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Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast Episode 52: The Continued History of Christmas at Disneyland

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Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast Episode 52: The Continued History of Christmas at Disneyland

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Len: Welcome back to another addition of the Unofficial Guide Disney Dish With Jim Hill. I'm Len Testa, your host and today Jim and I are going to be finishing up our conversation on the history of Christmas at Disney Theme Parks. As you can recall, the last episode we ended up with just after Walt had passed away in the mid-Sixties and the  company was sort of trying to figure out what to do for Christmas at Walt- at Disneyland and Walt Disney World... The company was trying to figure out what to do at a Disney Theme Park when there was no Walt Disney for Christmas. So to tell the rest of the story is Jim Hill. Welcome back, Jim.

 

Jim: Hi Len.

 

Len: How's it going?

 

Jim: It's going well. And season's greetings to all of you out there. Yeah, the interesting thing about when talking about the holidays at the Disney Theme Parks... You have to understand that they kind of run in parallel to what's going on in pop culture. That, you know, when Walt passed away in Sixty Six or thereabouts... look, there were holiday specials. I mean, what is it, Sixty Four was the first year Rudolph was shown.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: Sixty Five was Charlie Brown Christmas. Sixty Six was Grinch. So it was... but still Christmas at that point was still sort of assigned to the week, ten days around Christmas. And what ended up happening was that Disney's, what Disney did at the parks sort of reflected that. You had Walt Disney World opens in Seventy One and sure enough, the first year they have Candle Light right at the Magic Kingdom at that point.

 

Len: Really? Where'd they hold it?

 

Jim: Well, you gotta remember that they've always followed the Disneyland template. So it's like "Okay, they have it on their train station, we'll have it on our train station."

 

Len: Ah.

 

Jim: And in fact Candle Lights stuck at the Magic Kingdom for up until Ninety Four.

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: When then they decided to move it over to Epcot because they were in the process of to be honest creating artificial reasons to drive people over to Epcot.

 

Len: Sure, all right. So back in Seventy One.

 

Jim: Yep, Seventy One right there in the Kingdom. But in fact if you talk to California locals or Orlando locals, they used to love going to Walt Disney World or Disneyland during this period because from November to roughly two or three days before Christmas the place was deserted. I mean, you  had these wonderful decorations you could enjoy and basically an empty park.

 

Len: Those were the days.

 

Jim: They were. They were, but that was the thing from Disney's point of view, that was something that needed to change. Now mind you, if you talk with old old Walt Disney World employees during this period, this is when they loved working for the company 'cause mostly everyone who worked for the company at that point were full timers.

 

Len: Uh huh.

 

Jim: And because there were so few people coming to the parks,

 

Len: Did they have pensions and company cars, Jim? Full time employees at Disney.

 

Jim: Well in this case, they had wonderful cast member only parties.

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: Where you brought the family and you had the semi-private time in the park with a manager to run the attractions.

 

Len: Oh wow.

 

Jim: And the nice thing is when you walked out the gate- in fact, if you want some really cool Disney collectibles, go on Ebay and Google... I think the words you're looking for are "Cast Member Christmas Party." And there are some amazing picture frames that are dimensional, Christmas ornaments. I mean, some wonderful stuff that Disney gave to the employees during the period where, "Hey, thank you, you worked so hard all year. We really appreciate you." That sort of thing.

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: And then Eisner walked in the door and. That quickly went away.

 

Len: So here's the thing I'm trying to figure out. So if,

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: If Disney is waiting until the last ten days for Christmas or the two weeks before Christmas to actually start gearing up for the holidays, how do they fit in the Twenty One Mickey's Very Merry Christmas parties into fourteen days? Are they running them concurrently? What's,

 

Jim: Well no, see, that's the other thing that's really cool about it. The very first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party is Nineteen Eighty Three and it's only two nights!

 

Len: Oh, this is just before... When did Eisner get there? Eighty Four?

