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Old 11-19-2012, 08:05 PM   #3511
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Originally Posted by mysteriouspnai View Post
Santa is at Elias & Co on Buena Vista Street
Yup! He's in the last store (closest to Hollywood Blvd), where the jewelery is usually sold. They were giving out little peppermint candies to the kids that went to see Santa last week.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:41 PM   #3512
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- I can walk, but not for more than 15 minutes without a LOT of pain, so I will be in our wheelchair while there (darling boyfriend will be pushing me around). Has anyone had trouble navigating DCA/DL in a wheelchair with the crazy crowds? Is there wheelchair seating for all the shows (Parade, Fantasmic, Fireworks)?
If you want the wheelchair area for World of Color, you NEED a WoC Fastpass. Then just get to the disabled waiting area for your color BEFORE they start letting anyone in. This time last year, we were allowed either in the wheelchair area (which has some benches that are officially ONLY for the people who need them, not their companions) or they will let you take a spot anywhere in the viewing area.

I understand the wheelchair viewing area for Fantasmic! is very poor. Not sure about the others, if it's offered. IF you can sit on the ground, going to the second Fantasmic! showing and getting a spot in the ground seating viewing area might be a good idea...but I know that is a huge "if."

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-Are fast-passes worth getting if you are in a wheelchair? The time I went they usually made us go around through the exit where the line was shorter anyway. I'm still confused about how there are fast passes for the shows and how wheelchairs work there, lol
If the parks are busy (and sometimes if they aren't), the wheelchair lines can be as long or longer than the regular lines. Space Mountain is pretty infamous for having an hour wait--the wheelchair line was at least as long as the regular line when we went. We WERE allowed to use our Fastpasses for Space Mountain in the disabled queue (which is not a pleasant place to wait at all, by the way--very crowded and very, very noisy). But your mileage may vary. (In our 2.5-day trip, that was the only special entrance/etc. we used for my mom in her ECV. She just can't make the walk up the Space Mountain hill quickly and it's difficult for her to get into the vehicle as quickly as required.)

And in DCA, I believe many, most, or all of the queues are accessible, so you'll be going through the regular line for much of the queue.

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-Should/can we make restaurant reservations now ? For Napa Rose, Blue Bayou, and maybe Trader Sams and the Rainforest Cafe? Last time I was there we just walked in but I have NO idea how it works with all these crowds!
I personally would make reservations early, just because you can always change them. It's never a bad idea to have a reservation for the Blue Bayou, but the others may be more of a judgment call.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #3513
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I've talked in detail about Santa at the hotels in the past, but for any of the newcomers to this thread, I'll go over it again!

First of all, when I was at DLR on 11/12 (the official first day of the holiday season for this year), I intentionally went to the hotels to check for decorations. When the hotels have their decorations up, Santa is likely to follow. None of the hotels were decorated at that time - which is pretty much what I expected based on every other year. The hotels kind of operate separately from the parks as far as seasonal decorations.

The parking guy (in the little office) at the Paradise Pier Hotel told me that the Grand Californian is the first hotel to get decorated, with the Disneyland Hotel next and the Paradise Pier last. All of the hotels are decorated by the week after Thanksgiving, and probably a couple of days before that. When the trees go up in the hotels, that's when Santa makes his hotel appearances.

When the season begins, only the two parks' Santas are at their posts. I think I showed Santa at his Jingle Jangle Jamboree post when I shared my photos last week, and I showed a photo of the location in Elias & Co. (figment_jii showed one as well). There was a long line at the Elias spot.

Most reports that I have heard over the years have said that the Grand Californian's tree goes up on the morning after Thanksgiving. This would fit with what the PPH guy told me. However, I know that one or two DIS'ers claimed to have seen the GCH tree up on the weekend before Thanksgiving in one year, which does not fit with what the PPH guy told me! Maybe it was a fluke and they just happened to get the GCH decorated earlier than usual, but it doesn't seem to be the norm.

Bret/mvf-m11c was just at DLR this past weekend (including yesterday) and he did not see a tree in the GCH lobby. No tree = no Santa. But, by this coming Friday, the tree should be nicely situated in the GCH lobby, along with Santa, a PhotoPass person, some Dickens carolers, etc.

Shortly thereafter, the Disneyland Hotel's Santa should be in place, followed by the PPH's Santa.

I have observed that the GCH Santa usually has a 2-hour 'shift,' during which he sits for maybe 45 minutes or so, then takes a break, then comes back to sit again. (I am rough-guessing the time frame, but it's in that range.) He is generally there in the late afternoon to early evening, unless his shift has been changed this year.

The Disneyland Hotel Santa is usually there in the mid-to-late afternoon (again, unless his shift has changed). Sometimes there is a PhotoPass person; sometimes there is not. This location is a bit more elaborate than the other hotels' set-ups.

