The invisiblegeek went on the Holiday Time tour at Disneyland over the Thanksgiving weekend, 2010. This tour takes place from early November through the holidays each year. It is a couple hour walking tour of Disneyland that talks about the parks holiday traditions and decorations. The list price is $64 per person in 2010 but there are discounts available for annual passholders, AAA members, Disney Visa, as well as DVC members. Park admission is not included in the tour price and is required to go on the tour. Tickets can be purchased via phone or at the park. If you purchase via phone you must pick up your tickets at any Disneyland ticket booth prior to your tour time. The tour is offered several times a day, normally two or three depending on the crowds, the time revolves around the Christmas Fantasy Parade. On the day I took the tour they had two tours of eighteen guests total running.
Trip Log and random thoughts/observations:
The holiday tour is a nice way to enjoy the park during holiday time. It is supposed to be something like when Walt described the holidays in the park on TV. I think she said it was a " World of Color" show but I don't really know anything about the shows. (Geek Note: I think they may be referring to the Disneyland Around the Seasons show that first aired in 1966 and featured a look around the park at the holidays. This show was released on the Walt Disney Treasures - Disneyland: Secrets, Stories and Magic DVD several years ago).
The tour starts off in the Tour Gardens where you check in, pick up your headphones and meet your tour guide. The group then heads to Town Square where the official tour begins at the base of the Christmas tree. You learn about the tradition of the tree in park dating back to the first Christmas in 1955 and how over the years the tree tradition has evolved into the 60 foot tree with over 62,000 LEDs that you now see in the park.
We then made our way up Main Street, stopping near center street to talk about the menorah in the second story window.
The next stop was the Main Street Candy Store window to talk about Christmas treats. We were taught about the traditions behind wassel and gingerbread. Then they offer us a free sample of fudge.
The tour continued up Main Street and around the hub. As we walked the park we learned more holiday trivia- types of Santas, Santa outfits, and different customs. There were different decorations in the past - for example a huge star on top of the Matterhorn and ribbon on the Monsato House of the Future in Tomorrowland. We walked into Fantasyland by way of the east walkway, by the Snow White Grotto. The group made its way around to the Big Thunder Ranch, a bit of trivia for you, did you know Walt Disney helped with the original Toys for Tots logo? We continued on into Frontierland and then into New Orleans Square. Along the way the tour guide showed us that the decorations in each land still were supposed to be land appropriate - spruce and fir trees in frontierland, the Mardi Gras-style in New Orleans, pretty blue poinsettias in New Orleans.
In New Orleans Square we stopped by the street of angels then made our way over to the Haunted Mansion Holiday, where we were able to go for a ride. After the visit to the mansion the tour usually takes the Disneyland Railroad over to Toontown but due to the large crowd in the park we instead walked over by way of the Big Thunder trail.
Next up a trip on Small World Holiday and then we were led into Toontown where we were handed a Christmas travel mug with hot cocoa and a gingerbread cookie.
Then we took a walk up to Small World for our reserved seating for the Christmas Fantasy parade (which is located directly across the parade route from Small World Holiday).
We received a 2010 Holiday Tour pin and then enjoyed the parade in comfort from our chairs.
Overall this is a relaxing and simple tour of the park. You get to experience some of the Christmas entertainment and are given the opportunity to learn about some of the traditions of the park during the holidays. If you enjoy learning fun facts about Christmas and Disneyland while roaming around the park this is a great tour for you.
About the invisiblegeek -> Born and raised in Southern California and a frequent visitor of the Disneyland Resort (in the neighborhood of several times a week). They started to contribute some guest features to this site in October 2010. The name stems from a desire to blend into the crowd/background, not because of any super powers (and also because lazygeek was already taken). If you have any questions, comments, corrections you can email firstname.lastname@example.org