The holidays are in full swing at Disneyland as the park gets ready to host its annual Candlelight Processional in Town Square this upcoming weekend. The decades-long holiday tradition was hosted for an unprecedented 20 nights last year, but the event returns to its traditional two-night run for 2013. Meanwhile, as Candlelight begins to take shape in Town Square, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure‘s candy kitchens made their first batch of the wildly popular hand-made candy canes over the weekend. Elsewhere around the park, holiday music can be found from Main Street to Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain‘s refurbishment continues and in Fantasyland, a historic part of Disneyland may soon be disappearing forever.
Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at MouseAddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!
Get a closer look at today’s update! Click on any photo in today’s blog to see a larger, high-resolution version.
We’ve got a big holiday-packed update today, so let’s get started!
|Welcome to Disneyland!|
The Thanksgiving holiday brought big crowds to Disneyland throughout last week. The holiday crowds will be a constant in the parks through the rest of the season, hitting their traditional peak during the week of Christmas. If you plan on visiting the Resort for the holidays, be ready for big crowds!
|Candlelight and Candy Canes|
In Town Square, setup for Disneyland’s annual Candlelight Processional is now underway. The holiday show that tells the story of the first Chritmas will run for its traditional two-night run this weekend after running for 10 nights last year.
This year, the Candlelight Processional will run December 7 and 8, 2013. Below, the celebrity narrators for this year’s event.
- December 7: Blair Underwood
December 8: Kurt Russell
As of this writing, there are no public options for seats at this year’s Candlelight Processional. No special tickets, no dining reservations, no Annual Passholder raffle. If you aren’t an invited guest or invited media, your best bet would be to arrive early and stake out a first-come, first-served standing-room only spot in Town Square.
If you want to get your own candy cane, below are the remaining dates and park opening times when candy canes will be available.
- Candy Palace at Disneyland
- Tuesday, December 3 (9 am park opening, 8-9 am Extra Magic Hour)
- Friday, December 6 (9 am park opening)
- Tuesday, December 10 (9 am park opening, 8-9 Extra Magic Hour)
- Friday, December 13 (9 am park opening)
- Tuesday, December 17 (9 am park opening)
- Friday, December 20 (9 am park opening)
- Sunday, December 22 (8 am park opening)
- Tuesday, December 24 (8 am park opening)
- Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure
- Monday, December 2 (9:00am park opening, 8-9 am Extra Magic Hour)
- Saturday, December 7 (8:00am park opening)
- Monday, December 9 (9:00am park opening, 8-9 am Extra Magic Hour)
- Saturday, December 14 (8:00am park opening)
- Monday, December 16 (9:00am park opening)
- Saturday, December 21 (8 am park opening)
- Monday, December 23 (8 am park opening)
- Wednesday, December 25 (8 am park opening)
If you don’t want to get to the parks that early, Disney is selling pre-made candy canes. They are made with the same technique and same ingredients, just off-stage and not on the same day you buy them.
|Music on Main Street|
Main Street not only celebrates the holidays with Mickey-shaped garland strung up across the street and the huge tree in Town Square. In addition to regular music from the Disneyland Band and the Hook and Ladder Co., guests on Main Street during the holidays can frequently hear live holiday music from the Dapper Dans and the special Dickens Yuletide Band.
In Frontierland, the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are now in their final season at Disneyland and you can catch the group in at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree doing their Christmas set before they’re permanently retired in January.
|Skyway to Yesterland|
The big news in the fan community last week was the report from MiceAge that all major new projects at Disneyland and Walt Disney World have been put on hold after a failed rollout of Disney’s major $1 billion MyMagic+ project in Florida. The rumor says that all rumored projects are now on hold or outright canceled for Disneyland, including a major Monsters Inc.-themed expansion of Disney California Adventure, a huge Star Wars-themed reworking of Tomorrowland and major upgrades and enhancements for Disneyland’s Fantasyland dark rides. While the community was in hot debate over MiceAge’s latest, another rumor from Disney author and blogger Dave Koenig about the pending loss of another part of Disneyland history got lost in the shuffle.
The aging Skyway chalet in Fantasyland, across from the Village Haus Restaurant and to the side of Casey Jr., is apparently going to be the next victim of Disneyland history. The building has sat unused and largely unmaintained for years since the Skyway closed in 1994 and now Disneyland plans to demolish it after Imagineering decided they had no interest in keeping it around any longer.
It’s a shame because it’s a beautiful structure that could serve a variety of purposes – from character meet-and-greet, to merchandise location – but sits unused due to a lack of interest from management and ADA compliance for the location.
