How to Make the Most of Christmas at California’s Disneyland Resort

From November to January, you can see Sleeping Beauty’s castle draped in 80,000 lights, walk inside a life-size gingerbread house and watch the Christmas Fantasy parade.
 

Photos courtesy of disneyland.ca

The Happiest Place On Earth is even more joyful during the holiday season. Discover magical merriment at Disneyland Resort between November 10, 2017, and January 7, 2018. From festive celebrations and traditional fare to special visits from the big man in red, here’s what to expect.

Holiday Decor

Disney’s elves are busier than ever during the holidays, and the results are always spectacular.

Head to Disney California Adventure Park at dusk for the nightly Buena Vista Street tree-lighting ceremony and classic carol sing-along with Mickey and friends. At Cars Land you’ll find auto-themed ornaments such as tire-inspired wreaths, trees made out of hub caps and an adorable snow car with a bright orange traffic-cone nose. A Bug’s Land is also decked out, with larger-than-life ornaments and lights that will have you feeling as tiny as a ladybug.

Over at Disneyland Park, stroll along Main Street USA past the towering 60-foot Christmas tree. Marvel at wreaths, garlands and more than 80,000 twinkling lights draped over Sleeping Beauty Castle. And, while the whole park is dressed for the holidays, It’s a Small World is extra special. The attraction is transformed into a magical holiday land with 50,000 pastel lights, white garlands and cultural ornaments. Another favourite is the Halloween and Christmas decor mashup at the Haunted Mansion. Line-ups will be long at this attraction, so arrive at the park early to get your FastPass, or the new Max Pass.

Joyful Celebrations  

Disneyland Resort’s classic year-round events also receive a seasonal makeover.

California Adventure’s nightly evening illumination and water show, World of Color – Season of Light over Paradise Bay, is transformed into a winter spectacle that pairs holiday songs with projected scenes from beloved Disney animated films. Another must at California Adventure is Disney ¡Viva Navidad, a colourful street party that celebrates Latin-American culture with live mariachi music, Brazilian samba dancers and drummers, beautiful floats and, of course, the Three Caballeros named Donald, Panchito, and Jose. Also, be sure to make time for a visit with Santa Claus and his busy elves at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.

A Christmas Fantasy parade, photo courtesy of disneyland.ca

At Disneyland Park, there are just as many holiday happenings. Check out the nightly snowfall display that transforms Sleeping Beauty’s Castle into a shimmering winter castle. Stay afterwards for the Believe…. in Holiday Magic firework show that dazzles the night sky each evening. Santa, who can be found throughout the season at Disneyland’s Critter Country, joins Mickey and friends daily at the A Christmas Fantasy parade. The celebratory procession is complete with carols, holiday-inspired floats and marching tin soldiers.

Festive Food  

Food plays an important role over the holiday season, and you’ll find tempting fare throughout the parks.

Feast on comforting dishes at California Adventure Park’s Festive Foods Marketplace. Think roasted turkey sliders with cranberry sauce, reuben potato smash, sticky toffee pudding and warm spiced wine, to name a few. For handcrafted holiday sweets, check out Disneyland’s Candy Palace and California Adventure’s Trolley Treats. But, be warned, annual favourites like the handmade candy canes go quickly.

And perhaps the resort’s most magical culinary creation is the life-size gingerbread house displayed in the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. It takes two full weeks, and more than 60 gallons of royal icing, for Disney’s pastry chefs to decorate the delicious dwelling. Grab a sweet treat from the Great Hall Holiday Cart then wander through the sugary house.

All three of Disneyland Resort’s properties have holiday feasts on offer as well, including beautiful brunch buffets with your favourite characters.

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