Weekend Update – Christmas Around the Disney Globe
Christmas has started around the Disney world (not just Walt Disney World, hence the lowercase “world”), and it sounds like it’s going to be a great holiday season at the parks. Yes, there’s the new Jingle Cruise at Walt Disney World and the rest of the normally great Christmas offerings like Osborne Lights, Holidays Around the World at Epcot, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but those are mostly unchanged from previous years. It sounds like the big additions are elsewhere around the globe.
Disneyland Paris just kicked off its holiday season, and is already drawing rave reviews. I’ve seen some photos, and it looks like they’ve made some serious upgrades over last year. I have not watched video of Disney Dreams of Christmas (per last week’s update, I won’t before seeing it in person…hopefully it runs beyond this year!), but you should be able to find it on Dedicated to DLP or DLRP Magic’s Christmas pages.
Tokyo Disney Resort, as is the case with all of its seasonal events, has a lot of special entertainment, beautiful decorations, and crazy-delicious menu items. It also has the most seasonal attractions of any resort, with Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare, Country Bear Jingle Bell Jamboree, ‘it’s a small world’ very merry holidays, A Table is Waiting – Christmas Cuisine, and Big Band Beat Christmas Special.
Disneyland Resort has the new World of Color Winter Dreams and “Disney Â¡Viva Navidad!,” a celebration of Latino culture, plus Jingle Cruise and all of the decorations to Cars Land and Buena Vista Street that were new as of last year, making its new or new-ish holiday slate very strong, as well.
Not nearly as much is known about Hong Kong Disneyland’s 2013 “A Sparkling Christmas,” which starts November 14, save for something new called “Puppets in the Park,” but it would be shocking if they didn’t try to build on their momentum after the opening of Mystic Manor earlier this year.
This is sort of a non-update Weekend Update. I don’t have time for a normal update with links and everything, but I’m pretty excited about upcoming things (some of you have asked about certain things, and this should answer those questions), so it’s more of an update on the site in general, and where things are headed. Most of this is somewhat back of house type stuff that won’t interest many of you. But if you’re interested in rationale for the direction of the blog, I suppose you might care.
I also wanted to give you a heads up that things are going to be slow around here for the next couple of weeks. There will still be posts many days, but not every day, and there won’t be weekend updates. We’re going to be busy over the next couple of weeks, and won’t have the time for our normal posts. The Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Report will end this week, but the good news is that (if all goes according to plan) we will have three trip reports between now and Christmas to fill the void. So those of you who enjoy trip reports will hopefully be happy.
On the topic of trip reports, I am going to try to change up the style a bit. Currently, I write a particular installment of the report first, referencing photos to refresh my collection, and then add photos. I think this leads to a lot of tangents and text in general. I’m going to try adding the photos to the post first, and writing text around those. The style will be the same, but with presumably less text. I am not a fan of plain/monotonous trip ‘journals’ (“we did _____ attraction…then we did ___ attraction…then ____, and it was fun”) so don’t expect them to be devoid of personality. There are a few reasons for this change. First, with these weekend updates (and other op-ed posts), I’ve found a place outside of trip reports for my tangents that makes them easier to digest. Second, the ‘average time on page’ for the Tokyo trip reports has been 4:23, versus an average of 3:42 on the website as a whole, meaning that most people aren’t reading the full text of the reports, anyway. Finally, I have difficulty finding the time to write trip reports currently, and this should make it easier on me. I’m going to try this new style on the final installment of the Tokyo report. We’ll see if I stick with it…I’m a verbose person with the attention span of a dachshund (for you lucky non-dachshund owners, that’s pretty short), so the rambling text might be hard to avoid.
Although stats have influenced that decision, we aren’t going to become slaves to the stats. If we were, that would mean only writing about Walt Disney World, as our posts about it are statistically significantly more popular than any other Disney destination. As promised at the start of the Tokyo report, we are going to do a comprehensive Tokyo Disney Resort trip planning guide, and you’ll soon start to see the foundation for this, as we do posts on each of its restaurants, attractions, etc. We understand a lot of readers won’t care about these posts, but for the minority of you who do want to visit TDR, they should be valuable, especially since there’s so little comprehensive information about it online. (The actual guide itself won’t be done until the end of this year or early 2014, for those who have asked.) Plus, if these posts even convince one more person to visit the best Disney theme park complex on earth, they’ll be worth it from my perspective.
If Walt Disney World planning is all that interests you, don’t worry, as there will be plenty of posts about it going forward. While TDR is a big interest for me right now, I still love the other parks (except WDSP ;)), and I really enjoy providing thoughtful trip planning advice via blog posts. I am also ‘mildly’ opinionated, and like sharing those opinions. I also like discussing photography. I also like–you get the idea. This blog has always been fairly eclectic in focus, and as readership has grown, it has gone from friends who have largely shared my eclectic interests to a more diverse group. I’ve realized that you can’t please everyone with every post, so I don’t even bother with that. I only worry about writing things related to Disney that interest me. If the posts interest others, too, that’s awesome.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling for now. I’m pretty excited over what we’ve got coming up–hope you enjoy it, too!
