Viva Navidad brings cultural holiday fun as Winter Dreams light up the night at Disney California Adventure

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

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Published on November 18, 2013 at 5:17 am with 30 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 writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • indianajack

    Disney keeps pushing Duffy but the fans aren’t buying. When is Disney going to give it up?

    The skiers replacing the snowflakes is just so lame.

    The new lights on Screamin’ and the Wheel for World of Color are really nice, even though the show itself lacks emotional resonance and nostalgic punch. The best part is the Toy Story Nutcracker sequence by far. Steve Davidson is losing his touch (Magical! fireworks were also rather lackluster).

    Thanks for the update!

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      Duffy seems to be doing better at WDW than at Disneyland as I usually see several being carried around when I’m at the parks (which is monthly). I don’t get the hatred for him. He’s just a TEDDY BEAR.

      • daveyjones

        “He’s just a TEDDY BEAR.”

        this explains, precisely, the response in the states to him. zero interest. sure, duffy was developed in orlando. but it wasn’t until the oriental land company gave him an elaborate backstory (read: narrative context) that he became beloved at the japanese resort.

        to paraphrase walt, if there’s no story, who’s going to care?

  • eicarr

    Watching the new cool World of Color holiday finale makes me greatful I’m not epileptic. Looking forward to the return of the quiet/classy paradise pier gardens eating area.

  • zugzug15

    I was at the parks last night and the snowflakes WERE in the parade! not sure if the nighttime parade has some subtle differences from the daytime one or not but the last showing of the parade had the snowflakes.

    • zugzug,

      Thanks for the comment. I’ve corrected the original post to remove the incorrect information about the snowflakes. They must have just not been there during the performance that I saw as you and several others have contacted me to let me know that they are still in the show!

      Thanks for reading and happy holidays!
      -Andy

  • SpectroMan

    Yeah, there is no way they’d replace the snowflakes with skiers. They must have just been out for that performance, or it was too windy or other backstage issues were taking place.

    Viva Navidad looks great; I do worry that our old Greek favorites won’t return though. Loving the oversized “Dolls” in the street party; slight nod to America on Parade, there. And speaking of street party – those bikes that hold the characters sure look like the ones from Celebrate – A Street Party!

  • stevek

    Looking forward to seeing WOC: WD and Viva Navidad when we finally get back to the park on Thursday…after a long year away from visits.

  • nrrhollywood69

    I am SO happy to see that Viva Navidad features the Tres Caballeros. Ze Carioca is my absolute FAVORITE Disney character and unfortunately it is almost impossible to find merchandise with his image on it! Ze Carioca is amazing! I love when he teaches Donald to drink cachaça and dance the samba in Aquarela do Brasil

    • poohmeg

      I love the Caballeros, too – at WDW, there is the ride in the Mexico pavilion, and they are the centerpiece of one of the pools at the All Star Music resort, so they do have some presence – but I would still LOVE to see the Viva Navidad show come to Epcot!

  • DutchGirl

    We saw the parade last Thursday night. Both the snowflakes and the skiers were in it. We loved it even with the changes. The Christmas decorations in the park are so beautiful. It makes me only want to visit at Christmastime.

    • stevek

      Yep, I’m pretty sure I saw the video that Micechat posted last week showed both the skiers and snowflakes.

  • dlpostcardguy

    Thanks for the update! Haven’t seen Viva Navidad in person yet but what I have seen online looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see it in person. Also love the decorations on Hollywood Blvd. We saw the Christmas Parade in Disneyland the weekend it opened and the snowflakes were in the show so maybe they were just getting their wheels polished when this one was photographed. So many holiday offerings to see this year, so little time to see them all!!

  • Tinkbelle

    I hope they didn’t get rid of the snowflakes, they were one of my favorite parts of the parade.

  • jedzz

    This is completely random, but I’ve never noticed until studying the picture of Chip ‘n Dale waving that the walk-around characters have FOUR fingers, instead of five, just like their animated counterparts!

  • Disneymike

    “Bongratulations to the team that put together the Viva Navidad celebration”

    Tsk, Tsk, Andy 😉

    • Disneymike,

      Hey, typos happen! 😉 Thanks for the correction, I’ve fixed it in the original post.

      Thanks for reading!
      -Andy

  • ClaudiaM

    My mom and went went to the parks this weekend with the sole intent to experience Viva Navidad! and we were not disappointed. I was very surprised at the flavor and accurate presentation of the food (my mom had the torta, I had the sopes) although the side chips were unnecessary. As a born and raised Mexican, I often criticize Mexican food, specially at the parks and was very happy that the food was not butchered with unnecessary melting cheese and sour cream on everything. The street party was very refreshing, entertaining and quite lively. We liked it so much that we watched it twice. It definitely depicted a Latino culture without rounding to be stereotypical and it was obvious from our visit that the majority of the Latino families we spotted were pleased. I do hope they bring this back again next week, bigger and better. My mom and will be returning sometime in the next week to try their pozole, although we are quite discouraged by the small service sample for such a high price.

