Disneyland Christmas Videos, DCA & Sea World Manta Construction, More
by, 11-17-2011 at 11:01 PM
Holiday Cheer is finally here with your In the Parks guide to Disneyland Resort Christmas. We have a full rundown here for you today including lots of beautiful photos and videos. We'll also stop by Disney California Adventure for the new Prep and Landing Pre-show to World of Color and the tasteful new decorations around the park. Disneyland Hotel has lots of big changes as the massive renovation project wraps up. We next stop by Six Flags Magic Mountain for a quick update and then sail down to Sea World San Diego for some Manta coaster construction and snow fun. And for good measure, let's throw in a dash of Universal Studios Hollywood just to make this an epic Southern California attractions update! We'd better get the show rolling. . .
We've yet to find a theme park that does Christmas on a grander scale, and with as much detail, as Disneyland park in Anaheim. But there are a few other things worth noting before we jump into the tinsel. Let's take a tour of the Disneyland news.
WAIT TIME BOARD:
Last Wednesday the Wait time board came out from behind refurbishment walls looking no different than it did before. Not sure why this refurbishment took so long.
TRAINS OF DISNEY:
Poof! Like magic the Mary Blair exhibit disappeared at the Disney Gallery and in its place came the new Trains of Disneyland exhibit. This WONDERFUL new exhibition of Disney's trains spans the subjects of the Disneyland Railroad all the way up to the Monorail. It deposits, in loving detail, the history and evolution of trains in the park. There are even actual working model trains in the final room. Another nice touch is the lovely music that they have chosen as the audio backdrop for the show. Sounds from the railroads brings back fond memories of the rails as guests take in the lovely artwork. You should not miss this
Sharp eyed visitors will notice that event the marquee for the exhibit belches steam every so often and has a light at the front of the train.
upon entry, to your left, there is the Olszewski miniature of Main Street with the Monorail above.
Viewliner (Operated from Spring of 1957 through September 15, 1958)
The final room is our favorite.
The love of trains is timeless.
A train routes along the ceiling.
We'd like to express how impressed we are that Disneyland is living up to the promise of delivering regularly updated exhibits in the new Disney Gallery. So far, they've been doing an exceptional job. Don't put off visiting these wonderful gallery exhibits as they sure don't stick around for very long.
CHRISTMAS TIME IN DISNEYLAND:
As we have stated, Disneyland is in a class of its own with the Holidays. Fond memories of sipping hot cocoa and watching fireworks on Main Street in the frigid winter air come flooding back the minute you hit Town Square and see that huge Christmas Tree. Let's see what has been added since November 14th for the Holiday season in Disneyland.
The Marching Band looks practically royal in their holiday uniforms
The tree is decked out in classic colors and vintage toys
A Christmas Fantasy Parade:A Christmas Fantasy Parade returns with just a few minor tweaks from previous years, but appears to have been well taken care of or even refurbished. Everything looks so fresh, though familiar. This is a parade that continues to delight and will likely never grow old. Thought, there are a few things we'd like to point out below.
it's a small world holiday:
The return of it's a small world holiday brings with it a few new surprises. Of course, what we love most about this seasonal overlay is still intact. There is a simple nostalgia to the ride to begin with, but throw in the holiday-warm-and-fuzzies and you can't help but be won over. Many folks who simply can't stomach the regular version of this ride just love the Holiday version.
The nightly show on the small world facade
The most noticeable change is the new electric snowman where the snowflake tree once stood.
SLEEPING BEAUTY'S CASTLE:
The nightly transformation of Sleeping Beauty's Castle into a frosty palace of Ice and snow is yet another magical element to Disney's Christmas offerings.
Believe in Holiday Magic:
The annual Fireworks overlay, Believe in Holiday Magic, is back too. Oh, it's the same show but with the added enhancement of scents. In certain areas of the park, like Main Street and Small world Mall, visitors watching the skies can smell gingerbread and candy canes. It's a fun enhancement and a nice touch. So what if it smells more like a glade plug-in than fresh cookies. It's neat.
Big Thunder Ranch:
Of course we can't forget Big Thunder Ranch and the Reindeer round up! This area behind Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is awash with red and green bunting, fuzzy teddy bears and surreys full of presents. Over at Mrs. Chris' Cabin, Santa and Mrs. Claus have taken up residence where guests can stop by and say howdy.
Without looking it up, can you name all of Santa's Reindeer
We have it on very good word that this is the real Santa. Not one of his helpers from the mall.
THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE:The Golden horseshoe is also decked out with pine garland and decorated trees.
Here's a little more holiday fun from Sarah and our MiceChatter video on the MiceTube:
The extensive renovation of the Disneyland Hotel are just days from finishing, the pool is now fully open, nearly all of the signs for the renamed towers are up and the lobby is getting the finishing touches in place.
