). Of course, as always, it’s the skippers who really make or break the ride, so hopefully Disney gives them some good material to work with.

  • Happy 6th anniversary to Dateline Disneyland and the amazing Andy Castro!

    BEAUTIFUL update today.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    Great update as usual, Andy. I love how you cover everything from food to new decorations.

    My own take on the Frozen meet and greet is that Animatronic is more interesting than the meeting of the two female characters inside. I wonder if crowds will just form to see that.

    I am still ticked that the Big Thunder is still under wraps. It now feels like the same people who brought the Fantasyland improvement to WDW also brought us the renovation for Big Thunder. Nothing seems to be changing. It seems just the same as it will be in February. Maybe they will be putting guests in cages to prevent them getting too close to the rocks for our “safety.”

  • amyuilani

    Nick Cannon could not have been comfortable dressed to the nines in upper 80s weather. Then again, that’s southern CA for you.

    The park looks beautiful, and as always, your gorgeous photos really capture the glorious color and detail. 🙂

  • scarymouse

    Spectacular Job guys! Can’t wait to see fencing around innovations instead of Thor signage…..otherwise its just sad to see the billy’s knowing the end is near……

  • SilverMouse

    Congratulations Andy on 6 magical years of Dateline Disneyland!!! It’s hard to believe its been that long. Thanks for making Monday a day I look forward too, instead of dreading. Would asking for another 6 years be asking too much? Thanks again for all of your hard work!!!!!!

  • pinkertonfloyd

    That jungle cruise skipper needs to work on his timing… completely flat for most of his delivery…

  • TweedlDum9

    Another great update as always.
    But the IASW projection show is NOT “new.” The video you linked looks like a really nice refresh of what they added 3-4 years ago. Definitely one of my favorite things to show people when I go, and another great example of an under-used, ‘hidden’ treasure accidentally stumbled upon like the Court of Angels was.

  • ChrisNJ

    Happy Anniversary Dateline Disneyland. And thank you for sharing so much of what we love about Disneyland. You bring joy to the many of us that can’t get to the park on a regular basis. Thank you!

  • Michael Greening

    Fantastic report Andy and gorgeous photos.
    Your love of Buena Vista Street really shows through in your photos of it.

  • Kimura

    One small note…

    It’s the Guest Services building, not Guest Relations, that’s under refurbishment.

    Guest Services is located next to Disneyland’s main entrance.

    Guest Relations is located next to DCA’s main entrance.

  • KCmike

    When do you think they will add the garland and greenery above main street?

    Congrats on 6 years!

  • johntodd

    Come on BTMRR… you can soft-open on December first. I know you can do it.

  • StrikeYerColors

    Great update. I haven’t been in yet to see all the decorations. I love the new additions to MS, but my favorite is definitely the decor at the Jungle Cruise. I always wanted Adventureland to have Christmas decorations like the rest of the park (and considering the colonial time period, it’s plenty fitting in theme), and what they did there with the mish mash of the crafty, the African inspired, the vintage, and the existing tropical flora is EXACTLY what I envisioned many years ago! I can’t wait to see it in person and ride the cruise. The jokes will be cheesy as always, I am sure, but I think that this will prove popular year after year.

  • TwilitWings

    Happy six years!!

    I love the custom Main Street garland! Always like it when separate stores look like unique entities, even when they’re technically connected on the inside. Most of the decorations, both new and old, look lovely. Only sad note (related to the Christmas decorations, at least) is the return of the lackluster Toontown decorations. Oh well, there’s always next year. 😉

  • Marko50

    Thanks for the update, Andy, as well as for the sad news that the Billys will be leaving.

  • Internitty

    Is Christmas still going to be an event you have to pay extra for and wear a wrist band to attend?

  • DisneylandTraveler

    Many Billy petitions out there. Do it the Chicago way. Vote Early and vote often. Here is my personal pledge. Whatever the replacement for Billy Hill is going to be, I’m boycotting it on principal, especially if its some kind of interactive game. Swapping out skillful trained musicians and entertainers for an interactive element that is done on the cheap is an insult to intelligence.,

  • goldenhorseshoe

    Wow! The decorations look so beautiful. I’ve never been during the Christmas season and hope to go sometime in the future. Thank you for the beautiful photos and videos!

  • Scarlet Spanky

    Thanks for all the updates!!!