Southern California is known for sunshine and beaches, even in December. But you can experience a winter wonderland when “the happiest place on Earth” transforms into “the merriest place on Earth” for the holidays.
Holidays at the Disneyland Resort is a special time, with magic around every corner. In Disneyland Park, there’s a 60-foot Christmas tree in Town Square complete with 70,000 lights and 2,000 custom ornaments. Stroll down Main Street, U.S.A. with the smell of candy canes and gingerbread hanging in the air and decorations adorning the buildings. And starting on November 12, the Christmas Fantasy Parade, featuring Santa flanked by your favorite Disney characters, will make its way down Main Street daily.
Classic attractions take on a whole different feeling. Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle sparkles with snow-capped towers, countless lights and a giant wreath. It’s a Small World Holiday dazzles with a spectacular light show and a holiday version of the classic song. And the Haunted Mansion gets a holiday makeover, courtesy of Jack Skellington and friends, for the Haunted Mansion Holiday. Fan favorites like A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe...in Holiday Magic make this time of year extra special.
Over in Disney California Adventure Park, a 50-foot tree sits on Buena Vista Street, and the spirit of the season is in full swing with the Festival of Holidays, featuring delicious foods and entertainment from many diverse cultures. Celebrate at Disney ¡Viva Navidad! as Disney characters host a festive street party featuring Mexican folklórico dancers and mariachis, giant mojiganga puppets, and Brazilian samba dancers and percussionists. And of course, Santa and his elves have turned up at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail for some seasonal fun and games.
Everyone’s four-wheeled friends over in Cars Land get in the spirit too, with a hubcap-adorned tree and with snow-covered billboards other auto-themed decorations along Route 66. Two Cars Land attractions are transformed and the results are merry indeed: Get behind the wheel for a whirlwind tour of Luigi’s backyard at his Joy to the Whirl attraction, and go on a tractor ride through an unusually cheery junkyard on Mater’s Jingle Jamboree.
There are holiday treats throughout the resort as well, from holiday-themed beignets and gingerbread men to decorated candy apples and the always-popular candy canes. Only a limited number of candy canes are made, so be sure to line up at park opening at the Candy Palace in Disneyland and Trolley Treats in California Adventure for a chance at this tasty treat. You can find out more by calling the Disneyland Candy Hotline at (714) 781-0112.
Insider tip: While the parks’ Christmas trees are first lit for the year in early-to-mid-November, both Disneyland and California Adventure have tree-lighting ceremonies every day during the holidays at 5 p.m. Any time of year, download the free Disneyland Mobile app to know where to head next for the shortest lines, buy your tickets, browse maps, and even order food or locate Disney characters. You’ll also be able to access Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ services, which can connect you with tailored recommendations, daily itineraries, Lightning Line passes, and more.