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Old 04-27-2013, 03:46 PM   #256
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I usually go to the parks the second week of December but this year my schedule will not work. We are thinking of going Nov 13-15 or Nov 14-16. I know we are not sure when holiday season starts but I am wondering is there an early close or is the transition to Christmas after hours? We would like to go when crowds are not to crazy is this a bad time? We would love to have at least one day to experience the holiday decorations. Does anyone know if it opens the 15th when would they possible do the filming for Christmas? We want to avoid that for sure. Any info or thoughts would be great! Thanks
Hi, summer0407!

Off the top of my head (without going back to check any blogs or other sources of info), I think that the taping for the Christmas parade takes place on the first weekend in November. I don't think it will take place on the weekend leading up to Veteran Day, though I could be wrong.

Crowd-wise, the earlier in November you go, the better. If you go from 11/14 - 11/16, you might encounter more crowds but you will have less of a chance of encountering shorter hours, and the season will have certainly started by 11/15 (if not before then). I would go with the 11/14 - 11/16 dates so - in case the season begins on 11/15 - you can at least get in a full couple of days of the official season, with the longer weekend hours.

As for decorations, there is no question that you will see some decorations when you go. The decorations begin to slowly go up even before Halloween hits. The question is, how much of the decor will be up in the parks when you are there, and will the season have officially begun (meaning, will all the holiday entertainment have begun)? You will miss the hotels' Santas and decorations, but the parks will be decorated.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #257
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Such happy holiday thoughts! If we can get the reservation we are going to aim for 12/16 - 12/22!! We can't book our DVC until 7 months before our arrival date. Keep your fingers crossed
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:26 PM   #258
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Such happy holiday thoughts! If we can get the reservation we are going to aim for 12/16 - 12/22!! We can't book our DVC until 7 months before our arrival date. Keep your fingers crossed
TK -

They're crossed! I hope you're able to get in! You don't have much longer to wait until the 7-month point but I know you have to act fast and jump on it if you can get in!

I meant to comment on your list of Hallmark Christmas movies that you said you had saved and watched. I think I agreed with your comments on all of them (which ones were okay, which ones were good, etc.), and I remember that I especially loved "Naughty or Nice" too! That one was fun!

All those movies you mentioned were the specific new movies that debuted on Hallmark in 2012. Hopefully you caught some of the movies from previous years that they were also running during the countdown, like "Most Wonderful Time of Year," "Trading Christmas," etc. They are all of the same feel-good ilk, but with a good, hearty dose of Christmas romance!

We have slightly over 6 months to go until the next Hallmark Christmas countdown at the beginning of November, with some of the old favorites returning and all new movies debuting as well! Plus, they will probably do another Christmas in Summer marathon, so stay tuned for that in July.

Check around the Internet for movies called "12 Wishes of Christmas," "Christmas Town" and "Christmas Angel." Those were all movies that I caught on other channels last year -- but they totally seemed like they were Hallmark-esque movies; like maybe they had run on Hallmark to begin with and then got bumped off the channel to make room for others. I especially liked "12 Wishes...," but "Christmas Town" was cute too. "Christmas Angel" was a bit more serious in its tone.


I wish that Disneyland would hurry and let us know exactly what the dates for the holiday season will be. I really wonder if they will start the season on a Monday again - which would be Veterans Day this year - or if they will wait until Friday, 11/15. After all, it's only been the last couple of years that have had Monday season start dates. The seasons always used to begin on Fridays in the past, so 11/15 wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. I think that 11/8 might be a tad too early for the official season to have begun, but...stranger things have happened so one never knows.

And...the BIG question is, will there be a party this year -- and if so, will it be held in Disneyland or California Adventure, and how will it affect the holiday entertainment??? I hope that Disney doesn't wait until September (after the summer season has ended) to tell us if there will be a party. I don't think they would wait that long to break that kind of big news -- I don't even think they would wait until August to tell us about a brand new Christmas party -- but I don't fully trust them and their sneaky ways! They are trying to emulate WDW in terms of behaving as more of a "vacation destination," so they should follow the WDW lead and let us know about parties, Candlelight narrators, etc. way in advance!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:35 AM   #259
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What party?

