Disney has decked its castles with boughs of holly as Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida present the 28th annual “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” TV special that will air December 25 on ABC. With Regis Philbin’s recent retirement, this year’s hosts of the telecast are Nick Cannon and Mario Lopez, with co-host Maria Menounos.
In addition to the annual parade down Main Street USA, a number of popular recording artists perform holiday tunes, including four-time GRAMMY Award winning singer Christina Aguilera, teen sensation Justin Bieber, Academy Award-winning actress and multi-platinum singer Jennifer Hudson, singer/songwriter and producer Cee Lo Green, platinum-record rockers OneRepublic, “American Idol” Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, and the McClain Sisters, featuring “A.N.T. Farm” star China Ann McClain, among others.
In addition to being on TV, this year’s parade brings the online world into the mix with interactions via Twitter, Facebook, and even a mobile app.
For the first time, viewers can utilize Shazam, the world’s leading mobile discovery provider, throughout the telecast. When the Shazam logo to appear on-screen, the mobile app will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes content, interactive Disney fun and holiday surprises. Viewers also can enter for a chance to win a Disney Parks dream vacation from Shazam. The Shazam smartphone app is available for free download from the iTunes App Store and Android Market.
The 2011 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade will air on Christmas Day on ABC at the following scheduled times.
(Airtime varies per city/time zone – check local listings)
In addition, the program will air in Canada on the CBC network, and in 177 countries worldwide on the American Forces Network (AFN).
But you don’t have to wait until Christmas to catch a glimpse of the stars in action. Check out the Disney-provided photos below to get a preview of the entertainment:
Television, radio and film personality Nick Cannon will host from Disneyland Resort in California, while actor, best-selling author and entertainment journalist Mario Lopez will host from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Travel expert and television personality Samantha Brown checks in as the show’s travel correspondent, offering viewers a sleigh-full of Disney fun around the globe.
Brown will provide a look at the new Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawai’i, Adventures by Disney vacations, what’s new (and what’s next!) at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, and a preview of the newest Disney Cruise Line ship (currently under construction), the Disney Fantasy.
TV personality, journalist and best-selling author Maria Menounos will co-host from Walt Disney World.
“The Voice” judge and award-winning singer Christina Aguilera performs “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland Resort.
International singing sensation Justin Bieber leaves fans grinning ear to ear with a medley of performances from his new Christmas album. The medley includes “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and the album’s title-track, “Mistletoe,” and is performed on the Cinderella Castle stage at Magic Kingdom Park.
Soulful singer/songwriter Cee Lo Green takes the stage to perform a holiday favorite, “This Christmas.”
Pop-rock hitmaking group OneRepublic performs on the Sleeping Beauty Castle stage at Disneyland Park, reminding guests to make the most of each memorable moment with the hit single “Good Life.”
“American Idol” Season 10 Winner Scotty McCreery brings some country flavor to the show with his rendition of the classic tune, “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”
Disney Pearl Series recording artists Nathan Pacheco and Katherine Jenkins serenade the crowd with an awe-inspiring version of “O Holy Night,” joined by Academy Award® winner Marlee Matlin and ABC Family’s Katie Leclerc and Sean Berdy.
Everyone’s favorite balcony-sitting curmudgeons, Statler and Waldorf, from The Muppets will make a special appearance at the Magic Kingdom and offer their unique brand of commentary while perched high above Main Street, U.S.A.
Kermit the Frog and Gonzo also will bring more Muppetational fun with a special appearance from Walt Disney World Resort.
The McClain Sisters, featuring “A.N.T. Farm” star China Anne McClain make it a family affair at Disneyland Resort, collaborating on “Jingle Bell Rock.”
The Never Land Pirate Band will be joined by characters from the Disney Junior hit show, Jake and the Never Land Pirates. The buccaneer band makes its parade debut with an original, pirate-themed holiday tune.
Zendaya and Bella Thorne of the Disney Channel hit show, “Shake it Up,” show fans how to jingle bell rock with a special high-energy dance performance down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom.
Direct from Broadway, Mary Poppins and Bert will make a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious holiday appearance during the telecast. The smash musical “Mary Poppins” just celebrated five years on Broadway and has enchanted more than 3 million guests at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. The hit musical also is making its way across North America.
Backed by a choir, Academy Award®- and GRAMMY Award®-winning artist Jennifer Hudson brings the show to a celebratory close with a very merry holiday medley of “Joy to the World,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” It is a homecoming of sorts for Hudson, as her own dreams of stardom began when she was a Disney performer aboard Disney Cruise Line in 2003. In January 2011 she was named the Honorary Fairy Godmother of the most recent Disney Cruise Line ship to set sail, the Disney Dream.
Disney XD stars and theme park favorites Phineas and Ferb get in the groove with a whimsical version of their hit show’s theme song, “Gitchee Gitchee Goo.” Also making an appearance, the show’s famed crime-fighter, Agent P.
Three of the “pup-ular” canine stars of the upcoming Disney Blu-ray™ & DVD film “Treasure Buddies” make a special appearance, riding with adventurers and explorers aboard their very own treasure chest parade float.
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy are decked out in their holiday best, savoring the season with their Disney Parks family. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring joy to guests as they pass by on an iconic Christmas tree float.
Quite a few other familiar Disney faces will appear in the parade. Disney Princesses Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine spread good cheer as they parade down Main Street, U.S.A. accompanied by their handsome beaus. Buzz Lightyear soars to infinity and beyond with his “Toy Story” cohorts Woody and Jessie. Also revving up the holiday fun: Disney-Pixar pals Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater from the blockbuster films “Cars” and “Cars 2.” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs add a little sparkle to the celebration with a glimmering gemstone float topped with a diamond-encrusted Christmas tree. The famous Disney Parks Toy Soldiers take their traditional jubilant march down the parade route with the jolly Gingerbread Men following close behind.
And thanks to a dash of pixie dust, Santa and his reindeer also appear on Main Street U.S.A. – and in living rooms across the county – during a special visit from the North Pole. It’s a very merry moment when the one and only Santa Claus glides down Main Street, U.S.A. with his trusted reindeer leading the way.
Catch it all on Disney’s ABC TV on Christmas day.
More photos from the 2011 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade tapings: