Disneyland always goes all-out for Christmas, and this year is no exception. From now until January 6th, you’ll find both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park have been transformed, with beautiful Christmas decorations and seasonal favorites, like the Festival of Holidays, “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade, and the “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks spectacular.
New this year: Mickey’s Happy Holidays Character Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park, and Disney Holiday Dance Party features Disney Characters at Disneyland Park.
Christmas Decorations at Disneyland
I have always loved and been wowed by the Christmas decorations at the Disneyland Resort. But this year, my appreciation has gone even deeper after meeting two of the amazing women on the design team – and hearing the story of how they get it all done.
The holiday decorations seem like they appear magically, but in truth the work is done overnight, by a small team of hard-working people, who’ve spent months creating a design that gets implemented in a very short period of time.
“What we lack in numbers we make up for in planning, ” one of the team told me.
This year, Disneyland’s Main Street has a Victorian Christmas theme, a 60-foot Christmas tree, and nightly snowfall, and New Orleans Square, always a brightly-colored place, has jazz-themed holiday décor.
Holiday Food Treats at Disneyland
Of course Disneyland has sweet treats for the Holidays, like these candy apples, macarons and churros. But there is an entire smorgasbord of sweet and savory delights to eat in the Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park, which honors the tastes of Christmas, Navidad, Hanukkah, Diwali and Kwanzaa and Three Kings Day. The Festival of Holidays runs through Jan. 8, 2019, and is well worth it.
I sampled a Braised Pork Adobo on Garlic Fried Rice, which was delicious! Each Festival of Holidays kiosk offers a different set of food treats, usually alongside a paired cocktail – and there is one offering a wine and champagne flight as well.
Holiday Performances and Activations at Disneyland Resort
The Festival of Holidays is more than just food, of course. There’s plenty to entertain you while you dine, including musical and dance performances by the mischievous Holiday Toy Drummers, Mostly Kosher, Blue13 Dance Company, The Sound, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Mariachi Divas, and Phat Cat Swinger.
For “Mickey’s Happy Holidays,” Mickey is joined by favorite Disney and Pixar characters as they dance along to high-energy music. Mickey, Minnie, Chip n’ Dale, Goofy and Clarabelle all don new Festival of Holidays attire. “Mickey’s Happy Holidays” will run twice daily, with show moments at Paradise Gardens Park and Carthay Circle.
Also in Disney California Adventure Park, the Three Caballeros host the popular “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!”street party celebration, featuring folklórico and samba dancers, live musicians, and Mickey and Minnie in their fiesta best.
And Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival welcomes the adventurous and kindhearted Princess Elena of Avalor, her magical friend Skylar and royal dancers as they share the joy of the holidays in this charming musical celebration
As if that weren’t enough holiday magic, guests can also enjoy special holiday-themed activities with Santa Claus and his sleigh full of mischievous elves at Santa’s Holiday Visit at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail through Dec. 24th. From Dec. 25 through Jan. 8, Santa Goofy will be filling in for Old St. Nick.
Disneyland Park also plays host to special performances in the holiday season, including “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade, and the nightly “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks show.
Enjoy the Christmas traditions at Disneyland Resort until January 6th, 2019 – and the Festival of Holidays until January 8th, 2019.
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of MomsLA.com. She was a guest of the Disneyland Resort for this Holiday preview.