Happiest Place On Earth Just Got Merrier
By: Jules E. Beuck
Photo By: Jules E. Beuck 

For most of the year Disneyland Resort is known as the “Happiest place on Earth,” but from November 14th through early January it becomes the “Merriest place on Earth.” Holiday ornaments are hung over both parks and changes are made on some rides to celebrate the season.

For example, at the Haunted Mansion Holiday a madcap celebration is taking place as the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide. The ghoulish but well-meaning Jack Skellington, from the film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas,” has come to Haunted Mansion and transformed it with his skewed vision of the holidays.

“It’s a Small World” transforms into a worldwide celebration of the season, boasting more than three hundred thousand glittering lights on its facade. The usual theme song for the ride is interspersed with "Jingle Bells" or "Deck The Halls." There is a silhouette of Santa going over his naughty and nice list and a New Year’s fireworks presentation in the Asia area.

Jungle Cruise has a whole new set of holiday puns. For example when approaching the area with piranhas, the boat captain says they have their own holiday called “Piranhaca, the festival of the bites” (a take off of Chanukah, the festival of the lights).

The Christmas Fantasy Parade shows all the characters baking or otherwise getting ready for Christmas and ends with a visit from the Jolly Old Elf himself as he rides along in his sleigh.

Speaking of the Jolly Old Elf, Santa Claus has returned to greet Disneyland guests at “Jingle Jangle Jamboree” in Big Thunder Ranch, Frontierland.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle sports snow during the day but at night it displays a magnificent array of holiday lights that stretches all the way to town square. Also, at night is the marvelous “Believe In Holiday Magic” fireworks show.

In town square is a 60-foot Christmas tree that is impressive enough during the day but really dazzles at night.

At Disney’s California Adventure, the "World of Color" show has changed to “Winter Dreams," where Olaf, the snowman from the latest Disney animated film, “Frozen," hosts a program that has scenes from classic Disney movies interspersed with animation created for the show displayed on shooting waters. There are also specially created mouse ears for park patrons that light up and change colors in coordination with the show.

A Bug’s Land has been transformed, as Flik and his bug buddies spread giant Christmas lights and oversized ornaments throughout their realm.

As we said, this will be going on until early January. For information on new attractions at Disneyland Resort and other information visit www.disneyland.disney.go.com.

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