If you’re looking for some extra holiday magic this season, check out what a Disneyland Christmas looks like! With ride overlays, Disneyland Christmas Decorations, and special parades you don’t need a party ticket for, we think it’s the perfect way to start the season. Here are our top 5 Free Things to Do at Disneyland for the Holidays.
Festival of Holidays at California Adventure
Every holiday season, Disney’s California Adventure hosts the Disneyland International Festival of Holidays. This event includes Festival Entertainment featuring Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Three King’s Day. There are also festive foods to be found at booths throughout the park at the Festive Food Marketplaces. Also part of this event is Disney Viva Navidad, which only happens this time of year, honoring authentic holiday music, and decor.
Believe In Holiday Magic Fireworks Spectacular
If there’s one thing we noticed about Disneyland during the holidays, it’s that there is festive fun everywhere, and it’s 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.
Believe In Holiday Magic Fireworks Spectacular at Disneyland Park 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
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. It’s 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 for the Holiday Decorations
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 it during the day and at night if time allows, it’s definitely worth it!
Disneyland Christmas Holiday Ride Overlays
Walt Disney World should take note when it comes to holiday ride overlays because a Disneyland Christmas really is extra magical.
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is 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 it’s not just limited to the Christmas season.
“It’s a Small World” Holiday
This classic ride gets decked out for the holidays! Where friends from all over the world come together for various holiday carols. It’s so festive and fun! Both of these rides can get very long lines, so we recommend getting a Lightning Lane Pass or Disney Genie+ for these if you want to experience the holiday magic.
Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl
Both of these Cars Land rides are both fun festive overlays as well and can be found in Cars Land, which you should be visiting anyway!
Must Do’s for a Disneyland Christmas
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. Check out everything happening at Disneyland for the holidays.
4 thoughts on “5 Free Things to Do at Disneyland for the Holidays”
I wish they’d bring back the Jingle Cruise for the holidays at Disneyland, I loved that overlay!
I do have to say I am very glad we still have Jingle Cruise at WDW and I’m surprised that Disneyland doesn’t. After pulling it last year and everyone being upset about it, I honestly thought they would bring it back. I feel like that’d be such an easy overlay to incorporate into the season!
I love Christmas at Disneyland, it’s so beautiful! I have to say when Disney makes it “snow” with bubbles… Its just pure magic! This is a great list!
Thank you! It really is just so beautiful and pure magic!!
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