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Disneyland Christmas Holidays Best Food and Things to Do

Are you ready for a trip to the happiest place on earth for the holidays? If you’re busy planning your Disneyland Christmas vacation, you don’t want to miss any of the special food, decorations, rides, and events that are happening at the resort. From the Season of Wonder at Disneyland Park to the Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park, this is your ultimate guide for what not to miss during Disneyland holidays.

Hope you enjoy my insider tips for visiting Disneyland at Christmas time and thank you to Disneyland Resort for hosting me for a night to enjoy your Disneyland Holidays celebration.

When Does Disneyland Decorate for Christmas?

The 2018 Disneyland Resort holiday season begins November 9th and runs through January 6th, 2019. You might see the resort getting an early start as holiday decorations can start appearing November 1st. Disneyland Park features many Christmas and winter-themed decorations and food. Disney California Adventure Park is celebrating a Festival of Holidays, recognizing world celebrations such as Diwali, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! festival. The hotels are a little behind schedule and typically decorations start popping up after November 9th.

Disneyland Christmas Decorations

One of the exciting things about visiting the Disneyland Resort during the holidays is the elaborate decorations that go up around the park. For visitors who have been to Disneyland before, the Christmas holidays offer a chance to be delighted again at the picturesque beauty of the resort. Each of the lands is decorated for Christmas, with tinsel and wreaths decorations that match the theme of the land. Take your time to notice the ribbons decorating the wreaths along Main Street, each of them is handmade and are created from nine yards of ribbon.

disneyland main street christmas wreath

The wreaths on Main Street all have handmade ribbon bows. © Kimberly Tate

The biggest decorations occur at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and It’s a Small World. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is transformed with a Winter Enchantment. It becomes covered with snow drifts, icicles, and wreaths, creating the postcard-perfect Christmas photo opp. At 7 and 8 pm the castle will shimmer to life while snow falls and magical music plays.

disneyland castle holiday lights

Disneyland Christmas Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Holiday lights. © Kimberly Tate

Deeper into Disneyland Park you’ll find It’s a Small World shining with thousands of colorful lights. At dusk, the lights will begin to glow, and every 30 minutes after you can watch a kaleidoscope light show while listening to the classic small world tune as well as festive carols.

it's a small world christmas lights

It’s a Small World Holiday Lights. © Kimberly Tate

For more holiday decorations, head over to Disney California Adventure Park. Route 66 in Cars Land is one of my favorite places to stroll during the Disneyland holidays. You’ll find tire wreathes and cone Christmas trees decorating the land, and don’t miss the special SnowMater photo op at the entrance! The Festival of Holidays marketplace booths are also dotted around California Adventure Park. And don’t miss visiting the Redwood Creek Challenge where Santa calls home during the holiday season.

Attractions Themed for the Holidays

Disneyland Park

The two attractions you don’t want to miss at Disneyland are Haunted Mansion Holiday and It’s a Small World. Jack Skellington has taken over the Haunted Mansion and decorated the estate tons of frightfully festive touches. From jack o’ lanterns and wreaths to terrifying toys and kooky characters, it’s a merry eerie time courtesy of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Join Jack, Sally, Oogie Boogie, and other nightmare nasties to celebrate “Season’s Screamings!”

holiday haunted mansion

Holiday Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park.
© Kimberly Tate

From creepy to classic, head over to It’s a Small World to see have your nostalgic childhood ride get transformed for the holidays. Set sail along a wintry, wondrous waterway, spotting all the unique regional decorations as you tour a world of festive wishes and holiday cheer. And if you’re one that gets sick of the IASM song, you’ll be happy to note that some Christmas carols are mixed into the soundtrack for It’s a Small World Holiday.

it's a small world holiday ride at Disneyland christmas

It’s a Small World Holiday at Disneyland. © Kimberly Tate

Disney California Adventure Park

Cars Land is where you’ll find the Christmas rides in this park. Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl. Both rides are essentially the same rides, however, you’ll be swung around while listening to holiday tunes during the holiday season.

cars land holiday decorations at disneyland

Cars Land decorated for the holidays at Disney California Adventure Park. © Kimberly Tate

You can also visit Santa at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. In addition to meeting Santa himself, kids can participate in fun activities such as flying like the reindeer and helping Santa pack away presents. Cookie decorating kits can also be purchased for kids to create cookies for Santa.

redwood creek challenge santa christmas

Visit Santa at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure Park.
© Kimberly Tate

Disneyland Holidays Food

One of the most popular ways to celebrate the Holidays at Disneyland is with food! From Disneyland to California Adventure Park, there are plenty of sweet and savory treats to fill you up for the season.

disneyland christmas treats

Sweet treats for Disneyland Christmas (many of these are available only at the Grand Californian Hotel).
© Kimberly Tate

Disneyland Holiday Churros

If you’re a churro fan, definitely be sure to get one of the special holiday churros that you can find around the park. Here’s a guide to where to find each of the holiday churros around the parks.

