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What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

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  • [Question] What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

    OK. We have a 5 day trip planned off-off season in late January. We go 1 - 2 x per year, and I think we're fairly competent park visitors. We have *never* been at Christmas.

    So -- it turns out we're visiting relatives in the SW November for Thanksgiving and it became apparent we had to fly into LAX instead of Vegas. It's my daughter's 12th birthay. We fly in Friday night (Friday BEFORE Thanksgiving - the 16th) and are due at the relatives Sunday evening, so we decided to surprise the kids and spend 48 hours in the park.

    I was excited to learn the decorations and parades will already be in effect for holidays. We've been at Halloween before.

    My question:

    We haven't seen Cars Land but keeping in mind we have 5 days to explore it in January also. It will be a weekend and TouringPlans has the crowd levels at 5 - 6.

    What is absolutely *NOT* to be missed? The parades? Which decorations or experiences are a must-see for the holidays?

    xo
    Kelli

  • #2
    Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

    It's A Small World holiday overlay! So cute!

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    • #3
      Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

      I can't tell you too much about Disneyland, but I was at Disney World last Christmas and I can tell you that, as a scenic designer, I was in holiday Heaven. I'm sure the two parks share a lot of the same decor for the holidays and you don't want to miss any of it. It's all beautiful and makes the park just that much MORE magical!

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      • #4
        Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

        Originally posted by sunfeet92 View Post
        It's A Small World holiday overlay! So cute!
        Haunted Mansion also has and overlay, the same one it has at Halloween.

        Main Street, Big Thunder Ranch, New Orleans Square, Flik's Fun Faire all have special decorations. This year possibly more of DCA will have Holiday themed lands.

        Watch the Castle Lighting and catch the snow, not on your tongue at some point.

        The parade is quite nice and the fireworks are good.

        There are lots of seasonal treats all over the place.
        Be Cool Stay in School!
        Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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        • #5
          Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

          HM Holiday overlay, the Holiday parade, the castle lighting, snow after the fireworks, IaSW holiday overlay, and santa and his reindeer at big thunder ranch.

          As for DCA, I have no idea what (if any) holiday things they will do in Carsland since this is its first christmas season ever. I have heard (unsubstanciated) rumors that the World of Color show might get a holiday twist put into it during the season this year.

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          • #6
            Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

            Just being on Main Street with the huge Christmas tree and all the lights and decorations is MAGICAL! Make sure you get back to Big Thunder Ranch and see the reindeer and Mr. and Mrs. Clause. I bet they'll have other new stuff back there as well. Seek out all the holiday treats and drinks. I hope you have wonderful cool weather while you're in town!
            Well Gawrsh!

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            • #7
              Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

              The Christmas parade is very good. I am very much in the LOVING the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at Haunted Mansion camp. Don't miss this, but sorry in advance if you're a purist and hate it

              And of course, Small World. You can walk by this one though and get a proper experience. HOWEVER, a rather breathaking view of this overlay is scene while riding Matterhorn. I can't recall offhand which turn it is, but there are a couple where you come out of the mountain and can see the lights very well. It's pretty cool.


              For some some great trip reports, features and reviews, please check out http://www.thedisneylandreport.com.

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              • #8
                Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

                What is the castle lighting? Does that happen in lieu of fireworks over the holidays?

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                • #9
                  Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

                  Originally posted by gregorypeckfan View Post
                  What is the castle lighting? Does that happen in lieu of fireworks over the holidays?
                  No, their are special fireworks and they take place every night of the season.

                  The Castle Lighting, is a quick little show of sorts when lights in the Plaza(hub) on the trees and the icicles on the Castle light up. It last about 5-10 minutes and runs I think 4 times a night. This may not be right but I recall it runs at 5, 5:15 the parade at 5:30, then again at 6:30, 7 and the fireworks at 7:30. Since I mention the parade on busy days, weekends and near the core holidays it also has an earlier run at 2:30.

                  It's officially called the Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting. It's a fun little thing to see nothing major but nice to combine with, when viewing the parade or fireworks. Because it includes the trees in the hub, if you can watch from the Main street to get the tree and Castles in one view.
                  Be Cool Stay in School!
                  Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

                    The Castle lighting and fireworks. The Best!


                    Disneyland - 1982 to Present
                    Walt Disney World - 1996, 2011
                    Tokyo Disney Resort - 2013
                    Hong Kong Disneyland - 2013


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                    • #11
                      Re: What is NOT to be missed for a weekend 48 hours-early holiday season?

                      The Grand Californian lobby is a nice stop. Take the time to visit. Extra perk: you'll totally miss the 20 days of the Candlelight Procession scheduled for this holiday season.
                      I am old. But still love Disneyland.

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