The Park In The Dark: Disneyland Resort Christmas Lights

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features

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Published on December 16, 2013 at 4:06 am with 14 Comments

We’ve covered the parades, shows and changes in the parks this holiday season. Today we bring you a special photo report of Disneyland’s beautiful Christmas lights from Fishbulb. Dateline Disneyland’s Andy Castro takes a much-deserved break today and will be back next week.
Disneyland Resort is a wonderful place to visit at any time, but the holiday season is extra special, filled with magic and wonder. As you might expect, the season also comes at a price, as the parks begin to fill to the brim with guests. If you are willing to suspend your expectations of riding attractions and instead enjoy the festive atmosphere, this can be one of the very best times of the year to visit . . . especially at night. Here we leave the land of the day and enter a world of colors and twinkling light in Disneyland after dark. . .
Today’s article is sponsored by Mouseaddict, MiceChat’s official iPhone wait time app for the Disneyland Resort.


December 16 – 23, 2013

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About This Week’s Crowd Estimates

Our Addictometer™ crowd estimates are an average for the entire day. Expect higher crowds than this in the late afternoon and evenings. For real-time crowd levels — and where the crowds are in the parks — download the free Mouseaddict app.

  • This is the last week leading up to the Christmas holiday. Expect extremely long lines in all attractions – as well as capacity crowds throughout the parks.
  • Hotels are still available even this far into the holiday season. However, the after-Christmas availability is extremely low.
  • Weather is tricky this time of year, and a little rain can drastically reduce crowds. These projections are based on a forecast for mostly sunny skies with mid-70s temps.

Download the redesigned, reimagined, and remarkable Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad with the Addictometer crowd map overlay: see exactly where crowds are gathering, right on the map! The free Mouseaddict app features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules up to two weeks in advance, and your favorite MiceChat blogs right in the app. Learn more at mouseaddict.com.

 

Disney California Adventure

Let’s start our journey at Disney California Adventure, beginning its second year of Christmas as a newly renovated park. The place looks quite festive for the holidays with the highlights being Buena Vista Street and Cars Land.  Let’s Stroll through DCA’s short stretch of 1920′s Los Angeles.

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As we venture into nearby Hollywood Land, we unfortunately find very little in the way of lit holiday decorations, except for a bit of cheer at the Mad T Party.

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We move on to Cars Land for a most dazzling display of night time lights. The existing neon lights of Radiator Springs are accentuated with the brilliantly creative holiday trimmings.

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The park gets quiet over near Grizzly Peak.  Here the landscape of a national park is illuminated with a warm glow as night sets. It’s always a beautiful spot at night, but with no holiday lights.

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Disneyland

The grandaddy and undisputed king of holiday razzle-dazzle is Disneyland. The park shimmers and shines during Christmas.  Main Street U.S.A. is a kaleidoscope of golden tones – red, green, and amber punctuated with pops of white light are everywhere.

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Walt’s apartment has a tree in the window.

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The Castle, shimmering in the distance, beckons you closer.

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Inside the castle courtyard, King Arthur’s Carousel spins like a solid gold top.

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Storybook Land Canal Boats sends visitors on evening excursions into a tiny fairytale world.

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Small World mall is ablaze with lights.

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You’d be hard pressed to find a more dazzling display.

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Of course, the digital projections have returned this year too, painting the already impressive facade with a kaleidoscope of holiday visions every 15 minutes!

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Frontierland allows us our first look at Big Thunders lighting package.

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New Orleans Square has scaled back a touch from previous years, but keeps things bright and whimsical, despite the Club 33 construction taking place in spots throughout the land.

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Haunted Mansion Holiday is where we close out our nocturnal holiday tour.

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It is true, the Disneyland Resort is a completely different place in the dark.  Theatrical lighting is used to illuminate Walt’s showscape in ways that are at times breathtaking.  A stroll under the myriad of lights is like walking out of the real world and into a magical wonderland. The ultimate escape. Yes, there are crowds EVERYWHERE, but if you let your eyes allow you to enjoy the sumptuous feast, you’ll hardly notice . . .  you’ll be too busy enjoying one of the most beautiful Christmas displays in the country.

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Thanks Uncle Walt, they’ve kept the lights on for you . . . millions of them.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little report on the Disneyland Resort Christmas lights. Have you visited the Resort this season? Do you have a favorite outdoor display?

MICECHAT PODCAST: SAVING WALT, CHRISTMAS IN THE PARKS, DISNEYLAND RUMORS AND MORE

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The LONG awaited next episode of the MiceChat Podcast is back and it’s a fun one. Robo-Dusty and Doug Barnes lead us on a quest to save Walt’s Birthplace, look at Christmas in the parks, explore the latest Disney Imagineering rumors, and jump into danger at Orlando’s IAAPA theme park expo. You won’t want to miss a minute of this action packed show:

RSS | iTunes | Direct Download

 

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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14 Comments

Comments for The Park In The Dark: Disneyland Resort Christmas Lights are now closed.

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed the Christmas lights on the old projection towers along Small World Mall. Is that new this year, or did I just miss it in the past?

    • No, I’m afraid you’ve just missed it — they’ve always been there.

  2. Thanks for the Park at Night report. Awesome photos! As a kid, I’d gone to Disneyland a dozen times at night before I ever saw it during the daytime. The old, annual, after-hours, private parties for my dad’s employer was all I knew until I was a teenager.

  3. Norm – thanks for that fantastic photo tour of perhaps my favorite place and time pretty much anywhere – Disneyland at night during the holidays. Nothing surpasses it.

    Now if I could only get there this year….

  4. Thanks for the gorgeous night shots of the parks Norm! When I come down for my next trip on the day-after-Christmas I am gonna spend some serious me-time just wandering the parks and enjoying the decorations. I miss doing that…just wandering and both people-watching and place-watching. But then again, I *am* an odd one, anyway.

  5. The park really is a sparkling jewel at night. The only thing better is when it’s been raining all day and the cement is wet and you can see the reflection of the Christmas lights in the wet pavement.

    • Great call out about wet cement reflecting the Christmas lights!

  6. Thank you for these awesome pictures. It warms my heart to see all of the old familiar sights during this most magical time of year.

  7. Thanks for doing something a bit different this week with Andy away. The pictures are absolutely stunning. A real treat for your regular readers.

  8. Great pictures!

    Makes me want to go. I just can’t decide whether to get an annual pass, or a single day ticket.

    Thanks for calling everything “Christmas” instead of “Holiday.”

  9. As some of you may know I worked at Disneyland for 14 years. We got to enjoy the cast party for each one of those years. Can’t remember the year but our favorite was one year when a heavy fog rolled in at midnight for closing time. Right before midnight we rode Dumbo about five times in a row because the cast member was absolutely bored and begged us to stay because there was literally no one in line. We made our way to Small World and it was simply stunning in the fog. We stayed there until we were “kicked out” to Main St. about 30 minutes later. We then sat in Town Square, soaking in and enjoying an increasingly empty park which again was stunning in the fog. With the music, the fog, and the lights and a practically empty Main St. it was an atmosphere that could never be matched. We sat until about 2 AM when they finally asked us to leave. It was a most memorable and romantic night.

    • There have been a couple of NEw Year’s Eves just like that. I love the park in the fog . . . Except it ruins the fireworks. One year, we could hear the Fireworks from Main Street but not see them!

  10. Disneyland at night is incredible. I really enjoyed the Fish’s photographs. There is something magical about an empty park, too, CasaFamilia is right.

  11. Thanks, So Cal Folks enjoy!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas Dusty and all the Mice Chatters…