The last bit of work is the first thing guests will see… the main entry off of the parking lot.
Lots of color waiting to go into the ground here.
The front tower, now known as the Fantasy tower, is awaiting new signage.
Goofy shows us the new pool area.
The bridge over the pool looks wonderful with draping foliage.
All of the directional signs have a retro Disneyland feel.
now you can leave Goofy's Kitchen and cross the bridge to Tongaroa Terrace.
The pool is now open from the slides all the way over to the reopened E-Ticket pool
Perhaps they ran out of other colors in their paint box.
Lots more blue. Disney's Avatar Hotel perhaps?
While we appreciate the clean aesthetic they are trying to enforce with the blue and white hues, we feel there's just a bit too much of it currently in use. What do you all think? Is it too much blue hue for you?
Disneyland Hotel's "A Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast" will be served noon to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. The Grand Ballroom will be transformed for the harvest with fall theming and meet-n-greet photo opportunities with many Disney character dressed up in country-farm attire.
The buffet will include roast breast of turkey, prime rib, stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, fresh cranberry orange relish, smashed potatoes and gravy, salads, artisan cheeses, smoked salmon, poached shrimp and more. Dessert choices include pumpkin and pecan pies, tarts, cookies and other gourmet sweets.
Kids get their own buffet with favorites such as pizza, mac and cheese, chicken and fresh corn.
Adults: $71.99 (does this seem really expensive to anyone else?)
Kids (ages 3 to 9): $20.99
Ages 2 and Under: Free
Tax and gratuity is extra.
Parking at Disneyland Hotel Lot: 4-hour complimentary parking is included ($6 per hour after 4 hours).
• Around Disneyland Resort:
Turkey and other traditional Thanksgiving foods will be available at select restaurants at the parks, Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort hotels, including the following. To make reservations at table-service restaurants, call (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463.
Café Orleans, French Market, Carnation Café, Plaza Inn, and Blue Bayou
Disney California Adventure:
Ariel’s Grotto, Wine Country Trattoria, and Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
Steakhouse 55 and Goofy’s Kitchen
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa:
Napa Rose and Storyteller’s Café
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel:
Disney’s PCH Grill
DCA is trying very hard to give a bit of the Christmas feeling even though it is still wrapped up in miles of construction walls.
BUENA VISTA STREET:
Buena Vista Street is still behind construction walls but increasing progress can be spotted. The facades at the front of the park are being framed and should soon begin to see surface work. In the meantime, the rest of Buena Vista Circle takes shape in front of the Carthay circle theater.
The front of the park has more large trees in place and framing is almost done.
From outside the park you can now get an idea of the scale of the buildings in relation to the front gate.
This is your view upon entering the front gate.
The Cadillac Mountain range is nearly finished and the work has now moved to the facade work facing the Paradise Pier areas. Also, the large landscaping elements, such as trees have begun to take their place along the Radiator Springs racers track. We also get our first looks at Luigi's Leaning tower of tires and the mountain range lit up at night.
Those trees loom over parts of the track. COOL!
As one side of the mountain is finished, the other side begins to get attention.
They are testing some new lighting of the range at night.
The courthouse is really coming along.
As are the Cozy Cones.
The leaning tower of tires.
CHRISTMAS TIME IN DCA:
We really have to hand it to Disney California Adventure. For a park under construction they have finally made some classy moves in regards their Christmas decorations. Sure, Santa's Beach Party, complete with buxom reindeer in one piece bathing suits was nice, but the move towards classic, ornate garland and glowing trees over the previous hip and edgy decor seems to finally strike the right tone. They even decorated the guest relations office in the temporary entry route.
It's a retro holiday.
White poinsettia planters at the temporary guest relations office.
DON'T FORGET YOUR SOUVENIR POPCORN BUCKET!
Mickey's gazebo on Paradise pier is ready for Santa
The Paradise Pier restaurants look warm and inviting.
The Little Mermaid building makes its holiday debut. (and this got us thinking, would this ride be just perfect for a holiday overlay at some point in the future?)
Bug's Land brings no real surprises, but its decorations were already good. Remember when this was basically the only Christmas in this park?
World of Color: Prep and Landing intro
There is a fun little holiday pre-show to World of Color this year featuring the characters form Disney's Prep and Landing. If you don't know what Prep and Landing is, make a point of watching it this year. It's really clever.
Join us for a bit more Disney news from Matt and our cHATBOX video on the MiceTube:
Deja Vu DE-construction continues at Six Flags Magic Mountain. By the time we have our next update, Deja Vu could very well be completely gone.
From the Sky Tower, you can see that only one of the towers still remains.