If you have fond memories of the Skyway, your last chance to see the building (through the trees at least) is now as demolition is expected to get underway after the start of the new year.
|Welcome to Disney California Adventure!|
Over at the Carthay Circle Restaurant, Disney recently started offering a once-daily walking tour of the restaurant at 10:30 am before it opens for lunch. The tour is quick – only about 15 minutes long – and takes you through the major areas of the restaurant including the lobby, the main dining room, the private Premiere dining room in the Carthay tower, and more.
The tour gives a nice inside look at the restaurant and is a great little free excursion to start your day at the park. Even though the tour includes a sales pitch at the end to book a reservation for lunch or dinner, the bulk of the tour is focused on Imagineering’s creative choices inside and Walt Disney and Hollywood history. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Big crowds have hit California Adventure for the holidays as well, with Cars Land packing them in, especially at Radiator Springs Racers which was pushing a two-and-a-half hour wait time Saturday afternoon.
|Limited Time Magic|
at Disneyland Resort
November 24-December 1, 2013
Last week’s Limited Time Magic brought some special menu items to the parks for the Thanksgiving holiday (and highlighted a few others that were already on the menu)…
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure
On select dates in November and December
Annual Passholders can attend exclusive showings of the new “World of Color: Winter Dreams” at California Adventure on select nights this November and December.
- World of Color Winter Dreams Showings
- Registration must be completed in person, by each participating Passholder, at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS Service machines on the day of the event only; no phone reservations, registration by someone else or other forms of registration will be accepted. Registration and distribution of Disney FASTPASS tickets for each Passholder show will be based on availability. Space at this event is limited and not guaranteed.
- Cast Members will be available at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS location to assist Passholders with event registration and to hand out holiday ornaments, while supplies last.
- Participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passports to an event Cast Member to check event availability and to register and receive a Disney FASTPASS ticket. Photo ID may be required.
- Registration and Disney FASTPASS ticket distribution for this special event is available on each event day when Disney California Adventure Park opens‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚àö‚àÇ‚Äö√†√∂‚àö√´‚Äö√†√∂‚àö√úcurrently scheduled at 9:00 AM on November 15, 16, 17, 22 and December 2, 3,4,5, 6; and 10:00 AM on November 18,19, 20, 21.
- It is recommended that all members of your party register together at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS location to help ensure that everyone receives a Disney FASTPASS ticket to the event.
- This is an all-ages event. However, all participating Guests ages 3 and older must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event. Children under 3 may attend the event as long as there is space available and they are accompanied by an adult (age 18 or over) with a valid Disney FASTPASS ticket. Children under 3 will not receive an ornament.
- A valid Annual Passport is required to receive a Disney FASTPASS ticket to a Passholder show and the accompanying holiday ornament.
- One ornament and one event Disney FASTPASS ticket for each registered Passholder on each event day will be distributed at the Grizzly River Run Disney FASTPASS location, while supplies last.
- Passholders will not receive a holiday ornament with a Disney FASTPASS ticket for any of the general audience shows.
Celebrate the warmth and wonder of winter with the all-new nighttime spectacular in Disney California Adventure Park — World of Color – Winter Dreams!
Annual Passholders are invited to attend a special viewing. Event participants may also receive a special holiday ornament, while supplies last.
December 2 through December 6, 2013
7:00 PM show time on December 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2013
9:00 PM show time on December 6, 2013
Event Ticket Information
Holiday Gift Guide 2013
Give some Disney magic this year!
The holidays are here and we have a list of some of the great offerings Disney released this year that any Disney fan would love to have.
So jump in and check off some names from your list with the Amazon links below! By buying through the Amazon links below you’ll also be helping support Dateline Disneyland at no additional cost to you!
Great Disney Books
Spectacular Diamond and Anniversary Edition Animation Blu-ray
New Animation Blu-ray and more
Great Anniversary Edition and New Release Live Action Blu-ray
Amazing Marvel Blu-ray and more
The bar is serving up special holiday cocktails
|This and That|
|Weekly News & Information Round-Up|
|Weekly Theme Park Hours
December 2-8, 2013
|Disneyland Park||California Adventure|
9 am – 8 pm
9 am – 9 pm
9 am – 12 am
8 am – 12 am
9 am – 8 pm
9 am – 10 pm
8 am – 11 pm
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.
|OK, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland! Will you be visiting the parks this holiday weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.
We’re only here because of generous readers like you. Do you enjoy reading Dateline Disneyland every week? Consider helping us out by donating so we can pay the bills and keep the weekly updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal, click here!
For more Disneyland news, be sure to read MiceChat’s weekly In the Parks blog. And be sure to check out our sister blog, Dateline Disney World – a fantastic weekly photo blog covering Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!
Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
|Support Dateline Disneyland
| | | |
|FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.|