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Dateline Disneyland

11/14: Holidays are (almost) here, WDW Christmas Parade, Bolt, Plaza Pavilion, +MORE

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by , 11-14-2008 at 12:14 AM
Welcome once again to Dateline Disneyland. I'd like to thank David "Darkbeer" Michael, Mac Daddy, and MonstersGoBoo! for their help with photos this week. As always, our contributors are amazing and this column wouldn't be possible without their help!

As always, you can click on any of the photos with the special Project Tracker watermarks to be taken directly to their respective threads on MiceChat for the latest news and info about the projects.

And if you haven't already, be sure to follow us on Twitter, where you'll get Tweets of the latest news and info from the Disneyland Resort throughout the week!

The Holidays don't officially start until November 21, but billboards are already advertising the holiday season at Disneyland on Southern California freeways.

And at the park, the holidays already seem to be in full swing. Main Street is almost completely decked out.

The Christmas Tree, which has been backstage for weeks now, was placed on-stage a couple days ago. The 2008 tree is artificial, marking the first time ever that the Disneyland Christmas Tree is fake.

The artificial tree may be a departure from Disneyland's 53-year tradition of having a real tree for the holidays, but the new fake tree allows for even more lights to integrate into a new nighttime light show that Disney has been hinting at in press releases:
After dark, a sensational new holiday lighting and special effects show will carry the magic of the holidays from the Castle all the way to the Christmas Tree in Town Square. And, for the first time in 53 years, the Christmas Tree will be completely artificial, which enables Disneyland to present a holiday light show like no other with more than 62,000 energy-efficient LED lights.

At the end of Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle's winter overlay is mostly complete. The overlay this year is getting additional enhancements, according to a November 11 Disneyland Resort press release:
Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, first introduced in 2007, will be decorated even more elaborately this holiday season with additional snowdrifts and icicles.

Filming of the Disneyland portions of the 2008 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade were filmed on Saturday, November 8. Darkbeer shared photos from the filming in his 11/10 Monday in the Parks column. MiceChatter PEZZ Lightyear also woke up early on Saturday morning to catch the Jonas Brothers performance in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. PEZZ shared some photos (and video) of the JB performance in his trip report.

Radio and TV personality Ryan Seacrest is once again the host of the show's Disneyland segments.

The new Bolt pre-parade made an appearance in the Parade filming...

Mickey's Toon Town and "it's a small world" are all decked out for the holidays, too.

The attraction is scheduled to re-open on November 21 after being closed for a nearly year-long refurbishment. The clock tower procession is once again working.

Dramatic new nighttime lighting is being tested at "it's a small world."

The new lighting looks GREAT.

And some shots of Toon Town's tradition holiday decor...

Paradise Bay continues to be drained to prepare for World of Color, Mickey's Fun Wheel, and Silly Symphonies Swings construction.

Infrastructure for DCA's failed LuminAria show can be seen as water gets lower...

Scaffolding around the Sun Wheel is climbing higher...

...And work continues at the Games of the Boardwalk...

Nearby, the Orange Stinger has gotten new tandem swings, which allow an additional, lower height requirement now for smaller guests riding with an adult.

DCA has cleared the planter in Golden State Park to get ready for the park's Christmas tree...

And Christmas decorations are going up around the park...

All of DCA's holiday decorations are going up except for the only significant DCA holiday entertainment offering: Santa's Beach Blast. The tacky seasonal offering is nowhere to be found on Disneyland's holiday website or in any of the press releases.

I don't think many people will miss seeing Santa in sandals and sunglasses, and you can always visit traditional Santa at Santa's Reindeer Roundup in Disneyland proper. And of course, he'll make his normal appearances in the daily performances of the "A Christmas Fantasy" parade.

The compass in the middle of the Main Entry Plaza is getting some work done.

And back inside Disneyland, the Plaza Pavilion is no longer behind construction walls and scaffolding.

It's nice to have the great big patio open again for overflow Coke Corner seating and pin trading.

