Review of the Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by the_princess, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. the_princess

    the_princess DIS Veteran

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    I know we are half way through December, but I'll still make a little review of our experience on the Holiday tour this year.
    It was our second time visiting DL, but first time at Christmas and first time taking a tour.
    I'll tell and show everything, so if you don't want to know, leave this thread now and let me just tell you, that I will recommend this tour to everyone. It was fantastic!!!
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    So, is anyone still here, or did you all leave??
    I guess some of you couldn't stay away, so here we go.

    I booked the trip in advance, 30 days before going. I called Disneyland and spoke to Melissa who was so excited about it, which made me even more excited. I had to give the name on the guests, so they could make badges and I had to give credit info as well.
    We booked the trip for the 3rd of Dec at 2.30 pm. We were told to get there 15 min before so we could get headsets. Total cost for 2 adults: 150 USD.

    We picked up the tickets the day before the tour because we wanted to make sure, that everything was OK. I didn't get a confirmation e-mail, so I wanted to make sure that we were booked. But everything was fine. All the tours start at the tour pavilion, which is on your left, when you enter DL.

    The next day we were welcomed and got our headsets and receivers.
    A little tip: bring your own ear plugs from your phone, ipod etc.! We also got our badges with our names on them. And if you need to use the bathroom, there is one there as well. Then we just had to wait for the tour to begin.

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    When the tour was about to start, our guide, Mia come around and introduced herself to all of us. Right from the beginning we felt so welcome. All the CM's were so nice and made sure everyone was ready for their tour.

    Then off we went. There are a bit of walking on this tour and even though Mia kept saying that we should tell her to slow down if we couldn't keep up, I still think some in our group had trouble with the speed.
    First we went to DCA. Mia took us through a gate on the side, no waiting in line for the VIPs. She told us, that every time we had special treatment we should all shout Happy Holidays to the CM helping us, and so we did.
    We walked down Buena Vista street and Mia told us about the decorations and the Christmas tree.
    This is Walt's barn:
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    Then it was time for a snack... Mia told us that they made them especially for this tour. It's marshmallow covered with caramel and chocolate. It tasted awful... NO, I'm joking, it was the best thing EVER! And they do make them in the shop, just not in this size.

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    Mia asked if anyone had noticed the nice smell on Buena Vista Street and Main Street. Of course we all had. That's because some of the shops has small ventilations, that spray candy smell out on the street. (I want that at home!)

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    Then we went back to DL and into Main street. Mia showed us were Walts apartment is (I already know, cause I'm a Diser) and then she showed us the decoration for Hanukkah.

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    We went down Main Street, down to the castle. It's so beautifully decorated.

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    Then it was time for some action and more VIP treatment. We went over to Adventureland to ride Jingle Cruise. This day was a busy day in the park, so the line was very long but we only had to wait 3 mins and then they had a boat ready for us! I'm not a big fan of Jungle Cruise, but our skipper, Arvin was the best. He was so charming and funny, he made the best trip. The Christmas part of this ride is mostly the jokes, but it's OK when you have a skipper like Arvin.

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    Then we went to New Orleans. Mia told a little bit about the decorations and then she told a touching story about the Christmas tree at the Disneyland Hotel. A few years ago the CMs found a small angel on the tree, it was not a part of the decorations, but inside it they found a letter from a family with a little boy who died from a life threatening disease. The family wanted to thank Disney for giving them lots of memories with their boy when he was alive. The CMs decided to leave the angel on the tree and each year it goes back on as part of the decorations. We all almost cried to this story, Mia included.

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    Then it was time to ride one of my moms favorite rides (Did I forget to tell you, that I took the tour with my mom? I gave it to her as a birthday present)
    We went on HM again with almost no waiting time. And let me tell you, the Christmas overlay on this ride is AMAZING! There are so many cool details that you need to ride it more then once to get everything.

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    After HM we walked down to Jingle Jangle Jamboree, where we had a little break...

    I'll have a little break as well and be right back with the last part of the tour!
     