 

Jim: Eighty Four. And,

 

Len: So, okay. So Christmas Party predates Eisner.

 

Jim: Yeah. But,

 

Len: Two nights.

 

Jim: Only by a hair. And in fact,

 

Len: Adorable.

 

Jim: What's interesting is your first holiday overlay actually predates Eisner by a hair as well. The Country Bear Christmas Show. This was something that, again, just they opened the show "Country Bear Jamboree" in Seventy One and they found after a while just that people who'd been to Walt Disney World particular during the age of ticket books,

 

Len: Uh huh.

 

Jim: It's like, "I did that show and it was cute but I gotta go do something else." And so this was a way  during a time when attendance was down anyway to artificially drive people into the Country Bears Show. So,

 

Len: Ah.

 

Jim: And what's interesting is I know there was the second show in Eighty Eight. The Vacation Hoedown. But as it turns out there were two other shows that they had written and storyboarded but never made it out. They had a Valentine's Day show and a Halloween show. And,

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: And there was a tentative plan even for Fourth of July. So yeah. They went from, they had a very ambitious plan at one point that, again, in the classic Disney sense, fell by the wayside, but.

 

Len: Huh. I think a Halloween Country Bear Jamboree is actually sort of intriguing. Valentine's Day, eh. It's a minor holiday.

 

Jim: Well, it's... In fact, somebody showed me the concept art for that and what they did... It was one of these things where the entire show was built around the concept of when Teddy Beara got lowered, she'd have a bow and arrow in her hand and she'd be the Cupid of the show.

 

Len: Ah. Got it, got it. Okay.

 

Jim: And that one got kind of tripped up by the fact that you understand she comes down out of a tube, right? That she just fits, all right. And now you're talking about "Oh let's put wings on her! Let's put an arrow!" It's like, "Yeah, no. This isn't happening, guys."

 

Len: The wings, spring-loaded wings on a mechanical bear. That's not gonna work.

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: All right, so Eighty Three is the first Very Merry Christmas Party. It's two nights. I can't believe it.

 

Jim: And it stays two nights until Nineteen Ninety when it then, they make the big jump and go to three.

 

Len: Woo, hey, fifty percent increase, man. I'm just saying.

 

Jim: And from there, just, again, as you get into the early Nineties, and you begin to see the calendar... You get to see the modern Disney company happen.

 

Len: All right, so this is Eisner, right? So Eisner comes in Eighty Four. His first priority is probably not bumping out the Christmas season but it's... by census it's probably up there though after he gets through like the "Let's not get taken over, let's build our hotels," right? So, walk us through that.

 

Jim: Well, the other thing to remember is that Eisner was famous for the first ten years that he was in charge, Disney achieved twenty percent growth every year. Which was astounding to the business community. But,

 

Len: Could you imagine that now? Twenty percent growth,

 

Jim: Well, first of all, now let's remember that when Eisner came on board, out of the eleven companies in Hollywood that were making movies, Disney was eleventh, all right. So there literally was no way to go but up.

 

Len: All right, okay.

 

Jim: And then a lot of it was artificial like "Hey, people want hotel rooms on property. Build them!" So Caribbean Beach, the Grand Floridian. You know, people want to stay an extra day on property. Build the studio. I mean, there were all these ways to artificially bump it out. But again, the problem when you go twenty percent, twenty percent, twenty percent, for ten years in a row, that is hard to maintain. So now you get into this era where Disney is literally lifting up the couch cushions.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: It's like, "All right. Eisner wants twenty percent growth! How're we going to do that?" And in a weird sort of way, it was the very first marathon that sort of... It was the notion of we created this event in January where all these people showed up and it's like "Holy crap! Could we do this-"

 

Len: "What other events could be create?"

 

Jim: There we go. And so,

 

Len: Going through like Scandinavian calendars looking for obscure holidays they can appropriate. Yeah.

