It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which is even more magical when spent at the happiest place on Earth.
For those wanting to soak up as much holiday cheer into their schedule when visiting the Disneyland Resort during the holiday season, ValleyMom has you covered. In fact, we’re even going to tell you how you can save BIG TIME on your next Disney vacay.
From indulging in traditional treats from around the globe and festive parades, to watching Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle light up, riding the Jingle Cruise and the Haunted Mansion Holiday, there is no shortage of wonderful things to see, do and taste when visiting the Disneyland Resort between Nov. 10, 2016 through Jan 8, 2017.
So, grab a pair of sparkly mouse ears, put on your most comfortable walking shoes and get ready to have the time of your life with these 14 ‘Christmassy’ events and activities that were on our own personal Disneyland Holidays Bucket List for 2016 -2017.
Ready, set, M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E
1- “Believe … In Holidays Magic” Fireworks Spectacular * NEW
Feel your spirits soar — as dazzling fireworks, a stirring musical score and a delightful shrinking of snow bring the joy of season to life.
2- “It’s a small world”
“It’s a small world” has become “it’s a small world” Holiday for the 20th time this season, celebrating children around the world and the distinctive holiday traditions of their nations. Fun fact: The Holiday theme debuted in 1997.
3- Main Street U.S.A.
Twinkling lights, festive holiday garland and nearly 1,800 ornaments decorate the soaring Christmas tree in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A., an ideal place for guests to begin their holiday traditions. As you can see with our two little monkeys, the Christmas tree is a great place to take your holiday photos, up close or with all 60 feet of the shimmering tree.
4- Haunted Mansion Holiday
Haunted Mansion becomes Haunted Mansion Holiday, with Jack Skellington and his friends from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” causing a collision between Christmas and Halloween. This is ideal for wee ones who are weary of the original haunted ride — it’s not as spooky.
5- Jingle Cruise
Jungle Cruise is transformed into Jingle Cruise, as the jungle skippers gather jettisoned holiday gifts and decorations to brighten the rugged landscapes surrounding their riverboats. We had the pleasure of riding at night when all the gorgeous lights were on to illuminate the animals and jungle folk lurking in the swamp.
6- “A Christmas Fantasy” parade
Disney characters celebrate the season in “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music, marching “tin soldiers” and holiday cheer. This parade was a huge hit for our whole clan. You don’t want to miss it. Note: The song is pretty catchy, it won’t leave your head for weeks. Trust me on this one ;).
Disney California Adventure Park
7- World of Colour — Season of Light *NEW
“World of Color – Season of Light” brings the warmth and heartfelt spirit of the holidays to this stunning, nighttime water spectacular, with its 1,200 powerful fountains shooting water as high as 200 feet to help tell the story. The show’s musical soundtrack features some well-known musical artists performing popular holiday tunes, including “Let it Snow”by Dean Martin and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Michael Buble and Idina Menzel. With classic holiday music, humor and memorable moments from Disney animated films, this becomes an ideal way for guests to conclude their holiday visit.
8- Festival of Holidays *NEW
With the debut of Festival of Holidays on Nov. 10, you’re invited to come celebrate heartwarming holiday festivities inspired by cultural traditions form around the world. you’ll create new memories as you share in delicious food and drink, fun craft making and the universal language of music and dance. As you can see above, I managed to sample quite a bit of festive fare. Read more about Disney Eats & Treats HERE.
9-‘Frozen’ Live at the Hyperion’ *NEW
A new theatrical adaptation of Disney’s animated blockbuster film is now playing at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort. With stunning special effects, show-stopping musical numbers and a cast of beloved characters, the live theater performance tells the heartwarming story with new depth.
10- Cars Land
The residents of Cars Land decorate for the holidays, beginning with a whimsical “snowcar” that greets guests on the road to Radiator Springs. Each address along Route 66–from Flo’s V-8 Café to Luigi’s Casa della Tires–features holiday décor that reflects the personality of the “Cars” character who lives there. There are plenty of great photo ops in this area so have your photo pass handy.
11- Santa’s Holiday Visit
Jolly old St. Nick arrives at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure park for Santa’s Holiday Visit. His joyful elves have transformed the trail into a magical playground of holiday fun and games, including opportunities for guests to join the ranks of Santa’s elves.
12- Meet Princess Elena
Princess Elena of Avalor, the first Disney Princess inspired by diverse Latin American cultures, will has made her Disneyland Resort debut as part of the Festival of Holidays. I had the chance to watch her perform a song in “Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival,” which was incredible .You’ll have the chance to meet her at a character greeting location at Disney California Adventure park.
13 – Buena Vista Street
A dazzling, 50-foot Christmas tree adorns Carthay Circle, drawing guests into the holiday magic along Buena Vista Street. The tree and surrounding buildings, inspired by Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s, create scenes of another era with vintage-style decor.
14-Visit the grandest Hotel Lobby of All
You don’t have to be a guest of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa to enjoy the festive sights, delicious aromas and sounds in the lobby. The second we stepped into the front entrance, our jaws hit the floor. The lights were slightly dim, allowing the enormous Christmas tree to sparkle amidst the massive vaulted ceilings and large stone hearth with a welcoming roaring fire.
While it’s a busy lobby with visitors and guests alike from all over the globe, it’s so soothing and peaceful that you feel as though you’re in a spa. Even if you don’t book a room, it’s worth visiting the lobby — especially during the holiday season when it’s decked to the nines in festive decor. READ MORE ABOUT OUR HOTEL STAY HERE.
And there you have it, 14 fun and festive ways to celebrate the holiday season at Disneyland Resort.
Want to surprise you clan with a Disneyland vacation this Christmas? Or, perhaps this bucket list has you thinking about planning a Disney holiday for next year? Listen up:
There’s currently a special discount that’s exclusive to Canadians that runs until Feb. 28, 2017.. Experience more magic for less with special savings on multi-day tickets and upgrades to Park Hopper tickets — all with Magic Morning early access (Magic Mornings are the absolute best). Save 25% on 3-Day or Longer Tickets and Enjoy More of the Disneyland Resort.
Disclaimer: Although my visit to Disneyland Resort was complimentary, this was not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.