Category Archives: Disney in Pictures
The Disneyland Resort Paris has undergone its traditional Christmas makeover, with millions of lights, dozens of Christmas trees and a smattering of fake snow being employed to generate a festive atmosphere. The resort’s holiday celebrations are closer to those of Walt Disney World than the Disneyland Resort, with few of the holiday overlays for major attractions seen at the California park. However, a number of special shows, meet-and-greets and parades are laid on as part of the Enchanted Christmas events.
The Christmas celebrations are very much focused on Disneyland Park, with sister park Walt Disney Studios receiving only a few token decorations. The entrance to Disneyland Paris, which sees guests pass underneath the Disneyland Hotel, offers some clues as to what is in store. However, it is not until they reach the Town Square that the full effect of the holiday additions can be seen.
The area is dominated by an enormous Christmas tree, surrounded by oversized toys and presents. These offer visitors the chance to snap some impressive photographs, before they set off up Main Street USA towards Sleeping Beauty Castle.
For once, the view back down the street towards the entrance is almost as impressive as the one towards the hub of the park. A Christmas tree lighting ceremony later in the day attracts a large audience, and is worth the wait.
Sleeping Beauty Castle itself, though, is still by far the most beautiful element of a visually-stunning park. In addition to its usual surroundings of pretty waterfalls and novelty-shaped trees, during the Enchanted Christmas events a layer of “snow” adds to the appeal.
The castle is lit up at night during a ceremony hosted by Princess Aurora, which sees her godmothers illuminate it in three different colors. The ceremony itself is forgettable (and thankfully quite short), but the 400,000 lights look stunning. They are joined by 4 powerful searchlights, just in case anyone has failed to notice the spectacular display in front of them.
No Disney Christmas event would be complete without a visit from Santa himself, and Disneyland Paris has done a reasonable job of transforming the Woody’s Round-up area into Santa’s Village. Kids can queue up to make their Christmas requests surrounded by friendly snowmen, and joined occasionally by characters including Pluto and Winnie the Pooh.
Hosted in the nearby Chaparral Theatre is the Mickey’s Winter Wonderland show, a bizarre combination of an ice skating display, sing-along and western-style hoe-down. Adults may find the limited plot and over-the-top acting a little painful, but it’s difficult to resist tapping along to the festive tunes.
Another addition during the Christmas season at Disneyland Paris is Belle’s Christmas Village, located towards the rear of the sprawling Fantasyland. Although largely made up of stalls selling merchandise that can be found elsewhere in the park, it does add a holiday-themed element to a land that is otherwise left largely untouched during the holidays.
Disneyland Paris doesn’t offer a full Christmas parade, but it does tack on a couple of extra floats to the standard Disney’s Once Upon a Dream parade. These are barely worth the wait, but watching Santa’s sleigh pass in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle is admittedly a pretty sight.
Over at Walt Disney Studios, the celebrations are much more stilted. There are no special holiday events or shows, and none of the attractions feature holiday overlays. This year, the resort has given up entirely on decorating the interior of the park, instead focusing on making the entrance area look the part.
There is at least one great photo opportunity in the park itself, with Walt and Mickey welcoming guests as they exit Studio 1. Overall, though, Walt Disney Studios remains the inferior partner to Disneyland Park in almost every sense.
While it would be nice to see a few more holiday additions to Disneyland Paris (such as an overlay for the Phantom Manor), it is a great place to get into the Christmas spirit. Hopefully next year will see additional efforts made at Walt Disney Studios, as well as announcements of new attractions to bring the resort’s second gate up to the same standard as its magnificent neighbor.
Nick Sim is a lifelong Disney fan based in Suffolk, England. When he’s not daydreaming about a new dark ride for Disneyland Paris, he’s writing news and reviews for Theme Park Tourist.
My husband and I are both BIG on taking pictures, and on our recent Disney vacation we took over 2000 pictures on 5 different cameras. So, when I heard about Disney’s PhotoPass, I wasn’t too interested, I knew we loved taking our own pictures and didn’t think it would be of much use to us
We were at Epcot last week, at the Epcot Character Spot (which is awesome by the way, a super smart thing Disney is doing – giving certain characters semi-permanent homes for people to come and meet them, and you can even get Fastpasses for it!), and as it was our turn to meet the fab five (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy!), the Cast Member handed us a PhotoPass, and we went through and had our pictures taken and each time, they scanned the PhotoPass and that was it, it was simple, easy, and I was hooked.
So a quick overview on how it works, you can get a (free!) PhotoPass card from any PhotoPass Photographer (they are all over all the parks, they are the Cast Members carrying the huge cameras), and you hand them the card, pose for a few pictures in front of the castle/Tower of Terror/and tons of other photo op areas, then they scan the pictures to the card and you are on your way. After your trip (or during, if you’re like me and can’t wait), you can go to the website DisneyPhotoPass.com, register the code on your card (or cards, in case you end up with multiple), and voila, your images are all there to view and purchase online (they even have a mobile version of the website the smartphone users out there!)
