Tag Archives: Decorations
As many of you know, the Octonauts is a new favorite for children on Disney Junior. My 5 year old is no exception. So when his 6th birthday approached, an Octonauts party was a must. I agreed wholeheartedly, until I began the search for party supplies. Nothing online, in the party store, anywhere. As the show originated in the United Kingdom, all the Octonauts supplies were there. As we search the internet, my husband and I find tons of DIY ideas for Octonauts decoration, food and favors. We even got a little creative and came up with a few of our own.
Here is a breakdown of our Octonauts Birthday Party!
This is the last article in my Christmas in July series, so better get to planning your trips! If you would like to see my past articles click the link here. With all the things to see at the parks during the holiday season, many people forget at the resorts the atmosphere is just as magical. Many have special displays like gingerbread houses or giant Christmas trees. Here is a rundown of where to go when taking some time away from the parks.
SPECIAL DISPLAYS-The deluxe resorts have the most elaborate displays and are worth a trip on the monorail or bus to check out. Below are what the resorts have offered in the past but who knows if they may surprise us this year so check with your hotel concierge before you head out.
- The Grand Floridian boasts a life-sized gingerbread house which they actually use as a Bake Shop. Visitors can purchase Christmas Delights and watch Gingerbread House Demonstrations. The Victorian charm of their decorations brings one back to a more elegant time.
- The Contemporary Resort offers a 17 foot tall Gingerbread Christmas Tree and a huge lighted wreath (Mickey shaped of course), visible as you take the monorail through the resort. We did Chef Mickey’s for dinner here on Christmas Day.
- Beach Club has a working gingerbread carousel with white chocolate horses and Yacht Club features a miniature train set running through a candy and sugar-coated landscape. The decor here is light, airy and most decidedly nautical.
- The Boardwalk has a gingerbread and chocolate gazebo display and a gingerbread bake shop. Don’t miss the chocolate seaside amusement park display in the Lobby!
- The Polynesian is decorated throughout and has small gingerbread displays in the Ceremonial House. They do a great job working with their tropical atmosphere so it doesn’t seem tacky.
- Wilderness Lodge boasts homey decor and a cozy, rustic feel the Christmas traditionalist will love. There is a huge tree in the center lobby with plenty of pine cones. Fireplaces grace the main areas and make you want to curl up in front with a hot cocoa and a copy of The Night Before Christmas.
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!
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I’d been hearing it for the last few year: Disney was putting up fewer and fewer Christmas decorations. Still, I didn’t notice. The parks and resorts were beautifully decorated, Cinderella castle sitting there right in the middle of it all, shimmering in all its “icicle” covered perfection. It was the kind of sight that could make even the most jaded world traveler sit back and take notice. But this year was different. Not in the resorts, so much, but in the parks. Something was missing. As soon as you leave Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, there are very few decorations. In some parts of the parks, you wouldn’t know it was Christmas except for the decorations in the store windows.
I know that when Disney announced that Epcot would no longer put up the Lights of Winter, many Disney fans were disappointed. Disney’s reason for not putting them up, that it was “outdated” technology,” became a running joke among online Disney fans. Outdated? But it’s just Christmas tree lights, right? The kind you get at Target. Obviously, in light of this year’s dearth of decorations, Disney’s removal of the Lights of Winter seems even more like a cost-cutting measure. It’s understandable in these tough economic times, but disappointing nonetheless.
I tend to be the type of Disney fan who doesn’t “pick.” I don’t go through the parks and spend my time pointing out what Disney is doing wrong. But when I notice? It’s kind of obvious. And it tends to lead to more “picking.” Suddenly, you can’t help but wonder what else has changed? If you’re a first-time December visitor, you’re probably not going to notice, but those of us who go often enough, we do. And sometimes its hard not to feel like your continued patronage is being taken for granted. Really, I hate to even say that because it sounds so entitled, but I don’t think it’s wrong to expect the same level of service you’re used to each time you visit, particularly from a company that defines itself by its excellent customer service.
Let’s hope that next year, the economy gets better for everyone, including Disney. I will say that despite fewer actual Christmas decorations, the holiday spirit was alive and well in the cast members I encountered on my visit earlier this month. Cast members, as always, were doing an excellent job. Many times, despite the record cold weather, they were going above and beyond. So we know that the Disney magic is still there. Next holiday season, let’s hope we can see more physical manifestations of that magic as well.
I love Disneyland any time of year (especially the off-weeks during the year when the park isn’t that crowded). But Christmastime at the Disneyland Resort has to be my favorite time to visit the parks. The environment is so warm and welcoming, regardless of what the thermometer says. Wreaths, twinkling lights, snow, and the gigantic Christmas tree are all part of the magic.
During the holiday season, the magic is so thick in the air you can almost see it. Guests arrive super early for Disneyland’s famous candy canes (I, sadly, have never had one) and the scents of holiday-themed beverages wafts onto Main Street from Blue Ribbon Bakery. The holiday fireworks light up the night (and set off car alarms) all throughout the season. I’m lucky enough to be able to hear them from my house. They always let me know what time it is! And the falling “snow” at the very end is always fun. I turn to my left and see all the little ones twirling around and giggling, as if they were experiencing snowfall in the mountains a few hours away. I turn to my right and see happy couples laughing, smiling and embracing. It’s such a sweet moment.
I can’t forget about the decor. New Orleans Square is one of my favorite places to see decorated. I love the combination of traditional Christmas decorations mixed with colorful Mardis Gras beads and sparkling masks. (I don’t have the time or money to go to New Orleans, so this is the closest I will get for a while.)
The best view, though, has to be Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The snow scattered on top has that special Disney magic, so it never melts, even if it’s 90 degrees outside. (And if you’ve lived in SoCal, you know that it does happen in the fall/winter from time to time.) Once darkness falls, the castle is engulfed by purpley-pink lights, and lit up with strings of icicle lights. I like to take a moment and stand in the hub (if I’m not being pushed over to move) and take in the scene. It’s a must-do.
The point of all this? Go to Disneyland. See the lights, the snow, the magic!
Photo Courtesy of Google Images.
- Heartwarming Favorites Make Spirits Bright At Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks (chipandco.com)