THEME PARK ROUNDUP
Steve Zall and Sid Fish
Deck the halls with bows of holly! Tis the season to be jolly, and our local resorts and theme parks are making that a whole lot easier with Christmas cheer such as:
Holiday Enchantment Sparkles at Disneyland Resort
With Fireworks, Parade & Snowfall
Heartwarming favorites make spirits bright at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks. Guests will enjoy the return of Disneyland Resort’s most popular offerings, including special holiday versions of “it’s a small world” andHaunted Mansion, along with “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, colorful holiday décor and a nightly snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.
Other holiday highlights at Disneyland will include the traditional snowdrifts and icicles adorning Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. After dark a sensational holiday lighting and special effects show will carry the magic of the holidays from the castle all the way to the Christmas tree in Town Square. The 60-foot-tall Disneyland Christmas tree is specially designed to present a nightly holiday light show like no other with more than 62,000 energy-efficient LED lights.
The Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle presentation unfolds throughout the evening in three acts, each of them featuring a touch of winter snow on Main Street, U.S.A. The finale of the show includes the legendary “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks show, which takes guests on a journey of sights and sounds of the season and ends with a touching rendition of “White Christmas,” along with a climactic snowfall swirling down on Main Street, U.S.A., “it’s a small world” Mall and New Orleans Square.
A holiday tradition in Disneyland is “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, in which Disney characters join together to celebrate the magic of the season. Guests can watch as the characters wrap gifts, bake holiday treats and prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus, who shouts a jolly greeting to spectators along the parade route. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse even take to the ice for some skating fun.
Themed entertainment, sparkling decorations and tasty treats add festive warmth to holiday fun at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Guests also will be able to book guided holiday tours that provide entry into “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday, reserved seating for the Disneyland “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a keepsake remembrance, and entertaining information about the history behind Disneyland holiday traditions. For information and reservations, guests can visit Disneyland City Hall or call 714-781-4400.
Returning holiday favorites at Disneyland park include:
· “It’s a small world” Holiday transforms “it’s a small world” into a worldwide celebration of the season, boasting more than 300,000 glittering lights on its facade.
· Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a madcap celebration 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 to transform it with his skewed vision of the holidays.
· Santa Claus and his reindeer will return to greet Disneyland guests at Santa’s Reindeer Round-up in Big Thunder Ranch, Frontierland. Kids and their families will chat with St. Nick and see real reindeer grazing in a corral.
Disney California Adventure park celebrates the season with fanciful park-wide decorations and lively entertainment:
· Guests approaching the park will immediately get in the holiday mood as they encounter the iconic “CALIFORNIA” letters transformed to appear as swirling red and white peppermint sticks.
· “A bug’s land” transforms as Flik and his bug buddies spread giant Christmas lights and oversized ornaments throughout their realm.
· The holiday scene along the Paradise Bay boardwalk includes a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and lampposts decorated with seasonal wreaths.
· Santa Claus will greet guests on the boardwalk near Ariel’s Grotto on Paradise Pier.
Guests in Disney California Adventure won’t want to miss the other park entertainment, highlighted by the all-new“World of Color” nighttime water spectacular, which brings its own brand of after-dark magic to the Paradise Bay lagoon. Meanwhile, in the entry plaza of Disney California Adventure and the adjoining Hollywood Pictures Backlot district, the immersive “ElecTRONica” nighttime street party will put guests of all ages “on the grid” and into the environment of the new Walt Disney Pictures feature, “TRON: Legacy.” “ElecTRONica” parties take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and nightly from December 17 through January 2. “ElecTRONica” will continue into spring 2011.
Also part of the regular Disney California Adventure attractions and entertainment lineup:
· “Pixar Play Parade” is complemented by two new shows: the energetic “dance-off” competition of “Disney Dance Crew” on the Backlot Stage in Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and the rock concert-style “Disney Channel Rocks,”featuring music from Disney Channel movies and series, performed on the Palisades Stage in Paradise Park, alongside Paradise Bay lagoon.
