This year at TDS.. the mood is jazzy for Harborside Christmas 2007.
While TDL turns the season into a fun Disney romp for everyone in the family, TDS approach has always been one of more restrained and solemn moments. This year is no exception... except for the slight shift in theme this year.
While Mediterranean Harbor keeps the solemn feel, American Waterfront is vibrant with jazz, while Cape Cod prefers a more subdued and sentimental approach, reminicent of Dickens.
TDS has always decorated with a classy and subdued feel. Guests are welcomed in to the park with a tunnel of lights reminicent of the famed Luminarias from Europe. This year though... I missed not seeing the obligatory photo spot that always featured a Xmas scene with the characters at Med Harbor.. That decorative fixture is not here this year.. and I wonder if it has to do more with the jazzy themes that are more apropriate to American Waterfront... and probably the reason why we have those new photo spot statues in the waterfront park area instead.
Still.. does not matter. Those looking for a more adult Disney approach to Christmas, a la EPCOT Center, won't be disappointed. I for one am glad they have chosen to highlight the jazz aspects of American Waterfront, simply because the featured show here, "Big Band Beat Christmas" is NOT to be missed and possibly the highlight of your TDS visit at this time of the year.
The show (which can't be photographed or videotaped by strict orders) is simply stunning. Mind you, the regular version of the show is simply FAB, but the Xmas version is downright an "event". From the music, to the cast, to the sets, to the chorus line of lovely girls performing a Radio City Rockettes-style routine, to the in-theater snowfall, Mickey playing drums, and the scorching choreography.. etc etc, "Big Band Beat Xmas" is worth the admission price to TDS.
Other shows around the park are also featuring Xmas versions... such as "Over the waves", "Salsa, Salsa" and few others. New this year is a Dickens' style fable show at Cape Cod called "A little Tale of Xmas", where Scrooge's heart is once again treated to a dose of Xmas charm. No, there is no tiny Tim here, but the story is similar in feel and features a xmas tree that simply won't cooperate.
The Holiday merchandise this year, like at TDL, is plentiful and highlights the Big band Beat theme...Do you want a Mickey plush in his holiday Big Band beat Xmas costumes? No prob. Likewise for many other items such as stationary, pins, ornaments etc etc...
Holiday food menus are great (try the special set pasta dishes in med harbor for this ocasion) and the seasonal treats in souvenir cups and saucers will put a smile on your face, with their presentations and taste.
To top it all.. TDS does not short-change their holiday guests, and full versions of the daytime and nightime spectaculars "Legend of Mythica" and "BraviSEAmo!" still play daily.
But to cap off the night..TDS also proudly presents their Xmas lagoon salute "Candlelight Reflections", on it's 5th season, the show is as simple minded as can be, but visually stunning in the most of understated ways. Electrical chandeliers float on the water and light up in choreographed unison to the music...then the characters, in their holiday finest costumes, appear magically to light up the spectacular electrical tree in the center of the lagoon. Fireworks shoot out from the lagoon perimeter towards the top of the tree, as if they were to light it up. And it does. That particular moment is so well executed, my jaw drops every time I see it. The "gasp!" of the audience is priceless. Then, the final "Welcome to Christmas" greeting will do you in if you are not crying tears of joy by now. All in all, a most enjoyable and sentimental 10-minutes presentation.
Minutes later, Disney Xmas Dreams in the Sky fireworks, caps the night.
It is a magical time to visit TDS and I hope you get a feel of it via these photos featuring most everything I have covered above. Hope you enjoy them.
Have a happy holiday everyone... and "welcome to Chritsmas", TDS style. Photos here: