We’ve been going to Disneyland during the holidays for a few years now. If you didn’t believe in the magic before, you will if you visit during the holidays. Visiting in early December will miss most of the holiday crowds as well.
Holidays at Disneyland are amazing. I can’t just tell you one reason to go, I’ll give you ten!
1. Buena Vista Street
Buena Vista Street is new to Disneyland California Adventure. There’s a 50-foot Christmas tree in the middle of Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street. The 1920’s themed tree will be decorated with vintage-style ornaments, just as Walt envisioned. Santa will be on Buena Vista Street. Children can visit him at Elias & Co., the main department store along this street.
2. Cars Land Holiday
This is the first holiday season for the new Cars Land area. A snowcar will welcome you at the entrance. Each location in Cars Land, along Route 66 – Flo’s V-8 Café, Fillmore’s, Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires – will be decked out for the holiday’s. The Cars characters will also be ready for the festivities.
3. Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle
For the holidays, Sleeping Beauty’s castle is draped in snowdrifts and icicles, and is one of the centerpieces of a beautiful evening light show and fireworks display. The best part is the snow that gently falls on Main Street toward the end of the show. If you live somewhere where you don’t see snow in winter months, this little bit of magic will put you in the right holiday spirit. If you’re elsewhere in the park, you might also see snowfall down It’s a Small World Mall or New Orleans Square.
4. It’s a Small World Holiday
This long-time Disney attraction becomes a huge favorite during the season. During the holidays, the facade features over 300,000 lights; truly a sight to be seen once the sun goes down. The children are all dressed in special, festive attire and a huge “Happy Holidays” sign is sculpted out of ice that changes colors.
5. Christmas tree in Town Square
It’s not every day that you can see a beautiful 60-foot-tall Christmas tree. The tree is brightly lit with over 60,000 lights, which get used for a special holiday light show. It’s the centerpiece of Town Square, you can’t miss it as you enter Disneyland. This spot has become a backdrop for most of our favorite family photos.
6. Jingle Jangle Jamboree
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland. Get your picture taken and chat with St. Nick, meet Disney characters, and enjoy games, music, crafts and seasonal entertainment. If you’re craving a bit of old-fashioned, traditional Christmas, find it at Big Thunder Ranch.
7. A Christmas Fantasy parade
The parade is a holiday tradition at Disneyland. You’ll see Santa, Mrs. Claus and of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse ice skating. I have to admit, Santa’s dancing reindeer are hilarious.
8. Haunted Mansion Holiday
This is where traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide. The Halloween decorations from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will remain throughout the holiday season.
9. Three Kings Day
Disneyland will celebrate Epiphany Day, also known as Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos, from Jan. 4-6, 2013, with special decorations, food, and entertainment that showcases this Latin American holiday tradition.
10. The Secret of the Wings
A temporary ice skating rink is now open for the first time in Downtown Disney. Located in the new Winter Village, the rink pays tribute to the new Tinker Bell movie, Secret of the Wings. This movie has become a big hit in our house, we will be stopping by the rink for sure. The best part about the rink? It doesn’t even require park admission tickets, so you can hit the rink on a day outside of when you use your passes.
Disneyland during the holidays has become one of our family traditions. If you haven’t been, try to go at least once. It is a magical experience for the hole family. You can experience the holiday festivities and magic now through January 6.