Heading to any Disney resort for Christmas? Suggestions for the blog? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Just a note – I often read your trip reports in my Feedly, which I’d imagine wouldn’t affect your site stats. But believe me, I’m reading every word! 🙂
The changes to the blog sound good. Photos and pithiness, both things you’re great at!
I’m pretty sure Tokyo is going to be my next big overseas trip, and really appreciate all of the great insight you’ve provided. Even and especially the nuanced details of interactions you have while overseas are helpful because the odds seem pretty high that we too could run into these situations. Plus you and Sarah are great at reminding us why we love this: IT’S FUN!!! Keep up the great work!
Here’s a random Tokyo piece of advice: carry plenty of change and constantly stop at vending machines. Order the odd drinks, even if they sound disgusting.
I believe that a significant portion of the success of your blog is due to your transparency and willingness to say exactly what you are thinking, even to the point of giving readers detailed information from your site analytics. I’m glad you maintain this blog in a personal tone as opposed to so many that strive to be as inoffensive and broadly appealing as possible (as in, boring). In the end, you should go in the direction of posting what you find most interesting, because it will keep you from getting burned out. So, don’t change a thing and I hope you thoroughly enjoy the upcoming holidays!
I think a big part of the success of this blog has been my willingness to make it offensive and as unappealing as possible. 😉
I can always hit up flickr for great Disney photos, I come here for for the attitude!
The missus and I are going to WDW Wednesday and Thursday on an whim. We got the urge to go to WDW last week (we hadn’t been since May). We just got back from DL in September and I’ve been wanting to compare and contrast since DL is fresh in my mind still.
We are still figuring out the details but we’re excited to see the Christmas decorations up since neither of us have been during the holidays in a very long time.
We are getting FL Rez weekday seasonal/annual passes this visit so do you happen to know if we stay on property and get the magic bands for doing so, can we use them/transfer them to our annual/seasonal passes?
No clue about the MagicBands. Hopefully someone else can answer. I’d probably just skip them given the potential hassle of transferring for only a 2 day trip.
I *think* you should be able to do this. We were able to apply/change our annual passes to the magic bands once we got them through the My Disney Experience website. If not, you can probably ask a knowledgeable cast member (preferably one at the desks with an iPad) to help you. I overheard one of them telling a guest that you can get a new magic band every time you stay or reuse the same one for up to two years.
The trick is finding a cast member who knows what they’re talking about. We used the magic bands on our trip and LOVED them, even though we were very skeptical at first.
We just got back and had a great trip. Light crowds and the parks were decorated wonderfully. Unfortunately the hotels were not yet but that gives us a reason to go back.
We talked to 2 guest relations folks while there and they both said that our passes can be transferred to the bands we got for staying on property. So, yes, you can do it but we haven’t done it yet. We just used our cards this time.
Woo! We were just in WDW for our honeymoon and it was amazing. My husband really didn’t care for the Yachtsman — he tried the porterhouse and was disappointed. I thought it was fine. And we LOVED Le Celier, though I know you guys find it a bit overrated. Funny how different the experience can be! I’m partial to truffles (truffle mac, truffle risotto….) so I’m a bit biased on those dishes.
We also went to Victoria & Albert’s, which was the absolute highlight of the trip. I’m so glad we splurged!
Very much looking forward to your future posts!
I’m still voting for the Harbour Galley review. I know that wasn’t even an option this time but I’d still like to see it, some day.
I enjoy reading your ramblings, most of the time, so I hope you don’t change it up too much.
Thanks for the fun blog!
The Harbour Galley Review will be posted as soon as it wins a Wild Card Wednesday. I’m hopeful that it wins sometime in 2013!
I’m gonna be at Disneyland on the 3rd week of December!!! First time to visit Disneyland AND the US!
I was just curious, when are you planning to visit HKDL? Disney and More gave a report a few weeks ago that HKDL will receive a nighttime parade called “Animazememt”. The park will also sell these devices that allow you to change the colors of the floats and costumes. It’ll be open before summer 2014 so I hope you can plan your trip for that far out. 🙂
Congrats on the visits to DLR and the US. Nothing says “America” like a visit to In ‘N’ Out Burger! 😉
Hopefully Animazement runs until Shanghai Disneyland opens! (I assume it will.)
We will be in WDW the first week in December…it will be our first time there for the holidays!
I am looking forward to your upcoming blog changes….you always have something interesting…
it is refreshing to have a site with personality….keep interjecting yourself into your writing..
We love it!
To call them “changes” to the blog might be a bit strong. The only thing really changing is the style of the trip reports, and I’m hoping that is a subtle change. This post was really just a long-winded way of me saying, “there are some posts coming up that some of you may not like…tough luck.” 😉
Sadly, we’re not heading to any Disney resort for Christmas. But I’m doing the next best thing – helping my parents plan a Christmas trip to WDW.
Your posts have me thinking that a quick flight to PAris wouldn’t be all that bad! 🙂
You and me both! We had a great time at DLRP during the holiday season last year, and it sounds like this year is a big upgrade.
Although I cannot at all complain about what we’ll be doing…
Hmmm.. Is that a tease for a future blog post?