Please explain. I got AP for the first time and thinking of trying to visit 11/15 or so ( I have never been at holiday time )
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:02 AM   #260
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What party?

Please explain. I got AP for the first time and thinking of trying to visit 11/15 or so ( I have never been at holiday time )
Hi there, AZlady!

So far, there's no party. There has been buzz (or rumors and speculation, really) that Disneyland Resort will eventually follow Walt Disney World's lead and have a Christmas party (with a separate paid ticket to the event). Disneyland already has a Halloween party during Halloween Time so it would make sense if they added in a Christmas party too.

The thing is, to have a Christmas party in Disneyland would inevitably impact some of the existing, longstanding holiday entertainment (like the Christmas Fantasy Parade, the Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks, the snow on Main Street, Candlelight Ceremony, etc.). So I have wondered if a Christmas party could possibly begin in California Adventure. That would not have been a possibility prior to Cars Land and Buena Vista Street opening last year, but now it could be.

It is pretty much a given that we will get a party at some point -- but the question is, will it be this year or next year or some other year? In which park will it be held? Would it begin in November or December? How will it affect entertainment in the parks and park hours? What would be the "hook" to get us to buy tickets (any party exclusives, etc.)? And so on and so on...

So far, there is no confirmation or announcement of any kind about a party. I tend to think that IF a party is going to take place, the Disney Parks Blog and Disneyland News would probably announce it early on (soon) because it would be a big development for the holiday season and they would want to entice people to plan their trips around this party. The possible debut of a party has been one of the things we are waiting to hear in this thread, because it could affect a lot of people's plans!
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:27 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post

Hi there, AZlady!

So far, there's no party. There has been buzz (or rumors and speculation, really) that Disneyland Resort will eventually follow Walt Disney World's lead and have a Christmas party (with a separate paid ticket to the event). Disneyland already has a Halloween party during Halloween Time so it would make sense if they added in a Christmas party too.

The thing is, to have a Christmas party in Disneyland would inevitably impact some of the existing, longstanding holiday entertainment (like the Christmas Fantasy Parade, the Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks, the snow on Main Street, Candlelight Ceremony, etc.). So I have wondered if a Christmas party could possibly begin in California Adventure. That would not have been a possibility prior to Cars Land and Buena Vista Street opening last year, but now it could be.

It is pretty much a given that we will get a party at some point -- but the question is, will it be this year or next year or some other year? In which park will it be held? Would it begin in November or December? How will it affect entertainment in the parks and park hours? What would be the "hook" to get us to buy tickets (any party exclusives, etc.)? And so on and so on...

So far, there is no confirmation or announcement of any kind about a party. I tend to think that IF a party is going to take place, the Disney Parks Blog and Disneyland News would probably announce it early on (soon) because it would be a big development for the holiday season and they would want to entice people to plan their trips around this party. The possible debut of a party has been one of the things we are waiting to hear in this thread, because it could affect a lot of people's plans!
Ok-I get it now.
I went to the Halloween party (7 yrs?) ago at DCA...it was awesome. When I went again (3 yrs?) ago at DL , I did not like it. I will not be doing that again. So I'm not sure they could sell me on a Chirstmas party.
Thanks for sharing your info. I will keep an eye out for dates. I am trying to be patient and see when the official holiday start date is. I'm trying to hit it early and stay away from Thanksgiving craziness
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:30 AM   #262
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Ok-I get it now.
I went to the Halloween party (7 yrs?) ago at DCA...it was awesome. When I went again (3 yrs?) ago at DL , I did not like it. I will not be doing that again. So I'm not sure they could sell me on a Chirstmas party.
Thanks for sharing your info. I will keep an eye out for dates. I am trying to be patient and see when the official holiday start date is. I'm trying to hit it early and stay away from Thanksgiving craziness
AZlady -

You're welcome!