The Paradise Pier Santa is always there in the morning - usually the latter part of the morning - by the gorgeous, glowing blue-green tree. There is no PhotoPass person in this spot.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:28 PM   #3514
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Sherry E- you are awesome. Thank you!
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:47 PM   #3515
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Do you think Santa will still be there when we visit Dec. 29 - Jan. 5 or will he have returned to the North Pole by then?
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:51 AM   #3516
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For those of you that have gone on Christmas Eve, when do the crowds start filing out at night? Once the fireworks are over does it seems to quiet down quite a bit? We don't get in until around 7-7:30 and were going to do the park that night for a few hours but were curious about how busy it is late that night. Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:46 AM   #3517
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You can, but you'll need to call with your credit card.... their email is: vacationplanning@disneyonline.com
A slightly belated thank you

I think I'll have to try and think of something else, it's a bit tricky to be able to ring them - I'll have to do some secret shopping while I'm there instead
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:56 AM   #3518
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Originally Posted by StyledSugar View Post
For those of you that have gone on Christmas Eve, when do the crowds start filing out at night? Once the fireworks are over does it seems to quiet down quite a bit? We don't get in until around 7-7:30 and were going to do the park that night for a few hours but were curious about how busy it is late that night. Thanks!
Last year, after the first character "good night" (9-9:30pm), crowds really thinned out. We stayed until 11:30pm in FL and everything was either walk-on or 5 min waits. I don't know how it was in other parts of DLR (didn't venture around).
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:08 AM   #3519
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Do you think Santa will still be there when we visit Dec. 29 - Jan. 5 or will he have returned to the North Pole by then?
disneymum58 -

I am pretty certain that all 3 of the hotels' Santas will be completely gone by 12/26 - maybe even gone by 12/25. I recall a GCH Cast Member telling me that their Santa is always gone by the day after Christmas.

As for the Elias & Co. Santa in DCA, he is new this year and we don't know what they will do with him - but my guess is that he'll be gone. If Disney is trying to follow the tradition of department store Santas in Los Angeles, he should be gone before Christmas.

The Santa at Jingle Jangle Jamboree in Disneyland is a question mark. While DIS'er Malcon10t and others have seen Santa (in a sort of green plaid ensemble and not in his famous red suit) at that location after Christmas, when it was still called the Reindeer Round-Up, the Disney Parks Blog said that Santa at the new Jamboree will be gone by 12/24. Actually, if I am remembering correctly (and I may not be - I'm very old!), in a recent Parks Blog about the Jamboree I believe that someone commented and asked about Santa, and the person who wrote the blog replied and said Santa would be gone by 12/24 (at least I think it was 12/24 - it may have been 12/25).

Santa's spot at the Jamboree is not the same as it was when it was the Round-Up. His little cabin is still there for photo ops, but Santa has moved to an outdoor location for this year's photos.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:19 AM   #3520
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweettea View Post
so after months of lurking I finally joined disboards... hi everyone!

I've read all the pages of this thread and they are REALLY helpful, thank you everyone who is contributing! You rock
Welcome! You'll have a blast. If you want to get extra excited go look at Sherry's Christmas thread and Bret/mvf-m11c trip reports. They are faithful posters here so follow the links down in their signatures.

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Do you think Santa will still be there when we visit Dec. 29 - Jan. 5 or will he have returned to the North Pole by then?
Hm...In my experience the Jolly Old Elf is scarce anywhere but the parade after the 25th. I have seen him in the holiday parade after Christmas. I have also sat in his empty chair at the GCH. So I'd say your chances of seeing Santa are slim.

Perhaps other may have some insight.

Now Santa Mickey and Santa Goofy have both been out on our post-Christmas trips to DL/DCA.

TK
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #3521
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Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
Welcome! You'll have a blast. If you want to get extra excited go look at Sherry's Christmas thread and Bret/mvf-m11c trip reports. They are faithful posters here so follow the links down in their signatures.



Hm...In my experience the Jolly Old Elf is scarce anywhere but the parade after the 25th. I have seen him in the holiday parade after Christmas. I have also sat in his empty chair at the GCH. So I'd say your chances of seeing Santa are slim.

Perhaps other may have some insight.

Now Santa Mickey and Santa Goofy have both been out on our post-Christmas trips to DL/DCA.

TK
I gave my insight on Santa above.

TK, this is my Christmas thread! But if you mean my TR, I did make a special trip to DLR on 11/12 specifically to gather info/photos for this Christmas thread (and for a podcast that I thought I would be doing, but now I guess I'm not), so I would like people to come to my TR and view all of the other photos I will be posting and have already started posting. I gave the link to the page and the post in which the pictures begin a page or two back, but here it is again - starting on Page 222, Post #3328.
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

Last edited by Sherry E; 11-20-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #3522
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I also read that Santa leaves DLR 12/24--he's got a busy night! Can't remember where I saw that info, but others seem to agree.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:53 AM   #3523
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Awesome, thank you Eeee-va, tksbaskets, and fidgment_jii! Very helpful and sweet of you

I had no idea you HAD to get a fastpass for WOC for the wheelchair area, wow am I glad I asked!

Last question - is there wheelchair seating for the Christmas Parade and Believe in Magic show? Are those okay? I know last summer when we saw the fireworks we couldn't find the wheelchair seating or something and ended up watching from the front of Main Street, I think where customer service is near the entrance, and that wasn't half bad. But maybe since the show is different there is a better place to be!

Thanks again for your help, and yes I saw all the Christmas pictures, super neat!
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:25 PM   #3524
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Originally Posted by Topolina View Post
Last year, after the first character "good night" (9-9:30pm), crowds really thinned out. We stayed until 11:30pm in FL and everything was either walk-on or 5 min waits. I don't know how it was in other parts of DLR (didn't venture around).
What is this "character 'good night'" that you speak of?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:32 PM   #3525
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What is this "character 'good night'" that you speak of?
Here is a post from this thread with photos, from lapdwife:

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=252


The characters come out at least a couple of times on Christmas Eve (some of them are in their pajamas!) to wave goodnight to the guests and wish them a merry Christmas.
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