The Happiest Place on Earth is the perfect location to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year! Come experience the Festival of Holidays at Disneyland Resort, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney now through January 7th.
Bring your holiday cheer and you’ll see Mickey, Minnie, Chip, and Dale dressed in their festive finery, Disney Princesses dancing, toy soldiers marching, and Anna, Elsa, and Olaf welcoming you to a winter wonderland.
You’ll be amazed at the sights and sounds of holiday attractions, the Christmas Fantasy Parade, and all of the delicious Festival of Holidays food found throughout both parks and even Downtown Disney (so you can enjoy the celebration without buying a ticket)!
If you haven’t been to the parks and Downtown Disney during Christmas, you’ll soon realize it’s a magical place to make memories that will last a lifetime.
A special fireworks show over Sleeping Beauty’s castle – which is covered in icicles for the season – awaits you, along with lots of new and unique food items from different cultures, the Disneyland Fantasy Parade, and special entertainment. Disney does NOT go mild for the holidays!
As day turns to night, you’ll want to see the lighting of the Sleeping Beauty Christmas Castle and the Christmas Fantasy Parade. The lighting of the castle is quite enchanting and occurs twice a night. The show – using 50,000 holiday lights – brings the castle into brilliant light from darkness, giving the castle all of its gorgeous sparkles and awe-striking projections.
After lighting Sleeping Beauty’s castle, you’ll want to find the perfect spot along Main Street to watch the traditional Christmas Fantasy Parade. All your favorite characters are on Christmas-themed floats and dressed in beautiful holiday clothes, huge trees dance, and entertainers delight people along the parade route. You can wave to your favorite characters while holding hot chocolate and eating Mickey-shaped holiday cookies, as you anxiously wait for Santa to arrive to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Disneyland has two holiday attractions that you don’t want to miss. The Haunted Mansion has been entirely re-decorated to combine the Haunted Mansion and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” – with the help of the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington, of course.
Other characters from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” like Sally and Oogie Boogie, will be there too! The entire outside of the mansion has its annual overlay of holiday ribbons and sparkling lights that make this attraction something you will never forget.
After your visit with Jack, head over to It’s a Small World to experience the holidays all over the world! Each country and doll is decorated with culturally appropriate holiday attire and décor, plus the iconic clock out front pops out every 15 minutes with characters ringing the chimes and making music. Of course, it is even more incredible at night with about 50,000 dazzling Christmas lights and thousands more decorations on the nearby topiaries.
Suddenly, you realize that it’s dinnertime and you’re hungry. Well, head over to the Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays marketplace. There, you’ll find various foods from cultures around the world! We suggest you try the Barbacoa Tamal de Res with Oaxaca cheese, tomatillo salsa, and crema with a glass of white winter wine.
Once you’ve satisfied your hunger, it’s time for the World of Color and you’ll want a good seat. This year, you’ll enjoy a special version as World of Color combines classic Christmas music such as “The Christmas Song,” “Feliz Navidad,” and more with exciting lighting and magical holiday projections.
Then, head back over to Disneyland for the legendary fireworks show. As you stroll back to Main Street, make sure you take in the beautifully-decorated, 60-foot-tall Christmas tree. Of course, Main Street is magical on its own thanks to the thousands upon thousands of lights that line the heart of the park, and the Mickey-head wreaths that hang above the street.
Once you find your viewing spot, the show begins. Suddenly, you feel the anticipation of the crowd building, and then snow begins to fall. Yes, snow in California! Music begins softly, builds slowly, and then… the first fireworks light up the night sky. That’s the beginning of the season!
When the fireworks are over and it’s time to say farewell to the parks, make your way towards Downtown Disney. In the promenade, you’ll find brightly-colored Christmas trees in red, green, silver, and gold that twinkle with snowflakes and ornaments.
You’ll also find colorful nutcrackers, shiny presents, and huge candy canes decorating all around, everywhere you look! There’s also plenty of shopping, food, and treats to delight your senses. Maybe you’ll shop for treasures and find the perfect Christmas gifts and keepsakes! Next, you’ll spoil yourself with a special holiday treat they’re offering.
At this point, you’re ready to call it a day. You have a bag full of gifts and keepsakes, a tummy full of wonderful food, and a heart glowing with holiday spirit. Until next time, Happy Holidays!