 

Jim: But at the same time, if you look at what's going on at Epcot. Epcot, the biggest park that's the hardest to fill. You get food and wine, you get a flowering garden.

 

Len: Flowering garden, yeah.

 

Jim: In fact, what became of the Discovery thing that was supposed to happen this January there? Do you remember hearing about that? The sort of science... the whole... they were gonna have a future world fest? They did surveys, they tested the names, they reached out to sponsors, and,

 

Len: No, I didn't hear anything about it.

 

Jim: Kind of evaporated. Nobody's... That's the thing. All this talk earlier in the year about it and nothing since.

 

Len: Maybe we got (???) Magic instead. I mean, that's fair.

 

Jim: Okay.

 

Len: Ha ha ha.

 

Jim: But again, so now you're looking at a company that aggressively is looking at ways to bump out the calendar. So you get Hallow- what's weird is Christmas starts off by doing three, four, five days going, marching into the Nineties and it's kind of interesting because Mickey's Not So Scary always lags behind until the mid-Two Thousands when it actually shoots past Christmas.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: In fact, at one point they had more dates.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: They,

 

Len: Well, Halloween's a thing now. I mean,

 

Jim: Well yeah. But the thing is (???) the Christmas battle plan to grow it into a thing.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: In fact, that was the most interesting part of the seasonal decoration team. They got to the point where they can do this amazing job with the park for the holidays and they then came at them and said, "Well, could you do the same thing for Halloween?" And had to invent a whole decoration program and likewise a battle plan to change out the park in just three or four days.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: So. Well anyway, so again, you're looking at both coats looking for ways to create artificial reasons for people to drive to the parks for the holidays. So on the heels of Country Bear Christmas, they begin looking for other attractions they can do this to. And so in Ninety Seven we end up with Small World Holiday for Disneyland.

 

Len: Really? Oh it's that recent? It's only sixteen years.

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: Oh really? I thought it was dated a lot longer than that.

 

Jim: No, no. And in fact it was the success of that one that lead to Haunted Mansion Holiday coming out in Two Thousand One. And then it got weird because that one was so hugely successful that they began like, "Could we do a holiday overlay of Pirates?" It's like, "No, you can't do that." And in fact, just this year after more than a decade of going back and forth about "Can we do something for the Jungle Cruise," we ended up with Jingle Cruise.

 

Len: Ah. Have you been on that?

 

Jim: Yeah. And, look,

 

Len: That's exactly my opinion of it.

 

Jim: Look, I know, I mean, no disrespect to the skippers who do a yeomen's job of putting over the new script and doing everything possible to make that fun and,

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: But when you come through that queue that has all of these fun little holiday touches and you're listening to "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" and you look at the prepped boats, and you're ready! And you've seen the poster coming in of the elephants wearing- and hippos wearing Santa hats,

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: You're ready! And you get in the boat and it's just the same show. It's the same visuals.

 

Len: That's the thing that bothered me about it. So I knew something was up when there was a line. 'Cause lots of people were doing it. We get in the boat and we can see the other boat sort of turning to the left to start the ride and we noticed that only the half of the boat that faces the guests was decorated. So we knew,

 

Jim: Oh.

 

Len: "Okay, something... they didn't completely (???) this idea.

 

Jim: Just that half? Oh.

 

Len: Just that half f the boat. So if you look at like the name on the top of the boats for example, there's only decorations on the side that faces the guests.

 

Jim: I have been told by folks who work at the parks that... in fact, I did a piece about sort of Bungle in the Jungle about this sort of- it's a half measure.

 

Len: It is.

 

Jim: And they said going forward they would try to do the stuff- you know, the problem is that... In fact, this is where we get into the Walt Disney World Disneyland thing because face it. Haunted Mansion Holiday's been around since Two Thousand One. You've had Small World Holiday since Ninety Seven... Why aren't these coming East? And whenever anybody presses the point the people in Ops say, "Look. Disneyland because it's the world's most famous regional theme park."

