Holidays at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim are a time of wonder and joy for all ages, and it’s become an annual tradition for many guests, whether you’re from Southern California or traveling from anywhere in the world. Combined with the dazzling 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, the unforgettable entertainment, attractions, food and gifts provide endless magical memories of the season.
At Disneyland Park, “It’s a Small World” Holiday offers a worldwide celebration of the season with more than 60,000 twinkling LED lights on the attraction’s facade while inside the animated dolls representing the children of many nations are dressed in holiday attire, singing holiday songs as well as the ride’s classic theme.
Haunted Mansion Holiday, featuring the recently reintroduced Hatbox Ghost, continues the annual tradition of a Nightmare Before Christmas motif with a new gingerbread house, this time with gingerbread zombies constructing a teetering house of cards.
And then, there is also the Jingle Cruise, which takes guests on a fun-filled expedition where they will discover a cargo of holiday gifts and decorations has been spread across the jungles of the attraction.
In addition to the festive attractions, the truly exceptional “A Christmas Fantasy” parade runs during the daytime and features over 100 performers, including an impressive array of Disney characters and, of course, Santa Claus. After dark, the Diamond Celebration “Paint the Night” parade is a spectacular combination of glittering magic, dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances, awe-inspiring floats and Disney characters, lighting up Main Street, U.S.A. with more than 1.5 million LED lights. Both parades are terrific and absolutely worth seeing.
To top everything off, “Disneyland Forever” is an immersive street-to-sky fireworks experience like no other, with pyrotechnics, original music and viewing locations throughout Disneyland Park. As the sky is lit up high above, guests are surrounded by projections of the worlds of timeless Disney tales.
At Disney California Adventure, there are two versions of the nighttime water and light spectacular “World of Color” that will be presented nightly during the holiday season. The holiday-themed “World of Color – Winter Dreams” features Olaf the snowman, along with classic winter scenes from Disney and Pixar films. For the Diamond Celebration, “World of Color – Celebrate,” hosted by a virtual Neil Patrick Harris, is a beautiful tribute to Walt Disney, whose imagination led to the creation of so many beloved characters.
During the day, you can check out the beautiful holiday decorations in Cars Land, where a Snowcar welcomes guests at the entrance of Radiator Springs and each address along Route 66 has its own festive motif. You can also see Flik and his buddies over in A Bug’s Land, where there are giant Christmas lights and holiday ornaments. And to celebrate the huge popularity of the animated feature Frozen, “Olaf’s Snow Fest” is a charming castle courtyard where kids of all ages can have fun in a giant wintry play area with real snow and zip down a snow slide.
You can also join in on Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, the daily celebration of Latino culture and holiday traditions, featuring music, dancing, vibrant colors and delicious food. Disney characters, including The Three Caballeros, join in on the fun with a lively street party that is presented multiple times a day.
And if you still haven’t gotten your holiday fill, the Downton Disney District includes Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink and the Winter Village, where you can purchase holiday gift items from the windows of charming village chalets.
All of this is in addition to the usual Disneyland Resort magic, which now encompasses the brand new Star Wars – Season of the Force experience. Whether you become immersed in the Star Wars saga at the Launch Bay, where you can see props from all of the films, including the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and participate in meet and greets with Darth Vader and Chewbacca, you take a ride on Hyperspace Mountain, or you visit new scenes on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, you will have no shortage of memories to treasure.
The holiday cheer and festivities even continue at the hotels of the Disneyland Resort. All three hotels – Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel – have decorated their lobbies with festive displays and extravagantly designed Christmas trees. At the Grand Californian, 25 artists, bakers and engineers have gone one step further by creating a 7 ½-feet tall by 12-feet tall gingerbread house that is a miniature version of the hotel, on display in the lobby.
There is no shortage of holiday cheer anywhere at the Disneyland Resort, so if you’re thinking of taking part in all or any of the dazzling festivities, be sure to do so by January 6th.