If you haven’t been yet, there’s still time to check out The Merriest Place on Earth. Nobody does the holidays bigger than the Disneyland Resort, and with Disney California Adventure getting in on the holiday spirit along with Disneyland Park, plus festivities in Downtown Disney, even Uncle Scrooge is a little jollier.
The Holidays at Disneyland Resort
Daily through January 6, 2013
The Can’t-Miss: It’s hard to argue what part of a Disney celebration is the big “can’t-miss” thing, but one of the most unique parts of the holidays at the Disneyland Resort are the attraction overlays. Jack Skellington is still hard at work creating his version of Christmas inside the “Haunted Mansion Holiday” inside Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. With visions of frightening tricks instead of Christmas treats, his vision might not quite align with yours, but he sure hopes you’ll visit dear ol’ Sandy Claws. Just be on the lookout for Oogie Boogie!
If a swingin’ Christmas wake isn’t your idea of “merry,” try a boat cruise around the world at the edge of Fantasyland in “it’s a small world” holiday. Sing along in glee with the children of the world celebrate the holidays as the iconic song mixes with holiday delight. The overlay features traditional holiday wardrobes and over 300,000 festive lights on its front entrance.
Holiday Happenings: The events list is massive! Around every corner there’s something to do for the holidays, so here’s a very brief rundown:
– Disneyland’s nightly tree-lighting ceremony is back and better than ever. Starting at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and running all the way back to Main Street, U.S.A.’s Town Square, the ceremony spans three acts and ends with Disneyland’s holiday fireworks, “Believe… in Holiday Magic.” The skyward festival of the season will offer additional viewpoints at “small world” mall and in New Orleans Square, where guests there along with Main Street, U.S.A. will experience the magic of a winter snowfall.
– The annual Christmas parade returns to the Disneyland Park parade route. “A Christmas Fantasy” takes place daily and showcases how our Disney friends are preparing for the holiday with goodie baking, Christmas wrapping, and preparing for the arrival of Santa. VIP seating is available for a fee; please speak with a Guest Services Cast Member to book seats. Please see park paraphernalia for parade times.
– After the turn of the new year, Disneyland Park celebrates the Latin culture of Southern California with a new celebration for Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes Magos) January 4-6, 2013. Holiday-themed food, music, and entertainment will showcase the Latin American holiday (also known as “Epiphany”) which celebrates the arrival of the Three Magi to the baby Jesus.
Disney California Adventure
– Since the discovery that the famous Route 66 actually extends into Disney California Adventure, the surrounding area of Radiator Springs (better known as “Cars Land”) has been a significant tourist attraction. The cars have brought the holiday spirit to their neonopolis, including holiday décor at Luigi’s Casa della Tires, Flo’s V-8 Cafe, and the Cozy Cone Motel, among other addresses along Route 66. They even built a snowcar at the entrance! Lightning McQueen and Mater invite you to their winter wonderland… completely free of black ice!
– The shows of DCA have all added a little holiday flair; you’ll find Christmas magic inside “Phineas & Ferb’s Rockin’ Rollin’ Dance Party,” the “Mad T Party,” and “World of Color,” which features Lanny and Wayne from the holiday special Prep & Landing.
– Lightning isn’t the only one inviting visitors to his homeland. Flik and his friends invite you to pick on someone their own size and check out the holidays inside “a bug’s land.” It took a lot of teamwork to hoist up those giant (to them) ornaments and decorations, so come enjoy the scenery.
– The brand-new Buena Vista Street is also decorated in Roaring Twenties fashion, including their shops and restaurants.
Downtown Disney District
– For the first time ever at the Disneyland Resort, the Downtown Disney District will offer an outdoor ice rink! “The Secret of the Wings” Ice Rink, based on the new Tinker Bell adventure, will be located between the AMC Downtown Disney 24 and ESPN Zone. Skates will be available for rent.
– Downtown Disney’s stores are perfect for holiday shopping! Choose from locales such as World of Disney, Build-a-Bear, or WonderGround Gallery, or pick up some sweet parkside treats to go from one of my favorites, Marceline’s Confectionery.
– The hotels of the Disneyland Resort will offer holiday menus at many of their restaurants, and the Grand Californian Hotel will once again host their famous Christmas tree in their Grand Lobby.
Is Santa Claus Coming to Town?: Of course! Santa Claus loves the Disneyland Resort… he’s all over the place! You can find him at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Disneyland’s Frontierland’s Big Thunder Ranch, inside DCA’s Elias & Co. recreating the traditional “Mall Santa Visit,” and as the true star of Disneyland’s “A Christmas Fantasy” parade. Please check park paraphernalia for exact times; Santa can cover the world in a single evening, but he hasn’t figured out the whole “two-places-at-once” trick.
Silent (and Not-So-Silent) Nights: Music, lights, fireworks… no silent nights here! From carolers on the street to the “Believe… in Holiday Magic” fireworks show, holiday entertainment lasts well until park closing. Please see park paraphernalia for times and locations.
The Bottom Line: The majority of holidays events inside Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure are included with park admission.
The Disneyland Resort offers a “Holiday Time at Disneyland” guided tour through Guest Services, which includes premium entry for both “it’s a small world” holiday and “Haunted Mansion Holiday,” VIP seating for the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade inside Disneyland Park, a tour of the new holiday offerings inside Disney California Adventure, and a keepsake ornament. For information and booking, please visit Guest Services inside Main Street, U.S.A.’s City Hall, DCA’s Guest Relations Lobby, or inside any Disney-owned hotel, or call (714) 781-TOUR (8687).
“The Secret of the Wings” Ice Rink is located inside the Downtown Disney District, which is open to the public; however, there may be charges for items such as skate rental and other services.