Quote Sheet: The Holidays Begin Here at the Disneyland Resort

Filed in: Disney California Adventure, Disneyland Park

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2018) – The Holidays begin here at the Disneyland Resort, as Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, the three hotels and the Downtown Disney District transform into the “Merriest Place on Earth,” from Nov. 9, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2019. A talented team of Disney cast members collaborate to bring the holiday magic to life with sights, sounds and flavors of the season. Here are some of their insights on what to expect.

Holidays Overall

Brian Sandahl, Senior Art Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment

  • “Our guests love to spend time with family and friends this time of year, and they often come back year after year to enjoy the holiday season at the Disneyland Resort! It’s a magical time to experience new holiday surprises and create memories that live on forever.”

Jennifer Magill, Producer, Disney Parks Live Entertainment

  • You can enjoy the timeless classics like ‘Believe…in Holiday Magic’ fireworks, ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ parade, and Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park. And then there’s the popular Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park, with diverse cultural festivities, vibrant entertainment and all the food and beverage at the Festive Foods Marketplace. There’s so much to see, do and taste here during the holiday season. It truly is the ‘Merriest Place on Earth’!”

New Christmas Tree on Main Street, U.S.A.

Kim Irvine, Art Director, Walt Disney Imagineering

  • “We are the only theme park in California that has this wonderful turn-of-the-century Victorian Main Street, and for the holidays we create a Victorian Christmas. You’re going to feel like you’ve stepped into another time and place with the beautiful lights, pine garland, the music and the new tree. The Christmas tree is such an icon because it sets the tone for the rest of your visit when you walk in. The ornaments look elegant and so authentic. What sets Disneyland apart is this attention to detail and authenticity.”
  • “Be sure to look for the candles on the tree. They look like the real flickering candles you see in movies and pictures of old-time Christmas. It adds a really fun dimension to the tree this year. Our guests believe in it.”

Holiday Food & Beverage

John State, Culinary Director, Disney California Adventure Park

  • “How can you resist our holiday-themed treats at the Disneyland Resort? This year, we’re bringing back a few cherished classics, so we hope you enjoy those, and then it’s onto the new items. At Disney California Adventure, you’ve got to try the turkey carnitas poutine with malted french fries, slow-cooked turkey carnitas at Lamplight Lounge, the plant-etarium street tacos from the Studio Catering Truck and the turkey pot pie soup served in a sourdough bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Café.”

Johnny Hall, Culinary Director, Disneyland Park

  • “At Disneyland, you won’t want to miss our holiday treats like the Santa Hat Macaron with creamy vanilla-mint filling at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café or the peppermint holiday sundae at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. Guests can also use mobile ordering on the Disneyland app to pick up these and many other of our holiday specialties! ”

Disney Festival of Holidays Entertainment

Susana Tubert, Creative Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment

  • “Festival of Holidays is an uplifting, uniquely Disney celebration. From the vibrant live entertainment to the Festive Foods Marketplace, character experiences and crafts, this immersive and heartwarming festival highlights the wonderful cultural diversity of Southern California. I’m so proud of the range of programming we’ve curated for guests of all ages!”

Disney Festival of Holidays Food & Beverage

Jimmy Weita, Chef de Cuisine, Park Events & Festivals, Disneyland Resort

  • “What better way is there to celebrate different cultures and holiday traditions than with a unique blending of great food? That’s exactly what we’re doing at the Festive Foods Marketplaces this year. Many of our items are classic holiday tastes, with a distinctive Disney twist. We’ve got lox & everything bagel nachos, ‘chicken-less’ mole with Spanish rice, and you don’t want to miss the turkey and stuffing tamale with cranberry relish, it’s the perfect mash-up of holiday favorites. There’s truly something for everyone at Disney Festival of Holidays, with kid-friendly, vegan, vegetarian and allergy-friendly options, too.”

“it’s a small world” Holiday

Joe Peters, Technical Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment

  • “The holiday version of this Disneyland classic debuted in 1997, and I’ve had the pleasure of working on it since the first transformation 22 seasons ago. Every year, it brings me so much joy to watch the first guests hurry over to be amongst the first to ride ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday. The most emotional experience is watching guests gasp in awe as they marvel at the exterior of the attraction, just as the sun sets and the lights come on. I never get tired of watching their reactions. I am reminded each time how lucky I am to do what I do.”
  • “This year, be sure to look for the new gingerbread archway in the European scene of “it’s a small world” Holiday. The arch is adorned with an adorable gingerbread boy and girl and oversized candy canes. And the finale room is more vibrant than ever with a new color palate and LED lights on the greeting signs this year.”

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Tim Wollweber, Associate Art Director, Disney Parks

  • “Part of my job for the past 17 years – believe it or not – is to help create a new gingerbread house for Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, we wanted a monster-movie vibe, so we designed a giant 5-foot spider with eerie glowing eyes and moving legs and mandibles. This multicolored spider is suspended above the Haunted Mansion’s Grand Hall table and it’s trying to pry the edible mansion from its foundation. That reveals the candy cane rebar and sparking lights. And look out for all the gingerbread zombies!”

Joe Peters, Technical Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment

  • “I’m part of the technical team that adds animation, effects, décor, scenery and lighting into Haunted Mansion Holiday, and I also work with our friends at the Disneyland Resort Central Bakery who bake the gingerbread house each year. It took 12 pastry chefs this year to help transform the enormous 5-foot spider into this creepy masterpiece inside the Mansion. The team used more than 90 pounds of gingerbread, 30 pounds of sugar, 10 pounds of white chocolate and 45 pounds of chocolate to make this year’s spooky creation. You’ve got to see it!”



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Disneyland Resort Public Relations