· In Blue Sky Cellar at Golden Vine Winery, the Imagineers’ workshop offers guests a preview of what’s coming to Disney California Adventure, including The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure in 2011.
· Guests along Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure also will enjoy the newly enhanced Toy Story Mania! andSilly Symphony Swings attractions, along with such popular favorites as California Screamin' and Mickey’s Fun Wheel.
The Downtown Disney district and the Disneyland Resort hotels will join in the merriment with twinkling lights and ornaments, special entertainment and holiday dining. Expanded hours at both Disneyland Resort theme parks will extend the holiday fun. For more information about holidays at Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com/holidays.
Disneyland Resort features two fantastic theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The resort’s three hotels are the luxurious 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the magical 970-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its day-at-the-beach fun.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are open daily year round, and the holidays will shine brightly throughout the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim through January 2. For more information call 866-603-4763 or visit www.disneyland.com.
Knott’s Merry Farm Presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Knott’s Berry Farm will be filled with the magic of the season this year as it transform into Knott’s Merry Farm and celebrates “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with seasonal entertainment, spectacular decorations including a 65 foot tall Christmas tree, and a colorful Christmas parade.
“A Peanuts’ Holiday Parade” offers seven elaborately themed floats featuring the Peanuts Gang and accompanied by students from Orange County Song and Dance Company. Children and adults alike will be able to get into the holiday spirit along with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder and of course Snoopy, as they ready for the holidays. Join them as they partake in all the holiday festivities including candy making, tree trimming, and even toy building! “A Peanuts’ Holiday Parade” will run November 25-28, December 4-5, 11-12, 18-23, 26-30, 2010 and January 1, 2011.
Also in the spirit of the season, Knott’s Merry Farm is proud to present the ice spectacular, “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” The show, performed in the 2,100-seat Charles M. Schulz Theatre, is hosted by the famous skating Beagle and features Knott’s ensemble skaters, dazzling sets, colorful costumes and plenty of surprises. “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” will be presented November 25-28; December 3-5, 10-12, 17-21 and 23-24, 26-28, 30-31, 2010 and January 1-2, 2011.
Knott’s 1880s Ghost Town will again be transformed into Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village, inviting mall-weary guests to explore one-of-a-kind treasures created by more than 100 artisans in a Victorian holiday wonderland of strolling carolers, musical groups, community choirs and lavish holiday decorations. Adding to the unique Village atmosphere are live performances of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and O’Henry’s “A Gift of the Magi” in the Bird Cage Theatre.
Elf Mountain Christmas is also back. The world famous Timber Mountain Log Ride has once again been transformed this holiday season giving guests an up-close and-personal view into the world of Santa’s Elves. Sneak a peek, as Santa’s helpers get ready for Santa’s busiest day of the year. Rich with lights, music and the merriest of times, this attraction will remain open until January 2, 2011.
Guests can also experience the wonder of “Snoopy’s Christmas Light Spectacular.” Hundreds of thousands of twinkling white and multicolored lights merrily light up the nighttime sky accompanied by a festive soundtrack that bring the Christmas spirit alive from dusk to Park closing.
A trip to Knott’s Merry Farm would not be complete without a visit with the man of the hour – Santa! Stop by Santa’s Toy Barn for a little one-on-one with the big guy. Here, in Santa’s cozy hideaway, kids can share their wish lists with St. Nick, and Mom and Dad can take home a picture of the occasion.
Village guests can also indulge in the ultimate comfort foods with Knott’s world-famous holiday treats, including fresh-baked pies, cakes, cookies, muffins and gingerbread men, as well as daily specials and the legendary cooking at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. For an all you can eat buffet, try Joe Cool’s Backyard BBQ Holiday Stylestarting November 28 and running Saturdays and Sundays through December 27. For reservations, call 800-PICNICS.