The entire Cobra Roll and station are also gone
Pieces of the ride are being collected backstage and being transferred to Six Flags New England
As we were leaving the park, we caught some pieces on a truck heading for the freeway
They aren't wasting any time removing Log Jammer, the ride is already drained.
Signs in front of the ride are indicating it's closure. No other evident work has been done around the ride yet
An overview of the Log Jammer. As you can see, most of the ride was among the trees. We sure do hope that whatever replaces Log Jammer will use the existing hill and vegetation. Another plop and drop coaster on a bare lot would be an absolute shame.
Elsewhere, Whistlestop Depot is closed until the spring. Now that Magic Mountain seems to have completely done away with its "Family" focus, one has to wonder how long this under-performing area will be around at all.
CHRISTMAS AT SIX FLAGS:
The park is also starting to put up some of their Christmas Decorations.
To say that the park doesn't go all out for Christmas like Disneyland or Knott's would be a gross understatement.
More decorations should be coming in the next few weeks though. This Santa is a Christmas fail.
It also appears they are placing some nighttime decorations out which seems kind of odd since the park closes at 6pm every night until Christmas.
Christmas at SeaWorld San Diego also begins today. They are also introducing a brand new attraction for the season called Snow World. This winter wonderland offers guests a chance to actually play in a pavilion of snow, make snow angels and have the occasional good-natured snowball fight.
The tower is strung up with Christmas lights.
ARCTIC PLAZA:Right next to Atlantis and Wild Arctic is the new snow play area for the holiday season. Guests are invited to get a taste of the north pole by rolling around in the snow as Santa and the elves often do during breaks. There will also be themed refreshments on sale here.
Roll, roll, roll in the snow!
We are also able to bring you a brief update on the Manta progress. Manta will be a new Family launch coaster in the center of the park that will simulate the feeling of gliding through the water as though you are graceful manta rays. What is interesting is how integrated the track is with the surroundings - and how low to the ground it is. It swoops with the terrain and dives deep underground!
The old Asian themed gift show seems to have been spared.
The new station.
Track has gone vertical and is being assembled quickly.
Lots of rock-work and lagoon building will be done in this area as well.
Shipwreck Rapids to the left is currently down due to construction in the area.
Another look at the station.
We are told that this will be a great family friendly attraction. Currently, ALL of SeaWorld San Diego's attractions are of the family variety. No extreme thrill rides here. It's nice that they've been able to keep their focus in a way SeaWorld Orlando hasn't.
Knott's Thanksgiving Holiday Buffet
Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant will offer a Thanksgiving buffet all day with unlimited champagne and an expanded holiday menu in addition to the popular items offered in its weekly Sunday Champagne Brunch, like Mrs. Knott's famous fried chicken, prime rib, BBQ ribs, shrimp cocktail, and boysenberry pie. The restaurant is located among Knott's Marketplace shops, where theme-park admission is not required. Call (714) 220-5055 for reservations.
Seniors (Ages 62+): $22.95
Children (Ages 3-11): $16.95
Ages 2 and Under: Free
Prices do not reflect tax and gratuity.
Mrs. Knott's Chicken To Go - Holiday Banquet in a Box
Mrs. Knott's Chicken To Go (located next to the dine-in restaurant) will offer "Banquet in a Box" meals and are available for pre-order for Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Choose turkey or ham with all the fixings plus a choice of pie for $89.95. Call (714) 220-5006 for information.
Thanksgiving menus will be served aboard the Queen Mary's four restaurants: Champagne Brunch in the Grand Salon, Promenade Cafe, Chelsea Chowder House, and Sir Winston's Restaurant & Lounge.
Queen Mary's Thanksgiving Champagne Brunch in the Grand Salon will have different food stations.
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kids (Ages 5-12): $32.95
Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Apple Relish, Apple Walnut Dressing, Maple Orange Glazed Yams, Sweet Corn Pudding and Mashed Potatoes
Herb Roasted Local Halibut, Champagne Beurre Blanc
Seafood Creole, Rice Pilaf, Season Fresh Vegetables
Featuring Bourbon Glazed Honey Ham with Orange Currant Sauce.