    I have mixed reviews about WOC-WD. Saw the preview on Thursday and was very mesmerized, mostly because my guest had never even seen the original WOC and was very excited to experience the water show for the first time. However, upon watching it again on Saturday, I realized that certain sequences just don’t flow very well, but the finale is absolutely gorgeous. Wished more people wore their Glow with the Show ears, definitely makes a huge difference.

  • Lucky Oswald

    Great Update! Where exactly is the AP special viewing area for the WoC Winter Dreams located? Does anyone know if the Glow with the Show viewing area is similar or better? We have small children and are trying to plan the ideal viewing location for all of us. Thanks!

  • amyuilani

    I think that sign posted outside the ice rink is hilarious because people actually have to be TOLD what common sense is and what they need to do to exercise it. If people were not told that ice skating was a potentially dangerous activity and people need to be very careful, then they’d sue Disney because the ice was slippery, the blades were narrow, or someone stopped in front of them. I’m sure they’ll still find a way to sue Disney. It’s sad that people have to be told how to be careful because they don’t know how to exercise due diligence in a litigation-happy society.

  • lionheartkc

    While I think Viva Navidad looks like a really cool thing, I’m concerned about The Ellis Island Boys. I hope they are getting relocated for the season and not losing a paycheck.

  • a-mad

    Viva Navidad looks really entertaining… wish we were going this year so we could enjoy it.

    For those that have attended Viva Navidad so far, how have the crowds/reaction been? We normally eat here because its so quiet and sparsely attended… and we enjoy it as such – but I actually hope this event becomes hugely popular so it will come back in future years. I worry about it being so tucked away that people won’t find it. Of course, it just began… so if crowds are small now – perhaps they’ll grow in size as the holiday season wears on with good word of mouth.

    • ClaudiaM

      Hi A-Mad,

      When I attended on Saturday with my mom, I would say it was about 7/10. A bit crowded but nothing that wasn’t manageable. Reactions we say were very positive.

  • danyoung

    Andy, I like to thank you for your hard work on this weekly update – I’ve been enjoying reading it for years now. But with that said, I do have to take you to task over your use of a word. “The View” is not filming this week. They are transmitting the show live. Regardless of the fact that no one uses film any more – shows are recorded to chips or solid state recorders (sorry, pet peeve of mine) – they definitely are not recording the show for later telecast. I know it’s picky, but lots of people use the term “filming” incorrectly, and it bugs me!

    Thanks again for the update!

    • Westsider

      What word would you like us to use then? “Taping” isn’t an option because the use of magnetic tape has also ceased. “Recording”? But then, to your point, the show is being broadcast live for East Coast audiences, and recorded for an hour to three hour delay for Midwest, Mountain, and West Coast audiences.

      So what word do we use if “taping” is not Technologically Correct now? Perhaps something like “This week The View is at Disneyland transmitting live to the East Coast while it downloads to solid state recorders for slight delay to Midwest, Mountain and Pacific time zones.”

      Yeah, maybe it’s just easier to say “The View is taping at Disneyland this week.”

      • danyoung

        I think exactly what you said – The View is being transmitted live from Disneyland. Now, to get really picky, it’s not even correct to say that the show is being broadcasted live, as in the day of cable, satellite and fiber, broadcasting isn’t that large a segment of the market. But then that’s getting really silly, isn’t it?

        As to stuff being filmed, well, it isn’t. Film is a specific format, and it’s almost totally extinct. Stuff being recorded is much better, and more accurate.

  • WDWorldly

    The Christmas overlay for Sleeping Beauty Castle would look so much better without the unnecessary icicles and garland “mustache” (see: Hong Kong Disneyland’s winter castle: http://youtu.be/RmZeVPqXOZw?t=3m )

  • QPerth

    Terrific update, with a lot of good news regarding wonderful Christmas decorations, and Park Entertainment in Street Performances, cultural shows and nighttime spectaculars! Wonderful pictures as always. Again, Happy Anniversary, these weekly updates are just incredible for the overseas Disney Park fans, bringing us updates, news and wonderful pictures, thanks so very much! -Q

  • JediPrincess

    I’m excited to check out Viva Navidad. It looks like a lot of fun! Also, $17 to skate seems awfully expensive to me. I admit that I’m biased because I grew up in Canada before moving to SoCal but that seems very steep. They are trying to justify it by offering1.5 hours of skating, but who is really going to spend that long in such a small rink. I think they should have charged $10 for 30 min of skating.

  • KCmike

    Sorry but Winter Dreams is not good. Don’t bother waiting for fast passes and just walk up and stand behind the crowd. It was a major letdown for my family and I this past weekend. The Let it Go song is great and the only highlight of the whole thing. I don’t get the GLOW song at all. You can’t understand a word they are singing. What the heck? Bring back the old World of Color and rethink something better. Hell, Mickey and the Magical Map is 10x better than this show!

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