14 December 2008

Christmas in the Parks

A trip back to the Winter 1980/1981 issue of Disney News tells us precisely what festivities were available to guests for the 1980 Christmas season.

Disneyland will shine with holiday decorations during the month of December as the Park celebrates its 25th season of Yuletide activities, highlighted by the traditional Christmas Parade. The joyful procession, to be featured twice daily from December 20 thru January 4, depicts the color and warmth of the season with toy soldiers, dancing snowpeople and Santa himself in his loft sleigh adorned with gifts.

With a special guest narrator reading “The First Christmas,” the Park’s stirring Candlelight Procession on December 20 and 21 will mark the opening of Disneyland’s expanded holiday festivities. Over 1,000 carolers blend their voices in what has become a Disneyland custom which began in 1955.

In addition, the Park will complete the Yuletide flavor with bountiful holiday decorations. Traditional wreaths and bright Christmas bells will hang from the doors of Main Street’s turn-of-the-century shops, and a majestic 60-foot tree will stand in Town Square.

At the other end of Main Street, at Sleeping Beauty Castle, two white Christmas trees will stand in the shimmering waters of the castle moat. Strolling throughout the Park, Disneyland’s Dickens Carolers will serenade guests with mirthful renditions of the season’s favorite melodies. An impressive lineup of musical entertainers performing on various Park stages will round out the holidays.

New Year’s Eve, December 31, Disneyland will present a fun-packed night with top-name artists from 8:30 PM to 2:30 AM. Special pre-purchased tickets for this even will entitle holders to unlimited use of Park attractions (except shooting galleries) and all the extra entertainment, at no additional cost.

Walt Disney World
Smartly dressed elves, cheery carolers, brightly decorated shops and a 65-foot-tall tree help fill the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World in Florida with plenty of old-fashioned Christmas spirit.

The holiday mood is most contagious on Main Street, U.S.A., where wreaths and tinseled garlands recapture the flavor of Christmas past, while strolling carolers regale passers-by with joyous holiday favorites. Focal point for these festive trappings is the gigantic Town Square Christmas tree. The towering, 65-foot-tall silver fir is decorated with 3,000 lights, 5,000 ornaments and an array of colorfully wrapped packages, all waiting to be opened on Christmas Day.

Just about everyone catches the spirit, especially during the enchanting Christmas Parade, which can be seen daily from December 20th through January 3rd. Live musicians, marching toy soldiers and dancing reindeer lead the way for Santa, Mrs. Santa and a host of delightful Disney characters.

The Christmas season officially opens the nights of December 13th and 14th, with the inspiring Candlelight Procession. A massive chorale of more than 1,000 choir-robed singers from individual choral groups throughout the area hold lighted candles, as they form a procession of harmony down Main Street, U.S.A. In Town Square, the members of the chorale form a “Living Christmas Tree,” and lift voices in song to accompany the traditional reading of the Biblical Christmas story by a guest narrator. Past guest narrators include Perry Como, Cary Grant and Rock Hudson.

During the Christmas season, the Magic Kingdom is open daily until midnight, and a spectacular fireworks display fills the sky over Cinderella Castle at 10 p.m. nightly. On New Year’s Eve, the park remains open until 2 a.m. for a special party which features extra-special entertainment events.

No comments: