Disneyland Christmas Guide – What To Expect When Visiting During The Holidays

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Guide to Disneyland Christmas Events at the Disneyland Resort 2023

Find out what you can expect for Disneyland Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years celebrations for 2023. It is a very popular time of the year to visit, and we have your guide to what will be going on this year here.

Christmas at Disneyland

Disneyland Christmas Guide – What To Expect When Visiting During The Holidays

It’s hard to believe that Halloween Time is already here. While I love all of the spooks, ghouls and frightful fun, it’s time to start thinking about the holiday season that’s just around the corner.

Disneyland is always magical, but there’s something even more magical about it during the holidays. From beautiful décor to festive food and spectacular shows, the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort are sure to take your breath away. It’s easy to see why so many families rate the holidays as the best time to experience Disneyland!

Disneyland Christmas 2023, and the other festive holiday times, are full of fun at the parks. From November 10, 2023 to January 7, 2024, guests who visit the Disneyland Resort can experience Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. With seasonal ride overlays, joyful entertainment and festive décor, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, whether you’ve already planned your holiday vacation or are thinking about taking one, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Holidays at the Disneyland Resort 2023.

No matter when you plan your next Disneyland vacation, make sure to book with Get Away Today. They are currently offering an Early Disneyland Black Friday sale through 11/6, to help you save even more! Plus, you can get an additional $10 off your vacation package when you use promo code ThriftyNW. 

A couple more deals going on to help you save on a Christmas visit to Disneyland include:

Be sure to check out our Disneyland Deals page for lots of tips on ways to save on your Disneyland trip, and tips for planning.

Disneyland Holiday After Hours Party: Merriest Nites

  • Disney Merriest Nites usually takes place on select evenings in November and December. There has not been NO announcement that it will be happening again this year (2023) yet, so I don’t think we will see this one brought back, and will update things here if we learn differently.

Disneyland Christmas Park Guide::

Christmas tree: Take a walk down Main Street, U.S.A. and get a good look at the beautiful Christmas tree. Additionally, shops and restaurants along Main Street are extra festive with wreaths, ribbon, garland and lights. The Disneyland Christmas decor this time of the year transforms the park into someplace even more magical then usual!

Character Meet & Greets

During Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, you can see Mickey and the gang dressed up in holiday garb. With ugly Christmas sweaters, Santa hats and festive backgrounds, this is the perfect opportunity to get pictures with your favorite Disney pals. Whether you use the photo for your Christmas card or post it to Instagram, your family and friends are sure to be jealous of all of your holiday fun!

Character meet and greets will look a little different this year. Most characters are set behind some kind of boundary (fencing, etc) so you will not be able to get as up and close as you have in the past.

Santa Claus is also available to visit. Find him in these spots at different times:

  • Disneyland in Critter Country
  • California Adventure Park at the Ahwahnee Camp Circle in the Redwood Creek Trails
  • At the Disney Resort Hotels (all three of them!)

Find out times and locations of where he will be in the Disneyland app.

Haunted Mansion Holiday & “it’s a small world” Holiday

In Disneyland Park, you can experience two holiday-themed ride overlays. At Haunted Mansion Holiday, you’ll be able to see this classic attraction get a not-so-spooky makeover. Based on the beloved movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, you can experience Jack Skellington and his Halloween Town gang takeover the Haunted Mansion. Not only will you be able to sing along to familiar tunes, but you’ll be able to enjoy frightfully delightful surprises around every corner. If you’re a fan of this Tim Burton film, then you won’t want to miss this ride overlay.

At “it’s a small world” Holiday, you and your family can experience the holiday season from different countries around the globe. Here, guests can enjoy dazzling lights, traditional holiday music and holiday décor celebrating various cultures from around the world. This adorable attraction is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade has become a holiday classic and it’s no surprise as to why. This festive parade includes dancing snowmen, prancing reindeer and even appearances from adorable gingerbread men. You’ll not only be able to catch Mickey, Minnie and other cherished Disney characters, but you’ll also be able to see Santa Claus make his way down Main Street, U.S.A. This parade is fun for the entire
family, so be sure to snag a spot early! Check the Disneyland app for dates and times.

“Believe… in Holiday Magic” Fireworks

The “Believe… in Holiday Magic” Fireworks spectacular is the perfect way to end your Disney day. Here, you can experience the yuletide season be brought to life with sparkling lights, seasonal songs and festive fireworks. Plus, you might be even be able to see it snow on Main Street, U.S.A.! If you can, make sure you see this firework show at least once during your Disneyland vacation. We’re sure it will fill your
heart with the magic of the holidays. Check the Disneyland app for showtimes.

Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Make-Over

At the end of Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty’s Castle twinkles and shines with a holiday-themed facade. Thousands of lights, yards of evergreen garland and other magical touches dress up the Castle for Holidays at the Disneyland Resort.

