Disneyland at Christmas/Holiday Season Superthread #2 (Closed)

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by Sherry E, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. papamouse1

    papamouse1 Still... Papa "MooMoo"

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    Sitting here waiting for fireworks to start! :)
     
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  3. Dobby

    Dobby 27 years is too long to wait for Disney

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    So excited about seeing Disneyland at Christmas!!:goodvibes We fly out in 6 more days! THanks for all the pictures to get me in the festive mood.:)
     
  4. Bex258

    Bex258 Earning My Ears

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    Thank you :)

    I have thought of two more questions since I started my planning. I've decided to do the photo pass plus as I think its just me in Disney (not sure if my friend will be working on the days I plan to go) hopefully as I don't leave until 28th (Dec) that should get to me in time (shipping to the UK unless they email it?). As I plan to go to DCA first I'm going to Radiator Springs first. Where do I collect the photo pass plus stuff from? As I would like the photo from this ride, unless I can go on the ride, take down the number for the photo then go and get the pass and get the photo added later?

    My second question, more of a Christmas-y one. I think I'll be adding a night at the DLH (I saw the photos of the referb and I have to go) which will make the magic morning the next day so much easier. Anyway, I'd probably be there the night of Jan 2nd. When do they take down the Christmas decorations in the hotels? It would be awesome if I got to see them too.
     
  5. macleod1979

    macleod1979 Mouseketeer

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    I am curious about when they take them down also.
     
  6. sweettea

    sweettea Earning My Ears

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    so after months of lurking I finally joined disboards... hi everyone! :wave2:

    30 Days until my boyfriend and I leave for our trip! We will be at DL/DCA from noon on the 19th til the night of the 23rd - 5 days! I've only done 3 day trips during the summer but with the craziness that is the holidays it looks like we will need the extra time! I am so excited!!

    I have some questions specific to this time of year, but if there is a better place for me to post them please let me know! Sorry if I mess up !:worried:

    - 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)?

    -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 :confused:

    -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!

    -Has anyone driven from the Bay Area to Anahiem? Boyfriend and I will be stopping often to switch drivers and I'm wondering if there is anything neat/delicious on the way there that we should see!

    Really crossing my fingers for good weather and good vibes! I looove seasonal stuff, and I am so glad my boyfriend rekindled my love for disney! (As a sociology major I was pretty skeptical, lol). Stoked to eat everything with gingerbread or peppermint in it!

    I've read all the pages of this thread and they are REALLY helpful, thank you everyone who is contributing! You rock :)
     
  7. figment_jii

    figment_jii DIS Veteran

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    Hello and Welcome! :welcome:

    I haven't been in a wheel chair or pushed someone around DLR in one, but based on what I've seen, you'll need to be patient and cautious. When there are a lot of people, it's going to be slow moving.

    I would definitely try to make one for Blue Bayou if you want to eat there.

    I've stopped at Harris Ranch and that has a pretty good resturant and clean rest rooms.
     
  8. DSNY4ever

    DSNY4ever <font color=darkorchid>I am going to keep hunting

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    So where is Santa making appearances this year? I saw in some pictures that it looks like he is in a shop on Buena Vista Street in DCA, where else is he going to be- at any hotels? Is he still dong the cabin in Big Thunder Ranch? Any opinions on which spots make the best photo op this year?

    If anyone has gone recently and has some pictures with Santa I would love to see them!
     
  9. Celestine

    Celestine DIS Veteran

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    From personal experience I know WDW ship photo pass CDs to the UK, so I don't imagine DCA will be any different.

    I believe they start taking decorations down around the 6th January so you should be fine for seeing them.

    Celestine
     
  10. mysteriouspnai

    mysteriouspnai DIS Veteran

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    Santa is at Elias & Co on Buena Vista Street and he also makes an appearance in Jingle Jangle Jamboree back by Big Thunder Ranch. I have yet to hear about him in the hotels, but I'll post pictures up when I'm able!
     
  11. figment_jii

    figment_jii DIS Veteran

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    And now...the rest of the parade photos!

    After the princesses, came Chip and Dale in their car! This was one of the floats that was kind of "hit or miss" depends on where you were located. They would drive some amount, they hop out of the car, play around, then hop back in and drive some more. So if you were located where they were stopped it was great...if they drove past you, not so much.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then it was time for Woody!
    [​IMG]

    He was followed by Geppetto and Pinocchio. They were making and wrapping toys.
    [​IMG]

    Then came Buzz Lightyear and the Little Green Aliens.
    [​IMG]

    And then the Seven Dwarves!
    [​IMG]

    Next up was another tree!
    [​IMG]

    Which was followed by dancing reindeer! They were very cute.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Finally, Santa came by on his float. Like Mrs. Claus he was "talking" to audience.
    [​IMG]

    I really liked the little snow bunnies that were popping up from his float.
    [​IMG]

    Well, that's it for my parade photos! Hope you all enjoyed them and Happy (early) Holidays!
     
  12. figment_jii

    figment_jii DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  13. Eeee-va

    Eeee-va Happiest robot on Earth

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    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."

    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.

    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.
     
  14. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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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.
     
  15. DSNY4ever

    DSNY4ever <font color=darkorchid>I am going to keep hunting

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    Sherry E- you are awesome. Thank you!
     
  16. disneymum58

    disneymum58 Mouseketeer

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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?
     
  17. StyledSugar

    StyledSugar Love The Mouse

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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!
     
  18. AnnaTink

    AnnaTink Mouseketeer

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    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 :goodvibes
     
  19. Topolina

    Topolina Earning My Ears

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    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).
     
  20. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    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.
     
  21. tksbaskets

    tksbaskets DIS Veteran

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    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
     
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