November 22, 2013 - Viva Navidad!

The biggest holiday entertainment I wanted to make sure I saw was Viva Navidad! at Paradise Garden at Disney California Adventure.






Every year, the Disneyland Resort celebrates "Three Kings Day" at the beginning of January.  And, every year, it proves to be more and more popular.  So, this year, Disneyland decided, wisely, to expand the celebration to encompass the Christmas holiday!

I, of course, wanted to meet all the characters in their Latin inspired holiday costumes.  They had a cute area set up for them...



 Donald Duck came out first wearing a large sombrero...





Next up was Goofy in what was my favorite of the Viva Navidad! costumes.  I loved the little ornaments on his shoes!




Mickey and Minnie were dressed in the costumes they have worn at "Three Kings Day" for the last few years, but, they are some of my favorite costumes of theirs.  So, it's always a pleasure to see them wearing them.





And here are a couple of pictures of Mickey and Minnie leaving the meet-and-greet area.  I love the way Minnie's dress moves!






Sadly, because Disney was doing a media day highlighting Viva Navidad! and Winter Dreams, the Three Caballeros were unavailable to meet.  It was a bummer because Jose and Panchito had holiday overlay costumes!  But, as you'll see a little later, on the way out, I did actually get to see Jose.

My biggest frustration, though, about the meet-and-greets were the incredibly short sets.  While I'm used to characters switching every 20-30 minutes, it seemed like the character sets lasted about 5-10 minutes.  So, even though the lines might not have been long, even if you got back in line for the next set, you'd miss them.  But, honestly, it was a minor complaint.

Anyway, another part of Viva Navidad! is all the great food that they serve at both a snack stand and the Paradise Garden Grill...





I had the Torta Al Pastor which was quite delicious.  Sadly, I was so starved when I finally got around to eating that I forgot to take a picture of my actual dish.  I also had a delicious sweet tamale.  As I ate, I was pleasantly reminded of some of the great changes that have been made at the Disneyland Resort, including the vastly improved food being served.  I remember a time when all the restaurants served food that tasted like cardboard.  So, the fact that they've added spice to the food is quite nice.

And, while I ate, Los Campos de la Banda played with lots of energy and fun spirit at the Paradise Garden Bandstand!



Also being sold at Viva Navidad! are both Latin American crafts...





...and official Viva Navidad! merchandise...




Sadly, of course, with the rain meant the cancellation of some of the entertainment, including the multicultural street party that plays several times during the day.  But, as I left, I happened to notice some performers out.



Then, suddenly, I saw Jose Carioca making his way down the road...



I was hoping that the street party was going to go on as it was not actually raining at the time.  But, it turned out that they were getting ready to do some media for a Portuguese language television station.  I decided to stay and see what they were going to do and was glad that I did because, at least, I got to see a little taste of what the street party could have been...









Here's a clip of their performance...


I loved the little holiday flourishes on Jose Carioca's outfit!



I really loved Viva Navidad!  Even with some of the entertainment cancelled for the day, I was very impressed.  I was always a fan of "Three Kings Day" and, so, to have such an event not only extended, but expanded in such a colorful way is amazing.  I hope that they continue to do this next year and in years to come.  I'd love for them to continue to expand on more of the cultural holidays!

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