Disneyland Resort gives ethnic holiday celebrations a chance to shine – Orange County Register

With a big grin on her face, Michelle Garcia-Ortiz clapped along with the traditional Indian music and couldn’t get enough of the Bollywood dance performance at Disney California Adventure.

“This is not something you normally see here,” said Garcia-Ortiz, 34, of West Covina.

Blue13 Dance Co., a group that performs Indian dance, was one of the cultural groups that kicked off Disneyland Resort’s holiday festivities Friday, Nov. 10. The celebration at both Disney parks in Anaheim will be held through Jan. 7.

Several favorite holiday attractions have returned and some are new.

At Disneyland, visitors can see Jack Skellington and other characters from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” in the Haunted Mansion. It’s a small world illuminates with projections and red, green and white lights.

At Disney California Adventure, Cars Land has a holiday overlay and two re-themed rides – Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. A Holiday Sunset Concert features an indie band specializing in Judaic and American music, and a high energy big band performs on certain days.

And while Disneyland offers the traditional Victorian Christmas with garland, wreaths, ornaments, faux snow and a 60-foot Christmas tree on Main Street, U.S.A.; Disney California Adventure allows visitors to experience a contemporary diverse holiday inspired by Latin, Jewish, Indian and African cultures.

Throughout the holiday season, the daily Festival of Holidays program features performances from cultural groups in celebration of Navidad, Hanukkah, Diwali and Kwanzaa.

“We have a lot of blended families and people from different cultures that come to our park,” said Susana Tubert, a creative director of entertainment at Disneyland. “This is a way of inviting guests of all backgrounds to share and experience a cultural celebration.”

“These are our core values at Disneyland,” she said. “Here you can sing and dance together; there are art projects, all of those activities come to life and are celebrated at Disney California Adventure.”

Blue13 performed for 20 minutes in celebration of Diwali, a Festival of Lights that Hindus celebrate ushering the Hindu new year, at the Paradise Park area of Disney California Adventure.

The five-member group dressed in colorful traditional Indian clothing danced Bollywood style to a mix tune of hip-hop and Indian music. At certain points, a group member explained the meaning of Diwali and even asked the audience to come…

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