UPDATED JANUARY 2023: The Holidays of Disneyland Resort are one of the most magical times to visit. This year promises to shine brighter than ever before with the return of seasonal favorites and all new surprises.
Disneyland Holiday Season 2023
Bring on the festivities and spirit of the season! Here are a few quick details to help you start planning:
- Holidays begin in early November and last through early January.
- For reference, the last holiday season was November 11, 2022 through January 8, 2023. As soon as 2023 specific dates are announced, we’ll update this article.
- Many lands in both theme parks celebrate in their own unique way, making 3 days the minimum to enjoy a taste of what Disneyland Resort has to offer.
Here are our top 10 reasons (in no particular order) to visit the Disneyland Resort this holiday season.
1. Christmas Fantasy Parade
One reason to visit Disneyland during the holiday season is the daytime and sunset parade—A Christmas Fantasy Parade. Depending on the time you catch it, you’ll get sunshine or lights on the floats.
This holiday classic will march down Main Street, U.S.A. daily twice daily. See larger than life gingerbread men, toy soldiers, snowmen and Santa himself all bringing joy and merriment in this lively holiday parade.
2. Haunted Mansion Holiday
The second reason to visit Disneyland during the holiday season is the Haunted Mansion Holiday. This ride overlay has already begun during Halloween Time since it's a clash of Halloween and Christmas.
It is an incredible makeover compliments of Jack Skellington that shouldn't be missed. You’ll see Sally in the graveyard scene and a new gingerbread house every year in the ballroom scene - it smells heavenly!
3. “it’s a small world” Holiday
Another reason to make a stop at the Merriest Place on Earth is "it's a small world" Holiday. Celebrate Christmas time around the world with this darling version of the attraction that combines "it's a small world" and "Jingle Bells."
The exterior of the attraction is also decked out for occasion with extra lights. As a bonus, be sure to stroll by during the night time hours because the light up exterior is incredible!
4. Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle
Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle is back after to dazzle as the crowning jewel of the Holiday celebration.Thousands of glistening lights make the castle a winter dream come true.
For families looking to enjoy a holiday-filled visit from start to finish, The Grand Californian Hotel and Disneyland Hotel are two of our favorites:
- The Grand Californian is home to a massive Christmas tree, the iconic gingerbread house, and rustic holiday decor.
- Disneyland Hotel has a mid-century modern vibe to the holidays with multiple trees and photo locations.
We also suggest purchasing Disney Genie+ with your Disneyland vacation package so you will also get all your Disney PhotoPass photos included for free!
5. Spot Santa Claus this Holiday Season
Another jolly reason to visit Disneyland during the holidays are the many locations you can visit, meet or spot Santa Claus during your vacation.
There are so many opportunities to say hello to Santa, we’d like to share some of our top picks here:
- Santa makes an appearance in his sleigh during A Christmas Fantasy Parade each day at Disneyland Park.
- In Critter Country at Disneyland Park.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at California Adventure Park.
- In the lobby of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, check with the front desk for time and locations.
6. Festival of Holidays
Celebrate holidays around the globe at California Adventure Park. One of the many things guests look forward to is sampling many holiday eats and treats.
We’ll share more details about the holiday menu and delicious tasty treats soon! Keep an eye out for more information during our frequent Facebook live events.
7. Disney !Viva Navidad!
A Get Away Today favorite !Viva Navidad! Is street festival parade complete with live musical performances from a diverse group of performers.
“Join The Three Caballeros as they host the ultimate fiesta for Navidad! This joyous street party features exuberant performances, including authentic folklórico dancers, mariachis, Brazilian samba dancers, drummers and incredible 12-foot-tall mojiganga puppets of Santa and Mrs. Claus, with a special appearance by Mickey and Minnie in their fiesta best!”
The show is performed several times each day and is a must-see.
8. Disneyland Holiday Decor
Nobody decks the halls like Disneyland Resort. Giant Christmas trees welcome visitors to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.
Cars Land is transformed with tire trees, tinsel and more. Sleeping Beauty Castle is snow-capped and is illuminated at night with thousands of twinkling icicles. Fantasy Faire, New Orleans Square and Buena Vista Street are all transformed as well. It seems like every nook and cranny of the Resort is celebrating the season! You truly have to see it for yourself.
9. World of Color - Season of Light
The nighttime spectacular “World of Color – Season of Light” brings holiday magic by fusing cherished holiday music with memorable moments from treasured Disney animated films.
You’ll see visions of sugar plums and your favorite Disney characters dancing along with a joyous musical score.
10. Disneyland Holiday Fireworks
In the evenings, the festivities will continue with the “Believe… in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular, which features magical “snowfall” and colorful projections on Main Street, U.S.A., and the façade of “it’s a small world.”
Bonus - All the Disneyland Resort Best Holiday Food!
Nothing compares to the sweetness of a Disneyland vacation like visiting during the holidays. That’s because food at Disneyland Resort is simply incredible.
Here are some of our Get Away Today favorites to try this holiday season of the past. We can’t wait to update this with more foodie finds for 2023:
- Holiday DOLE Whip Sundae at The Tropical Hideaway (Disneyland’s Adventureland)
- Holiday Caramel Apples at various locations throughout the Resort like Marceline’s Confectionary, Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen
- Pan Dulce Ice Cream Sandwich at Rancho del Zocalo (Disneyland’s Frontierland)
- Sipping Chocolate with a Dipping Waffle at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe (Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A.)
- Charcuterie Pizza at Alien Pizza Planet (Disneyland’s Tomorrowland)
- Mickey Mouse Gingerbread at various locations throughout the Resort like Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, Pacific Wharf Cappuccino Cart and Marceline’s Confectionary
- Dulce de Leche Mickey Mouse Shake at Schmoozies! (California Adventure’s Hollywood Land)
- Holiday Shaped Sourdough Bread at Boudin Bread Cart (California Adventure’s Pacific Wharf)
- Chocolate Cherry-Pistachio Churro at Churro Cart (California Adventure’s Hollywood Land)
And of course nearly the entire menu from Festival of Holidays marketplaces!
Give your family the gift they'll remember forever and take them to Holidays at the Disneyland Resort for a gift that is truly unlike any other! For fewer crowds and the best deals, consider traveling in mid-November before Thanksgiving.
It is a great way to kick off the holiday season! Of course any time during the holidays will be magical, so you'll want to book soon. Check out our Disneyland packages online, or call our agents at 855-GET-AWAY.