How to watch Disneyland tape Thanksgiving and Christmas ABC TV specials
A pair of ABC holiday television specials airing on Thanksgiving and Christmas will be recorded over the next week at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, adding a surprise show for unsuspecting visitors who happen to be in the parks.
“The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” and “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” will be filmed in front of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and along Main Street U.S.A.
Disneyland filed permits that indicate filming will take place Nov. 10-15 at locations in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and near It’s a Small World, according to MousePlanet.
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The holiday TV specials tend to be synergistic infomercials for all things Disney and feature promotions for upcoming attractions in the larger Disney-verse that includes Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, Fox and ESPN. Disneyland fans who tune into this year’s holiday specials will get sneak peeks at the Rise of the Resistance attraction, Avengers Campus themed land and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway dark ride.
Disneyland doesn’t promote the holiday taping sessions or offer tickets to the general public. But if you are in the Anaheim theme park during the recording sessions of the twin holiday specials it will be hard to miss the productions.
Large stages are typically erected and the musicians and actors go through several takes of their performances. Camera crews, lighting rigs and production equipment abound.
The crowds closest to the stage tend to be made up of Disney employees and invited guests. But park-goers can typically stand behind the rent-a-crowd and watch the performances.
Segments recorded at Disneyland will include holiday musical performances by rock band Portugal. The Man (“Feel It Still”) and singers Ingrid Michaelson (“The Way I Am”) and Andy Grammer (“Honey, I’m Good”).
The “Magical Holiday Celebration” will also feature a behind-the-scenes look at the new Rise of the Resistance dark rides opening Dec. 5 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Jan. 17 at Disneyland.
The show will feature parade shots from Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland.
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Segments recorded at Disneyland will include holiday musical performances by Portugal. The Man, singers Grace VanderWaal (“I Don’t Know My Name”) and Michaelson as well as a medley by the cast of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”
The “Magical Christmas Day Parade” will also feature sneak peeks at the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway dark rides coming in spring 2020 to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in 2022 to Disneyland. Another segment will offer an exclusive look at the Avengers Campus coming to Disney California Adventure in 2020.
Disneyland hosting duties for both TV specials will be handled by former NFL quarterback Jessie Palmer, who has appeared on ABC’s “The Bachelor,” ABC’s “Good Morning America” and ESPN and ABC college football broadcasts.
A third holiday special on the Disney Channel will also offer a sneak peek at Runaway Railway. The “Disney Channel Holiday Party” broadcast from Disney World and the Disney Fantasy cruise ship airs on Dec. 13.