For context, my DW and I did a trip to Disneyland in early January, 2022. We had never been before, but have been to Disney World plenty. We were surprised by the amount of Christmas/holiday decorations and ride overlays. Maybe its because it was January and we were over it, but we thought it was too much. We would have much prefered if the firework show was normal and thought the overlay ruined IASW. HM overlay was really well done, so we weren’t too disappointed with that. However, between all the decorations and stuff, it felt like too much. We’ve been to Disney World during Christmastime and never felt that way.
Again, maybe it was just because it was early January and because it was our first time at the parks. Do locals and/or those who visit regularly feel the same way?
It is a bit silly how long Disney extends these events out. However, they take about 7 - 10 days to fully set-up and then take down.
I hate that Halloween, my favorite holiday, starts in August. There’s no reason for it to start before nid-Sept at the earliest. IMHO - I hate the Nightmare HM overlay. It’s there 4+ months out of the year. I’ve never seen the original HM because of this.
They start taking all down all the Christmas stuff ASAP, but they get crowds through the MLK weekend (Jan. 16) and can’t take things offline to remove the décor & etc… By Feb. they have it all gone & some rides come down for annual refurbishment.
Nope, I am just the opposite. I am not local to either DLR or WDW, but visit both coasts multiple times a year. I love that DLR goes all out for Halloween and Christmas and wish WDW did more. Their decor is often lacking in comparison to how much DLR does.
DLR never starts Halloween season until September, which I do like. WDW starts way too early.
I love the Nightmare overlay, I actually get bored of the ride when it is the regular version. I also live the IASW overlay. It is surprising how we can have such opposite feelings on it.
I like the HM overlay, but the original version is my favorite. It does feel like it is Nightmare Before Christmas for half the year when you take into account the closures to put it on and take it off.
I actually know a couple, big Nightmare BF Christmas fans, who traveled all the way to DL from the east coast only to go on the HM with the overlay. It’s definitely on my “must do someday” list as well.
It’s quite the opposite for me on this count. I did not care for IASW (starting from a very young age as a result of a vivid memory of my first trip to DLR at age 6 waking up & panicking a little bit at the creepy dolls all in white singing a maddening song).
By contrast I LOVED Pirates that same day and it’s the one other vivid memory I have of that first visit (including the smell of Pirates that instantly takes me back). IASW has grown on me over the years (because it’s always been a favorite of each of my kids), but if I were to go solo I wouldn’t prioritize it at all for myself to ride.
The first time I did the Christmas version I was moved. The mix-in of other music, the bells chiming in South America, and all the different worldwide festivities throughout gave me the good kind of goosebumps & chills, and for some reason the bells in South America just make me swell with emotion.
But I can definitely appreciate that by January you are ready to move on from Christmas, so I would say it’s overdone only in that it goes for extended time after.
I do LOVE the level of festivity during the season though and don’t think they should reduce anything they do, the food booths & activities in DCA and all the music & entertainment there to especially celebrate a diverse number of holidays/traditions worldwide, and even though HM does take up a lot of the year, I love the overlay (I like the original a lot too but the overlay is just so jaw-dropping, I couldn’t imagine losing it so having the overlay require half the year is worth it to me, I can see if you don’t necessarily love the Nightmare Before Christmas theme/characters how you would feel differently, but they do fit really well in the HM and for both the Halloween & Christmas seasons).
I prefer the regular DL decor to the holiday decor. In particular, I’m not a fan of the snow on the castle - looks cheap to me. I think they should do 6 weeks of Halloween and 6 weeks of Christmas. Make the decorations as classy and magical as possible during that time, then take it down and go back to normal. I’m ok with Nightmare Before Christmas spanning both holidays at HM.
Same as @lolabear_la, I was never a big fan, but the first year we went at Christmas time, we were riding the train at night and I was instantly mesmerized by the overlay. It was stunning. I now go every year at Christmas time just to ride it. I rarely ride it outside of this time though. I was heartbroken that it was down when I went in November.
As for the rest of the decorations, parades and fireworks give it to me all day long! I am glad they offer it into January so that I have more chances to soak it in!!!