Welcome Back to the Disneyland Resort

We have a HUGE update for you this week. Mostly all remnant of Halloween Time have disappeared from Disneyland and the Holiday Season is taking over quickly. As of this morning, Monday, November 4, we have a mere 8 days until the start of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort! Sleeping Beauty Castle is nearly covered in snow.

Most of the castle lighting will be installed after this Saturday’s recording of the annual Christmas Day Parade. If you are planning on attending this upcoming Saturday, get there early, and be prepared to stand most of the day. A good tip is to dress festive, those who wore Christmas and Holiday sweaters and outfits were more likely to appear in the shots. I went last year and got some amazing photos of the event, as well as host Mario Lopez, and I don’t mind saying it was a blast!  Also be prepared for crowds. Although the majority of the crowd remained on Main Street U.S.A. 

See photos from last year’s recording of the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

Also this week, Disney Legend and Imagineer Tony Baxter received one of the highest honors at Disneyland with a window on Main Street U.S.A. The Frozen meet and greet is nearly completed in Fantasyland, and out in Tomorrowland the Thor: Treasures of Asgard meet and greet and exhibit is pulling in hour-long lines.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas  

Main Street U.S.A. 

The giant Halloween Time pumpkin has been removed from Town Square on Main Street, the 60-foot Disneyland Christmas tree should appear here after this weekend’s Christmas Day Parade filming. A look down Main Street gives us a glimpse at Sleeping Beauty Castle, now covered in snow, garland and thousands of hidden LED lights, which aid in the nightly castle lighting. 

See video of last year’s castle lighting. 

“it’s a small world” Holiday

“it’s a small world” has been closed over the past week while the show elements for the Holiday overlay are being installed. From the exterior we can see the approximately 70,000 LED lights being installed on the facadé and surrounding topiaries.  

Also, on the nearby lighting towers, the snow machines have been installed. 

New Orleans Square

The New Orleans Square Mardi Gras theme returns this year. The main overhang typically consists of a giant wreathe and figure, this year guests are greeted with a giant mask. The figure has been moved to a balcony. 

The Angel has been placed over the now closed Court of Angels – sadly the tradition of holiday pictures in the Court of Angels has come to an end.

Frontierland has received the normal garland and red bow treatment. The Big Thunder Ranch has closed and is being transformed for Santa’s Cabin. Last year the festival area was turned into the Jingle Jangle Jamboree and guests met with the “big guy” back there in the open. No word on that as of this year, hopefully Santa will move back into his rightful place and greet guests in the cabin once again. 

In Fantasyland, the former Tangled meet and greet is being transformed into the new Frozen meet and greet. The exterior of the building is now covered in snow and icicles.    

Some Disney Holiday merchandise has already been placed out for purchase. The China Closet on Main Street U.S.A. has been completely transformed for the Holiday Season. 

You can click to enlarge each photo below: 

Disney California Adventure

The garland has been placed across the front of Disney California Adventure’s entrance. As of Saturday, Buena Vista Street had not yet been decorated, although preparations were already visible. Out in Carthay Circle, the trees near the Storytellers Statue were still in place. These trees and flowers will be removed in the coming week to prepare for the installation of the Buena Vista Street 50-foot tall Christmas Tree.

Cars Land has begun it’s wacky Holiday transformation. The car part garland is strung across Route 66, Luigi’s Casa Della Tires has received multi-colored lights and Cars Land specific merchandise is already available for purchase at the Curious Shop.

Some of the Cars Land Holiday merchandise now available for purchase at the Radiator Springs Curious Shop

Click to enlarge photos below: 

Thor: The Treasures of Asgard

The newest Marvel addition to Tomorrowland, Thor: The Treasures of Asgard opened to general guests this past week inside Innoventions. After Disney realized they could breathe life into the sad, and rarely visited Innoventions when they opened the Iron Man Tech exhibit, we all knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen again.

When Iron Man Tech opened, I remember standing in awe – along with a few others –  as we watched the line stretch across the top platform, down the ramp and extended across the front of Innoventions. I had never before seen any line to enter the building, let alone such a long one.

Thor appears to be attracting a good number of visitors as well. The Thor exhibit differs in one very important way, it is an actual meet and greet. Iron Man Tech features the various Iron Man suits and an interactive simulator game, but not an actual meet with Iron Man or Tony Stark. Next door at Thor, guests can spend time meeting with the Marvel character all while being entertained with special effects and props. The line appears to be short, only extending as far as the Disney Infinity exhibit, but don’t let that fool you. Because meet and greets take time, the line was a 55 minute wait according to the Cast Member I spoke with. 

If you are planing to visit soon and meeting with Thor is on your list, be prepared to wait. If you are an Annual Passholder, give it some time. As you can see, the Iron Man Tech exhibit, which once boasted the longest line ever at Innoventions, is now a walk in. 

Disney is also trying to draw attention to Asimo, the Honda created robot from 2005. 

Tony Baxter Receives his Window on Main Street at Disneyland

Disney Imagineer and Legend, Tony Baxter received the highest Disneyland honor this past weekend with the unveiling of his own window on Main Street USA. Baxter, who was named a Disney Legend this past August at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, began his career at Disneyland in 1965 working as a front-line Cast Member at Carnation Plaza Gardens. Within a mere five years, Baxter was working for Imagineering as a field art director on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction at Walt Disney World.

Read More about Tony Baxter and the Window Dedication

 (Photo of Tony Baxter ©Disney)

Around the Disneyland Resort

Here is a quick trip Around the Disneyland Resort

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad continues with it’s lengthly refurbishment. It is now scheduled to open early 2014
  • The King Arthur Carousel remains closed for refurbishment through November 5
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant is now closed for refurbishment through November 14
  • The Clock on the Fortuosity Shop on Main Street has returned
  • Holiday banners are up in Downtown Disney & Frozen banners are up on the AMC Theater
  • Installation has begun for the Downtown Disney Ice Skating Rink
  • The Downtown Disney Christmas Tree is being installed
  • New holiday Main Street and Buena Vista Street windows have been installed at the World of Disney
  • Holiday drinks have been added to the menu at Starbucks

Click to enlarge photos below: 

That’s going to do it for this week’s Disneyland Photo Report

Please make sure to visit us throughout the week for breaking news and happenings around the Disneyland Resort

Hello, World!