Holiday Churros at Disneyland Park

  • Churros near Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: Sour Apple Churro with option to add side caramel sauce
  • Churros near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Churro with crushed pretzels and peppermint
  • Churros near Sleeping Beauty Castle: Gingerbread Churro
  • Churros near Haunted Mansion: Sugarplum Candy Churro
  • The Golden Horseshoe: Churro Sundae: Peppermint ice cream and a cajeta-filled churro garnished with chocolate brownie crumbles, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream
  • Hungry Bear Restaurant: Churro Bites with eggnog gelato and caramel sauce

Holiday Churros at Disney California Adventure Park

  • Churros near Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Peppermint Churro with crushed candy canes and chocolate and vanilla icing
  • Cozy Cone Motel: Gingersnap Churro with cream cheese dipping sauce
  • Cozy Cone Motel: Pumpkin Spice Churro with cream cheese dipping sauce
  • Churros near Goofy’s Sky School: Holiday Churro with red and green sugar
peppermint churro at disneyland

Peppermint Churros can be found near the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
© Kimberly Tate

Disneyland Park

Refreshment Corner

  • Philly Cheesesteak Hot Dog: Premium hot dog with sliced roast beef, peppers, onions, and cheese sauce

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

  • Santa Hat Macaron with mint white filling and rich chocolate ganache
  • Caramel Apple Muffin with streusel
  • Eggnog Latte Cheesecake finished with white chocolate mousse “foam” and a sprinkling of nutmeg
  • Holiday Vanilla Bean Cupcake filled with red and green chocolate candy pieces and topped with green and white swirled white chocolate mousse and round chocolate swirl candy pieces
  • Holiday Brownie topped with white chocolate mousse, sprinkles, chocolate presents, and a Christmas tree Gingerbread Cookie

Carnation Café

  • Roast Beef TV Dinner: Roast beef topped with roasted shallot and sun-dried cherry demi sauce, mashed potatoes, haricot verts, and carrots and served with chocolate croissant bread pudding and crème anglaise

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

  • Peppermint Holiday Sundae with peppermint ice cream, chocolate sauce, and crushed peppermint

Market House

  • Holiday Strawberry Lizner Cookie
  • Snowman Shortbread Cookie
  • Gingerbread Cookie

Plaza Inn

  • Chocolate Mint Yule Log: Chocolate sponge surrounded by mint chip filling and finished with buttercream, white chocolate curls, and white chocolate crispy pearls
  • Holiday Bundt Cake
  • Coconut Cream Pie: 5” pie shell filled with coconut pastry cream and topped with coconut whipped cream and red and green-colored coconut

Red Rose Taverne

  • Snowman Pancake with Applewood-smoked bacon
  • Snowman Shortbread Cookie
  • Holiday Pastry Wreath: Pate choux dough filled with cranberry-raspberry compote with orange and white chocolate mousse and finished with green chocolate, silver and gold edible glitter, yellow and blue crispy pearls, a yellow chocolate bow, and a red rose
  • Gingerbread Cookie

Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante

  • Chile Relleno: Red and green sauce topped with queso fresco and crema and served with rice, ranchero beans, and pickled vegetables
  • Dessert Nachos: Cinnamon crisps topped with apple filling, vanilla sauce, cajeta caramel, and whipped cream
  • Frozen Abuelita Hot Chocolate: Frozen Mexican hot chocolate with chocolate sauce topped with peppermint whipped cream and crushed candy canes
  • Sopapilla Cheesecake: Cheesecake filling layered between croissant dough baked with melted butter and cinnamon sugar and topped with sugar and whipped cream

Galactic Grill

  • S’mores Parfait: Layers of chocolate pudding, chocolate cake, marshmallow filling, crushed graham cracker, and ganache topped with chocolate chips and a toasted marshmallow

