When I went in 2003, there were a lot of characters out (very common ones like Minnie, Goofy, Max, etc) all dressed in Hawaiian outfits, Santa was there also dressed in his Hawaiian shirt. They play music from the Beach Boys (and more but I can only remember all the Beach Boys songs) the characters and Santa dance around, then you get to have your picture taken with them. There were games for the kids to play and all in all it was cute.
I say Hawaiian outfits, but I guess they could be construed as tourist outits... I remember Minnie wearing a red shirt with flowers (I am not sure about the flowers but I know it was definately red) with khaki shorts and a hat ?!?!? (again my memory is fuzzy and unfortuantly this was before my digital camera days so I was more conservative with what I took pictures of) but I remember that Goofy was wearing something very simular. They were definately in tourist/summer/hawaiian outfits though.
I'm so tired of the Santa Beach Blast thing. Sort of clever the first year. Now totally lame.
The first year the park was open, they set up a very rustic looking santa with a wooden chair made out of branches (or something like that) and had him in front of the waterfall (on the back side of Grizzly Mt off the Parade Route).
It wasn't a spectacle, but it was very classy and respectful of the season. Too bad that they decided to go edgy instead of sentimental with the beach blast thing.