Friday, November 27, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - The Holidays and Star Wars Come to Disneyland

By Daisy Sparks

The holidays are in full swing at the Disneyland resort and it's one of the most beautiful, and crowded, times of the year to visit. For this edition of A Walk in the Park, let's check out all the amazing Star Wars additions in Tomorrowland and see some seasonal offerings around the Park because, after all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Ready?! Let's get walking around Disneyland...

First, the Diamond Celebration has been incorporated into the Disneyland Holiday Decor. There are blue ribbons and diamond elements in the wreaths and in the Christmas tree.

There are three attractions that receive a seasonal overlay: Haunted Mansion Holiday, Jingle Cruise and “it’s a small world holiday.”  The Haunted Mansion was transformed back in October. Jack Skellington and his friends will remain in residence for the Disneyland holiday season through January 6, 2016. The Hatbox Ghost also received some holiday elements that just adds to the excitement that already surrounds his existence.

The "Jingle" Cruise is back. The story goes that the skippers were a little homesick for traditional Christmas stuff so they ordered seasonal items for their camp. Somehow their shipment gets lost and the Jungle Cruise skippers are keeping their eyes open to see if they can locate the Christmas decor and food spread throughout the attraction.

A seasonal favorite is “it’s a small world holiday.” Just walking through Small World Mall to get to this attraction is fun. The wreaths that line the mall area reflect the different countries represented in “it’s a small world.”

It’s always an impressive sight during the day but at night, during the holiday, it’s spectacular.

Making its debut last week, Season of the Force is now available in Tomorrowland. The themed food, merchandise and attractions have all received a Star Wars overlay.

When you enter Tomorrowland right away you'll see signs that Star Wars has arrived. There are banners strung along the former Rocket Rods track to note that there is a Light Side and Dark Side. At night, there are projections of the rebel and Empire symbols.


STAR TOURS - THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: There is a new destination that awaits Star Tour Travelers. If anything, you are one of the first to experience some of the new Star Wars footage in 3D. You’ll get to see some of the new Star Wars characters who come along for the ride.

TOMORROWLAND THEATER: Formerly the Magic Eye Theater that hosted Disney movie previews, you can now take a seat and view some selected scenes from Star Wars Episodes 4, 5, and 6 so that you are ready to view The Force Awakens. It is not in 3D though. The Tomorrowland Theater floor does move and shake during certain scenes but it just feels like a cheesy afterthought to be honest. Either way, what Star Wars fan wouldn’t love to see any Star Wars footage in a large screen and have great sound.

HYPERSPACE MOUNTAIN: Space Mountain has been transformed into a Star Wars universe. It’s pretty cool to hear the sounds of Star Wars and experience Hyperspace as you join an X-Wing squadron. The projections include TIE fighters flying towards you and other X-Wing pilots flying besides you.

There are a lot of Star Wars themed food and merchandise offerings as well in Tomorrowland. You can read more details and see some food and merchandise photos in THIS post I wrote on my personal website DisneyDaze.

STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY: Formerly Innoventions, the round building just got one of the best makeovers that it badly needed. It has limited hours of operations and is located on the first floor where you can experience both the Dark and Light Side of Star Wars. You can also meet Darth Vadar and Chewbacca for photos ops, too.

There is a Light Side and Dark Side Gallery where you will find lots of really cool displays. You can learn about some of the vehicles, weapons and people related to the Light or Dark Side of the Star Wars galaxy. There is a short film to give you some insight into the world of Star Wars that covers not only the movies, but TV series and books as well.

Finally, there is a merchandise location inside Star Wars Launch Bay. Here you will find some high end collectible and decorative merchandise. You can also choose and personalize your own Star Wars themed smart phone case. You can watch them make these cases right before your eyes.

SUPER HERO HEADQUARTERS: There is a second floor to this building. The first floor consists of the Star Wars Launch Bay and the second floor is Super Hero Headquarters.

Here you can see superheros like Spider-Man and Thor. There is a big game center sponsored by X-Box here as well. Of course there is also a section dedicated to superhero and Avenger merchandise. Let's take a look around...

That will about do it for this weeks walk around Disneyland. See you soon. Disney Fans Assemble!



Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her "college job" led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 

Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy's Duck's help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland's Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it "the happiest place on earth."

You can read more about Daisy's Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

You can find all of Daisy's articles here.

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