Mousertainment Memorandum: Apologies for another late night post, but once again, I had to make an unusual weeknight Mousertainment run to the park to see a very special performance of Aladdin at Disney California Adventure – which I will report on at a later date! But in the meantime, let’s bring on the Disney Christmastime coverage!
While the Disney Parks have been in full holiday mode for several weeks now, in Southern California the season really kicks off with an off-property event!
For the past several years at the Fashion Island outdoor mall in Newport Beach, Disney has hosted the first weekend of the center’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting with performances by park entertainment and Disney characters. It is co-hosted by local television station KTLA, who also recorded the event the first weekend of November to air on Thanksgiving night.
In honor of the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, the decorations this year prominently featured the 60th anniversary logos and the characters arrived decked out in their anniversary outfits. This year’s cast of characters included Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and of course, Olaf. No, they still won’t “let it go” and the Disneyland Resort utilized the event as an opportunity to promote various holiday activities in the park including Olaf’s Snow Fest.
But the reason that I went this year was to see some of the wonderful Mousertainment cast from the park singing Christmas songs (and “Let It Go”, of course) as they danced merrily around the stage.
One of the nice things about the setup for this event is that they had cast performing on two sides of the rectangular stage. So even though I wound up at the “back” of the stage because I did not arrive early enough to find a spot at the front, I still got to see some really talented performers singing their hearts out and was totally happy with that. For the majority of the show, however, the Disney characters were on the “front” side of the stage.
The event was about half an hour long and culminated in the lighting of the Christmas Tree and of course, in true Disney fashion, it “snowed”!
Mousertainment Tip: If you would like to attend this free annual event next year, I strongly recommend arriving very early. People get there hours ahead of time and settle in with their families on blankets all around the stage area.
Just so the Northern California folks didn’t feel left out of the Christmas magic, a majority of the same team of Disney characters and entertainers also performed at San Francisco’s Pier 39 Tree Lighting Celebration a little later in the season!
For those who missed these events, however, both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure host nightly tree lighting ceremonies throughout the holiday season. The one in Disneyland Park is at the tree in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. and only involves announcements over the loudspeakers as far as I’m aware. But suiting the “small town” charm of Buena Vista Street and the smaller tree near the Elias & Co. store, the tree lighting at Disney California Adventure involves a little more of a production including the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers (to be spotlighted next week!). I highly recommend stopping by this corner at 5pm to experience this slice of classic Americana Christmas joy!
Have you attended the Fashion Island Disney Christmas Tree Lighting event? Or did you see one of the park tree lighting ceremonies?