Exclusive Passholder Holiday Party EventWritten by Ryan
The first thing we had to do was get in line at the regular ticket booths in the Entrance Plaza. There was an excited energy coming from the crowd of people waiting in line. This was because there was not a single tourist in line, this was a group of people who were all passholders and registered to come to a private party. Once we got to the front of the line, they gave us our wristbands and special maps that were for that night only. (Pictured Below) I was surprised by the size of the crowd. Knowing that this was most of the people that were about to be in the park with us got me excited at the possibility of small lines. That is exactly what happened, the longest line was about 20 minutes and that was for Star Tours. We were extremely pleased that Disney didn't pack out the park for this event. It's possible that the fact that the event was held on a Monday night has something to do with it.
Once in the park what surprised me the most was the fact that they actually did have several things that felt unique to the event that night. They had the traditional holiday food choices as well as a set of Christmas Ornaments that are only available for Passholders to purchase. They were a set of 6 glass orbs with images inside of classic Disney attractions and movies including "it's a small world", 101 Dalmatians, Alice in Wonderland, and Dumbo. I was very tempted to buy the set just so I could have it but the price tag of $49.95 was not something I was willing to pay because these specific franchises aren't my cup of tea.
I thought everything I had seen so far was enough to make this a pretty cool event to visit and feel appreciated by Disney as a Passholder. Then I saw my first character meet and greet for the evening. I'm not really one for waiting in line to take pictures with characters until I was walking near Splash Mountain and saw a line to get your picture taken with Brer Bear, Brer Fox, and Brer Rabbit. This is something I had never seen before so I decided to spend some more time and walk around looking at the other areas. They were all grouped together so you could take pictures with several characters from the same movie. In addition to those pictured below I saw Belle, Beast, Scrooge McDuck, Cinderella's Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters, Princess Tiana, and Louis the Alligator. It was a surprisingly large collection for the event.
One last little thing that I couldnвЂ™t find another place to mention was a very cool text messaging system that they had setup. At the beginning of the night you sent a text to Disney and they would keep you updated with things to do throughout the evening. Our group actually got a little creeped out by this because it coincidentally told us to go to the location we were in each time. It suggested we try the chicken pesto pizza as we were sitting in Pizza Port, it reminded us about the snow as we were waiting on Main Street, it recommended a refreshing Mint Julep as half of our party had one in their hand, and they even reminded us that the special character meet and greets will stop at midnight right after I discovered the 3 characters by Splash Mountain. This was a pretty cool feature and a neat way to feel more connected to an event rather than just another evening at the park.
Overall, I would say this event was a huge success. I had no idea what to expect and didn't know if it would be worth my while to stay out at Disneyland until midnight on a week day just to see what they had to offer. I'm very pleased to say that I feel it was definitely worth it. The lines were super short (though not every attraction was open), the holiday seasonal food and drinks were available, they had unique merchandise for sale, and the character meet and greets were fantastic. When else can you take a picture with Sleeping Beauty, Prince Phillip, and all three fairies in one picture? This is something I definitely will try to be attending next year if at all possible. If you were there, please let us know what you thought by leaving a comment below! We'd love to hear from you!
Ryan is the owner of Original D and the host of the Original D Podcast. He has been going to Disneyland ever since he was a small child with his family. After moving to Southern California in 2007, he was able to really do something with his passion of Disneyland by creating this website one year later in 2008. His other passions include music, board games, and TV Shows.