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11/14/13 - My first impressions of World of Color - Winter Dreams, the Jingle Cruise and Viva Navidad! as well as some thoughts and observations from a visit to Disneyland
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Welcome to the disneygeek.com Geek Speaks section. In this section I will post my comments on trips to the parks or other Disney related events.

11/14/13 - My first impressions of World of Color - Winter Dreams, the Jingle Cruise and Viva Navidad! as well as some thoughts and observations from a visit to Disneyland

Hello all,

I paid a rare, for me, mid week visit to the Disneyland Resort on Thursday for the premiere of World of Color - Winter Dreams. I had a few hours to explore the parks before the events began so was able to squeeze in a couple new offerings too. I have no real point of reference for Thursday crowds, but overall the parks felt on the light side. Wait times were reasonable the one time I looked.


Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park Miles section.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • The Christmas season is officially underway at the Disneyland Resort and almost all of the decorations and holidays festivities have started. It was a bit of a challenge to get into the holiday mood early on Thursday as temperatures were about 90 degrees when I arrived at the resort.

  • In Downtown Disney the 2013 Winter Village was nearing completion. This year the tree and village are around the ice skating rink and it looks great. The one potential challenge I see is the limited space from the village buildings to the rink itself. If there is any line or crowd it looks like it will be extremely difficult to navigate the area. Should be interesting how it plays out. I think it is a positive sign that the village has expanded and become more substantial looking this year.

  • The Jungle Cruise has received a holiday overlay this year and is now the Jingle Cruise. The queue has some light holiday references and some new audio. The attraction itself has no real changes for the season as you sail by but the skippers have some new holiday inspired jokes. I really enjoyed the experience. I thought they did a nice mix of keeping the classic experience but adding some holiday cheer and variety to it. I thought it was a good sign they did not alter the attraction itself. Here is video from my trip through the jungle:

  • I caught the Red Car News Boys and they have tweaked the show slightly for the holiday season. They added a news story that Santa is coming to town and the song, then the finale. Again a subtle change to bring the show in line with the time of year and I think it is great!

  • I had a few minutes to stop by the Animation Building and check out the new lobby projections. They images looked great! Much clearer and brighter in some instances. I did not have the time to sit and watch the entire loop. I am looking forward to doing that on a future trip.

  • Stopped by Innoventions to see Thor: Treasures of Asgard. I have not seen any of the Thor films (I know I am behind) so I really did not know what I was looking at. The experience consists of three parts. An exhibit space with some props/weapons, a brief audio portion as you are transported to Asgard and then a meet and greet with Thor. I thought the experience was well done. You are given amble time to meet and interact with Thor and the room itself is much more immersive than the traditional meet and greet options. I think this is a great trend that Disney has been doing recently. The downside is the wait times grow because of it. Here is a video clip of entering the throne room:

  • Caught A Christmas Fantasy Parade after dark, my favorite time to see the parade. I think the lights make a big difference vs the afternoon sun.

  • Learned something new (or maybe relearned something I had forgotten). At Plaza Inn you can order the chicken as sides. I just wanted a couple biscuits and chicken breasts and they charged, $3.59 for a side chicken breast and $1.29 for a side biscuit. So for you light eaters, or picky eaters like me keep this in mind vs buying the entire dinner plate for $14.99 and not eating portions of it.

  • World of Color - Winter Dreams is an entirely new show using the fountains and lights in Paradise Bay from the original World of Color plus some new elements. Steve Davison and his team have delivered another incredible night time experience. Here is Steve Davison and Josh Gad introducing the show:

    I found it to be a fun holiday trip, an entertaining show, and great use of the technology. It will make for some tough choices this holiday season on seeing it vs Believe in Holiday Magic, which is one of my favorite fireworks shows. I thought the new lighting elements on the Fun Wheel and Screamin made for some great effects throughout the show. Due to my vantage point some of the enhancements in the viewing area were not that visible.

    • As with the premiere of the original World of Color show as soon as the show ended I wanted to see it again. The scope of the show is big and trying to take it all in while shooting video and stills and cell phone pictures made it a challenge (I apologize for some of my video as it wandered while I was using a second or third camera or just enjoying the incredible panorama view of the show).

    • I thought the pacing of the show was good, except the Toy Story segment seemed rather long to me. One other negative comment I do not know why but the line Olaf speaks to introduce the sing along where he asks guests to follow his bouncing butt just seemed out of place at a Disney park. I understand it is in character for Josh as well as Olaf but still just stuck out to me as awkward and something that could have been cut since everyone understands to follow along.

    • The honor choir introduction featuring Glow was a powerful way to kick the show off and should be interesting how this concept evolves over the years. Here is a video of the opening of World of Color - Winter Dreams, here is a video of the opening:

    • The show features Glow with the Show Ears. Once again it looked incredible Thursday since just about everyone in the audience had a set, they were given out to the guests of the various meets as well as the media. On normal show nights the effect will be no where near as grand. Too bad there is not a more cost effective way to get these out to guests. I think they do add to the show, for sure the pictures and video!

    • Speaking of pictures and video I tried to stay wide with mine from Thursday because of the great vantage point I was given. Unfortunately this meant I missed some of the detail and from my spot I could not see the projections on Screamin. So I look forward to capturing both on future visits.

      Here is a video of the finale:

    • I would really like to see an updated Holiday CD from Disney this year featuring World of Color Winter Dreams. I think it would sell well based on my first viewing of the show and comments from others.
  • Viva Navidad! is taking place daily now at Paradise Gardens. It features new menu items, entertainment, and activities. Most of the offerings are what you have come to expect from Disney. There is a kids area with arts and crafts (coloring), a character meet and greet, merchandise, and food. Couple that with bands and other live entertainment as well as holiday decorations and you have a picture of the event. I did not have time to attend during the regular park hours, it is on my list for next visit, but from what I saw I think this area will bring some life to a quiet area of the park.

  • Viva Navidad! Street Party may be the surprise hit of this holiday season (I say surprise because it was almost a given Winter Dreams would be a hit). I found this production to be on a much larger scale than I had anticipated. The number of performers far exceeded expectations as did the energy and flow of the show. I look forward to catching this several more times this year. Here is a video from Thursday:

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.

Be sure to check out the picture update that goes with this Geekspeak column, it can be found in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

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