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Old 05-09-2012, 09:26 AM   #2341
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Originally Posted by HeyItsNickCA View Post
Hello everyone!

Right now, we're talking about going December 3rd to December 7th.
We're hoping to be there at the same time. So excited!!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:06 PM   #2342
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Early December is one of the slowest times of the Holiday season at the DLR. But since the 3rd and 7th is the 2nd week of the December the crowds can be about average. The weekdays after Thanksgiving week is one of the slowest times and best times to visit DL during the Holiday season.

DL Holiday fireworks is called "Believe...In Holiday Magic" fireworks and it is available all the days of the Holiday season at DL. This includes the shorter park hours (10am to 8pm) as well as the longer park hours (8am to 12am). The only time that the fireworks won't be available is only when there is high winds, thunderstorms, etc.

It only depends on which hotel you are staying right by the DLR. The hotels should not be that busy since it is not during the Christmas season to New Years which should be expensive and packed. The DLR hotels can be very expensive while the across the street hotels have decent prices per night.

Mostly at that time of the year in early December, most of the rides should be up and running.

There are no rides that are decorated inside of the ride at DCA. These are not like HMH or IASWH at DL where the ride is decorated for the Holiday season. I have seen a Santa hat on Roz on Monsters Inc. We don't know if Cars Land or BVS is going to get any holiday decorations. But I have a hunch that we will get some holiday decorations when it gets closer to the holiday season.
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HeyItsNickCA -

I think the week you're thinking about will be a good choice. That's a Monday - Friday, correct?

Last year I went from 12/4 - 12/8, which was Sunday - Thursday. Basically the same week you'd be going. I found that crowds on Monday were great - meaning it was not crowded at all. Tuesday suddenly got crowded. Wednesday didn't seem to be too bad at all. Thursday I didn't go into the park.

So I would bet that your first day - 12/3 (Monday) will be the best day in terms of light crowds, and Wednesday, 12/5 will probably be the next best. By Thursday, people begin arriving for extended weekend trips and crowds pick up. Overall, though, it should probably be a great time to be there - better than the weeks that will follow it, in any case!

If I recall correctly, during the holiday season the fireworks are every night. The parks may close a bit earlier on Monday-Wednesday, but the holiday fireworks should happen every night.

The 3 Disney hotels are expensive all year-round, but that week is a week that is not as packed because it's in between the Thanksgiving break and the Christmas break. A lot of folks are back at work and school until their Christmas breaks. So you can often find discounts that extend through the first couple of weeks in December and then they stop by the weekend before Christmas. The hotels will probably not be full on all of those weekdays.

There will probably not be any major ride closures. Once the holiday season begins - which is peak season for the Resort - most of the major refurbishments have been completed. Disney wants as many attractions operating to satisfy the holiday visitors. They tend to do a lot of refurbs in between peak seasons (like in between Summer and the holidays, and in between the holidays and Summer, for example).

In California Adventure, A Bug's Land is decorated in giant ornaments and Christmas lights, but so far there are no actual ride overlays. Roz wears a Santa hat in the Monsters, Inc. ride (at the very end).

There has been talk for the last 4 years about the Toy Story ride eventually getting some sort of holiday overlay. Apparently, some holiday dialogue and singing has already been recorded for Mr. Potato Head. So it's just a matter of when they might do this that is in question!

World of Color had a little "Prep & Landing" holiday intro segment last year. There has been talk of a possible full-fledged holiday World of Color at some point too - but when??

There have also been rumors that Cars Land will have its own special themed decorations this year. Of course, this is only the first year for Cars Land and we really have no clue if it will happen so fast, but that is the rumor.
Yes, it is a Monday - Friday. It is the first full week of December. I'm so exicited to go! We were in Disneyland during October 2010 when they had the Halloween decorations up. It was pretty cool and I really don't like Halloween. I can only imagine how fun and cool Christmas is! I'm exicited to see Carsland too.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #2343
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Beee -

You're very welcome!

I think the AP purchase is a good choice. Did you get the Premium AP?

Yes, if you book a room that is not part of a package and is just a room-only reservation, you should be able to add any discounts to it that come out later, AP or otherwise.

What you can do is book a room-only reservation now with an AP - or you will tell the hotel people that you have an AP even if you don't have it yet, and then you will show it to them at check-in. The Disneyland system will automatically apply the standard 10% AP discount to your price (that discount is in effect 365 days a year). But, if there are any good, special rates/discounts that come out later in the year, either for AP holders or just posted on the Disneyland website, you should be able to apply the new discount to your existing booking.

I have done that before - I had an existing reservation (room-only, not a package) and I ended up changing the type of discount it was, as well as the dates and even the hotel! Generally, that has not been a problem. It's when you book a package that you can run into some fees and things if you try to make a change to the booking.