Alien Pizza Planet

  • Space Dip Pizza with spinach and artichoke dip, chicken, capicola, and assorted cheeses
  • Green Alien Holiday Macaron
  • S’mores Parfait: Layers of chocolate pudding, chocolate cake, marshmallow filling, crushed graham cracker, and ganache topped with chocolate chips and a toasted marshmallow
green alien holiday macaron

Green Alien Holiday Macaron at Disneyland.
© Kimberly Tate

Bengal Barbecue

  • Lamb Kofta: Aromatic lamb with tzatziki sauce, spinach, and pickled onions on grilled pita bread

French Market

  • Dessert Trio with a Jack Skellington Chocolate Cupcake, a Mini Coffee Éclair, and a Sugar Pie
  • Wreath Bundt Cake: Cinnamon and candied pecan bundt cake with a crème brûlée center topped with green icing, red chocolate pearls, and red mousse

Mint Julep Bar

  • Candy Cane Beignets

Royal Street Veranda

  • Cinnamon Spiced Fritters with eggnog dipping sauce

Harbour Galley

  • Traditional-Style Pozole: Slow-roasted tomatillos, hominy, and serrano chiles served with limes, onions, radishes, and shredded cabbage

Blue Bayou

  • Gingerbread Crème Brûlée with Chantilly cream and a mini gingerbread chocolate man

Café Orléans

  • Santa’s Lumps of Coal Beignets: Chocolate-hazelnut beignets tossed in peppermint mocha sugar and topped with peppermint ice cream
  • Beef and Grits: Braised beef served over cheesy grits with a cabernet sauce

Outdoor Vending Carts

  • Apple Cotton Candy
  • Cinnamon Caramel Corn

Popcorn Buckets

Don’t forget about all the popcorn carts around the resort. The Green Alien buckets seem very popular and can be found across from Space Mountain for $20.

green alien popcorn bucket

Green Alien popcorn buckets for Disneyland Christmas.
© Kimberly Tate

Disney California Adventure Park Festival of Holidays Marketplaces

If you’re a fan of the tasting kiosks that are popular in Epcot and the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival, don’t miss the Festival of the Holidays food at Disney California Adventure Park. Visit 12 unique world marketplace pop-ups to taste seasonal dishes from around the globe. Grab a Festival of Holidays Tasting Passport from one of the kiosks to see the specific world holidays the foods are celebrating and to identify allergy-friendly items.

festival of the holidays food marketplace

Festival of the Holidays marketplace food booth.
© Kimberly Tate

A Twist on Tradition

Try holiday classics infused with a festive kick like pozole rojo beef with hominy polenta or “chicken-less” mole with Spanish rice.

  • Pozole Rojo Beef with Hominy Polenta
  • “Chicken-less” Mole with Spanish Rice
  • Black Forest Yule Log
  • Winter Michelada
  • Modelo Negra, Dark Lager

Blissfully Braised

Savor slow-cooked plates like pork belly adobo with garlic fried rice or cornbread cakes with collard greens and smoked bacon gravy.

  • Braised Pork Belly Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice
  • Cornbread Cakes with Braised Collard Greens and Smoked Bacon Gravy
  • Blood Orange Ginger Mule

Brews & Bites

Imbibe in a variety of brews followed by chorizo queso fundido with house-made tortilla chips.

  • Chorizo Queso Fundido with House-made Tortilla Chips
  • Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Paradise Rd,
    Pilsner
  • North Coast Brewing Co., Blue Star, Wheat
  • Brewery Ommegang, Rosetta, Aged Cherry Ale
  • Deschutes Brewery, Mirror Pond, Pale Ale
  • Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boont,
    Amber Ale
  • Aftershock Brewing Co., Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Isomerizer, IPA
  • New Belgium Brewing Company, Accumulation,
    White IPA (Seasonal Selection)
  • Cigar City Brewing, Maduro, Brown Ale
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company, 9 Bonfires Blazing,
    Golden Stout (Seasonal Selection)
  • Legends Brewery, Cookies Galore, Chocolate Cookie Milk Stout
  • Beer Tasting Flights available
queso fundido

Chorizo Queso Fundido from the Brews & Bites marketplace.
© Kimberly Tate

Favorite Things

Indulge in holiday ham shanks and Reuben potato tots or sip an eggnog cocktail with whipped cream and nutmeg dusting.

  • Holiday Ham Shanks with Brown Sugar-Pineapple Glaze
  • Reuben Potato Tots with Russian Dressing and Rye Toast
  • Cranberry Sangria with Lime Garnish
  • Egg Nog Cocktail with Whipped Cream and Nutmeg Dusting

Grandma’s Recipes

Head home for the holidays with time-honored treats like beef pot roast on a potato roll, candied yams, and gingerbread Mickey cookies.