Another holiday treat is “Snoopy’s Calico Christmas Tree Lighting” each evening in Calico Square. Join Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally and Charlie Brown as they host a song-and-dance show complete with carolers and a Christmas sing-along then light a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The Peanuts gang is also featured in their very own live musical show, “Winter Wonderland” shown daily in Camp Snoopy.
Merry Farm guests can combine their holiday treats with Knott’s blockbuster rides. The legendary GhostRider®, the ultimate wooden sleigh ride; 30-story Supreme Scream®, the world’s tallest descending thrill ride; Silver Bullet, the longest and tallest suspended coaster in the West and Knott’s newest addition, Pony Express, all deliver a thrill this holiday season.
Knott's Berry Farm is open daily year round (except December 25), and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" starts November 25 and continues through December 30 at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. For more information call 714-220-5200 or visit www.knotts.com.
Legoland California Resort Presents "Holly Jolly Holidays"
The holiday celebration kicks off November 29 when a celebrity guest lights the world’s tallest LEGO® Christmas tree in the annual tree lighting ceremony and continues through December 31 when the season concludes with Kids’ New Year’s Eve. The entire theme park transforms into a holiday wonderland during Holly Jolly Holidays which features festive entertainment every weekend including carolers, elves and strolling musicians; nightly fireworks December 26 through 30 and an enchanting holiday musical.
The giant LEGO Christmas tree has become the centerpiece of the holiday season at LEGOLAND California. It stands more than 30-feet-tall, is made of more than 245,000 forest green DUPLO® bricks and surrounded by packages and LEGO friends the whole family can enjoy. In nightly tree lighting ceremonies December 2 through December 24, a lucky child will be randomly selected to help pull the switch that lights up the LEGO Christmas tree.
“Let it Snow”, an enchanting mini musical returns with a holiday story that is sure to warm guests’ hearts. Share in the spirit of the holidays with 10-year-old Emily as she wishes for some holiday magic! Emily’s toys spring to life in a musical celebration as they help her realize her Yuletide wish – snow! Will the weather forecast change in southern California just for Emily? The 20-minute musical holiday show features the Park’s signature song, “Season of Imagination.” “Let it Snow” runs daily from November 20 through December 31 in the Play Town Theater.
No holiday celebration would be complete without Santa and his sleigh. At LEGOLAND California, Santa, his sleigh and two reindeer are made entirely out of LEGO bricks. The festive display stands 7 feet tall, made of more than 51,100 bricks and provides a unique photo opportunity for families. Mililand U.S.A. is also transformed into a winter wonderland with holiday scenes throughout.
The holiday season concludes with Kids’ New Year’s Eve on December 31 when midnight strikes at 6 p.m. in a Times Square-style party just for kids. Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime players return, just after releasing their critically acclaimed children’s album Jungle Gym.
"Holly Jolly Holidays" runs November 29 through December 31 at Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad. For more information call 760-918-5346 or visit www.legoland.com.
SeaWorld San Diego Resort Joins in the Holiday Tradition
SeaWorld San Diego’s getting into the spirit of Christmas this year with a number of special seasonal events including theSkytower Tree Lighting, an Ice Skating rink, "The Polar Express 4-D Experience" and Tree of Lights With a Twist.
Skytower Tree Lighting: On Friday, November 19 at 5 p.m., SeaWorld continues an annual tradition with the lighting of the park’s 320-foot Christmas Tree of Lights. Families from Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego will flip the switch to light the tree, and then become the very first to skate on SeaWorld’s ice skating rink! SeaWorld’s landmark 320-foot Skytower has been a San Diego icon since 1969. During the holiday season, the tree is outfitted with several miles of wire containing 24 strands of light bulbs with 81 bulbs per strand. The Christmas Tree of Lights, which can be seen for miles outside the park, will be lit every night through Christmas Day.
