Disneyland (CA)

Last Week at Disneyland Resort (12/9/2012 – 12/15/2012)

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All photos copyright Disney

Looking to take a quiet stroll around the Disneyland Resort to check out the Christmas decor? Better get there quickly, because the busiest season the Anaheim resort has seen in years is rapidly approaching with the winter solstice! And while you're add it, be sure to take a spin on the “wildest ride in the wilderness” while you still can…

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Tuesday 12/11 was a 3 out of 10 at the resort, with 2.6 at Disneyland, and 2.0 at DCA.

Busiest Day: Saturday 12/15 was an 8 out of 10 at the resort, with a 8.1 at Disneyland, and 5.0 at DCA.

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

Special Events

  • Disneyland announced that Big Thunder Railroad will close January 7 through Fall 2013 for a major refurbishment. The trains and track will be replaced, and scenic elements will be refreshed, though the ride experience is expected to remain essentially the same.
  • 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.
  • Have a sweet tooth? Check out the Santa Mickey cupcakes now on sale at Jolly Holiday Bakery, or use this recipe to make your own Big Thunder Ranch-approved s'mores.
  • For a fun free craft, print out an assemble this paper toy soldier inspired by Disneyland's holiday parade.
  • The Disney Moms Panel released another video documenting the “different magic” found around the Disneyland Resort during the holiday season.
  • This photo blog reviews Disney's 75-year association with Pasadena's Tournament of Roses parade, which will continue on New Year's Day with a Cars Land-themed float.
  • The Disney Gallery on Main Street USA was quietly updated with a new “Realms of Fantasy” exhibit featuring Fantasyland designs from Disney parks around the world.
  • Imagineering recently conducted “play tests” of an interactive improvisation show at DCA. No word yet if the limited-time experiment will evolve into an actual attraction.
  • 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.
  • Check out this video of the entertainment available 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.
  • 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.
  • Smartphone users can now enjoy the free official Disneyland Explorer app on their iPhones, and interact with the park through the new @DisneylandToday Twitter feed.

Openings, Closings, and Refurbishments

  • 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.

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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

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