  • Beef Pot Roast on a Potato Roll with Horseradish Cream
  • Candied Yams with Marshmallow Cream and Toasted Pecans
  • Gingerbread Mickey
  • Pear – Wyder’s Cider, Hard Pear Cider
  • Watermelon, Lime, Hibiscus & Cayenne – Towne Park Brew Co, Gose Fresca (Inaugural Launch)
  • Orange – Avery Brewing, White Rascal, Belgian-Style White Ale
  • Boysenberry & Raspberry – Smog City Brewing Co., Snugglebug, Sour Blonde Ale
  • Sample all four fruit brews in a flight
  • Merry Cherry Pineapple Punch (non-alcoholic)

Holiday Duets

Harmonize with perfect pairings of shrimp and grits with Andouille sausage or curry cauliflower soup with braised lamb and mintchurri.

  • Curry Cauliflower Soup with Braised Lamb and Mintchurri
  • Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage
  • Holiday Mickey and Minnie Cookies
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company, Spruce Tip Sculpin, IPA (Seasonal Selection)
  • Warm Peppermint Chocolate Float (non-alcoholic)

Making Spirits Bright

Deliver the perfect toast with pomegranate, pear or white cranberry mimosas as well as imported and domestic wines.

  • Pomegranate Mimosa
  • Pear Mimosa
  • White Cranberry Mimosa
  • Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
  • Baileyana, Firepeak, Chardonnay, Edna Valley
  • Bartenura, Moscato, Italy
  • MacMurray Ranch Estate, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
  • Joel Gott, Zinfandel, California
  • Rodney Strong, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
  • Chandon, Sparkling Wine, Brut, California
  • Wine and Mimosa Tasting Flights Available

Merry Mashups

Kick things off with turkey-and-stuffing tamales, lox-and-everything-bagel nachos or “hot cocoa” marshmallow macarons.

  • Turkey & Stuffing Tamale with Cranberry Relish
  • Lox & Everything Bagel Nachos
  • “Hot Cocoa” Marshmallow Macaron
  • Sparkling Wine Punch – Chandon Brut, Sparkling Wine and Lime Sherbet
  • Holiday Punch with Lime Sherbet and Sprite® (non-alcoholic)

Spicy Celebrations

Heat things up with Nashville hot fried turkey, jalapeño latkes and chocolate chipotle pot de crème.

  • Nashville Hot Fried Turkey with Dill Pickles
  • Jalapeño Latkes with Chipotle Crema
  • Chocolate Chipotle Pot de Crème
  • Pomegranate Margarita with Chipotle-smoked Sea Salt Half-Rim

Visions of Sugarplums

Make dreams come true with white chocolate cranberry blondies, warm sticky toffee pudding or horchata fudge.

  • Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
  • White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie
  • Eggnog Wreath Éclair with White Chocolate Icing
  • Horchata Fudge
  • Warm Bourbon Cider
  • S’mores Frozen Chocolate Milk (non-alcoholic)
  • Horizon® Organic Lowfat Milk

Winter Wonders

Cozy up to pumpkin soup with maple cashew cream, chana masala with grilled garlic naan or a vanilla-and-cranberry trifle.

  • Pumpkin Soup with Maple Cashew Cream
  • Chana Masala with Grilled Garlic Naan
  • Vanilla & Cranberry Trifle
  • Pomegranate Lemonade (non-alcoholic)

Winter Sliderland

Sink your teeth into roasted turkey sliders with cranberry sauce, holiday stuffing mac & cheese and milk chocolate-candy cane pot de crème.

  • Roasted Turkey Slider with Cranberry Sauce
  • Holiday Stuffing Mac & Cheese
  • Milk Chocolate Candy Cane Pot de Crème
  • Frosty Frosé: Fleurs de Prairie Rosé, Blue Curaçao, and White Cranberry Juice served frozen
  • Oskar Blues Brewery, Old Chub, Scotch Ale

If you’re planning to eat more than six of the main dishes around the Festival of Holidays marketplaces, buy a Sip and Savor Pass. They cost $54 ($49 for AP holders) and give you eight vouchers that can be used for food and/or non-alcoholic drinks. You can buy the Disneyland Festival of Holidays Sip and Savor Pass at Festival Merchandise Carts, Seaside Souvenirs, Kingswell Camera Shop, and Rushin’ River Outfitters.