Yes, the Halloween party being held in DL is something I have mixed feelings about, to be honest. I went to the party in DCA (5 years ago) and really I enjoyed it. Plus, I thought that DCA needed the party to help involve DCA in the Halloween Time season. Without the party and any sorts of Halloween decorations in DCA, it seemed like Halloween Time was mainly taking place in Disneyland.

So then I tried the Halloween party in Disneyland. I enjoyed it. I thought that the choices for treat stations and treat trails were interesting (like Pixie Hollow at night and inside the Golden Horseshoe, for example). However, it just seemed much more crowded to me. And when the party moved into DL, there were literally almost no traces of Halloween in DCA! Oh, sure, there was a Duffy photo spot and Duffy was wearing a pumpkin outfit. And there was a Tim Burton Frankenweenie exhibit last year. But that's really it.

Since the party has been held in DL (since 2010), DCA has seemed more disconnected from the whole Halloween season than ever before. It seems like everything Halloween-related is in DL. As interesting as I think the treat trails are at DL, I really think that DCA needs the party to seem like it's part of the Halloween Time festivities.

I would not mind if the Halloween party returned to DCA. I know that other people would mind it, though. I think that Cars Land and Buena Vista Street both have some great Halloween potential (BVS could showcase more retro-vintage Halloween decor, and CL could have more whimsical, Car-themed decor or trick or treating for mufflers and hubcaps and things like that).

If and when we get a Christmas party, I would actually prefer it to start out in DCA. This way, the existing holiday entertainment that has been in DL for years (and which many, many people have already seen at this point) will stay intact and not be held hostage to a party, and Disney could use this an excuse to debut an all-holiday World of Color and the rumored Toy Story Midway Mania holiday overlay that has been talked about since it opened 5 years ago, as well as maybe add in something else. I think that the party would eventually move to Disneyland anyway, but I really wish they would start it out in DCA for at least the first year or two.

But if a party starts in Disneyland, it is almost certain that the Candlelight Ceremony will move over to DCA - which will be sad because it has a long history in Town Square, and it is absolutely lovely, haunting and intimate in that specific setting. Plus, it's much easier to actually see the faces of the people who are performing. If the Candlelight Ceremony stays in DL, then it's possible that DL is planning to start a party in DCA.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds over the next few months. I think that any major adjustments/additions to the usual holiday schedule would be announced by summer, because the Disney people would want to promote/hype whatever they were changing or adding in advance, to be able to coax out-of-towners to want to travel to DLR to see it. This is why I think that IF a party is set to happen this year - in either park - the Disney Parks Blog or Disneyland News will mention it early on (even if they don't have all the specifics and details yet). They could probably do a quick blog that told us a party was coming this holiday season, but that they will release more details "soon." When the Halloween party moved from DCA to DL, the Parks Blog did a Blog about it in May of that year.

So if a party is coming this year, my guess is that we would hear something about it by July, and by August at the absolute latest.

One thing I wonder about, though, is the Limited Time Magic event that is happening all year. It is possible that Disney may decide to include a party as part of the LTM events...or they could decide to skip a party in DLR this year in case they have other holiday LTM plans in the works? The LTM thing could cancel out the debut of a DLR party this year, and postpone it until next year. Maybe. But then there would likely be some other new holiday 'thing' happening that was part of LTM, and I'm not sure what it could be. (I'm just thinking and speculating aloud!)
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:04 PM   #263
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OK.......Level 2 here, with great tendencies toward Level 1 at times. I did find Christmas cds in my Hubbies truck the other day (which I thought were put away), so he's basically been listening to Christmas music behind my back--he's naughty!

We were in the Parks on Christmas morning this past December, and loved it. It was not crazy busy like we had been led to believe it would be, however, the Wednesday AFTER Christmas was obscene!!!

Sherry, thanks for posting the picture of the PPH Christmas tree--it is so beautiful--can't wait to see it this year--we'll be arriving Dec. 22nd.

