How to Make the Most of Christmas at Disneyland

I’m sharing some of my family’s holiday traditions at the Merriest Place on Earth, Disneyland Park.

The Christmas holidays have officially begun at Disneyland Park. From November 13 thru January 6 the entire resort will be filled with twinkling lights, tinsel and very special holiday treats and entertainment. These are a few of my family’s favorite things…

MAJESTIC CHRISTMAS TREE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) Just for the Holidays, a towering Christmas tree stands 60 feet tall at Town Square at Disneyland park, fully adorned with nearly 2,000 ornaments and 800 handmade bows. The Holidays are a magical time to create unforgettable memories with loved ones at the Disneyland Resort. This merry season runs Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016, as Disneyland park becomes a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season its a small world Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes A Christmas Fantasy parade, Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, Paint the Night nighttime parade and the Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

There are decorations galore throughout the resort. Our special favorite is the beautifully decorated 60-foot Christmas tree that greets you as you enter Town Square. Make sure you see “it’s a small world” after dark decorated with 250,000 sparkling lights.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland at Christmas

“IT’S A SMALL WORLD” HOLIDAY (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Guests will discover how the spirit of the season unites cultures across the globe as they sail through “it’s a small world” Holiday, just one of the many festive features at the Disneyland park during the holidays. The Holidays are a magical time to create unforgettable memories with loved ones at the Disneyland Resort. This merry season runs Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016, as Disneyland park becomes a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season – “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!,” “Paint the Night” nighttime parade and the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

“It’s a small world” Holiday brings to life Christmas celebrations from around the world. Filled with charm, it features two more tunes that will stick in your head all day, “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.”

GINGERBREAD HOUSE OF CARDS (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – An annual treat for the Halloween and Holiday seasons at the Disneyland Resort is each year’s new gingerbread house at Haunted Mansion Holiday, a festive attraction guests can experience now through Jan. 6, 2016. A team of Disney bakers, engineers and designers develop the house for the ballroom scene of the Mansion, and this year’s design features clumsy gingerbread men constructing a teetering “House of Cards.” (Disneyland Resort)

Haunted Mansion Holiday continues as Jack Skellington, or Sandy Claws, and his friends have taken over in this seasonal makeover of the New Orleans Square attraction. Don’t miss the sight (and smell!) of the giant gingerbread house in the ballroom scene. And don’t forget to get a FastPass early in the day.

JINGLE CRUISE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) Jingle Cruise invites guests to join a jolly excursion at Disneyland park, as the Jungle Skippers spread holiday cheer while theyre far away from home only during the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016. In celebration of the season, Disneyland park transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season of its a small world Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes A Christmas Fantasy parade, Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, Paint the Night and the Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

JINGLE CRUISE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) Jingle Cruise invites guests to join a jolly excursion at Disneyland park, as the Jungle Skippers spread holiday cheer while theyre far away from home only during the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016. In celebration of the season, Disneyland park transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season of its a small world Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes A Christmas Fantasy parade, Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, Paint the Night and the Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

At the “Jingle Cruise,” the cruise skippers are homesick for the holidays so they’ve decorated the attraction with festive homemade decorations. Their boats have been renamed with holiday themed titles and they are ready to share seasonal jokes with travelers.

Santa

Your kids will be able to meet Santa Claus this year in a new location in Critter Country. This is our favorite Santa anywhere, and we take photos with him every year.

Gingerbread-Mickey-Cookie-1

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A close up of a large Mickey Mouse

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Special treats will be offered at various locations throughout the resort. Some of our favorites are the Gingerbread Mickey cookies and Candy Cane Beignets. I definitely want to try the new Caramel Apple Muffins with streusel topping this year. The Mickey Elf popcorn bucket sold at the vending carts will go fast!

Making candy canes at Disneyland

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Here’s an extra special treat that you can’t find just anywhere—homemade candy canes are offered on select days during November and December. A holiday tradition for many, people will wait for hours to get this preservative-free treat fresh from the kitchen. My mom doesn’t even like peppermint, but she will spend an hour just watching candy makers cook, pull and shape the canes at the Candy Palace on Main Street. They are so popular that Disney issues wristbands, but you’ll need to get there at park opening to get one. 2015 dates are November 27, December 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 24. (They can also be obtained at Disney California Adventure Trolley Treats on November 28, 30, December 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 25.)

Candlelight Processional at Disneyland

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The Candlelight Processional is an un-advertised Christmas program that has been taking place at the Disneyland Resort since 1958. Usually held on the first weekend in December, this year it will be on the 5th and 6th with two performances each night. Seats are by invitation only, so if you want to see this event you’ll need to camp out for prime viewing locations that are standing-room only. If you park yourself along Main Street U.S.A. you’ll be able to see the choirs process in and hear them but won’t be able to see the celebrity narrators, this year rumored to be Geena Davis and Lana Parilla.

A CHRISTMAS FANTASY PARADE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) Toy soldiers celebrate the season as they march down Main Street, U.S.A. in A Christmas Fantasy parade during Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, returning Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016. In celebration of the season, Disneyland park transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season of its a small world Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes A Christmas Fantasy parade, Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, Paint the Night and the Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

“A Christmas Fantasy” Parade will be offered during the daylight hours while the wonderful new “Paint the Night” Parade will continue to be offered after dark. Both parades feature all your favorite Disney characters along with our favorites in the Christmas parade, the marching toy soldiers and the prancing reindeer. The night-time parade does feature a snow effect, so it will snow every night throughout the parade route. This is pretty magical for us Southern California natives. The 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration Fireworks will also be presented nightly.

A MODERN ICON (ANAHEIM, Calif.) –– Peter Pan sits atop the drum float, a tribute to the original 'Main Street Electrical Parade' in the all-new after dark spectacular. 'Paint the Night' is full of vibrant color and more than 1.5 million, brilliant LED lights and features special effects, unforgettable music, and energetic performances that bring beloved Disney and Disney●Pixar stories to life. (Paul HIffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Be sure to plan ahead. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the busiest time of the year at Disneyland Resort and you’ll find huge crowds but longer operating hours. The week before Thanksgiving and the first and second weeks of December will be your best bets for lighter crowds.

So there you have it, 60 full days of holiday delights! You’ll have plenty of options for great things to do with your family at Disneyland Park.

How to Make the Most of Christmastime at Disneyland

 

For more Disney go and for all Christmas go HERE.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the tips and pics… can’t wait to go this year for the 1st time during Christmas Holidays… it looks magical.

  2. we have never been to Disneyland during the holidays, and i just can’t believe it, looking at your pictures! we have missed out. time to join in that fun. i mean really – the happiest place!!