sip and savor pass

Sip and Savor Pass for Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park. © Kimberly Tate

Disney California Adventure Park Holiday Food

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

  • Snowman Shortbread Cookie
  • Holiday Brownie
  • Gingerbread Man Cookie

Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream

  • Candy Cane Premium Cone
  • Red and Green Sprinkles Premium Cone
  • Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cone with scoops of chocolate and peppermint ice cream and chocolate-dipped cookies in a candy cane premium cone
  • Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Sundae with scoops of chocolate and peppermint ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate-dipped cookies, and crushed peppermint in a candy cane premium waffle cup
  • Chocolate Peppermint Bar with your choice of ice cream bar dipped in chocolate, drizzled in peppermint icing, and topped with crushed peppermint

Mortimer’s Market

  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Sourdough
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge

  • Holiday Cocktail with Bombay Sapphire, St. Germaine, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, cherry bitters and Crème de Yvette garnished with a lavender sprig

Award Wieners

  • Stocking Stuffer Funnel Cake Fries: Churro funnel fries topped with peppermint icing, crushed chocolate cream-filled cookies, candy-coated chocolates, crushed peppermint, and whipped cream
  • Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake Fries (only available through Nov. 23)
  • Gingerbread Funnel Cake Fries: Churro funnel fries topped with crumbled gingerbread, caramel, icing, and whipped cream (available starting Nov. 23)

Schmoozies!

  • Peppermint Affogato: Espresso over peppermint ice cream
  • Peppermint Crunch Shake: Peppermint ice cream blended with whole milk and topped with chocolate cream-filled cookie crumbles, crushed peppermint, and peppermint whipped cream
  • Minnie Wreath Donut filled with chocolate peppermint ganache
  • Gingerbread Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich with a scoop of brown sugar cinnamon ice cream rolled with crushed gingersnap cookies

Hollywood Lounge

  • Anchor 2018 Christmas Ale
  • Modelo Especial
  • Stone Delicious IPA
  • Anaheim Brewery Winter Wheat
  • Legends Cookie Galore Milk Stout
  • Wonderland Hot Chocolate: Hot chocolate, Schnapps, crushed peppermint, and whipped cream
  • Winter Hot Chocolate: Hot chocolate, whipped cream, and crushed peppermint (non-alcoholic)
  • Fireside Cider: Spiced rum hot apple cider
  • Holiday Cider: Hot apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • Feliz Churro Cocktail: Frozen drink with churro-flavored alcohol and horchata
  • Mistletoe Mule: Cranberry-orange lemonade, ginger ale, and vodka

Fairfax Fruit Market

  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

Studio Catering Co.

  • Holiday Dessert Nachos: Cinnamon-sugar buñuelos chips with chocolate and caramel sauces, whipped cream, and holiday sprinkles
  • Plant-etarium Street Tacos with Brussels sprouts, salsa verde, pickled red onions, and apple and pomegranate slaw
  • Holiday Frozen Horchata

Flo’s V8 Cafe

  • Blue Plate Special: Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich: slow-cooked turkey breast piled high on white bread and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and gravy
  • 4” Chocolate Peppermint Pie
  • Chocolate Peppermint Shake topped with whipped cream and crushed peppermint road gravel

Cozy Cone Motel

  • Crushed Peppermint Road Gravel Topping
  • Luigi’s Chicken Pesto Cone: Creamy pesto Alfredo pasta with marinated chicken, balsamic reduction, bruschetta tomatoes, and Romano cheese
  • Santa Cone Hat Macaron with cookies and cream filling

Pacific Wharf Café

  • Turkey Pot Pie Soup with oven roasted turkey breast, rich turkey gravy, peas, and carrots in a sourdough bread bowl
  • Candy Cane-shaped Sourdough Bread
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough Bread
  • Gingerbread Man Cookie
  • Sugar Cookie with red and green sprinkles
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA

Boudin Bread Cart

  • Candy Cane-shaped Sourdough
  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Sourdough
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

Gourmet Coffee

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Snowman Shortbread Cookie
  • Gingerbread Man Cookie