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: And its guests come twice a year, typically. And are coming from only a hundred miles away. They're much more forgiving when they say "Come to the park!" and there's a fence around the Haunted Mansion. You know, saying "Sorry, we're closed for the three weeks it takes to set this up."

 

Len: Yeah, definitely.

 

Jim: And what's funny is that the tear down only takes like three or four days. In fact, I know Seth Kubersky would approve of this 'cause he's the guy who went on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey with a high powered flashlight so he could- Did Seth ever tell you about that? The dementor's that got cut out of that attraction?

 

Len: I think I've heard this.... No. No. I thought I heard it but no.

 

Jim: Okay, so you're in this- quick side trip to Universal here, folks. If you're on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and you're in the Chamber of Secrets and you're being attacked by dementors, there's a moment in that where Harry says "Leave my friends alone!" And you're looking at sort of mist  screens above you. It's just sort of like, "That's kind of a lame thing in this ride." Well, behind the screens are animatronic... a group of figures on a KUKA arm that was supposed to sort of swoop down at you and it was... literally it's a massive like twenty one dementors and evidently,

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: Oh yeah. And evidently it was one of these things where the people who rode the ride in its original form said, "It was a scary moment." Because you look up and your bench is moving up toward them and the arm is hammering them down at you and then Harry says "Leave my friends alone," waves his wand, and the dementors are blown away. But it was so scary and also there was a concern that KUKA arm going up KUKA arm coming down, this could be bad.

 

Len: KUKA sandwich!

 

Jim: There we go. So they've actually shut off the effect and Seth, God love him, heard about this and so what does he do? They put up the mist curtain to hide this effect. Seth brings a high powered flashlight on the ride. He wants to prove,

 

Len: That's not a safety issue, sure.

 

Jim: No.

 

Len: Sure.

 

Jim: He gets to that moment on the ride, turns it on, CRRRK, through the mist curtain, sure enough, here is this knot of dementors that's sort of hanging from the ceiling that's no longer in the ride.

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: So. Sorry folks. Again, you had a scarier show, but Universal just wasn't in the mood to sell the Harry Potter adult diaper. So it just sort of... "Maybe we shouldn't put that in the show."

 

Len: No.

 

Jim: Anyway,

 

Len: So we're talking about the guests who want the original version of the attraction so. That's what we've heard at Walt Disney World for the longest time. People save up for two years. If they come in October they want to see the original version of Country Bears or Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World,

 

Jim: Yep.

 

Len: Because they come from all over the world. Whereas in Disneyland it's a local, it's a regional them park.

 

Jim: Absolutely. But the problem is now that they've done Jingle Cruise on both coasts, this becomes kind of a moot point. It's like, "Now wait a minute. You're willing to do that?" But the argument- in fact, that was the push back I got from Walt Disney world about "Well, if that's the version that people want, they want with the Santa hats and that sort of thing, I think we're going to have to opt out. Because we can't shut down this attraction. We need to have that much more capacity."

 

Len: Uh huh.

 

Jim: So. I don't honestly know what's going to happen. It could be one of these situations where for Christmastime at Disneyland, they get the amazing show and we revert to "Well, we did Jingle Cruise for the one year and got bad press so eh. We don't do this."

 

Len: We're constantly adjusting our mix of attractions based on guests (???) yeah yeah yeah.

 

Jim: There you go. Oh by the way, just to double back on- I brought up the high powered flashlight for a reason 'cause if you actually ride the Haunted Mansion during the off season, when they're not doing the holiday show,

 

Len: Uh huh.

 

Jim: All of the props for Haunted Mansion Holiday are kept in the building. In fact, it's one of these things where,

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: If you're going through the track, riding along the attraction and have a flashlight shining up the ceiling, there are these giant bags hanging down from the ceiling of all the props for Haunted Mansion Holiday.

 

Len: Oh, that's where they store them?

