The Disneyland holiday season starts early. The Happiest Place on Earth celebrates the most wonderful time of the year November 10th through January 8th, 2017.
At Disney California Adventure get ready for the all-new nighttime spectacular, World of Color—Season of Light. The show combines classic holiday songs with memorable moments from treasured Disney animated films to create an experience filled with magic.
The Festival of Holidays brings guest musical groups to the park and includes the popular Disney ¡Viva Navidad! The street fiesta celebrates the lively traditions of Mexico—dancing, music, storytelling, crafts, and mouthwatering Mexican fare! The Festival of Holidays brings a total of 14 themed festival marketplaces to the park where guests can enjoy internationally inspired food and beverages.
Princess Elena of Avalor will make her Disneyland debut and will remain at Disney California Adventure park to visit with guests after the holidays.
Don’t miss the Buena Vista Street Holiday Tree Lighting; if you are visiting at the end of the Christmas season, be sure to participate in the special Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) activities.
The bugs at “a bugs land” have also been busy decking their place with giant Christmas lights and oversize ornaments. Residents of Cars Land have decorated each shop in Radiator Springs with holiday decorations that reflect the personality of the Cars characters living there. Check out how Mater’s junkyard sparkles!
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at the Heart of the Disneyland Holiday Season
At Disneyland park, the holiday season brings the return of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, including fireworks and magical snow falling over Main Street and near It’s a Small World. The 60-foot-tall Christmas tree on Main Street is said to have nearly 2,000 ornaments.
Not to be missed is A Christmas Fantasy Parade, featuring favorite Disney Characters, princesses dressed in their holiday finest, and, of course, Santa himself!
The Jungle Cruise turns into a Jingle Cruise all decked in Christmas lights and decorations. The most amazing annual decorations, however, are to be discovered at It’s a Small World and the Haunted Mansion.
About 250,000 lights are added to the outside of It’s a Small World Holiday. Inside the ride, 30,000 lights, snowmen, icicles, and snowflakes create a winter wonderland you do not want to miss. And yes, the animatronic dolls are singing “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.”
Each September The Haunted Mansion substitutes a special holiday version of the attraction that runs through early January. Inspired by Tim Burton’s 1993 musical The Nightmare Before Christmas, the overlay features characters such as Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie cavorting among the familiar mansion haunts to songs from Danny Elfman’s classic score. Everything from the outside facade, the signage, the stretch room pre-show, and the entire ride is decked out with scenes from The Nightmare Before Christmas story. Started in 2001, it’s been very popular with the Disneyland locals and first-time visitors alike. Be aware that the attraction will be closed for several weeks before and after the holiday season to install and remove the overlay.
Where to Find Santa Claus at Disneyland
The Disneyland holiday season would not be complete without Santa. At Disneyland park, guests can join in a series of holiday-themed activities along the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and meet Santa and his mischievous elf for a photo op. At Disney California Adventure, Santa Claus is available for a meet-and-greet at Critter Country.
Disneyland Resort hotels are beautifully decorated, and Christmas carolers perform in the lobby of Disney Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, and the Paradise Pier Hotel.