Ice Skating Rink Returns To Seaworld: Lace up a pair of skates and glide beneath SeaWorld’s 320-foot Christmas Tree of Lights. It’s an ice skating experience you can only find at SeaWorld. Beginning November 20, SeaWorld guests can skate daily through January 2 in a rink with more than 5,000 square feet of ice to celebrate the season in San Diego fashion. In addition, there is a special toddler rink designed for kids 3 and under. Toddlers may use double-edged ice skates for extra balance during their first ice skating experience at SeaWorld. Ice skates will be available inside the park for rental.
‘The Polar Express 4-D Experience’: This magical 4-D experience at SeaWorld takes viewers on a journey to the North Pole where dreams become real and all senses come alive. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on an epic journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. “The Polar Express 4-D Experience” is based on the film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, inspired by the beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. During 12-minute presentations of “The Polar Express 4-D Experience” at SeaWorld’s Mission Bay Theater, guests will feel like they’re aboard the Polar Express themselves, with amazing multi-sensory effects including snow, gusts of wind and the smell of hot chocolate! “The Polar Express 4-D Experience” will run November 20 through January 2 (After the holiday season, the theater will resume Sesame presents “Lights, Camera, Imagination! in 4-D).
Tree Of Lights With A Twist: SeaWorld will continue a favorite holiday tradition with the nightly lighting of the park’s 320-foot Skytower. For the third year in a row, SeaWorld and KyXy 96.5 are teaming up to produce this special musical and visual attraction for the holiday season with the SeaWorld Christmas Tree of Lights Presented by KyXy. Each night at 6 p.m. starting November 26, the Skytower lights will dance, flash, swirl and glow to holiday music broadcast to all of San Diego on KyXy 96.5 FM. The SeaWorld Christmas Tree of Lights Presented by KyXy will be presented each night through Christmas Day.
Open daily year round, the holiday experience runs November 20 through January 2 at Seaworld San Diego in San Diego. For more information call 800-257-4268 or visit www.seaworldsandiego.com.
Universal Studios Hollywood Presents "Grinchmas" and Rings in the "Wholiday" Season with a Snow-Filled Wonderland
“Grinchmas” time is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. prepares for a lively holiday season with the Grinch, his faithful dog Max, tons of fresh snow and a “Whoville Whobilation” at the original movie sets where the classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was filmed.
Nightly tree-lighting ceremonies, celebrity readings of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and encounters with a “Who’s Who” of Whoville characters will be part of the celebration, which expands this year to 18 days, beginning on December 11 and 12 and continuing daily from December 18 through January 2, 2011. More information, including holiday promotional offers and information regarding celebrity readings of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” will be available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.
“Grinchmas" has become a true holiday tradition, an event where families can enjoy a slightly irreverent approach to the season while still being thoroughly immersed in holiday spirit. Five dates have been added to this year’s ‘Grinchmas’ schedule in response to the event’s growing popularity.
Guests will find an immersive holiday atmosphere. A whimsical, curving “Grinchmas” tree will tower 60 feet above the center of a snow-covered “Grinchmas” winter wonderland and will be lit in a nightly ceremony that will feature a colorfully costumed “Whoville” choir caroling and spreading holiday cheer. The Grinch and his faithful dog Max will be on hand to meet fans and take memorable holiday photos. Families will also be able to enjoy traditional winter fun, romping together in a playground of snow and building their own snowmen.
“Grinchmas” will also provide fans of the blockbuster movie a close-up view of the original “Whoville” film sets, featured in the classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” aboard the world-famous behind-the-scenes Studio Tour. As the tram rolls to a stop amid the fanciful “Whoville” buildings, guests will experience a one-of-a-kind performance by “Whoville’s” residents re-enacting favorite scenes and songs from the film.
Open daily year round, "Grinchmas" runs December 11 through January 2 at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City. For more information call 800-864-8377 or visit www.universalstudioshollywood.com.
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way - oh what fun our theme parks are to bring Christmas to your day! Have a Happy Holiday Season!!