Candlelight lights up Disneyland with holiday magic and Main Street gets festive with flowers

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

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on December 09, 2013 at 5:05 am with 36 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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  • FerretAfros

    If you were in the parks on Saturday, the flags were likely at half mast in memory of Pearl Harbor rather than Mandela

    • You’re partially right. Flags would have been at half-staff on Saturday for Pearl Harbor’s anniversary but flags were also ordered at half-staff from Thursday until sunset today, December 9th, in honor of Nelson Mandela. So, there was overlap and I have corrected the information in the original post.

      Thanks for reading!

      • FerretAfros

        Thanks! I didn’t realize that. I guess two half (staffs) don’t make a whole!

  • JCSkipr79

    The optics of having the Flower Mart back “open” is pure genius. It adds more to Main Street without taking anything away and brings a BIT of Yesterland back. Now if we could just get the full Penny Arcade back.

  • WickedScorp

    What’s up with the reduced capacity on TOT?

    • MainSt1993

      Maintenance, one drop tower at a time.

  • rstar

    Great update, thanks! I love the parks during the holidays!

    My Christmas wish is that Mousaddict would come out with a version for Android! I’ll leave you milk and cookies! 🙂

  • Larry Parker

    Great to see the Flower Carts on Main Street-and nothing for sale to boot! Uncharacteristic of the crass profit motive usually so evident in other park changes. Hope to see more changes with park quality at the forefront!

  • SoCalFan

    Everything looks great! I got some great BVS shots as the storm cleared Saturday as well. It was gorgeous. And there was a great blue hour on Sunday, perfect for that Carsland neon! Thanks as always for your gorgeous photos.

    We LOVED the flower market this weekend. We stopped by after Starbucks on Sunday morning and there tons of people admiring and commenting on it, and even more taking pictures with the beautiful holiday arrangements in the background.

    One thing I’ll note is that despite calendars saying TOT is at reduced capacity, we went on yesterday and all three sides were loading and were loading on both levels.

  • vnormth

    Anyone missing the customary poem about Jesus at the end of Candlelight this year? Another victim of PC?

    not cool.

    • Algernon

      Soon it will be the “Holiday Candle Light” in honor of the first “Holiday.”

      • tcsnwhite

        Why would that be a problem? The word “Holiday” is derived from “holy”+”day”…essentially meaning holy day. Holiday refers to the supposed “holiness” of the day just as “Christmas” does. Relax.

    • SpectroMan

      Yes indeed, a CM mentioned that it was cut due to guest complaints. Pathetic, I know.

    • MikkiandtheMouse

      *eye roll* That’s so sad. I’m not religious but, that’s what Candlight Processional. If I don’t hear about the first Christmas and Jesus and Mary and the whole thing, it’s just not the same. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate it.

  • hmorales1992

    I am planning on visiting Disneyland on Sunday. But the crowds are estimated to be high. Do you think it’s worth the trip? I am coming in from DC Saturday and leave January 9th.

    • sixalex

      If possible, always try to visit during the week. Usually Tuesdays through Thursdays are the least crowded. I say “usually,” but understand that crowds can swell for any variety of special events. The weekends get the bulk of visitors by dint of being the days when kids are off school and folks with regular nine to five style jobs are off.

      There is something to say about being in the mix of a large crowd. It can be fun. But if you are not local with an annual pass, the best way to maximize your time and fun is to be there in the quieter moments. Those are getting rare these days!

      Whatever you decide, be flexible. Be friendly. Say please and thank you to the hard working Cast Members. Have fun.

  • garyman

    We were there Thursday through Saturday, We had a great time. We saw dreams as AP. Show was OK, but they really need to show the main stuff on multiple water screens so everyone can see it. Even at the AP event, there were plenty of people viewing it but not many could see the whole show as space was still tight.

    Saturday was great, with the rain in the morning the crowds were way less than expected, Friday was more crowded. Even with that, we did not have to wait much more than 25 minutes for any given ride. The modified Fastpass Systems has made us change our patterns, but still allowed us to ride most everything more than once each day.

    Jungle Cruise had the longest line I have seen in a while, the Jingle Cruise theme really packed them in.

    Billy HIll was great as always and we like the Magical Map Performance.

  • johntodd

    We were at the resort Monday through Wednesday, and I have to say, I was disappointed with ride maintenance. At one point on Tuesday morning, Space Mountain and Indy were both down, Matterhorn was operating only the left side, BTMRR was still rehabbing and Radiator Springs Racers was down all day.

    Matterhorn never operated both sides, and Indy was up and down the rest of the afternoon.

    Like I said… disappointing.

    • Baloo

      I actually noticed how unorganized some of the CM’s where. A few CM’s kept sending guests against traffic then others sending them back the way they came. saw a few people going around in circles.

      Burbank and TDA really need to push ahead with the rumored side arcade for mainstreet to help the flow of traffic during events and parades.

      To make it worse a few of the leads were telling cast members to stand at the doors of stores and not allow anyone inside them unless they were purchasing something so that guests would not use the stores as a way to get thru mainstreet. For the event last night the street was closed off and the sidewalks used for pushing people thru, they left no viewing sections like they do for parades which was another huge mistake.

      It was really badly planned, something that has not been that much of an issue before

      • Baloo

        The above was suppose to be a response to MrOCT31

  • Baloo

    both parks were packed on Sunday, California Adventure had both Screamin and Racers down add Grizlley to that and the park was in need of attractions to fill the void.

    Several frustrated guests when it came to Racers, the line was packed when the ride went down then when it finally came back up they decided to ignore the standby line and just load fastpass guests. For every large group of 40 or 50 fastpass guests they would load 3 or 4 standby guests.
    Standby Guest started leaving the line until only the glass house had people waiting and that small line took 150 minutes.

    I understand that they wanted to accomodate the fatspass guest but many of the guests in standby were already in line when the ride went down and had waited over an hour then again are made to wait another 2+ hours.

    They really need to revise their fastpass policy and if for some reason your pass had a time slot during a ride breakdown then you pass becomes void. It made no sense to have the fast pas line completey filled and overflowing into the entrance area while having the standby guests just wait. Everytime a new group of fastpass guests arrived the CM would announce that the 150 minute standby line would be longer.

    • Westsider

      Your description of Racers reopening from a downtime is EXACTLY how the Fastpass system is supposed to work. The Standby line (that name chosen on purpose) is not the priority. The priority is the Fastpass line and the Guests who hold Fastpasses. If you don’t want to wait in Standby, get to DCA early enough to get a Fastpass or choose another ride. The CM’s were doing EXACTLY what they should be doing when reopening after an extended downtime, and it sounds like they were spieling to the queue and keeping you informed of the additional delays to the Standby line beyond the 150 minute posted wait before the ride broke down. So you had information to act upon if you wished.

      Priority goes to Fastpass Guests, as it always has. Standby Guests are standing by to be accommodated, like waiting for a seat on a plane via Standby. Nothing new there. Those CM’s were doing exactly as they were trained to do.

  • MrOCT31

    We were also there yesterday and yes is was PACKED at both parks! We made the mistake of coming back to DL during the candlelight show and it’s just awful how they route you in and out of the park during the performance. I thinks it’s really outgrown that part of the park and I almost thing they could take it outside between DL and CA that way for those of us who don’t want to see it we can stay in a park and not have to deal with it!

    “Anyone missing the customary poem about Jesus at the end of Candlelight this year? Another victim of PC?”
    From what I heard of the reading is was plenty religious enough, if that’s your religion! What about everyone else there who’s not of the Christian faith? The whole thing doesn’t come off as very small worldly to me!

    • TodAZ1

      Well, if the intent is to celebrate Christmas, as the Candlelight Procession is, a Jesus reading wouldn’t be offensive, I would think. And this is coming from an agnostic!

      • MrOCT31

        I think anyone who’s not Christian has had to not be offended by pretty much everything Xmas related so yeah, they were otherwise busy in line at the HMH or PoC during the show!

    • MikkiandtheMouse

      and lets be fair, if you’re offended by the poem about Jesus in the Candlelight Processional, don’t go! It’s an optional event that you wait hours and hours for unless you’re an invited guest and then you complain? I’d think you would know what you were getting into. Just my 2 cents.

  • waltopia

    L-O-V-E-S the return of the Flower Market to Main Street!! What a surprise.

    Some extra nice photos this week, thanks for keeping us updated throughout the year, it is truly appreciated.

  • Algernon

    It will be interesting to see how much of the old Disneyland they recreate in “Saving Mr. Banks.” Hard core fans will know the difference if they show Disneyland as it looks today. It would be nice if they did away with the Main Street and other area paving stones in the movie.

  • Sparky

    I noticed a couple of things when I was in the parks last week during the week that I haven’t seen mention of. First, they have added a few things to the Jingle Cruise. I believe they added a little bit more decor to the queue. But, they have also added a bit to the ride. In the scene with the apes wrecking the safari camp, one of the gorillas now has a Santa hat and beard on, other apes have on Santa hats and there is torn up gifts strewn about. I saw that on Thursday. I don’t know if more has been added since then. They were opening the ride late on some days last week. I guess that’s why. Secondly, over in the Jingle Jangle Jamboree, I noticed some costume changes. Mickey and Minnie’s more formal attire was replaced with Mr. & Mrs. Santa type outfits. The Country Bears had some Christmasy “accessories”. I’m not sure if those are new or I just didn’t notice them previously. I love the new Flower Mart. I will look forward to seeing it when I return to the parks next week during the week.

  • SpectroMan

    The Flower Mart is awesome. Did they relocate the fruit cart that nobody bought anything at? Hmm…thinking about this, the one-time charge of placing all those fake plants vs. paying the fruit cart cast member = they probably are coming out ahead and loving it on their balance sheets. Win win for everyone (except the poor cast member)

    • SpectroMan,

      No, the fruit cart is still there, the Flower Market is just set up behind it, filling up the rest of E. Center Street. 🙂

      Thanks for reading,

  • Tinkbelle

    I really appreciate that Disney continues to do the Candlelight service. In a country that seems to be pushing harder every year to make everything secular, it is refreshing and beautiful to see this service take place. I hope it continues forever.

  • dlfreak

    People wear ponchos!

  • TwilitWings

    Those Disney holiday “sweater” t-shirts would be a whole lot less tacky if they were actually sweaters. Can’t imagine who thought this was a genius merchandising idea, to be honest.

  • Chernabog

    Well hello Red Car News Boys…… rawr!!!

  • WorldLover71

    The flower market is very pretty and hides the no longer operating ice cream window. So does that make it a plus, a minus or neither?