Hello again, MyMuse!

Well, you know, we just found out that Halloween Time begins on 9/14 this year. Even though that was one of the dates I had in mind for a start date, I thought that they might be more likely to go with a 9/17 or 9/21 date.

The reason I bring up Halloween Time is that now that we know the season is starting on 9/14 - which is only the second Friday in September - it's entirely possible that the holiday season may begin on 11/9 or 11/12.

I keep thinking that 11/9 is too soon after Halloween Time, which will end on 10/31, but if they start putting up Christmas decorations and merchandise even before Halloween Time ends (which is what they will do), then Disneyland Resort could very well be ready for the official start of the holidays on 11/9...or Monday, 11/12.

I kind of think that 11/16 almost sounds like too late of a start for it since the holidays are sooooo popular at DLR now - more than ever before.

OMG Sherry you have made my day.....We are first timers coming from Australia who are totally Christmas obsessed but we booked without knowing that the holiday season started so early and I was devasted to realise that when we fly out again on 11/15 that we would only miss out on the parade etc by a day or two so I am crossing everything that it starts on 11/9 as we would then be there for Halloween ( kids are so excited) and Christmas stuff ( Dh and I so excited)

Thanks so much for these awesome informative threads
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #2344
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We are still trying to plan our exact days. It will be our first Christmas trip and our first trip to DL, so I'm having a little trouble with my planning.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:13 PM   #2345
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1trip is booked(and paid for) for my 20th anniversary trip. I will be booking my dd and her family and my ds's trips in September. We are staying the 16th-20th of Dec. This is HUGE for me, as this will be my first trip with my older kids! They got to go with their gandparents while growing up.....but never with us! My dh knew how much I wanted to experiance us as a family at Disney, so it is my gift fom him! So excited!
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:32 PM   #2346
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We are still trying to plan our exact days. It will be our first Christmas trip and our first trip to DL, so I'm having a little trouble with my planning.
me too, I keep questioning myself on how many days to devote to DL - it started at 3 days, then 4 and now I am wondering if we should do 5 because chances are we will have a couple of days of early closing for CM Christmas parties. I think my current plan is to get 5 day hoppers for DD and DP and we can play it by ear, go in on the 5th day if we feel like it or head on to LA if we think we've done enough. Or maybe we will want to go the day we arrive in LA for a few hours (after a 12 hr flight I'm thinking this is unlikely but it is our first long haul trip so I just don't know) so I'm sure either way that 5th day will be used, hmmm maybe I need to buy them a 6 day hopper to cover all possibilities . I'm trying to decide what we really want to see in LA and work backwards from there - if we do 5 full days at DL we only have 2 full days in LA and I'm not sure that is enough, I hate rushing around all over the place so its driving me a little crazy trying to fit everything that we want to do in but still leaving space to relax - this is supposed to be a holiday after all so I don't want to be exhausted at the end of it
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:12 PM   #2347
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Christmas must dos

What are some of your christmas must do's. We will be going with our 2 kids one 4 and almost 3 with SPD and then grandma.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:02 PM   #2348
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What are some of your christmas must do's. We will be going with our 2 kids one 4 and almost 3 with SPD and then grandma.
Hi there, Mommyof2boys1118! Or should I say, hello again!

This question pops up every so often and I'm glad it does because I think people's lists of must do's change over time. I am always interested to see what gets added to or removed from the must do lists!

A few things I suggest for your group (in no particular order):

1. Be sure to ride the Storybook Land boats. There are teeny holiday decorations on the little villages and cottages. It's very cute;

2. Even if you happen to ride It's a Small World Holiday in the daytime (when the lines are a bit shorter), be sure to at least walk by it at night. That's when it's glowing in colored lights;

3. Get a family PhotoPass picture taken in front of the Winter Castle at night - when it's lit up in icicle lights;

4. Stand on Main Street when the 'snow' falls at night. The snow is very light - almost undetectable - and you can smell gingerbread in the air;

5. Get some gingerbread cookies with chocolate-dipped Mickey mouse ears;

6. Visit Santa at the 3 different Disney hotels, which will also give you a chance to check out some of the different Christmas trees;

7. Don't overlook ToonTown, New Orleans Square and A Bug's Land, as those lands will all have decorations that fit their themes. (Supposedly Cars Land may have some of its own special decorations too.);

8. Spend a good chunk of time at Santa's Reindeer Round-Up, where you will not only find Santa but also some reindeer. Pluto (in reindeer ears) is often there too. The Round-Up has all kinds of charming, rustic details;

