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Disneyland Paris unveils a sparkling Christmas program

by Susan and Simon Veness

Disneyland Paris has unveiled a sparkling program of festive events and attractions for its Christmas celebration this year, highlighted by a brand-new Christmas Parade.

Disneyland Paris Christmas

Ahead of its milestone 30th Anniversary celebration in 2022, Disney’s big French resort will launch a Yuletide of sharing in both parks as well as the Disney Village and hotels this holiday season, starting on November 13, and featuring the return of Chef’s Enchanting Festive Cuisine events.

There will also be a welcome comeback for the stunning nighttime spectacular “Disney Illuminations” on December 21, while the traditional show “The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands” returns this month.

It all starts at the Disneyland Park, where guests will be welcomed by a majestic tree glittering with a thousand lights on Main Street, U.S.A., leading up to the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle, and with a “snowfall” more than 12 times a day along Main Street.

Visitors will also discover Disney characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Stitch, not to mention Santa Claus himself – dressed in their finest holiday attire, adding to the magic of the season in both parks.

Mickey and Minnie in their Christmas finery.
Photos courtesy of Disneyland Paris

The undoubted highlight, though, will be “Mickey’s Dazzling Christmas Parade!”, a burst of magic to celebrate winter, which the Disneyland Paris Imagineers have secretly been developing for several years, and which will be different by day and night.

Composed of five gigantic floats, it features not only Mickey and friends, but also Disney princesses and Santa, accompanied by Tinker Bell. Each float will represent an idyllic Christmas scene with traditional decorations and parade performers dressed in luminous costumes specially designed for the occasion.

Emanuel Lenormand, Disneyland Paris show director, insisted: “This new parade is a surprise because there is a daytime version and it becomes a new show come nightfall, with hundreds of thousands of lights that illuminate these floats and tell a new story.”

The return of fan favorite show “The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands” on October 23 will add to the festivities in the Disneyland Park’s Frontierland Theater several times a day, while the nightly performance of “Disney Illuminations” will make its comeback on December 21.

The 30-minute Lion King show was created especially for Disneyland Paris, with impressive choreography and original costumes, brought to life by singers, dancers, acrobats, and percussionists. The Illuminations extravaganza features state-of-the-art technology and incorporates sounds, lights, projections, fountains, and breathtaking pyrotechnic effects set against the backdrop of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The Resort will additionally welcome guests with a wealth of enchanting décor, providing the ideal backdrop for capturing magical moments with the click of a camera, especially with Disney characters decked in their Christmas attire at photo locations in both parks.

Disneyland Paris atmosphere

The magic of the season will also be on offer through a wide range of restaurant menus, including seasonal dishes such as stuffed turkey or Christmas Yule Log, as well as vegan selections like pumpkin and chestnut soup, and pan-fried spelt with asparagus and morel mushrooms. Additional delicacies – both tasty and utterly Instagrammable – include Minnie’s Christmas Tartlet, gingerbread trees, and the signature Olaf’cho’o’neige, a hot beverage with banana puree and whipped cream.

Disney Hotels will be decked out in their winter finery to create a uniquely enchanting Christmas atmosphere, too, offering photo opportunities with Disney characters, plus restaurant and shopping specialties. Guests will also be able to book a selection of specially decorated rooms with surprise gift packages for both adults and kids at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel and Disney’s Newport Bay Club.

Disney's Hotel New York -The Art of Marvel

To celebrate Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, Disneyland Paris presents the unique “Chef’s Enchanting Festive Cuisine” on December 24 and 31, plus brunches on December 25 and January 1, with exceptional menus in both park and at hotel restaurants. Guests who book one of these meals will also have access to the New Year’s Eve party to enjoy a selection of attractions and character encounters.

On the hunt for Christmas gifts, decorations and festive outfits? Head to the Resort’s many stores, which will all be offering a wide selection of seasonal products, including tree decorations, plush toys, electric trains, fashionable items, and more.

Look out in particular for the Holiday Spirit Jersey, a perfect fit for the upcoming holiday season; forest-inspired Christmas ornaments; the special gold edition Minnie’s ears headband; and a traditional Advent Calendar filled with chocolates, which opens like a book to reveal typical winter scenes with Mickey, Minnie, and friends.

Disneyland Paris Christmas Fun Facts

Christmas decorations include:

  • 4 miles of garland in the two parks and on the Christmas trees
  • 11,604 Christmas ornaments
  • 78 real Christmas trees
  • A majestic tree 78ft high and weighing 24 tons, with more than 1,000 decorative objects
  • More than 37,000 flowers planted over 4 days by the horticulture teams
  • 200 new costumes for the “Mickey’s Dazzling Christmas Parade!”

For more information visit DisneylandParis.com.

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