Walt Disney World was on the receiving end of the theme park world's attention last week, thanks to the opening of New Fantasyland. But that doesn't mean WDW's West Coast older brother took the week off. Candlelight ceremonies and the return of a long-absent archeologist were highlights of one of the final moderately-attended periods before the Christmas crowds come.
Quietest Day: Monday 12/3 was a 2 out of 10 at the resort, with 2.1 at Disneyland, and 1.9 at DCA.
Busiest Day: Friday 12/7 was a 7 out of 10 at the resort, with a 6.2 at Disneyland, and 6.9 at DCA.
- Disneyland's Holiday season continues through 1/6/2013, with the Holiday Fantasy daytime parade performing daily.
- The Candlelight Processional at Disneyland Park began on 12/1 and runs every day until 12/20. All tickets have already been distributed to VIPs and Annual Passholders, but limited standing-room-only viewing is available around Town Square. Due to stage equipment for the show, access to the Main Street Train Station is currently through the exits. Expect crowd congestion entering and exiting the park after 5pm on show nights.
- Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901.
- Disney released video of the Cars Land-themed float being constructed for the 2013 Rose Bowl parade on New Year's Day.
- New Park Icon Sketches featuring the Partners Statue and other Disneyland landmarks were revealed, and will be on sale in the Disney Gallery.
- The U.S. Marine Corps collected donations for Toys For Tots in Downtown Disney through 12/10.
- Disney Parks blog published the recipe for Rancho del Zocalo vegetable tamales.
- Guided VIP tours of Disneyland's holiday offerings are available now through the end of the season.
- Now through 1/6, the Believe…In Holiday Magic fireworks show at Disneyland Park interacts with Glow With The Show light-up mouse ear hats.
- Santa is making daily appearances at Big Thunder Ranch's Jingle Jangle Jamboree through the end of the season.
- Holiday decor, seasonal songs, and nightly “snowfalls” have been added to DCA's Mad T Party now through New Years. Glow in the dark collectible pins are also now on sale.
- Fresh hand-made candy canes were prepared at Disneyland's Candy Palace on Monday and Friday, and at DCA's Trolley Treats on Tuesday and Saturday. Arrive at park opening to secure a wristband and be prepared for a long, long, wait if you want one of the $13 sweets!
- Santa Claus posed for (paid) photos in the mornings at the Paradise Pier hotel, and in the evenings at the Grand Californian and Disneyland hotels.
- A modest “holiday village” of merchandise and snack vendors continues operating near the ice skating rink in Downtown Disney.
- Disneyland Resort is now checking photo IDs for all guests holding multi-day tickets. This results in slow entry procedures; be prepared this holiday season to arrive extra early (at least 45 pre-opening) to be one of the first people into the park.
Openings, Closings, and Refurbishments
- Indiana Jones Adventure reopened on 12/7 after an extended refurbishment. Lighting adjustments, scenic improvements, and maintenance repairs were completed during the 3-month overhaul, but no significant new elements were added.
- Construction continues through 2013 on the new Princess Fantasy Faire and Fantasyland Theatre.
- MuppetVision 4D has been temporarily replaced with the Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice 3-D short film for the holiday season.
- A Prep & Landing sequence has also been temporarily added to World of Color performances.
Mickey’s Fun Wheel reopened from refurbishment a few days early on 12/4.