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  3. the_princess

    the_princess DIS Veteran

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    Soooo, after our small break we headed down to IASW. When we were walking around in the park Mia played music in our headset. On the way to IASW she played Jingle Bells and told us to sing as loud as we could. We made so many people smiling when we came walking through Fantasyland singing out loud. Others started to sing with us when we walked past them, it was so much fun.

    IASW is one of those attractions that I really love to hate, but at Christmas it's much better. They do a really good job showing Christmas from all over the world.

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    I must really like this attraction at Christmas because I took a million pics inside it.
    Once outside again it was already getting dark. Mia told us to wait for a few minutes.
    First IASW looked like this:
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    And then suddenly it looked like this:
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    AMAZING!!!!

    Then we met up with the other two groups of the tour and all the CMs from the tour pavilion. They were all there to help out at the parade where we had FRONT ROW SEATS! While everyone else had been waiting an hour, we walked straight up to a closed off area with seats. The chairs were in two rows, but even though we sat in the second row, we still had perfect seats.
    And not only did we have a great view and chairs to sit on, we also got cookies, hot chocolate in the cutest cup and a beautiful pin. I'm a pin collector, so I was so excited about it.

    I'm sorry that the pics are so dark, but they are taken on location!
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    Here another little break, not on the tour but in this review because I have a lot of pics to show you from the parade...
     
  4. the_princess

    the_princess DIS Veteran

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    Then the parade started. I hate waiting around for the parade because by the time it starts, my back and leg will hurt and I always want it to end soon, so I can sit down. OK, that's not true, I don't want it to end, but you get the picture of waiting too long for something... But this time we could sit, relax and enjoy the parade with our hot chocolate. I need this VIP treatment every time I'm going to the parks!


    The parade was beautiful

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    See... Even in second row we had a great view and with IASW in the background, it couldn't get anymore like Christmas.
    After the parade Mia came over and said goodbye to all of us. I almost felt said that the tour was over because it was such an amazing experience. Mia was a great guide. She included everyone and she was so good with this little girl, who was in our group. She was personal and warm and made everyone feel special. If you get her on your tour, you are in good hands.

    So this is it... My little review of the Holiday at the Disneyland tour. Do I have to say that I highly recommend this tour. I think you already know!
    Here is a link to my highs and lows on the trip with picture :-) http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3208354
    Happy Holidays everyone :santa:
     
  5. LilLisaLou

    LilLisaLou Mouseketeer

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    Yay!! I loved reading your report! We are taking the tour on the 28th but I'm a little nervous about the sound and my daughter's bone anchored hearing aids. What was your experience with the sound like? Staticky? Just fine?
     
  6. Kauai4life

    Kauai4life Earning My Ears

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    What a beautiful report the Angel story was very touching. Thank you for sharing your experience. :santa:
     
  7. DharmaLou

    DharmaLou Once a Princess, Always a Princess

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    thanks for sharing, it looks wonderful!
     
  8. barngro

    barngro Mouseketeer

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    We are going on the 23rd and are so stoked that they added the Jingle Cruise to the tour. This is our 5th or 6th tour and have thouroughly enjoyed everyone!
     
  9. DizMe

    DizMe <font color=darkorchid>Here we gooooo...<br><font

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    Thank you! We went on Saturday and were so thankful for being able to go to the front of the line on rides because the lines were CRAZY!!! The parade is amazing and what a treat to be able to walk over, sit down on a nice chair with fabulous views and enjoy goodies while watching it! IASWH in the background is incredible, as you said.

    I loved all your pictures!! I'm terrible at taking them.

    This was my 5th HT and I find it well worth the money. You get 20% off with an AP, btw.
     
  10. DisneyBiskit

    DisneyBiskit Mouseketeer

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    Does anyone know the dates for the tour? Does it stop after Christmas? We are going Jan 2-4. We've done many of the other tours, and this one looks great!
     
  11. 8timesblessed

    8timesblessed Mouseketeer

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    I'm going to be there Jan 3-6 and I'm doing the tour on the 3rd.
     
  12. YukonMommy

    YukonMommy Mouseketeer

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    Thank you, I loved reading about your experience and all the pictures put a huge smile on my face!
     
  13. Mary Jo

    Mary Jo Techarita Moderator

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    Wonderful report! I went on the tour years ago, and your report makes me want to go again. I love the pictures, and now I want to go to the Disneyland Hotel and find that angel on the tree. That was really touching.
     
