Happy Happy Holidays, Everyone!
If we weren’t quite feeling the Holiday Spirit yet, that all changed the other night as we took in the very first performance of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
I know, I know. We all dearly miss the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights just as much as you do. Let’s take a moment to reflect. (Somber music playing. Or something.)
Ok — is it out of our system? I hope so. Because we have some pretty cool stuff to share with you, starting with a look at some of the awesome decor you can spy around Studios. Let’s head in!
Atmosphere: Holiday Decor and Merchandise at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Boulevard is Holiday Central at the Studios, with lots of retro decorations in keeping with the old Tinseltown theme.
Street Lamps are decorated with petite Christmas trees, which are festooned with shiny garland and traditional ball-shaped ornaments.
Silver garland is decked out with plush reindeer and peppermint candies, and striped bows add even more color.
We also found some fun merch that I knew we had to share. Any fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas out there?
Any serious fan has to have these Sally and Jack plushes. (That Oogie Boogie plush is pretty cute, too.)
After doing a little shopping, you can also visit with the big man himself — Santa Claus! Find the St. Nick Meet and Greet in the back of Carthay Circle Merchandise Shop.
Isn’t this such a pretty room? It’s going to make the perfect photo op for your Disney Christmas. Be sure to tell the Big Guy all your Christmas Wishes! (And I hope you’ve been good this year. )
But now it’s time to snag a spot in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre for the big show!
Let’s head over. You’re not gonna wanna miss this.
The Show: Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Fireworks
If you had the opportunity to enjoy the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular earlier this year, then you already get the gist of the show. Disney combines Lasers, a Projection Show, and Fireworks for an unforgettable display.
Wayne and Lanny of Prep & Landing fame are broadcasting to Orlando from the North Pole, when they realize there’s a problem: Santa’s missing!
Turns out that the Oogie Boogie Man is up to no good once again….
Join Wayne and Lanny as they search to find Santa, and enjoy a montage that incorporates favorite Disney couples, both old and new, set to Christmas music.
The entire facade of the Chinese Theatre serves as the backdrop, so the best place to view the action is from the middle and slightly back. Too close, and you’ll miss some of the show on each side.
Of course, the BAM! part of the show — the Fireworks — can be seen from pretty much anywhere.
The whole show is about 15 minutes long and ends with a special treat — snow falling as the action concludes.
The Eats: Holiday Treats, Drinks, and Snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
While we were at Studios, it was also the perfect time to check out some of the seasonal specialties in the park. Your best bet for variety can be found at Sunshine Day Cafe.
The former home of Toluca Legs Turkey Co., you’ll find the spot open at peak times. And the busy holiday season definitely qualifies.
We couldn’t resist the chance to try some of the treats we found!
Of course, this is a great spot to grab a cup of Hot Cocoa.
But we decided to go with something a little more…leaded.
There are a few holiday-themed adult beverages available. The Winterberry Cooler, with Chambord, Vodka, and Cranberry Juice was intriguing. And Bailey’s Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa certainly sounds like it would hit the spot on cool evenings. But ultimately, I chose the Evergreen Spritz.
I enjoyed the combo of Midori, Skyy Vodka, Sweet and Sour, and Sprite. There was a good balance between the sweet and sour, and the I really liked the pronounced melon flavor. It’s a total bummer though that none of the drinks this year come with souvenir glow cubes like they did in years past.
If your kids like a good craft project — and especially one that they can devour once they’re completed it — then you’ll want to check out the Giant Gingerbread Men Kit. It comes complete with everything you need to make the perfect custom creation!
And now — for all the treats we tried first hand. And here’s some great news: all of the treats we tried are available for a Snack Credit on the Disney Dining Plan!
Let’s start with this little beauty — the Gingerbread Almond Cookie.
The medium size gingerbread cookie has a dollop of Marzipan in the middle that’s covered in Chocolate.
The whole cookie is also covered with Coarse Sugar. The gingerbread is very soft and chewy, rather than crunchy.
I loved the combination of Marzipan and Chocolate, and the Chocolate was still soft and gooey. The whole thing was super fresh. I really loved this unique treat.
Speaking of Gingerbread, who can resist a traditional Gingerbread Man Cookie? Not this girl! And especially when it comes in the form of a Cookie Pop.
Yep — this Gingerbread Man — complete with Chocolate Dipped Mickey Ears — comes with his own stick for eating ease.
Frosting Buttons trim the front of this little guy, who is much softer than the ones you can find in the pastry cases around the parks. Overall, we didn’t find this one to be too spicy, so it would be a great choice for little ones, I think.
Love me some Chocolate Dipped Ears!!
Next up were Stollen Bites, bite size portions of the traditional, German Christmas favorite. The serving is 6 pieces to a bag.
The Sweet, Yeasted Bread is full of Fruit and Nuts, and they’re also dipped into Butter and then sprinkled with lots of Sugar. Yum!
These were truly delicious and tasted very fresh.
Finally, we couldn’t resist the chance to try the Holiday Cupcake.
We expect for this to pop up at quick-service locations around the park after Thanksgiving.
The Chocolate Cupcake comes frosted with Vanilla Buttercream Icing and White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark. Isn’t it so pretty?
It’s also topped off with a White Chocolate Mickey Santa Hat.
While the flavors are pretty basic here, it’s definitely a seriously sweet treat. I’d arm myself with a tall glass of milk or some coffee to tame the sugar rush just a bit!
Beyond Sunshine Day Cafe, we found an assortment of Holiday Cookies and Hot Cocoa for sale at Popcorn Stands throughout the park.
We also spied this Pop-up Bar on Sunset Boulevard next to Trolley Car Cafe.
The bar offered canned beers, wines and had a nice assortment of liquors and spirits. At the time we visited, there were no holiday-themed cocktails available — yet. The bartender assured me that they should arrive soon!
And check out this guy! This Santa Mickey Popcorn Bucket comes complete with a lanyard. But take note — we’ve only found him at Woody’s Round Up so far.
Overall, with so many new and unique treats to try, it was a delicious way to kick off the Holiday Season!
Now, I’d love to hear from all of you. Will you be trying any of the new Holiday Treats at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as you take in Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!? Leave a comment and let us know which treat is your favorite!
DFB Staff contributing to this post included AJ, Tina, and Brooke.