Each year as Halloween gives way to Christmas (you know that 7 hours) inevitably Doobie (one of the founders of this great website) says to me “you know one year we took pictures of every Christmas tree in Walt Disney World” as a way to plant the seed in my head that he wants me to follow in his and Rebekah’s footsteps. Spoiler – another year has passed without the trees of WDW but as a consolation during my last trip to Anaheim I did my best.
The Disney Parks have always been a part of Christmas for as long as I can recall be it the annual ‘Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade’ on ABC or the highlight for me each year the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland or EPCOT but one thing that plays a part in all is one of the true symbols of the season the Christmas Tree. This holiday season has become such a big part of the parks there is a whole department that all they do year round is plan for the most wonderful time of the year and one of their main jobs is the decorating and planning for the trees around the parks. For many years Disneyland would have the main tree on Main Street USA and maybe a few smaller ones around the park and in the Disneyland Hotel, but as the Resort grew so did the need for more of the Christmas spirit to be spread. Over 2 days in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure as well as the 3 resort hotels and the Downtown Disney District I found what had started as a large tree in Town Square had grown to rival that of a small town.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
The Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel originally opened in 1984 as the Emerald Hotel of Anaheim then became the Pan Pacific Hotel until Disney purchased it in 1995 when it became the Disneyland Pacific Hotel, but in 2001 with the opening of DCA it was renamed and rethemed the Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Even though the Paradise Pier section of the park has been redone the hotel still pays tribute to the seaside parks of yesteryear in its theming of trees.
While there might not be much variety in the many trees in the lobby area, the main tree rivals that of either of the 2 parks in size and beauty.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
The shining jewel of the 2001 expansion the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is based on the arts & crafts movement of the early 1900’s so it really gives the feel of a true country Christmas.
The main tree in the lobby is just stunning and if you are lucky enough to grab a rocking chair next to the fire place with a view of the tree you would almost swear you are in Northern California with snow falling outside and coming from the kitchen the sweet smell of turkey and yams.
Downtown Disney District
Now this idea of capturing all the trees of the Disneyland Resort started off as a fun little project that I would do to pass the time between attractions but as the saying goes “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft a-gley.” What I thought might be an easy grab as I got the idea turned into about an hour and a half in DTD with over 40 different trees of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
But the main tree of this area was just a perfect Christmas tree for me.
The iconic Disneyland Hotel had the trees of the Resort in my opinion, with trees themed to the towers they were in to everyone’s favorite Goofy’s tree outside his Kitchen there was something for everyone.
For those of you who are not finiler with the Disneyland Hotel it was built at the same time as Disneyland and just like the park expanded many times over the years, currently there are 3 towers each themed after a different land of the park with all the above photos being from the Fantasy Tower. These next two trees are some of my favorites because they are themed for the Frontier and Adventure towers and have nods to the attractions of those lands.
The Disneyland Hotel may not have a main tree, it does have one of the best themed trees that just so happens to be the photo spot for the big guy, no not Mickey Mouse but Santa Claus!
Disney California Adventure Park
DCA has gone through more changes than just about any other Disney Park so with that comes changes to its Holiday Celebration including everyone’s favorite
Mistake On The Lake Disney’s LuminAria during the park’s first year that brought a tear to everyone’s eye that saw it (if they were down wind) or the Surfin’ Santa!
20 years later the park now celebrates the Festival of the Holidays with entertainment and food from perfect to California along with some fun trees.
For me I love a good themed tree and there are no better themed trees than in one of the best themed lands in any Disney Park, Cars Land.
Sadly I wasn’t able to capture any of the DCA trees at night but no matter day or night the Buena Vista Street tree always reminds me of being a kid and the big tree in my hometown.
Disneyland for me is the end all be all of Christmas decorations, growing up my yearly trips to Disneyland were normally during the summer time but I used to love the “very merry, very merry Christmas! It’s Christmas Time at Disneyland” commercials and wanted more than anything to see that amazing parade but sadly by the time I remember going they had moved on to Christmas Fantasy Parade but I digress. With 9 themed lands in my head I expected many more trees than I actually found, when I say found I mean I am sure I missed a few across the entire resort but sadly in Disneyland there are few and far between.
Now I know I didn’t add the ones in Haunted Mansion Holiday or ‘it’s a small world Holiday’ and those are beautiful but this was more about the trees all guests can see as they walk the resort. I hope you all enjoyed this trip to the Disneyland Resort Christmas Tree lot and have a Merry Christmas, who knows maybe next year I will tackle the Walt Disney World Resort.
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.