  14. sharksfinatic17

    sharksfinatic17 Mouseketeer

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    We are doing the tour on the 3rd. I believe the tour goes through the 6th.
     
  15. larina

    larina DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for that awesome report. I'm more excited than ever about doing this tour on Christmas Eve.
     
  16. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Great report, we loved it too! :cool1:

    We were there on the 6th and also had Arvin as our Jingle Cruise skipper. I've sort of been off of JC in recent years, mostly because the skippers haven't been that good. He was awesome and renewed our love of that attraction!

    We will definitely do the tour again when we go back.
     
  17. Disney Lvr of Old

    Disney Lvr of Old Mouseketeer

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    What an amazing tour! I'm putting this on the list for sure!
     
  18. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    Stephanie --

    Thank you for the great, detailed report on the tour (and I'm very glad your trip went well)! This is exactly the sort of thing that many people who come to the Christmas/Holiday Season Superthread would like to read, based on the questions that come in all the time.

    It's lucky that I happened to catch this separate thread, so I will be able to link it in the Holiday Tour section on page 1 of the Superthread. If it had been an extra-busy week for me and I only had time to go straight to the Superthread and not to any other threads, I would have had no clue that you posted such a wonderful TR review.

    About that angel on the DLH tree -- now I am wildly curious about which tree it is!:rotfl2: I was just roaming all around the DLH (for hours) last week, and I went into every tower and got up-close photos of many ornaments on the different trees. The trees in the Fantasy Tower are a little more basic and the ornaments are not that interesting, while the Adventure and Frontier Towers have wonderful themed ornaments and trees. Currently my photos are trapped on my memory card, so I cannot download them and view them in a larger window -- but I am itching to get to my DLH tree photos to see if I can spot the angel!:rotfl2:

    Oh, and by the way -- your tour cookies are different than the usual gingerbread cookies with ears!. They are so cute! They have faces on them, and bow ties too! The regular cookies have ears dipped in chocolate and chocolate buttons, but they are faceless.

    I was told by a CM at Trolley Treats that the gingerbread/ears cookies had been temporarily discontinued :faint::faint: and she/they didn't think they would get anymore in for this holiday season...and then suddenly they got some in stock. She is not sure if the cookies will be back for next year's holiday season, or if this is the last we'll see of them. I am actually now wondering if Disney is hoping to slowly stop selling the gingerbread/ears cookies (despite their popularity) and make them exclusive to the holiday tour. I can picture something like that happening, which would be great for the tour folks and bad for the rest of us!:rotfl2:
     
  19. Mary Jo

    Mary Jo Techarita Moderator

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    I don't always read the Holiday Superthread (as great as it is for all the information in there :) ), so these reports are really helpful to me. Plus, I enjoy reading everyone's posts on their experiences. I'm glad you're linking these threads to the Superthread so people who go there can catch all of this wonderful information. :santa:

    I'm definitely going to do the tour next year when it comes around, based on this report. :cheer2:
     
  20. momrek06

    momrek06 DIS Veteran

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    Wonderful wonderful wonderful REPORT!!! :dance3:

    Your pictures are fabulous!!! :dance3:

    Makes me want to book the tour!!! :dance3:


    :santa: :santa: :santa: :santa: :santa:
     
  21. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    I know what you mean -- I don't always follow the podcasts (as interesting and fun as those are), but you and Tom are great about regularly reminding everyone to check them out!

    I've linked tons of things on page 1 of the Superthread, in the first 9 posts! I probably spent a good half of a year compiling links and information, and then the rest of the thread is discussion and photos. I'm happy to link anything that is a good resource or helpful, but as I mentioned above...if I hadn't had extra time and stumbled upon this thread I wouldn't have known about it because no one mentioned it (Stephanie, the OP, has participated in the Superthread!). Lots of other folks have been going to the Superthread to report what happened on their trips, but no one tipped me off about this thread.

    So I guess I would suggest that if you want something to be linked on page 1 of the Superthread (assuming it has good information), be sure to let me know because I may otherwise miss seeing your thread!
     

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