If you’ve never seen a Disney Christmas Parade special because you’re too busy opening presents or getting the house ready for company, you might want to DVR this year’s special. Airing at 9:00 a.m. (10:00 a.m. Eastern) on ABC Christmas morning, the Disney special celebrates 30 years of this stuff. Sure, the two hour special isn’t much more than an extended infomercial for the theme parks and your children will be bugging you on when they will be able to go to Disneyland, but it is also a celebration of Christmas. It also serves as a travelogue of most (if not all) of the Disney theme parks, something true Disney fans will appreciate.
This year’s special will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris from Walt Disney World in Florida and Cannon will host from Disneyland/California Adventure. Laura Spencer (Good Morning America) will serve as a special correspondent.
The festivities at Disneyland include Mary J. Blige singing yuletide carols from her new album, “A Mary Christmas,” a duet by Jordin Sparks and Jason Derulo, as well as special performances by Demi Lovato, the cast of “Teen Beach Movie” and Dove Cameron. In Florida, R&B artist Ne-Yo will sing “Let Me Love You” plus other music by English-Irish boy band The Wanted, Italian vocal trio Il Volo, “American Idol” and Season 12 champion Candice Glover and more.
What used to be a special focusing on the Christmas parade at the two USA parks has grown into a big publicity machine for all things Disney. Still, the kid in you will enjoy the costumed characters and large floats including: Mickey and Minnie with Duffy the “Disney Bear,” (another marketing tool of the parks), Elsa and Anna from the latest animated hit, Frozen, a royal procession of Disney prince and princesses, Huey, Dewey and Louie (Donald Duck’s nephews), Goofy, Pluto , Chip and Dale (not the Chippendale dancers), Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, Toy Story friends, Monsters from Monsters Inc., Cars from, well, Cars and of course Santa Claus.