9. Visit Duffy at his Christmas photo spot in California Adventure; Santa also has a photo spot in that same park;

10. If you can time it right and get into Disneyland early enough, and on the right dates when they are made (which will be announced in November), you can get freshly made candy canes (very large ones) at the Candy Palace on Main Street;

11. If you are in Disneyland on Christmas Eve, be sure to catch the characters waving goodnight and Merry Christmas in Town Square (some of them are in their pajamas);

12. Whether it's to take a midday break or just to relax and still enjoy the festive atmosphere, spend some time in the Grand Californian Hotel lobby (easily accessible from Downtown Disney). It's open to everyone. The chairs and sofas are very comfortable. I think I told you before that there are carolers who stroll through, and some of them perform by the giant Christmas tree at certain times of the night. Santa is on one side of the tree. A pianist plays holiday music and when he/she takes a break, there is usually a guitar player nearby (possibly by the fireplace) to continue the Christmas songs. Everyone is in good spirits, chatting and having a good time. It's a really great atmosphere;

13. Grab a peppermint candy-encrusted ice cream cone with some peppermint ice cream in it at either Gibson Girl or the other small ice cream place on Main Street;

14. Get some photos with characters in their "Winter Sweaters" and/or Santa hats, such as Pooh and the gang in Critter Country and Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Chip, Dale, Pluto and often times Daisy in Town Square (or maybe ToonTown); and....


I'm sure I will think of more, but that's a good start!
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:29 PM   #2349
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Oh there are so many things I want to do!! I am seriously considering the Christmas tour. Yes, I have been to Disneyland a lot and know that park. I just want to enjoy the holiday tour, and the parade with the seats. It seems like a nice way to enjoy it.


I also remember in 2005 there were stands where you could decorate the holiday cookies. I would like that. I am a kid at heart.



I will also be visiting as many characters in their holiday outfits as I can.


I am soooooooo excited about our trip!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:04 PM   #2350
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Our family did the Christmas tour last year and we all agreed it was the best part of the trip. I'll try and dig our photos out as last year I debated going and I searched this site over and over trying to find pictures of the tour with little luck so I took many pictures on our tour. I haven't been to Disneyland an emense amount of times (it was our tenth trip) and I loved the Christmas tour.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:22 PM   #2351
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Our family did the Christmas tour last year and we all agreed it was the best part of the trip. I'll try and dig our photos out as last year I debated going and I searched this site over and over trying to find pictures of the tour with little luck so I took many pictures on our tour. I haven't been to Disneyland an emense amount of times (it was our tenth trip) and I loved the Christmas tour.
Do you think the tour would be okay for a 6.5 YO and 4.5YO? I really want to take the tour -- right up my alley -- and think the FP to IASW and HM are a nice perk but it's really the reserved seating for the parade that I think would be great for the kids. But I also don't want to listen to endless whining. So is the holiday tour good or bad for all ages?
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:46 PM   #2352
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We took our kids ages ten and eight on the trip and they loved it. My oldest is really into learning new things so she really liked it. There was another family with us and they had a daughter about six or seven and another child in a stroller. They seemed to do just fine. At one point we were scheduled to take the train from the haunted mansion to Toon Town but the Toon Town station was closed so we had to walk back through the park and everybody managed fine.

we stopped twice to use the bathroom, which is great if you have kids. Our tour guide was really good and tried to include the kids in everything. He convinced the kids to yell, "boo" when the evil step sisters and step mother came through the parade. Then the evil step family all came right over to our kids. The six year old from the other family really took a liking to our tour guide and he held her hand the whole time

The parade viewing was excellent. We let our kids sit in the front row and we sat right behind them. I really will work on getting those pictures on this thread.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:05 PM   #2353
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Our family did the Christmas tour last year and we all agreed it was the best part of the trip. I'll try and dig our photos out as last year I debated going and I searched this site over and over trying to find pictures of the tour with little luck so I took many pictures on our tour. I haven't been to Disneyland an emense amount of times (it was our tenth trip) and I loved the Christmas tour.

I would love to see them!


I guess I really haven't been an immense amount of times either, but I have been to the parks quite a few times.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:10 PM   #2354
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So last year we planned on a trip to DL the first week of Dec for my birthday and for the decorations but had to cancel because my poor old dog got sick. So now I'm back planning for this year .... found a wonderful place for the dog to stay. I'd love to do the holiday tour. Does anyone know how far in advance it can be booked?
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:18 PM   #2355
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So last year we planned on a trip to DL the first week of Dec for my birthday and for the decorations but had to cancel because my poor old dog got sick. So now I'm back planning for this year .... found a wonderful place for the dog to stay. I'd love to do the holiday tour. Does anyone know how far in advance it can be booked?
30 days for tours if I remember correctly. We loved the Holiday Tour, BTW.
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