 

Jim: The lighter ones. So.

 

Len: That's hysterical.

 

Jim: They don't keep the anvils up there.

 

Len: (???)

 

Jim: Anyway,

 

Len: Huh.

 

Jim: Getting back to Disneyland, I have to tell the story- This is the year before DCA opens. Ad Disneyland's kind of staring down the pipe with the reality of again, you have so many people who come from the local area and they know DCA is going to be opening in January. So it's like, "Why should I spend my money to go to Disneyland for Christmas of Two Thousand, when,

 

Len: Yeah, when a month, yeah,

 

Jim: Yeah. So Cynthia Harris was sort of staring down the barrel of this. I mean, they were, again, the staff at that resort is exhausted because they've been in temporary parking for three plus years at this point, and guests in order to get to the park had been making their way through plywood mazes to get through all of the temporary stuff and,

 

Len: Sure.

 

Jim: It's like "We need something amazing. We need something to really get people here." And in a meeting, one of the guys said, "Well we could make it snow." And it's like, "How?" "Little foam soap stuff." And it's like, "But you'd have to have dozens upon dozens of the machine. They'd have to go off simultaneously. Can we do that?" And it's like, "I don't know." And so Cynthia, here's Cynthia. It's an October night, it's three o'clock in the morning, they've got everybody standing on Main Street while people are running along the rooftops of Main Street USA and nobody knows if it's going to work. And she described this moment where they're about to throw in the towel when finally it happens. The machines kick on and they're standing there and the snow begins to flutter down and she was like "Oh my God, it's exactly what we wanted it to be. It's this magical holiday feel." And the weird thing is, they got it running just after Thanksgiving at Disneyland and they said it was, for lack of a... It was... in the early early days of social media but they watched the attendants at the park grow every day 'cause people just went and said, "Oh my God, I was at Disneyland and it snowed!"

 

Len: "It snowed! They have snow!"

 

Jim: And Southern California, this thing during a time when nobody should have come out to the park. They dealt with record crowds. That then led to the whole notion of "Well, what else could we do?" And then you ended up with the Sleeping Beauty Castle covered with the artificial,

 

Len: (???) yeah.

 

Jim: Which in turn the idea got duplicated and brought to Florida.

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: Now we jump ahead to Two Thousand One. DCA's finally opened and... This is the kind of... the irony of the situation. One of the reasons Haunted Mansion Holiday was put in... and this was a project that was well underway before DCA opened. But it was fast track because the worry was "Wow, when we open DCA it's gonna be such a hit we're gonna suck all the attendance out of Disneyland and we better give them something new."

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: Not realizing DCA wasn't gonna have that problem in its original form. So now they're looking at ridiculously low crowds and they realize "Wow, we need something to bring people into our park." And so they invented on a very short time schedule and a very tiny budget the LuminAria, the first, actually the first lagoon show for that theme park.

 

Len: Lum... I'm not familiar with it. LuminAria.

 

Jim: Really? Only ran one season. And it actually... in a weird sort of way, it predated a lot of the effects that are so prevalent in World of Color, specifically Winter Dreams. They did this amazing thing where it was sort of candles rose out of the water. And they- the other thing they did that was really sort of charming is that they had this sort of... I think the name they used to use in house... it was known as the Candy Dish. This giant faux island that they put out there but these video screens would pop up out of the water and they would,

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: Guests earlier in the day had been invited into that sort of weird pseudo San Francisco area and could create their own Christmas cards. And they then be scanned in and those were part of the show. And it was really quite effective. People would wait for hours just to see their Christmas card hung on. The only problem was it was a relatively heavy fireworks based show and that bowl shape would hold the smoke so by the end of the show it was kind of like Christmas in Beirut (???). [explosion noises] I think I see festive things or possibly I'm getting emphysema. I don't know. So,

 

Len: Oh, funny.

