If you’re following us on Instagram, then you’ll know that we just got back from a very quick, very last minute trip to Disneyland. We super excited to see the magic of Disneyland at Christmas and we were happy to see that Disneyland really pulls out all the stops for the holiday season.
Now, we aren’t experts on Disneyland quite yet, although maybe one day…. so we had to ask around on social media for some suggestions from you guys, who are the experts and you couldn’t have been more helpful! And of course, we had to try them all for research of course.
So, here are 5 of our holiday must do’s at Disneyland!
Festival of Holidays at California Adventure
You know we like food, you should have seen this one coming. Foods inspired by 4 holidays around the world are available at booths throughout California Adventure. If you’re a WDW regular, then you can probably relate to it as a very small version of the International Festival of Holidays at Epcot
Of course we tried a ton of stuff and chose our favorites, because its one of our favorite things to do. But considering how small the festival itself is, I was pretty impressed with the selection. Definitely worth taking an afternoon for.
Believe In Holiday Magic Fireworks Spectacular at Disneyland Park
If there’s one thing we noticed about Disneyland at the holidays, its that there is festive fun everywhere and its FREE. What?! Free, at a Disney Park? Crazy right? I have to say, it was really nice not having to fork over an extra $100 or more per person just to be able to experience more of the Christmas magic.
The Believe in Magic Fireworks display happens on Main Street and at the castle. There are fireworks, holiday projections and snow! If you want to see the projections on Main Street, you’ll have to actually be on Main Street. The snow falls on Main Street and also at the hub near the Walt and Mickey statue, so if you want to see either of those things, keep that in mind when finding your viewing spot. There are projections on the castle as well, so if you don’t care about Main Street, at least make sure you have a good view of the castle.
A Christmas Fantasy Parade at Disneyland Park
Yet another FREE holiday offering?! What is this!? The Christmas Fantasy Parade is held at Disneyland Park and runs from Small World all the way to Main Street. It’s held twice a day, at 3:30pm and 6:00pm(although be sure to check times before committing) and is weather permitting.
Its about a 15-20 minute parade and we recommend sitting anywhere on Main Street for the best views. But that’s just us. We love Main Street.
You’ll see all of your favorites in this parade, including Mickey and Minnie in their holiday attire, the princesses, your favorite toys from Toy Story and Santa himself!
Visit Cars Land at California Adventure
I don’t even really need to tell you to visit Cars Land, do I? Well I’m going to tell you anyway. Even if you’re not able to spend much time at California Adventure, seeing Cars Land decked out for the holiday is a must. The attention to detail is amazing and everything is decorated in Cars themed décor. We recommend seeing at during the day and at night if time allows, its definitely worth it!
Holiday Ride Overlays
Walt Disney World should take note when it comes to holiday ride overlays because Disneyland is really killing it with theirs. Haunted Mansion Holiday and “It’s a Small World” Holiday are completely redone and decked out for the season.
Jack Skellington has taken over the Haunted Mansion and trust me when I tell you, its a completely different ride than the Haunted Mansion you’re used to. We personally loved it and probably rode it way too many times, but is there really such a thing as too many times? If you’re a Nightmare Before Christmas fan, then this is a must see and actually runs from October thru January, so its not just limited to the Christmas season.
In “It’s a Small World” Holiday, the outside gets decked out and friends from all over the world come together for various holiday carols. Its so festive and fun!
Both of these rides can get very long lines, so we recommend getting Fastpasses for them if you wanting to experience the holiday magic.
Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl are both fun festive overlays as well and can be found in Cars Land, which you should be visiting anyway!
So there you have it! Our Disneyland must-do’s for the holiday season. Disneyland may be smaller than Walt Disney World, but they sure do know how to make magic at Christmastime.