We’re just days away from 2018, and there’s so much on the horizon for the Disneyland Resort. The new year will bring in a new land, new attractions, and take us one step closer to the highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. But the park has definitely not been sitting quietly in waiting mode. Celebrating the holidays at the Disneyland Resort proved as popular as ever, and December marked the end of an era for the resort’s largest land. Here’s a recap of this month at the happiest place on earth.
On the first weekend of December, Disneyland hosted its annual Candelight Processional, a park tradition since the 1950s. This ceremony is one of the few Christmas-specific holiday celebrations in the park, narrating the Nativity story and featuring classic Christmas carols.
Hundreds of carolers lined the steps of the Main Street USA train station, accompanied by a live orchestra of 50 players.
Source: OC Register
Each year, a Disney star or legend serves as narrator. This year’s host was Thor himself – Chris Hemsworth!
Source: Mr. DAPs
THE END OF PARADISE PIER
December marked the last month of operation for the iconic Paradise Pier. Starting in January, this land will officially split in two: Paradise Park (which will not close for any refurbishment), and Pixar Pier, slated for opening this spring/summer.
As the opening date rapidly approaches, a few more details about the new land have started to emerge. This month, we saw a rough working model (hyperlinked) of the new land. And Disney Parks shared an introductory video for the new Incredicoaster (formerly California Screamin’).
For more information about the changes to Paradise Pier, please see my previous post here.
A DISNEYLAND NIGHTMARE
On December 27, Disneyland experienced a perfect storm: holiday crowds hit capacity, and then…the park experienced a power outage. Mickey’s Toontown and Fantasyland went dark, forcing riders to evacuate attractions. Lines in other lands exceeded two hours per attraction.
With two of the park’s lands basically out of service and the park hitting capacity, Disneyland visitors experienced a nightmare. Crowds could barely get from place to place, and when they arrived, they endured lines so long they blended together into a mass of crowds. Thankfully, within a few hours full power came back on, but I can’t imagine how miserable it must have been while pieces of the park were dark.
The annual Refurbishment Season starts in just a few days. If you’re planning a trip in January, February, or March, I’ve got a guide for which attractions may be closed during your trip.
Lots of Downtown Disney news this month! In January, D-Street will join the list of recent closures to make way for new experiences. In early 2018 (no specific dates have been announced), Downtown Disney will open a virtual reality Star Wars experience, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, and an unnamed Disney-themed home goods shop. For more information about the new offerings, check out the original announcement here.
Speaking of Downtown Disney, the Splitsville construction site experienced an emergency this month when a fire broke out behind the barrier. Thankfully, the fire was extinguished quickly by Anaheim Fire, and Disney has not indicated any delay in the building’s opening as a result.
It’s official: Space Mountain’s single rider line is in full effect. If you don’t have a fast pass, I highly recommend this option; it’s a huge time saver.
This month, Disney Parks Blog confirmed the Food & Wine Festival will return to California Adventure this spring. From March 2 through April 12, visitors will have access to special food and drink offerings, live entertainment, and even some exclusive tastings and seminars. Though not many details have been released just yet, you can read the official announcement here.
As we say farewell to 2017, I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a happy new year! Thanks so much for visiting the blog, and for sharing in the magic.
Happy new year, and may your 2018 be merry and bright.