If you decide you want to order any prints, it can get pricey really fast…2 4×6 prints are $14.95, and an 8×10 is $16.95. They have some cool Photo Products to chose from on the website, from photo books (starting at $79.95), to photo stickers ($9.95 a sheet), to mugs, mousepads, greeting cards and more. If you have a lot of PhotoPass photos taken on your trip, it might be worth the splurge to order the Photo CD, a compact disc of all your photo pass photos. They photos come in high quality jpeg format, and you also receive a license to be able to reprint the photos as you choose. The price for the CD is $149.95, with additional copies at $19.95 each. If you are doing a big family trip or it’s your first trip, this could be a great souvenir for you to relive all those Disney memories.
The best part about it, in my opinion, is that they will take pictures with your camera too, so in case you aren’t thrilled about Disney’s PhotoPass prices, you can have something similar for free. The downside is, the PhotoPass pictures really are nicer, the camera they use is high end, and the ones at night in particular come out much better when the pros do it.
So for those of you who love having your picture taken (like me!) and want a way to capture even more Disney fun, try the PhotoPass next time you at Walt Disney World. It’s free, easy, and a great way to get that perfect family photo for next year’s Christmas card!
- Capturing Disney in Pictures: 8th Day of Christmas Riding the WDW Monorail (chipandco.com)
- Interview with Hidden Mickeys Author Steven M. Barrett (chipandco.com)
Our writer MouzeKateerz is giving away this beautiful 18k White Gold Plated Mickey Mouse Bracelet decorated with shiny SWAROVSKI crystal. This would make an excellent stocking stuffer for the Disney Princess in your life.
To enter just use the giveaway form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest ends Saturday December 17th at 12:01am. I will pick one lucky person and notify them via Facebook that they won. They will have 24 hours to respond back or I will pick another. So please use a valid way for me to contact you.
- Meet the Magic…meet Mouze Kateerz! (mouzekateerz.com)
- Disney in Pictures: Mickey Mouse topiary at the Contemporary Resort (chipandco.com)
Every photo has a story.
One of my all time favorite souvenirs from Walt Disney World has to be key chains. They generally run from $5.95 to $8.95, which is a pretty good bargain considering my favorite Disney sweatshirt was $49.95. Even Disney Christmas ornaments (which are spectacular!) will run you upwards of $20. Key chains, like all things Disney, are good quality items that last a long time.
Picture this…most people have one or two cars at the most. How many key chains does the average Disney fan really need? A better question might be, just how many key chains can you actually put to use?
The Disneyfied answer is quite a few, actually, if you know where to hang them.
Last January, I left a plain three-foot Christmas tree in my dining room, just because the soft white lights added a touch of mood lighting, plus a little comedy to a pretty straight-laced room. One day, I hung a few key chains on the tree, and no one complained. I came home from work to find several old Disney Resort room keys tucked into the tree, plus a few more straggling key chains appeared. There’s even a few Disney Vacation Club Fast Pass cards between the branches now. I slipped a note to Santa asking him to refill those cards this year with spanking new Fast Passes, but I’m not holding my breath.
We’re up to 7 cards and 14 key chains, reflecting the twinkling lights and staring me in the vacation-anticipating face during every dining room meal, 365 days a year. Our family, and visitors alike, find the Disney in my Key Chain Christmas tree all year ’round.
“It’s July. There’s a Christmas tree in your dining room.”
“You mean the Disney Key Chain Tree?”
“Well, if you think that’s unusual, let me direct your attention to the Festivus Pole in the living room.”
Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night filled with sweet dreams of Disney.
Do you have any fabulous Disney vacation pictures you’d like to share? Drop by and share your photos on Facebook at Mouze Kateerz. Take a virtual Disney vacation twice a day in photographs. Visit my photo blog at mouzekateerz.com, or shoot me an email of your favorite Disney location at email@example.com.
- Capturing Disney in Pictures: 12th Day of Christmas at Goofy’s Candy Co. (chipandco.com)
- Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line (chipandco.com)
Every photo has a story.
Walt Disney designed Main Street U.S.A. to be representative of Hometown America, an idealized main street based on memories from his childhood home in Marceline, Missouri. You feel like you have been here before; the shops are familiar, warm, and inviting. Yet there’s excitement and adventure in the air. Standing on Main Street, you are still at the beginning of a grand adventure.
Picture this…All the shops on Main Street stay open an hour after the Magic Kingdom’s closing hours. So hang back as everyone else rushes out of the gates. Take a seat on the sidewalk and watch the castle colors change. There is music piped in through hidden speakers, and though tired, most everyone you see is still in a wonderful, vacation-happy mood. It’s the end of the day, and people are glad to be here.
There’s holiday shopping galore at stores such as the Main Street Cinema, Disney Clothiers, Main Street Athletic Club, Uptown Jewelers, Crystal Arts, the Chapeau, Confectionary, and the Main Street Gallery. These names are reminiscent of just the sort of downtown shops you would have enjoyed visiting in your own small town.
If you need a quick bite to eat before you make your way to the monorail or the ferryboat, stop in Casey’s Corner for a hot dog with fries, or the Main Street Confectionary for some baked goods like pastries, cookies, and cupcakes. There’s also the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor for something cold and delicious. On your way out of the door here, just take a look before you at the visual splendor of Cinderella’s Castle. There’s no rush to get home- enjoy the view.
Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride!
Do you have any fabulous Disney vacation pictures you’d like to share? Drop by and share your photos on facebook at Mouze Kateerz. Take a virtual Disney vacation twice a day in photographs. Visit my blog at mouzekateerz.com, or shoot me an email of your favorite Disney location at firstname.lastname@example.org.