By Jennifer Stuart
Disneyland at the Holidays can be a gorgeous and magical experience. We have made a list of the things that we think bring extra magic to your Disneyland Holiday vacation.
10.Family Time in the Most Magical Place
The Holidays are all about spending time with family. Disneyland is our family's happy place so there is something extra special about visiting Disneyland for the Holidays. We love our time together at Disneyland and soaking in the magic and making memories.
9. All the Holiday Food!
There are so many special holiday food items in both parks. Whether you like the traditional foods such as gingerbread and candy canes or like to experiment with new holiday foods, there is something for you. The Festival of the Holidays food booths in Disney California Adventure are one of the main ways to sample fun holiday food and drink items but there are many more options (they is similar to the EPCOT food booths for Disney World regulars). Most restaurants will have at least one seasonal food item (or more) to eat. And special seasonal treats abound. Disney Parks blog has a full list of seasonal items at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
8. Festival of the Holidays
The Festival of the Holidays at Disney California Adventure celebrates Holiday traditions from around the world. Check out the entertainment schedule for times where you can listen to live bands or catch the Viva Navidad street party. And don't forget the great marketplace food booths for fun holiday foods and treats.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle is beautifully decorated and makes for some great holiday photos during the day but is simply magical at night. It shimmers and glows with thousands of lights. For an extra wow moment be sure to catch the holiday show -- It's listed as "Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle." This short show starts early in the evening and showcases those beautiful twinkling lights and will definitely bring on the holiday feelings.
6.Carsland at Christmas
Carsland at Christmas is simply a must do. Hands down this is the best themed and decorated land at Christmas. I can only imagine how much fun the Imagineers must have had creating all these fantastic decorations. Not only are all the decorations so whimsical and cute, both Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's Rollicking Roadsters get a Christmas overlay. Mater's turns into Mater's Jingle Jamboree and Luigi's turns into Luigi's Joy to the Whirl. If you like these rides in their regular versions then you will also enjoy the holiday versions.
5. Holiday Parade
The holidays parade at Disneyland is the Christmas Fantasy Parade.There are usually two performances of the parade daily. One in the afternoon and one in the early evening. As always check the entertainment schedule (on the app or website) for exact times. We like to catch the earlier parade if possible (even though it is busier) because we like this one in the daytime and often the later parade is after the sun goes down. This is a long running parade and a great one for families. You can see all the characters in their holiday best along with other holiday friends (our favourites are the toy solider and the Gingerbread men). And of course it wouldn't be a Christmas parade without Santa at the end.
4. Holiday Characters
Its no secret that we love meeting characters and it is so fun to meet them dressed up in their holiday outfits! I have a ridiculous amount of these pictures and they make me so happy every time. If you have Maxpass your photopass photos are included but cast members are also happy to take photos using your camera or phone as well.
3. Small World Holiday -- at night
We love riding It's a Small World and it's holiday version is just delightful. It isn't a quick overlay-- the whole ride closes for a serious Christmas re-do. The inside is converted to more of a holidays around the world theme and there is a whole holiday song (which you can find on itunes) rather than the regular song. It's a great holiday experience that will definitely get you in the holiday spirit. If you can only ride it once-- get a fastpass to ride it at night. At night the whole facade is light up with colourful lights and it just brings all the holiday feelings. You can also see the lights turn on the facade as well (check the entertainment schedule for times). It is a really fun little show as well. Sailing under the lights -- an extra magical must do.
2. Holiday Fireworks
The holiday fireworks show is called Believe in Holiday Magic. There are several good vantage points to see the fireworks from, but for this one we really recommend trying to see it from the hub or Main Street. The Castle with all the lights is the most magical backdrop to the fireworks. Disney does fireworks like no one else and this is no exception. Make time for this show. Look for a full video of the fireworks on our Youtube Channel - coming soon.
1. Snow on Main Street
This is a truly magical moment. Even though I know it is coming there is something about the "snow" softly falling around you as you stand on Main Street U.S.A. that brings a lump to your throat. At the end of the fireworks the song White Christmas starts playing and then the snow starts falling. I have been lucky enough to experience this moment several times and it never fails to feel like the most beautiful and magical moment.
If You enjoyed this post, you may be interested in some of our other Disneyland posts.
Photos By Jennifer Stuart and Kim Stuart - Mickey photo by Disneyland Photospass
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