Work continues inside the building

The 2008 Holiday popcorn boxes have arrived at Disneyland popcorn carts... the Halloween popcorn buckets are lingering though...

The Disney Showcase shop on Main Street has cleared out all of its Halloween merch and is now one of Main Street's Christmas headquarters (the other being China Closet).

The Emporium has a lot of holiday merch as well...

And finally, a few shots around New Orleans Sqaure...

Alright, that should do it for this week's Dateline Disneyland. Thanks again to David Michael, Mac Daddy, and MonstersGoBoo! for their contributions this week. You can always see more of David's photos in his weekly Monday in the Parks column right here on MiceChat, and even more of his shots at

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss below -- and I will see you here again next week!
- Andy

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Updated 11-14-2008 at 01:44 PM by Dateline Disneyland (Fixed broken Project Tracker links and a typo about parade filming)



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  1. Melonballer's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the Christmas Merch pics. Anything new in ornaments this year?
  2. Lady Stardust's Avatar
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    Fantastic pictures! The lake being drained looks kinda creepy, but the Christmas decor is amazing, as always. Thanks for the pictures!
  3. PEZZ Lightyear's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great pictures and commentary!
  4. TifaOnACloud's Avatar
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    I met a castmember when I was down there late in October that was working on the new castle effects. He was all set up in the central plaza. Though that's all he would tell me, as he was waiting for the park to clear before getting started. Nice to see more effort going into it.

    Thanks for the update.
  5. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Great update! Can't wait to see it in person this weekend!
  6. Lizzie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update. So excited to see the changes on the swings. That was always one of my favorite rides when I was a kid.
  7. Big G's Avatar
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    As Always David. you have done another great job of documenting change at Disneyland. I appreciate your dedication to this task.
  8. disneyland255's Avatar
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    What a wonderful update! Thank you!
  9. CupcakeTerror's Avatar
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    Great pictures... thanks to everyone who contributed to making this update so beautiful!
  10. Goof@Heart's Avatar
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    The Park is just beautiful, isn't it?! As an architect and builder, I get a little bent when this much effort is expended to decorate, and a small defect in installation is so off. Symmetry and centering is such a simple thing. Look at the wreath above the arched/castle/draw bridge opening from the HUB's off to the left, and it is so bad. I'm sorry, there's probably medication for this OC illness. Merry Christmas!
  11. SpcMtn77's Avatar
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    Great update...those are some beautiful photos! I'm happy to see the lower height requirement for the Orange Stinger. We'll be at the parks in two weeks, and my son will get to ride it this time! And I definitely won't miss "Beach Santa"...
  12. jedimickey's Avatar
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    thanks for the pics and i now know what i will be getting when i go to DLR next month the x mas yoda
  13. amanda.collishaw's Avatar
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    Wonderful pictures as always! I thought the beach Santa, while tacky, was sort of cute. I'm going to miss the Christmas decorations this year, the pictures help though.
  14. disneyking's Avatar
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    Ohh how I wish I lived in Southern California and could go to Disneyland whenever!
  15. Scurvy Pirate's Avatar
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    Nice update. Is it just me or does the 'hair guy' and Ryan Seacrest have the same watch on?
  16. Kritter's Avatar
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    Great update!

    Thanks alot, Andy!
  17. peoplemover1's Avatar
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    Excellent Dateline this week Andy!! Everything is looking so great in the parks and the holidays at Disneyland is something not to be missed!!

    Thanks for the hours and hours of time spent and sleep lost in order to bring us these great updates every week!!! You are invaluable!

  18. headkaes's Avatar
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    As always, great update. Your photos never cease to amaze me. Excellent work!
  19. MonstersGoBoo!'s Avatar
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    Great update Andy! You're welcome for the photos.
    Oh, and as of yesterday, the tree for DCA right before the Paradise Pier entrance is up, but there wasn't any ornaments or decor on it.
  20. dsnylndmom's Avatar
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    Andy, great pictures as always, you never disappoint!
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