The last time my family celebrated the holidays at the Disneyland Resort was quite a while ago, but it is one of those memories you cherish forever. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort are really special, because Disney really goes out of their way to create special holiday traditions and memories for all their park guests. From special decorations to special food to special entertainment and special attractions, Disney sprinkles everything with pixie dust and holiday magic!
- “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a Disneyland holiday treasure, presents Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and an array of Disney characters celebrating the holiday season. The daytime parade features 100-plus performers including Santa Claus, who brings jolly holiday wishes from the North Pole.
- After dark, the Diamond Celebration “Paint the Night” parade will bring its own brand of glittering magic to Disneyland, with dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances, Disney characters and spectacular floats. The luminescent parade creates a river of color flowing down Main Street, U.S.A., with more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights.
- “Disneyland Forever,” the dazzling, new fireworks spectacular, is a street-to-sky, immersive experience like nothing seen before at the Disneyland Resort, with pyrotechnics, original music and viewing locations throughout Disneyland Park. Guests will be surrounded by the worlds of timeless Disney tales, from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, thanks to the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects.
- “it’s a small world” Holiday offers a worldwide celebration of the season, with more than 60,000 twinkling LED lights on the attraction’s façade. Inside, animated dolls representing children of many nations are dressed in holiday attire, singing holiday songs as well as the classic “It’s a Small World After All.”
- Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a spooky but lighthearted mashup of the Halloween and Christmas holidays as imagined by Jack Skellington from the Walt Disney Pictures animated classic Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Continuing an annual tradition, a new gingerbread house is created each year for the Mansion, adding a humorous touch to the ballroom scene. This year, the gingerbread house design features gingerbread zombies constructing a teetering “house of cards.”
- Jingle Cruise, an instantly popular addition in 2014, returns to take adventurous guests on a fun-filled expedition. They discover a cargo of holiday gifts and decorations that have been jettisoned over the jungles of the celebrated Jungle Cruise attraction in Adventureland. This year, a few new surprises have been dropped into the Cruise’s African veldt scene.
- This year Santa Claus brings holiday cheer to Disneyland guests in a new location in Critter Country, specially designed for him by Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
In Disney California Adventure:
- For the first time, two splendid versions of the “World of Color” spectacular will be presented nightly during the Holiday season on Paradise Bay. The holiday-themed show, “World of Color − Winter Dreams,” features host Olaf the snowman along with classic winter scenes from beloved Disney and Disney●Pixar films such as “Bambi,” “Toy Story” and “Frozen,” the blockbuster Disney film. For the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, “World of Color – Celebrate” pays a fun, surprise-filled tribute to Walt Disney, whose imagination led to the creation of Disneyland and so many beloved characters. “World of Color – Winter Dreams” is the first show of the evening, followed by “World of Color – Celebrate!”
- “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” is a daily celebration of Latino culture and holiday traditions with music, dancing, vibrant colors and delicious food. Disney characters join the fun in the lively “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party,” presented multiple times a day.
- “Olaf’s Snow Fest” celebrates its return to Hollywood Land with Olaf, the comical snowman from “Frozen.” Stage 17 is transformed into a charming castle courtyard inspired by the “Frozen” kingdom of Arendelle. Kids of all ages have fun in a giant wintry play area with real snow where they are encouraged to build snow creations and zip down a snow slide. Guests who wish to observe the icy fun will have a nearby viewing area. Music and storytelling entertainment will be presented throughout the day
- The residents of Radiator Springs will welcome guests with a “Snowcar” at the entrance of Cars Land, and each address along Route 66 – Flo’s V8 Café, Fillmore’s Taste-In, Cozy Cone Motel and more – will feature holiday decorations reflecting the personalities of the “Cars” character who lives there.
- Flik and his buddies decorate “a bug’s land” with giant Christmas lights and holiday ornaments, adding to the festive spirit.
- Early in the new year, the Disneyland Resort celebrates Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) in Paradise Garden. The event runs from Jan. 2 through 6, 2015, with fun activities that create a grand finale for “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!”
At Downtown Disney
- In the Downtown Disney District, guests may take a break from holiday shopping and dining to go skating on “Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink.”
- The Downtown Disney Winter Village around the ice rink creates a festive mood and guests may purchase holiday gift items from the windows of the charming village chalets.
Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.