Disney California Adventure Disneyland Christmas Park Guide::

Enter Disney California Adventure Park during the holidays and be welcomed with merriment. Stroll down Buena Vista Street and take in all the sparkling, festive decor on storefronts and the holiday-inspired attire on Disney Characters and Cast Members. Here’s what else you can
expect to find in this Park during the Holidays:

Festival of Holidays

Luckily, the jolly festivities don’t stop in Disneyland! In Disney California Adventure Park, guests can enjoy the Festival of Holidays. This celebration rejoices in different holiday traditions from various cultures around the world. Here, you can indulge in delicious food and beverages at the Festive Foods Marketplace, watch the ¡Disney Viva Navidad! Street Party Parade and enjoy arts and crafts for the
entire family. With so much to do, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to experience it all.

Festive Foods Marketplace

Disneyland vacations are as much about the delicious food as they are about the rides, parades and fireworks. The meals and treats offered in Disneyland for the holidays is reason enough to make the trip! The Disneyland Resort changes the holiday menu items each year, but here’s
some information to help you get an idea of what you can enjoy on your vacation this year.

(Note – be sure to have the Disneyland app installed, as they will be using mobile ordering now more than ever)! 

  • Specialty churros: Look for seasonal flavors like hot chocolate, gingersnap, eggnog,
    vanilla and more. Churros get dressed up for the holidays in a variety of ways.
  • Peppermint everything: From beignets to ice cream, there will be peppermint
    everywhere in Disneyland for the holidays.
  • Savory soups and meals: As California temperatures cool off slightly, you can warm up
    with a number of delicious soups and meals throughout the Resort.

  • Holiday libations: Specialty drinks will be available on many menus during the holidays,
    all inspired by traditional flavors of the season.
  • Holiday shapes: Your favorite desserts such as macarons, crispy treats, brownies,
    cookies and more will be made to resemble Santa hats, snowflakes and the like during
    the holidays. Colors, shapes and flavors offer a nod to this time of year.
  • Festive Foods Marketplace: In Disney California Adventure Park, up to 12 food vendors
    set up shop to offer delicious tastes of the holidays from around the world. Browse at
    your leisure, and be sure to get a complimentary Holiday Tastings Passport. Bring your
    Passport to each vendor and get a stamp with every purchase. When you complete the
    Passport, you get a commemorative stamp, making the Passport a great, free souvenir.
    Additionally, you can purchase a Festive Foods Sip and Savor Pass. This purchase gives you the chance to sample up to 8 different menu items from any of the Marketplace vendors.
  • You can also purchase specialty popcorn buckets and drink sippers available at Disneyland
    during the holidays. They make great souvenirs!

Meet Santa on Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

Until Christmas Eve you can meet Santa himself on the Challenge Trail. When Santa is off making deliveries for Christmas, a beloved Disney Character will take his place until Holidays at Disneyland Resort conclude in January.

(Pro – tip – you can also meet Santa in the lobby of each of the Disneyland hotels, which might be more convenient than the crowds in the parks)!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

This street party is led by the Three Caballeros, including Donald Duck. The party includes mariachi and samba music, as well as floats, folklórico dancers and 12-foot-tall mojiganga puppets in the likeness of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Buena Vista Street Holiday Tree Lighting

Set up outside Elias & Co. you’ll encounter a 50-foot holiday tree. With lights, glowing ornaments, tinsel and more, the tree makes a big statement day or night. In the evenings you can witness the tree lighting up.

Holidays at Radiator Springs

While you’re there, be sure to grant “Seasons Speedings” at Cars Land. Here, the charming town of Radiator Springs transforms into a winter wonderland. With themed décor, seasonal treats and two holiday-themed ride overlays, you might not ever want to leave!

Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl

Luigi and his Italian cars get in the spirit of the season with holiday-themed decor and songs. As you ride in one of Luigi’s roadsters, you’ll be dancing to the sound of Luigi himself as he belts out some of his favorite holiday songs.

Mater’s Jingle Jamboree

This Cars Land feature gets a seasonal makeover for the holidays. Mater’s junkyard is decked with boughs of holly and more, and you can ride a tractor while holiday music rings in your ears.

Three Kings Day

To celebrate the 12th Day of Christmas and the three Wise Men. Latin American traditions commemorate this holiday in Disneyland.

Downtown Disneyland Christmas Celebrations!

Downtown Disney becomes festive with lights and decor, as well as special celebrations as some spots too (like one of our faves – Ralph Brennons Jazz Kitchen)!

Book Disneyland for the Holidays with Get Away Today

There’s still time to book Disneyland for the holidays this year. It’s a fun family gift that allows you to create memories that will last a lifetime! You can also book 2023 holiday vacations now, and can take advantage of the interest-free Layaway Plan offered by Get Away Today. Book for as low as $175 down, and make flexible payments up until five days before you travel. When you book any Southern California vacation package with Get Away Today, mention Thrifty NW Mom sent you and use code THRIFTYNW for an additional $10 in savings here.

Disneyland Christmas Guide - What To Expect When Visiting During The Holidays

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