*DIS Contributors review meals, resort stays, and entertainment that they have paid for during their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts, Tables in Wonderland, or DVC membership discounts. They receive no additional compensation for dining experiences or events, so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
From November 18th through the 22nd, the Disneyland Resort offered a special opportunity for the holiday season as they allowed annual passholders to spend some time after-hours at a classic attraction in Disneyland. Just minutes after park closing, the area in front of “it’s a small world” Holiday boasted a large crowd of eager APs, looking to take advantage of two unique photo opportunities and embark on the iconic sailing trip around the globe.
Each of us was given the option to queue up for a photo in front of the attraction’s vibrant facade, or with the Gingerbread Recipes float from the Christmas Fantasy Parade. PhotoPass photographers were managing both photo ops, allowing annual passholders to take Christmas card-worthy portraits in both locations. Those who decided to get their photos taken were given a holiday AP sign and candy cane cutout to pose with in their photos.
Those guests who wanted to set sail prior to taking any photos were essentially walked onto the attraction without a wait time, due to the privacy and efficiency of the event. The holiday sights and scents were the perfect way for any annual passholder to wrap up their visit to the Happiest Place on Earth. Due to the lack of wait time for the attraction, I even witnessed a cast member make some magic for a family by allowing them to take a “private cruise” around the world just after docking from their initial trip.
Overall, I think that this experience was well worth sticking around for. Cast members did an amazing job of keeping the queues moving so that guests could enjoy all that the event had to offer. Events like these are a great way to keep annual passholders excited for their next visit, and give them a special experience that can make that particular trip to the park a unique one.
This is not the first after-hours event that the Disneyland Resort has hosted this year, with a similar event occurring over at Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure earlier in the season. If you were unable to attend either of these events but are interested in taking part of the holiday AP perks, keep an eye out for future event announcements that may occur this season. I know I will be!
Entry to the park prior to closing and a valid annual pass are required for all after-hours annual passholder events.