 

Jim: That ran the one season but it, again, interestingly enough, that they knew they could use that space for shows. This LuminAria had been the proof of concept and... but it took them nine years to circle back on World of Color.

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: And World of Color did do little holiday add ons, you know, the Prep and Landing stuff that was done for Two Thousand Eleven. It was only this year that they finally went ahead with Winter Dreams. Have you managed to see that yet or... have you gone out west to see that yet?

 

Len: No, not yet. Guy (???) might have seen it.

 

Jim: Okay. 'Cause it's a clever show. It's a long show.

 

Len: Is it?

 

Jim: Yeah. It's twenty five minutes and you kind of feel,

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: All twenty five of them.

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: But they lucked out in a weird sort of way because Steve Davison put it together and Steve looked early at Frozen and thought, "That looks like a huge, a monster hit. And Let It Go is likewise. That Olaf character is amazing." And he just took whole chunks of that. I mean, they basically perform all of Let it Go.

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: And likewise, all of Olaf's In Summer song in the show.  And it's a hit, right out of the box.

 

Len: Oh. Good call. Good call by him.

 

Jim: Yeah. Well, Steve's a smart guy but the interesting thing is, while he was putting this together for DCA, he was doing a version of the same show that would be then shown on the castle at- I keep dating myself by calling it EuroDisneyland- but Disneyland Paris. So it's interesting to watch now how Disney is using this projection technology.

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: This seems to be the next big thing. For example, again, It's a Small World in California. They do a whole sort of Gingerbread Holiday Celebration that's projected onto Small World several times a night out there.

 

Len: Right. That's actually a pretty decent show. I think I actually like that better than... what's the new one? After Magic Memories in You? The Celebrate the Magic?

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: But the... it's... I did want to bring up one issue. There's been- flipping back to Walt Disney World, this year there's been the Candle Light that's been going on at Epcot. There's been some interesting comments online about how there have been- People have gone, people now in the Orlando area go year after year after year. This is part of their holiday routine.

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: They've noticed that some of the material that deals with the story of Christ has been kinda clipped out, sort of foreshortened in the show to give a more secular take.

 

Len: Of Christmas.

 

Jim: Of Christmas. And what's kind of interesting is that it wasn't really all that long ago that you could go to the Walt Disney World Shopping Village where one of the highlights of the holiday season was they did a living Nativity. Mind you, it was the world's slowest living Nativity.

 

Len: Sure. Wow.

 

Jim: I mean, just, you, that whole central area where they give the concert, they would actually- they built a manger,

 

Len: Really? That was the, wow.

 

Jim: Yeah. And they did that starting in the mid-Seventies right up 'til the mid-Nineties or thereabouts. In fact, it was kind of when World of Disney store opened that they finally said, "You know, the crowd levels are so big and we're a little concerned about bringing live animals in here." But yeah. It WAS the living Nativity. They would do one Christmas Carol and like bring in a sheep. And then do another Christmas Carol and oh here comes the camel. And,

 

Len: Wow. Live animals. That's an awesome idea.

 

Jim: It was. It was. And in fact, I think there is some stuff on Youtube of this presentation. But again, I don't know if there was a video camera (???) that was long enough to tape this whole show. I just remember,

 

Len: You have to do one animal per song.

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: And each Wise Man probably gets their own introductory march and yeah.

 

Jim: The ending tableaux was beautiful. It was wonderful. It was the Christmas card shot. It just took you two weeks to get there. It was Three Kings Day by the time the show was over.

 

Len: Greek Orthodox Christmas. So what's Disney World... What's the Disney Company looking forward to for Christmas? What are the plans that... We know now that they've got the Very Merry Christmas Parties. We know they've got overlays. What if anything is going to be different five years from now?

 

Jim: Well, getting back to the wonderful magic bands. The whole notion of wouldn't it be amazing to have an encounter with Santa at the parks where- that wonderful, what is it, Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street moment where Santa rec- I mean Santa nails every child- that's the wrong term... But knows every child in line and can identify them,

 

Len: Yeah yeah.

