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Looking forward to Disney Merriest Nites – DePaoli on DeParks

by Jeff DePaoli

We recently got the news about a brand-new ticketed holiday party coming to Disneyland, called Disney Merriest Nites. Although Walt Disney World has had a hard-ticket holiday party for years now, this will be the first for Disneyland. During the new event, several Disney characters will be throwing their own mini-parties in six different lands throughout Disneyland. Mickey Mouse will be celebrating on Main Street, U.S.A., Miguel will be celebrating in Frontierland, Tiana is fittingly placed in New Orleans Square, Elsa in Fantasyland, Lilo & Stitch in Adventureland, and Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland. But what about Critter Country, Mickey’s Toontown and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Let’s imagine for a moment.

disney merriest nites
Photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Assuming that Disney Merriest Nites is a success, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the celebrating expanded to all of the lands in Disneyland in following years. Here are some scenarios I would love to see occur if the expansion became a reality.

In Mickey’s Toontown, I think the master of ceremonies should be the one and only Roger Rabbit. I know it’s called Mickey’s Toontown, but I always think of it as Roger’s Toontown, even with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway joining the land soon. To set this party apart from the others, it would be fun to see this as more of a New Year’s celebration with a DJ and lots of confetti. The ultimate addition would be if the land was full of other rarely-seen characters — bring back the Disney Afternoon gang for some holiday celebrating. I would love to see Toontown truly inhabited by a plethora of Disney characters, as if the land were populated by toons. And if there ever were a land for an Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights-like takeover, I believe Mickey’s Toontown would be very fitting. If all of these pieces were put together, this would probably become the most popular land in the entire park.

Then there’s Critter Country. Considering that it’s not really known how much longer Critter Country will be around, since the Princess and the Frog expansion is stretching into its territory, let’s get a bit retro with this land, instead. Before it was Critter Country, it was Bear Country, featuring the Country Bear Jamboree. One of the most popular versions of the iconic attraction was the Country Bear Christmas Special. It would be fun to see them honor this popular version of the retired attraction by having the Country Bears meet-and-greet characters dressed up for the holidays, as they previously did in the stage show. I’d also love to hear the actual song audio tracks from the Country Bear Christmas Special playing throughout the land.

And finally, there’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This one seems like a bit of a no-brainer. Of course, they would need to celebrate Life Day on Batuu from the infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special.” I think we will eventually see this happen in the still new-ish land, as it is mentioned in the official book “Traveler’s Guide to Batuu.” This book is full of information and details actually featured in the land, like food options, specialty merchandise, specific location history, and more. Since the holiday is listed and justified in the book, stating that “the longstanding Wookiee tradition has been embraced by beings across the galaxy,” I think this means the plan is to eventually bring the celebrating to Batuu. It even gets specific saying “Festive décor can be seen throughout Batuu and at the close of Life Day, everyone gathers around the black spire to sing songs and spread good cheer to one another.”

Overall, I like this idea of a different style of celebrating happening in each of the lands during Disney Merriest Nites. It would be fun to see the concept expanded in the future. Are there any particular festivities or character takeovers you would like to see in any of Disneyland’s lands? Leave a comment and let me know.

If you have any theme park topics you would like to hear my opinion on, let me know in the comments. You might just see it pop up in a future DePaoli on DeParks.


Jeff DePaoli is a producer and voiceover artist living in Los Angeles, California. He can be heard as the voice of Disney Trivia on Alexa as well as the host of “Dizney Coast to Coast,” a Disney fan podcast. He is offering the free gifts of “America’s Hidden Mickeys,” “On the Rohde Again,” “Theme Park Comfort Kit” and more at DizneyCoastToCoast.com. DePaoli’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent Attractions Magazine.

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