Review: Christmas 2017 at Disneyland Paris
Each winter season at Disney Parks worldwide ushers in an even more magical time of year with the special Christmas offerings. This year Disneyland Paris combines its 25th anniversary creatively by incorporating their blue and silver anniversary theme to celebrate the holidays. Along with decorations, Disney brings many new seasonal shows and elements that expands the presence of the holiday festivities with something for everyone and is sure not to be missed.
Last weekend we were, on behalf of Christmaholic, invited by Disney to experience all the new offerings at Disneyland Paris. You can read our Dutch review over at www.christmaholic.nl.
Entering winter wonderland at Disneyland Paris
Let’s start by entering Main Street U.S.A. where you are welcomed to various hues of blue and white. The trees at the hub are sprayed blue and the grassy areas are now snowy white. You will also find some classic characters as snowmen throughout the area. The classic transportation vehicles are dressed in garland tying the theme with blue and gold ornaments and red bows. The main focus is, of course, the 24 meter Christmas tree holding a collection of classic ornaments and toys under the tree.
Unlike the prominent classic red and gold decorations of last year, Disney ties in the 25th celebration with blue decorations everywhere including the infamous Mickey garland over Main Street. As you walk towards the central plaza you might just hear some bells jingling as Main Street becomes a wintery wonderland filled with snow. Central plaza has stayed mainly the same since the anniversary with the blue and silver theme and classic character statues with the shimmering castle standing as its backdrop.
Overall, the decorations of the park are simple and sophisticated. Each restaurant has a themed tree or themed decorations. Fuente del Oro adds little Mexican inspired decorations and golden bows to the lights, Plaza Garden Inn dresses up with soft fuchsia and white accents and Hakuna Matata has some colorful and African inspired decorations.
The highlight of this years festivities is in the entertainment offerings. The theme this year focuses on traditional elements, the playfulness and fun of the holiday season and the gathering of family and community. Below is a summary of all the fun you can see at the parks.
Four Holiday Shows at Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park has four holiday shows: Mickey’s Christmas Big Band, A Merry Stitchmas, Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights, Disney’s Christmas Parade. In addition, A Frozen Sing-Along makes a return to make the wintery feel come alive.
Mickey’s Christmas Big Band
Inspired by Tokyo DisneySea, this big jazzy performance gets you in the holiday season with some good ole big band numbers, tap dancing and some performances by Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. The stage is dressed with a backdrop of the New York skyline while the band and singers dress in vibrant white and rich blues. The talent on the stage is incredible and I left amazed by the show.
The choreography is spot on and the dancers do an incredible job synchronizing to the music and showing off some Radio City Rockettes type of moves. The band is very lively and each section has a moment to shine on stage. Both young and old will enjoy this show because of the catchy tunes and also visually stunning display of talent.
A Merry Stitchmas
Want something a little more lighthearted and fun? Come join Mickey and the gang as they meet up with Stitch to prepare for their Christmas party. Dressed in playful and colorful plaid and polkadots of yellows, reds and greens, everyone on stage is excited to prepare for the holidays and reminisce over their favorite holiday activities. Classic holidays songs are rearranged to a more upbeat and fun way and will have everyone dancing and singing along while the choreography is visually parallels the songs. This is such a fun show that I hope to see this return in future years.
Disney’s Christmas Parade
The traditional Christmas parade is a staple item at the resort. This year the parade has changed it’s traditional holiday track to “Christmas is Here”. It’s a more upbeat and celebratory song about the holidays. Rather than singing along to the holiday classics, you have a moment to reflect on the season as they sing about love, light and activities with the family. The parade begins with Goofy leading the way with dancing Nutcracker soldiers as they bring you into the world of the holidays with classic characters, lots of Christmas trees and all the elements that are part of our traditions. The finale of the parade is the arrival of Santa and his reindeer and is not to be missed.
Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights
Returning from last year is the nightly tree lighting ceremony featuring classically dressed carolers joined by Minnie and Mickey singing classic Christmas songs in French and English. As the audience participates in the songs, Santa visits to help with the tree lighting. The build up of the music and the dancing gets everyone’s hearts beating faster with excitement as the infamous tree begins to sparkle with colorful lights.
Walt Disney Studios Park
Walt Disney Studios Park also features some new shows and character meetings. New this year is Sing me a Merry Christmas and Goofy’s Incredible Christmas.
Sing me a Merry Christmas
Sing me a Merry Christmas is located at the Production Courtyard Stage and features a large screen displaying a music player meaning, you are going to sing and dance to some modern versions of classics. Dancers are dressed in bright green winter sports jackets. Lyrics pop up on the screen for everyone to sing along as the dancer get the audience excited. Minnie, Mickey and Goofy all join the celebration and technology by sending text messages that are displayed on the screen and later a selfie with the audience.
Although I was hesitant about how to show would be, I was beyond impressed by it and know that many people will enjoy this experience. It’s very playful, thoughtfully choreographed and has that sweet good feeling of the season.
Goofy’s Incredible Christmas
Goofy’s Incredible Christmas closes out the evening with an incredible display of light projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel and surrounding area. This is a great evening show where Mickey, Minnie and Goofy take you on a journey to different Christmas landscapes gives you the ultimate Christmas feeling and really amazes you as the lights are projected all around you. This is a perfect way to end your evening at the parks.
Character Greets at the parks
There are special character experiences especially for the holidays. At town square you can meet Scrooge McDuck, Marie, Thumper, Miss Bunny and many others while at Thunder Mesa, Jack Skellington is dressed as Sandy Claws. You can get your traditional Santa family photos at the Meet Mickey Mouse building through December 25th.
At Walt Disney Studios you can meet Santa Goofy and the Front Lot. Mickey and Minnie are dressed to the nines in their holiday outfits at the Art of Animation and at Toon Studio you can find Pluto and many other surprise guests.
Other Noteworthy Christmas Experiences
Frozen Sing-Along has returned this year and is always a fun family event. Located at the Chaparral theater, families can visit Arendelle as guests are invited to sing-along with Anna, Elsa and friends.
It’s a Small World has their own Christmas overlay. It’s not as extravagant as other parks, but it’s a nice addition to the park. Each country has a few items that represent the holidays in their culture and you will also find their image of Santa or Old Saint Nick represented.
Fuente del Oro is decorated outside with images from the film Coco. Here you can meet the puppet of Miguel and one of his friends. Or listen to traditional Mexican music performed by a Mariachi Band.
The Enchanted Advent Calendar just left of the castle will surprise guests each morning from December 1st with a magical treat. The opening of each Advent section will take place in the morning just after park opening.
Don’t forget to enjoy some shopping for some ornaments for your tree or grab a sweet treat such as Christmas Cupcakes and a small Yule log. For the holiday season.
Christmas Outside the parks
There’s plenty to explore outside of the parks as Disney Village sets up a holiday market. Here you can find various stands offering the traditional roasted marrons (chestnuts), raclette sandwiches, freshly made candy and gluhwein.
At the hotels you can find an appropriately themed Christmas tree and decorations. Reminiscent of the original Rockefeller center, Hotel New York offers an outdoor skating rink with the backdrop of the hotel and a large Christmas tree filled with red and gold ornaments. There is more than enough to enjoy and see in a span of three days.
Christmas at Disneyland Paris
Overall, Disneyland has greatly expanded their lineup and I am overall pleased with what they have done. The shows and special meet and greets really add to the park experience. Since there are so many new shows, I hope they keep them around and next year focus on adding more decorations that I feel are lacking. Also, last year there was a great holiday layover of Disney Dreams that really tied the theme of the holidays together and I was really missed that this year. Here’s hoping to many more fun and magical holidays to come. Celebrate Christmas at Disneyland Paris through January 7.
Have you ever been to Disneyland Paris for Christmas? Let us know what you think is the most magical experience?
Watch below a short video we shot for Christmaholic.nl
Related Park(s): Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Park