I'm watching this thread with bated breath to find out if we're going to HAVE to deal with a hard ticket Christmas party event this year, and hoping NOT!!!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:28 PM   #264
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It will be so exciting to watch it unfold.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:43 PM   #265
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What wonderful info. Thanks so much!! I have a lot of reading to do My family and I will be there dec 1-6 and I can not wait!!!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:33 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by Cheshirecatty

We were in the Parks on Christmas morning this past December, and loved it. It was not crazy busy like we had been led to believe it would be, however, the Wednesday AFTER Christmas was obscene!!!
This is what we heard too. It's why we've planned a dec 22-26 trip. We're just debating if we should go in the park on Dec 26th or not since we'll have EMH. We're thinking maybe go from 7-11am and then head out for our drive to Northern California (Bay Area).
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #267
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This is what we heard too. It's why we've planned a dec 22-26 trip. We're just debating if we should go in the park on Dec 26th or not since we'll have EMH. We're thinking maybe go from 7-11am and then head out for our drive to Northern California (Bay Area).
This is our plan as well. We are there the 22-27, but our 5 park days will be the 22, 23, 24, 25 and the 26. On the 26th we will go back to the hotel in the afternoon and enjoy the pools. We may go back in for late rides, or fireworks or something, but we fully expect crowds to ridiculous that day.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:20 PM   #268
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Talking

AP's purchased. Hotel Booked. Plane tickets purchased. Towncar reserved. OMG.....it really feels real now. Just got to wait 7 months 3 weeks 5 days now and we will have 12 days of Disney (dec 24-jan 4)!!!!! We are spending Christmas and New Years in the parks

We plan on doing the Fantasmic Dessert Package, Holiday Tour , 4 Character Meals (Yup 4), Lunch at BB on Christmas Day, and so much more. It is gonna be the ultimate trip for me and my son ....I may be a tad excited

And to top it off my 9 year old son told me he wanted to help pay for it We are having a garage sale this summer and he is selling a bunch of toys, I always let him get the money for those to help encourage getting rid of stuff we dont need or want and he is putting half of his earnings towards our trip. Last garage sale he made $200. And he is getting rid of some good stuff this year Such a sweet boy!!!

I think I may have to do a trip report to keep me busy in the mean time. I am already making a journal for each of us, a scrapbook like trip book and a scavenger hunt book for my son. Also got matching tye dye mickey shirts
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #269
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I usually go to the parks the second week of December but this year my schedule will not work. We are thinking of going Nov 13-15 or Nov 14-16. I know we are not sure when holiday season starts but I am wondering is there an early close or is the transition to Christmas after hours? We would like to go when crowds are not to crazy is this a bad time? We would love to have at least one day to experience the holiday decorations. Does anyone know if it opens the 15th when would they possible do the filming for Christmas? We want to avoid that for sure. Any info or thoughts would be great! Thanks
I was there Nov 2012 4-9th and remember a little bit of Christmas being there when we first got there and then boom on our last day the big tree was up. It literally felt like stuff appeared out of thin air....BOOM...Christmas I think our last day was the official start of the season, we got to ride the Christmas rides and see the decorations but we didnt get to see the entertainment cause our flight time. And the filming was done the day before we got there, almost a week before the season offical started so not sure if that is always how it is but atleast it was that way last year. Any questions just ask
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:04 PM   #270
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OK.......Level 2 here, with great tendencies toward Level 1 at times. I did find Christmas cds in my Hubbies truck the other day (which I thought were put away), so he's basically been listening to Christmas music behind my back--he's naughty!

We were in the Parks on Christmas morning this past December, and loved it. It was not crazy busy like we had been led to believe it would be, however, the Wednesday AFTER Christmas was obscene!!!

Sherry, thanks for posting the picture of the PPH Christmas tree--it is so beautiful--can't wait to see it this year--we'll be arriving Dec. 22nd.

I'm watching this thread with bated breath to find out if we're going to HAVE to deal with a hard ticket Christmas party event this year, and hoping NOT!!!!
Cheshirecatty -

I had to laugh about your hubby listening to Christmas songs behind your back! Too funny!

I suppose I expect most people to be in that Level 2 category of Christmas appreciation, and I really expected more Level 3s than the ones who have come forth!

