November marks a huge shift at the Disneyland Resort. On October 31st, Halloween rules the kingdom. But on November 1st, BAM! Holiday time. Overlays, construction, and news aplenty this month. Let’s get started!
Now that Disneyland is in full holiday mode, most of the park is shining in green and red (more pictures of holiday changes here). The winter castle is my favorite; I think Mickey recruited Elsa for some magic snow that can withstand California heat!
Three attractions have holiday overlays throughout November and December. The Haunted Mansion maintains its Nightmare Before Christmas decor, which starts in September. Over in Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise is now the Jingle Cruise, and the jungle animals are tearing into some gifts they found on the shoreline.
And finally, It’s A Small World has its own holiday overlay. The exterior of the building looks virtually the same, but the ride features a special soundtrack and lots of new decor in each region of the world. These holiday overlays will stay in the park until January 8, when the resort’s holiday celebration officially comes to an end.
AVENGERS HALF MARATHON
On November 12, Disneyland hosted the Avengers half marathon. All guests are encouraged to race in costumes or themed outfits, with an emphasis on the Marvel superheroes. Runners could also participate in the Dr. Strange 10K or the Captain America 5K, if the larger race was too intimidating or intense.
For more information about runDisney events, or to sign up for the next race, visit the official page here.
CONSTRUCTION ON THE WATERFRONT
As has been the case for the last few months, Star Wars Land construction looms behind Frontierland. But this month, construction creeped within park boundaries. Tom Sawyer Island’s front stage has tarps and scaffolding blocking much of the view, fueling rumors of a revamped Fantasmic! show when the rivers reopen.
And in New Orleans Square, this massive crane created a bit of an eyesore in front of Pirates of the Caribbean. It wasn’t in use when I saw it, but I’m guessing this had something to do with Fantasmic! as well.
This month, Disney announced that the “security perimeter” will change by the end of the year. Currently, guests visiting the two parks and the esplanade in between have to go through bag check, but Downtown Disney visitors don’t. By January, Downtown Disney will be included in that safe zone, and all visitors will have to go through bag check. I for one am excited by this news. Going through bag check over and over every time you pass between the shops/restaurants and the park is a real pain. This change will make spending your day in the resort so much easier once you’re in the safe zone.
Sadly, there has been another death at the Disneyland Resort. In the early hours of November 25th, a man jumped to his death from the Mickey & Friends parking structure. The park was not open at this time, and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital around 3 am.
Princess Elena, Disney’s first Latina princess and the star of the animated series Elena of Avalor, has finally arrived in the Disneyland Resort. Elena celebrates Navidad as part of the Festival of the Holidays, and will soon be regularly available for meet & greets with guests.
Another Disney announcement: starting in the next few months, the Grand Californian will begin renovating its rooms. the new design will have “added Disney magic, with more of an emphasis on the craftsman style”. Right now, the majority of the hotel’s rooms are fairly basic (and quite dark), so this should be a major improvement.
And finally, I spotted tons of cameras and film crews in California Adventure this month. Cast members were pretty elusive about what was going on, but given the locations and characters on camera, I have to assume this is for some kind of holiday special. I’m sure we’ll find out soon!
PS – My mom grabbed the camera while I went on the Silly Swings. When I uploaded all of my pictures, I discovered she’d made some friends. Donald is quite the flirt, haha!