Roast Prime Rib of Beef, Au Jus and Horseradish
Grilled Vegetables with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli and Basil Oil, Fresh Mozzarella with Vine-Ripe Tomatoes Fresh Basil and Balsamic Syrup, Fresh Seasonal Fruit, Crudite of Fresh Garden Vegetables with Pepper Cream
Domestic and Imported Cheese with Sliced Baguettes and Gourmet Crackers, Penne Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Artichokes, Pesto Vinaigrette, Fall Salad Greens with Tomato, Cucumber, Carrot, Herb Croutons, Raspberry Vinaigrette and Pepper Cream Dressing, Spinach Salad with Mushrooms and Candied Walnuts, Waldorf Salad, Calypso Rice Salad with Baby Shrimp, Red Potato Salad with Whole Grain Mustard Dressing, Chicken Salad with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut
Cheese Ravioli, Penne and Fettuccini Pastas, Vodka Tomato Sauce, Marinara and Pesto Cream, Garlic Bread Sticks
Crepe and Dessert Station
Crepes with Strawberries, Chocolate Sauce, Chantilly Cream. Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Cheesecake, Black Forest Torte, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Lemon Cake, Raspberry Mousse Cake, Assorted Fancy Mini Pastries, Chocolate Fondue with Seasonal Fruit and Marshmallows, White Chocolate Bread Pudding, Vanilla Sauce
Chicken and Beef Fajitas, Pork Carnitas, Corn and Flour Tortillas, Guacamole, Salsa Quemada, Salsa Fresca, Sour Cream, Shredded Jack and Cheddar Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Grilled Green Onions
Including freshly made Waffles with Maple Syrup and Whipped Butter and made to order Omelette Station
Seafood Station on Ice
Poached Shrimp, Crab Claws, Oysters, Clams, Mussels, Cocktail Sauce, Remoulade and Hot Pepper Sauces
Baja Ceviche with Corn Tortilla Chips
Whole Poached Salmon, Mustard Dill Sauce
Smoked Salmon with Capers, Red Onion, Lemon, Cream Cheese, Mini Bagels
Sir Winston's Thanksgiving Prix Fixe Menu (Queen Mary)
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Kids (Ages 12 and Under): $19.95
Autumn Squash and Pumpkin Soup with Honey Cream
Salad of Bibb, Frisee, Radicchio and Autumn Greens with Preserved Fruit Confetti, Toasted Squash Seeds, Stilton Cheese with Lingonberry Vinaigrette
Sir Winston’s Caesar Salad Romaine Hearts
Herb Croutons, Parmesan Crisp
Pink Champagne Sorbet
Roast Turkey, Giblet Gravy, Cranberry Pear Relish
Apple Walnut Dressing, Mashed Potatoes
Orange Maple Glazed Yams, Green Beans with Shallot Butter
Herb-Roasted Fillet of Salmon
Champagne Caviar Beurre Blanc
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Petite Fall Vegetables
Classic Beef Wellington
Madeira Glaze, Red Onion Confit
Glazed Fall Vegetables
Truffle Mashed Potatoes
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote, Chantilly Cream
Chocolate Pecan Pie, Bourbon Crème Anglaise
• Chelsea Chowder House & Bar Thanksgiving Menu (Queen Mary)
Hours: 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
Kids (Ages 5-10): $18.50
Choice of Chelsea Signature Chowders:
Corn and Poblano Chowder
Chicken and Chorizo Chowder
New England Clam Chowder
Autumn Field Greens with Roasted Pear, Baby Tomato, Pecans and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Pear Relish
Apple Walnut Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Orange Maple Glazed Yams and Green Beans with Shallot Butter
Pumpkin Chiffon Cheesecake, Chantilly Cream
Dec, 9th, Dec. 10th, Dec 11th,
And here's perhaps the strangest new holiday edition this year. The wonderful Sinister Point haunted house is being rethemed as a Scary Christmas attraction! This is something we've just got to see. Official link here.
The Christmas tree in 5 Towers is now fully decorated and soon a photo op with Santa will open to guests.
The KFC/Pizza Hut food service location on the CityFood level is currently closed for refurbishment.
CityWalk is almost completely decorated as well
The main entrance and arch has been decorated with garland and blue and yellow lights.
Grinchmas is coming.
The Universal Studio Store is non selling Grinchmas Merch
The closed GE Money credit card processing center across the street from the Universal Studio Store has reopened as a Grinchmas and Dr. Seuss store
The Wild West Arena has been cleared of The Thing and now is being transformed into the Grinch's Winter Wonderland.
Green bunting is being installed inside the entry plaza.
The Whoville sets are being prepped for Grinchmas
MUMMY LOCKERS UNDER WRAPS:
The lockers at the entrance to The Revenge of the Mummy are closed for refurbishment until December.
Guests wishing to use lockers while riding attractions in the lower lot can use the lockers underneath the Starway adjacent to the JP splash zone.
Here is the latest at the Transformers location.
Progress on the facade mural
The former Backdraft queue is being worked on and will likely be used as the Transformers extended queue.
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Today's update was edited by Fishbulb and brought to you by the following members of our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors: Daniel K. Lew, Sir Clinksalot, F!an, and Dustysage. (If you've got breaking news or photos to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact Dusty today.)
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