At this time of year, the Happiest Place on Earth transforms into the Merriest Place on Earth! During the Christmas holidays, Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle sets the stage for unforgettable tannenbaum traditions. Its snow-capped steeples, glistening icicles, and shimmering lights excite Guests’ festive spirits.
The whole Park, it seems, is aglow. The nightly Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle light show is divided into three acts, beginning at the Castle, travelling the length of Main Street, U.S.A., and finishing at the Town Square Christmas tree. When the show reaches its finale crescendo, more than 60,000 LED lights and 1,200 strobe lights shimmer up and down Main Street, U.S.A.
The majestic 60-foot Christmas tree in Town Square features 280,000 pine-tip limbs molded from actual tree branches, and is decorated with more than 2,000 ornaments, including a three-foot star on top, and nearly 4,800 energy-efficient LED lights. Since we’ve talked quite a bit about LED technology lately, I thought it interesting that since the introduction of the artificial Christmas tree and LED lighting technology in 2008, the Disneyland Park Christmas tree has used 50 percent less electricity than it did previously.
Multiple times a day (check daily schedules), Mr. and Mrs. Claus take center stage—or center float—for a jolly journey of fun-filled holiday scenes in A Christmas Fantasy Parade. Goofy and his son Max decorate a full-scale gingerbread house, and Mickey and Minnie skate on an icy pond while Geppetto and Pinocchio help build toys for Santa.
Boasting its first addition since 1997, it’s a small world Holiday now features a 14-foot snowman made of crystal snowflakes and lit with thousands of lights in its finale. Decorators use 50,000 Christmas lights on the façade of it’s a small world Holiday, and an additional 200,000 mini-lights in the trees, hedges and topiaries surrounding the attraction.
Each evening’s forecast calls for snow—yes, snow!—in this Southern California locale. Just look to the nighttime sky for the Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks show, and catch a snowflake on your tongue as flurries flitter for the finale. Stroll along while it’s coming down and sample some handmade candy, seasonal pastries, and collectible confectionaries like the Holiday Beignet, Snowman Shortbread, Snowflake Crispies and Mint Chocolate Cupcakes.
At Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, ‘tis the season for delicious snacks! The Disney Parks produce lots of tasty treats, and today we’re going to do the same.
When I was growing up, my mom and I had a tradition of making hard candies at Christmas. We used a very simple recipe that we followed precisely. Yet, many times we ended up with less-than-hard-rock candies that ended up more like stringy, gooey globs of stickiness. They always tasted good, though, and it gave us a good laugh—and a good challenge—when the holiday season rolled around each year.
My mom is no longer with us, so this year, I revived the tradition with my daughter, and our candies turned out perfect! Keep in mind that ADULT supervision is an absolute must for this project!
What you’ll need:
3 C sugar
1 C water
1 C Karo® corn syrup
Food coloring (red for cinnamon or green for mint)
Cinnamon or mint extract
Silicon Mickey Mouse ice cube tray (or other silicon molds)
What to do:
First, spread a sheet of aluminum foil over a flat baking tray. Fold up the edges to form a lip around each side. Sprinkle powdered sugar to lightly dust the foil. IF you are using silicon molds, also dust them with powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
Then, to make candy, mix sugar, water and Karo® syrup in sauce pan. Heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, till mixture reaches 300 degrees Farenheit on candy thermometer. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can estimate the mixture’s readiness by lifting your spoon out of the pot. If the drippings form a glassy string, the candy has reached the desired temperature.
Turn off heat, mix in food coloring and flavoring. Carefully pour mixture into molds, spreading remaining mixture onto foil-covered baking tray.
Allow candy to cool and harden completely before removing from molds. To break tray of candy, gently tap it with a clean mallet and peel away from foil. Enjoy them yourself or wrap some in holiday packaging and give to neighbors and friends!
NOTE: I allowed my daughter to stir until it started to boil. Adults should definitely take over from that point on!
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Home Economics / Cooking
SKILL LEVEL: All, with Adult Supervision
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