Paradise Garden Grill

  • Burrito: Flour tortilla with black beans, Spanish rice, molcajete salsa, crema, and choice of meat served with tortilla chips and molcajete salsa
  • Vegan Chile Relleno: Roasted poblano stuffed with veggie stew, topped with roasted tomato sauce and tofu “cream,” and served with Spanish rice and black beans
  • Torta al Pastor: Soft telera roll, chorizo beans, pork al pastor, cabbage, guacamole, and crema served with tortilla chips and molcajete salsa
  • Street-Style Tacos: Three corn tortilla tacos filled with carne asada, carnitas, and chicken with white onion and fresh cilantro served with Spanish rice and black beans topped with queso blanco
  • House-Made Pozole: Mild red chile and pork stew with hominy topped with shredded cabbage, onions, radish, lime, and oregano and served with tortilla chips
  • Buñuelos with Cajeta: Two golden fried flour tortillas dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with a side of cajeta
  • Red Sangria
  • Dos Equis Lager
  • Dos Equis Ambar

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

  • Holiday Dinner Pizza with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, bacon, vegetables, and cranberry sauce
  • Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Lamplight Lounge

  • Specialty Holiday Cocktail with aged tequila, mezcal, hibiscus, and lemon juice
  • Turkey Carnitas Poutine: Malted french fries topped with slow-cooked turkey carnitas, Yucatan-inspired gravy, cranberry-bacon habanero gelée, crumbled queso blanco, and green onions

Outdoor Vending Carts

  • Hot Chocolate Cotton Candy
  • Snowflake Cotton Candy
  • Street-style Elote
disneyland holidays food guide

Disneyland Holidays Food Guide © Kimberly Tate

Entertainment during Disneyland Christmas

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

This is a classic holiday offering that hasn’t changed since my first Disneyland Christmas visit many years ago. Floats will come by with lots of your favorite Disney characters dressed in their holiday outfits. In addition to the characters there are lots of dancing performers who interact with the kids along the route, so get a front row spot if you have little ones. And finally, the jolly fellow himself, Santa, will close out the parade. Be sure to find a spot along the route at least an hour before the start if you want a good viewing spot.

disneyland christmas parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade
© Kimberly Tate

“Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks

Watching the fireworks is just one part of this Disneyland holidays entertainment. In addition to the beautiful fireworks, you’ll also have the chance to watch it snow on Main Street. A heads up, the fireworks are weather dependent and unfortunately, they don’t always know until show time whether the fireworks will be canceled. The night I attended our fireworks show was canceled due to strong winds, however, we still got to see the main street projections and watch the snow fall.

snow on main street

Snow falling on Main Street for Holiday Fireworks at Disneyland.

“Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort” Guided Tour

This is a 2.5-hour walking tour that occurs daily at the resort during the holiday season. You’ll visit both parks and learn about favorite Disneyland holiday traditions from around the world. You’ll also enjoy reserved seating for A Christmas Fantasy Parade, delicious holiday treats, tour button, and a collectible pin. Keep in mind that the tour is in the parks and you need to have a park ticket for admission.

Disney California Adventure Park Entertainment

¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Alongside Mexico’s Panchito and José Carioca from Brazil, Donald heads up a holly, jolly, joyous celebration through the streets! Get ready to kick up your heels at an exuberant bash featuring mariachi and samba musicians, folklórico dancers, some of your favorite Disney Characters and incredible 12-foot-tall mojiganga puppets of Santa and Mrs. Claus!

¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

¡Viva Navidad! Street Party at California Adventure.
© Kimberly Tate

Princess Elena Musical Grand Arrival

Escorted by colorful companions, Elena will greet well-wishers with stories and songs from her native land. Replete with pomp, circumstance and a dash of enchantment, this traveling fiesta takes place near Goofy’s Sky School a few times each day.

elena grand arrival at disneyland

Elena Grand Arrival. © Kimberly Tate

Festival of Holidays Music

At Paradise Gardens you have the opportunity to learn about other seasonal festivals beyond Christmas. You can watch and listen to musical groups as they explain cultural holidays like Kwanzaa, Hannukah, and Diwali.

Final Tips for Holidays at Disneyland Christmas

Be prepared for crowds during the Disneyland holidays. Disneyland is open on Christmas Day and for Thanksgiving, but you’ll want to arrive early and stay in the parks since they’ll likely reach capacity. Use my posts linked below to help maximize your park time.

My Best Disneyland Tips

How to Use Disneyland MaxPass and Fastpass

Hotels by Disneyland: How to Choose Where to Stay

Disneyland Checklist for Planning your Disney Vacation Days

And read my friend Leslie’s post for more Disneyland Holidays info: Guide to Disneyland Holidays

Disneyland Christmas Holidays Guide

Disneyland Christmas Holidays Guide

Get My Best Travel Planning Tips & Worksheets!

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