 

Jim: That notion. You know, what if you had Super Santa. Santa who knew, "Oh, how was ballet (???) going?"

 

Len: What if he knows whether you've really been naughty or nice? Could you imagine?

 

Jim: Well that's the,

 

Len: Can you imagine if a parent puts something into My Disney Experience like, "Billy never washes his clothes" or "Billy never cleans up his room." And then Santa starts saying that. The kid would be like... And everybody else says "I believe! And he knows!" "You weren't there, man! You weren't there!" "He knows!"

 

Jim: The cool thing about that is if they do that they could actually set up the Santa Meet and Greet for Germany 'cause then they could bring out Krampus. The Horned Demon of Christmas! Who beats bad children with switches.

 

Len: Did you ever hear that David Sedaris story about Christmas? Santa and,

 

Jim: Oh, was it,

 

Len: The Six to Eight Black Men.

 

Jim: Yep.

 

Len: So apparently one of the- so go look it up, it's probably on Youtube- David and the Six to Eight Black Men. Anyway, so David goes to different countries and in each country he asks them what their Christmas tradition is and apparently in the Netherlands, is it? One of the traditions is if you've been bad, you don't get coal in your stocking, but Santa and the Elves come and beat you up.

 

Jim: There you go.

 

Len: There you go. Christmas is a time for reflecting on cultural differences. Anyway,

 

Jim: So now, but yeah, that's what they're looking at. That and,

 

Len: Magic Bands.

 

Jim: That coupled with now that you have this monstrous hit movie Frozen that is obviously ice, winter, snow, that's really sort of filtering out... They're already looking at Two Thousand Fourteen Two Thousand Fifteen, how does that fit into our holiday plans. In fact, that's... Those of you who love the Maelstrom, you want to go visit,

 

Len: Oh that's right. Go right now.

 

Jim: Yeah. Because Disney's not gonna make the mistake they made with The Little Mermaid again. They're not gonna wait twenty years to make a ride. This time around, Frozen will have an attraction I'm told within eighteen months. So.

 

Len: The Maelstrom will be it, yeah.

 

Jim: Yeah. And then supposedly there's something larger scale in the works for Disneyland. But that's a project that's behind the Marvel and the Star Wars stuff, so.

 

Len: Oh, so a few years for that.

 

Jim: So we'll see.

 

Len: Huh. Interesting. Something to look forward to.

 

Jim: Yeah. But again, just... when you understand that Disneyland expanded its Christmas, its holiday programs just the way we did in modern day America, that's gonna continue. Whatever we're doing in the outside world, Disney will somehow filter in. And I think the funniest part of this is that if you remember there was Eighty One where they did Mickey's Christmas Carol and I think it was Ninety Tw, Ninety Three they did Muppet Christmas Carol.

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: And then just two years ago they did the Jim Carry Robert Zemeckis motion capture Christmas Carol. Evidently the guys who do Phineas and Ferb,

 

Len: Yeees! Phineas and Ferb Christmas Carol.

 

Jim: So but evidently it's about Doctor Doofenshmirtz trying to reform. So just tuck that one away folks. We may see another version coming someday soon.

 

Len: that would be great. Cool. Well Jim, thanks very much for wrapping up our Christmas Story just in time for the holiday itself.

 

Jim: Again, glad to do it again, folks. I hope everyone just enjoys the season.

 

Len: Thanks again Jim. All right, folks, you've been listening to the Unofficial Guide Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill. For Jim this is Len. Thanks very much for listening. Please rate us on Itunes and leave us comments to let us know what you'd like to hear next. Have a happy holiday season and we will see you on the next show.

 

Jim: Bye now.

 

 

 

Attachment: http://www.superfluffybunny.com/Disney_Dish_Podcast_52_History_of_Christmas_In_Disney_Theme_Parks_Part_2.mp3
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