I think that more and more people are getting so stressed out over Christmas that they may change from Level 2 to Level 3 over time! It just seems like every year I hear more and more people grumbling about dreading Christmas, and saying "Why can't all of the Christmas stuff show up after Thanksgiving," etc....which really means, in my mind, "Why do we have to deal with Christmas at all" (because delaying the appearance of decorations and merchandise is not going to make it any less stressful!).

I just love the fact that the PPH tree is easy to see from outside the PPH. So we can peek in and get a glimpse of its beauty before stepping into the lobby. At the GCH we can't see the tree until we go inside, and the DLH has a tree in every tower but those trees are not towering, majestic trees so we can't see them from afar.

I agree - I am not keen on a hard ticket event either, and I hope that DLR can find reasons to delay it once again. I don't really see how a hard ticket event will benefit anyone but Disney. The crowds would not be light. The entertainment schedule for the non-party guests would be affected. The tickets will probably cost a pretty penny. The only thing that would make me jump on board for a party is if there is some added highlight to it that I haven't seen before. I would not buy a ticket just for the parade and fireworks because I've seen those. However, if DLR rolls out new holiday events and throws them in a party that would be a different story!

Stay tuned for discussion as news breaks, and also stay tuned for the annual Theme Week Countdown to the start of the season (with a few new and/or revised themes), coming this summer!!!


Quote:
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What wonderful info. Thanks so much!! I have a lot of reading to do My family and I will be there dec 1-6 and I can not wait!!!!
sunshinex7 -

Welcome!

There is a lot of info in the first 9 posts on Page 1, and you will find many great, helpful posts from people throughout this thread. Plus, in late July or early August we will begin our annual Theme Week Countdown to the holiday season, which will take us right up to November. Every week we will focus on a different theme (I add an intro to the theme to set it up), and everyone will be encouraged to share their photos from those themes if they have been to DLR during the holidays. Every year we have some amazing contributors to the Theme Week Countdowns, and the variety and quality of photos is astounding. Theme Week Countdowns are a good way to focus the spotlight on different aspects of the season that get overlooked, or to learn about things that are often skipped over.

You are going in early December, which is my preferred time frame. That's my favorite time to go - the holiday season is in full swing but the crowds are lighter than they would be later in December.



Quote:
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I was there Nov 2012 4-9th and remember a little bit of Christmas being there when we first got there and then boom on our last day the big tree was up. It literally felt like stuff appeared out of thin air....BOOM...Christmas I think our last day was the official start of the season, we got to ride the Christmas rides and see the decorations but we didnt get to see the entertainment cause our flight time. And the filming was done the day before we got there, almost a week before the season offical started so not sure if that is always how it is but atleast it was that way last year. Any questions just ask
aidensmom31 -

Wow! It sounds like you have an absolutely incredible trip in the works! Christmas and New Year's at DLR! Character meals! The Holiday tour! You'll have an amazing time. This will truly be a wonderful trip to remember.

How sweet that your son wants to help pay for the trip! What a great son! And what a great way to help encourage him to get rid of toys and things.

Last year the season officially started on Mon., November 12th - that was the date published in all of Disney's press and Blogs, etc. The year before it began on Mon., 11/14. The season used to officially begin on Fridays pre-2011. I think that Disney tries to get as much stuff up and running by the weekend leading up to that date as they can, but nothing is absolutely guaranteed to be running until the official season start date. IASW Holiday typically soft opens a few days early.

But even despite an early or mid-November season start date, some things don't get going until closer to Thanksgiving...or even not until December. Certain merchandise and food items will not hit the parks until early December (like the Nutcracker Mickeys of last year - they did not appear until later in the season). The hotels don't get their decor until closer to Thanksgiving. Santa doesn't appear at the hotels until the hotels are decorated. Downtown Disney doesn't start playing Christmas music until December. Even the Jingle Jangle Jamboree was more decorated last year in December than it was in November! I don't think that the teeny tiny decorations in the Storybook Land boat ride show up until later in November. The Candlelight Ceremony doesn't start until December.

I wish everything would just start at the same time - it would be easier to keep track of that way!


I'd love to be there on Christmas day one of these years, so I am envious of you!
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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

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