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Holiday Magic Has Arrived at Disneyland
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Holiday Magic Has Arrived at Disneyland

It’s November, and you know what that means:The holiday season is in full swing at Disneyland! This is how we spend the holidays with Disney

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5 min read

December 15, 2021

It’s already November, and you know what that means: The holiday season is in full swing at Disneyland! From early November and almost halfway through January, the park is transformed into the “Merriest Place on Earth”, and there’s honestly nowhere else we’d rather be than at the decked-out Disneyland on Christmas. While it’s not practical for us to spend two full months at the Disneyland parks, we can’t miss out on any of the merriment during the best time of the year. 

And boy, is there a lot of festive magic to appreciate right now. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park turn into wondrous lands full of holiday traditions, spirited decor, seasonal snacks, and more than enough joy to go around. While it’s hard to imagine the amusement parks morphing from their spooky Halloween scenes into dazzling holiday destinations overnight, that’s exactly why they call it Disney magic. 

Experience the most magical time of year with celebrations throughout Disneyland and pay tribute to multicultural and diverse music and cuisine.

But for those of you who couldn’t wait for the full reveal, you may have already snagged a sneak peek of the new decorations as they were going up. Though this sprinkling of pixie dust and shimmering ornaments provide a good idea of what’s to come, the full lineup of snacks, parades, and seasonal sounds are only available for a limited time and are absolutely worth experiencing over the next couple of months on a Disney holiday. 

Since the holiday season is one of the most popular times at Disneyland, expect to be joined by hundreds of adoring fans, and plan to get to the parks early in the day before they reach capacity. Luckily, Disneyland is typically open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the weekends, so there’s plenty of time to soak all of the Disneyland Christmas magic in.

Festive Attractions at the Merriest Place on Earth 

Experience the winter celebrations throughout the parks with special Disneyland Christmas rides and attractions. Grab a pair of Mickey ears from the gift shop and ring in the Disney holidays in full swing—you’re in for a magical adventure on these special rides.

Get ready to spend a jolly time once you spot Santa Claus and his band of elves. Photo courtesy of Disneyland.

Disney California Attraction Park

1. Mater’s Jingle Jamboree: This seasonal ride invites you to enjoy a haul-iday tractor spin through Mater’s festively decorated junkyard in Cars Land. You’ll hear Mater hum classic holiday tunes with original lyrics!

2. Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl: This fan-favorite Disney Christmas ride is back again this year. Luigi and his family of roadsters are celebrating the season in style and want you to take a merry spin with them! Take a seat in a classic Italian car as Luigi himself sings original holiday tunes.

3. Disney Festival of Holidays: The Festival of Holidays is all about embracing the season with multicultural and diverse music, food, and fun for all. You’ll take part in celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings’ Day, and feel the true spirit of Disney holidays with every single one.

Christmas at Disneyland is one of the most magical times of the year to visit the Happiest Place on Earth. Photo courtesy of Disneyland.

Disneyland Park

1. Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle: The highly recognizable castle dons seasonal decorations annually for the Disney holidays. Decked out in icicles, wreaths, and festive details, the beautiful castle lights up every evening as music fills the air, creating a magical atmosphere for all.

2. Haunted Mansion Holiday: This eerie estate gets a merry makeover inspired by Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas. Visit to meet the holiday spirits and experience other seasonal surprises; it’s one of the most popular Disney holiday attractions for a reason.

3. It’s a Small World Holiday Lighting: Gather to witness the moment this attraction lights up in a dazzling display of festive twinkling lights. Then, every 30 minutes throughout the night, the joyous light projection show animates the facade with a kaleidoscope of colors and images matching the Disney Christmas magic throughout the park.

Disneyland at Christmas offers so much to see and do including themed attractions, a holiday parade and fireworks, and fantastic holiday food.

Holiday Season Snacks 

Along with all of your favorite Disneyland snacks, there are a few holiday-themed treats that just can’t be missed. Even if you’ve had the chance to see the decorations before the official start of the holidays at the Disney parks, these exclusive bites are only available during Disney holidays, so grab them while you can!

Candy Cane Beignets

Nothing says the holidays quite like the taste of peppermint. These scrumptious delicacies are shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head and are topped with candy cane powdered sugar. Pick up a 3- or 6-pack of these tasty treats before the festive season ends. 

Available at Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square, Disneyland 

Peppermint crunch Shake

While ice cream and milkshakes might not be the first treats that come to mind during the holiday season, you’ll want to make an exception for the peppermint Crunch shake in Disney California Adventure. The shake is blended from peppermint chocolate creme cookies and is topped with whipped cream, Christmas accents, and finished off with chocolate creme-filled cookie ears.

Available at Schmoozies! in Hollywood Land, Disney California Adventure 

Enjoy enhanced entertainment such as themed photo backdrops and character sightings, and themed specialty food and beverage offerings at Disneyland.

Yellow Curry Rice Plate

Though it may not be traditional holiday food here in California, you’ll definitely want to try the seasonal vegetable skewers in Adventureland. These outback veggies are complemented with herb-marinated tofu and served atop a bed of peas, green onions, and jasmine rice. The citrus miso-slaw rounds out the dish, providing a perfectly balanced meal.

Available at Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland, Disneyland

Gingerbread Funnel Cake Fries

Indulge your sweet tooth with spruced-up fries. Crafted from churro funnel cake batter, these fries are topped with crushed gingerbread, caramel drizzle, icing, and whipped cream for a taste of the holidays all season long.

Available at Award Wieners in Hollywood Land, Disney California Adventure

Apple Pie Slush

Cool off with an apple pie slushie in Tomorrowland and you’ll feel refreshed enough to tackle the rest of the park. Topped with whipped cream and pie sauce, this is one drink you’re sure to remember.

Available at Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland, Disneyland

You can find holiday nighttime entertainment, a festival all about food, great decor, and holiday ride overlays.

Cranberry Julep

When it comes to holiday beverages, bright colors and seasonal flavors take the cake. So you can’t miss out on the cranberry-infused mint julep in the heartily-decorated New Orleans Square.

Available at Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square, Disneyland 

Santa Hat Macaron

Nothing feels quite as elegant as eating a macaron. But add in a sprinkle of holiday magic and life will never be the same. Each Santa hat macaron is filled with white mint and piped with a wall of chocolate ganache. Make sure to bring the whole family to indulge in the eggnog latte cheesecake, snowman shortbread cookies, and red and green vanilla bean holiday cupcake.

Available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe on Main Street, Disneyland

Hundreds of other special Disney holiday treats are available every time the jolly season rolls around. We discover a new favorite every time we visit, so don’t let our list hold you back from sampling as many Disney Christmas treats as you can!

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