It’s the spirit of the season. You can feel it in the air!
Oh wait. Those are the lyrics to Christmas Wishes, a fireworks show at Walt Disney World Resort that is not found at Disneyland Paris. I have them memorized because I watched this show approximately 45 nights while working in Fantasyland on the Disney College Program.
I think all the fireworks residue got to my brain, because, with Christmas approaching, I just couldn’t stay out of the Disney Parks even while living in Spain. Yes, it was a little crazy to return to Disneyland Paris just three months after my first visit, especially since this is my first time living in Europe and there are so many new places I haven’t been.
But what can I say? I. LOVE. DISNEY! And Christmas at Disneyland Paris was totally worth the trip, with festive holiday galore around every corner. Read on for some fun from the land of Mickey Mouse to get you even more excited about the holidays.
Christmas at Disneyland Paris: Ten Things to Know Before You Go
10. It’s dang cold
Disneyland Paris was freezing. Except it wasn’t even. During my visit the temperatures were warm for December, hovering in the upper 30’s. In winter at Disneyland Paris it’s not uncommon to have temperatures drop to below freezing and it snows.
I prepared myself with UGGS and my thick winter jacket, which I took off only one time – while riding Pirates of the Caribbean.
This wasn’t exactly a fun aspect of my trip, but a noteworthy one. I do believe the temperatures at Disneyland Paris more accurately fit with those depicted in Christmas stories and movies.
9. It gets dark super early
Hey, is that Mickey?
Another aspect of visiting Disneyland Paris in December that will leave you running for Orlando or Anaheim: it gets dark so early.
While the sun technically sets around 4:50 during this time of year, often the skies are cloudy and grey, so it’s rather dark well before that.
This shot of Mickey is from the start of the 4 o’clock Parade, awkward lighting to see your favorite characters.
8. Meeting Santa Claus
Père Noël, or Santa Claus, has a whole village in Fronteirland at Cottonwood Creek Ranch. An upgrade from his chair on Main Street at Magic Kingdom, I’d say.
7. Oh Christmas Tree!
Town Square in Main Street has the most beautiful Christmas tree with one of a kind Disney ornaments.
6. It’s a Small World Christmas
It’s a Small World gets a holiday overlay, complete with snowflakes, menorahs, presents, the Wise men, and of course, Santa Claus.
5. Christmas Parade
Unlike Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris does not replace their day parade with a Christmas one. Christmas dancers and Santa Claus do however lead it off, and there is a shorter separate Christmas Cavalcade earlier in the day.
My favorite part of this parade? They have a float with characters from the latest Disney film, Frozen.
4. Main Street, U.S.A decorations
Donald and Daisy snow people.
Cinderella Castle decorated with lights.
*Sigh* I just love the decorations on Main Street.
3. Meeting Sandy Claws
Santa Claus is cool and all, but I met him at the mall for approximately 20 years of my life. What’s really cool is meeting Sandy Claws, Jack Skelington all dressed up and doling out the Christmas spirit.
All though his costume could use a little work to be, well, less creepy, this character is really funny and fluent in English and French.
Sally also makes appearances at Jack & Sally’s cemetery.
2. Disney Dreams of Christmas
Disney Dreams, the nighttime firework and castle projection spectacular, gets a Christmas overlay, infused with the new characters from Frozen. Olaf the snowman replaces Peter Pan as the narrator, and classic characters dance to your favorite American Christmas songs.
The highlight is the Nutcracker scene performed by the characters from Toy Story.
This scene is also found in World of Color at Disney’s California adventure. It’s hysterical and left me with a huge smile on my face.
1. Christmas Spirit of the Cast Members
Ok, ok, don’t judge, but the number one highlight for me was interacting with Disney Cast Members.
I got to spend the day with Pedro, an amazing Cast Member who works at the Haunted mansion and I met on my last visit.
Not everyone understands when I randomly break into Disney song or pretend that weaving through a crowd of people is like escaping from pirates.
There’s just nothing like spending the day at a Disney Park with a Cast Member or someone else who really gets Disney.
What a wonderful way to get into the spirit of Christmas.
Note: Disney’s Enchanted Christmas at Disneyland Paris runs Nov. 10- Jan. 6, 2014.