Happy Holidays! I hope that your holiday season has been merry & bright. The Disneyland Resort just sparkles at this time of year, and the cheer is just contagious (see my post here for lots of holiday photos!).
Even the shops get in on the holiday fun! Main Street USA‘s little boutiques have wreaths, lights, and trees aplenty.
But December had a lot more to offer than just beautiful decorations. Let’s take a look back at this busy month at the Disneyland Resort.
NEW SECURITY CHECKPOINT
A big change has come to the Disneyland Resort: Downtown Disney is now part of the security bubble. In the past, Downtown Disney visitors didn’t have to go through bag check, and park visitors had to re-check bags every time they went between the district and the gates. Now, there is no security check between the park gates and Downtown Disney. Visitors have to go through bag check on either the Downtown Disney side or the park side, but don’t have to do it again until and unless they leave the bubble.
MousePlanet snapped this photo of one of the new security checkpoints.
TOWER OF TERROR FINAL CHECKOUT
The clock is ticking for the Tower of Terror‘s demise, and fans (myself included) are trying to savor every last minute of it. Though, it’s hard to do when the beloved attraction resembles a giant paper bag.
But Disney is offering fans one consolation: an exclusive farewell party to the tower. On January 1, the Hollywood Tower Hotel is hosting a glamorous dessert party to send off the attraction in style. The after-hours event will feature live music, photo spots, signature cocktails, exclusive merchandise, and free parking. Given the elegance of the tower’s interior, guests are strongly encouraged to dress in old Hollywood style. For more information about the Farewell Party, visit the official event page here.
A piece of Disney history has a new home! The original Mine Train, which moved to the Tom Sawyer Island riverbank after its retirement, will now be part of the display at Walt’s Barn in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. The train hasn’t been in Disneyland since 2010, so it will be great for Disney fans to see the Disney locomotive on public display once again.
Throughout the month, Toys for Tots accepted donations in Downtown Disney. The fundraiser is an annual tradition, and this year, guests could also meet a first responder.
Disney has finally confirmed a longstanding rumor, that the Main Street Electrical Parade is headed to Disneyland. This parade has been a longtime favorite of Walt Disney World guests, and will run in Disneyland from January through June of 2017.
And finally, in the last week of 2016, we had to say goodbye to two amazing women connected to the Disney community. Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed away on December 27th and 28th. Carrie was best known for playing Princess Leia in Star Wars. Her mother, an actress from classics like Singing in the Rain, actually attended Disneyland’s opening day with Eddie Fisher. On December 28th, fans gathered in Downtown Disney for a lightsaber vigil to honor their princess.
This year ends with heartache, and think we’re all hoping for a little more light in 2017. It’s up to us to make that happen. So let’s go into 2017 with positivity, kindness, and optimism. May the force be with us all.