Christmas came early and holiday magic has already transformed Disneyland and Disney California Adventure into the merriest places on earth! These enchanted wonderlands are aglow with the spirit of the season featuring towering Christmas trees, snowfall, characters dressed in their holiday best, delightful treats, special parades and more. Read on for how to make your season brighter than ever with a trip to Disneyland this holiday season.

photo: Beth Shea

Merry Entertainment

New and treasured traditions return to the Parks this holiday season. Mickey’s Happy Holidays is a brand new, vibrant character celebration featuring Mickey Mouse and his pals as well as Pixar characters, all dressed in new holiday attire. Dance and sing along to the upbeat music and merry tunes of the Holiday Toy Drummers in this high-energy show that will make your spirit soar.

photo: Beth Shea

Don’t miss A Christmas Fantasy Parade which kicks-off with Mickey, Minnie and Donald and ends with an appearance by Santa himself! Kids will be delighted to see the stars of Disney’s upcoming Frozen 2, Anna, Elsa and Olaf glide by on an impressive winter wonderland as they greet the crowds. Goofy and Pluto also make an appearance aboard a whimsical gingerbread house and sweet shop. They’ll also spy marching, drumming toy soldiers, prancing reindeer, Buzz Lightyear waving from his spaceship, Woody atop a giant rocking horse, and all of their favorite princesses and princes dancing in gorgeous holiday ensembles.

World of Color – Season of Light is also a must-see extravaganza. A dazzling sight to behold, this nighttime spectacular features lights, lasers, water, fire and hundreds of fountains illuminating holiday classics from Disney and Pixar animated films. Over 120 characters are on display in this mesmerizing production set to treasured holiday tunes.

Little ones will light up at the chance to sail along on It’s a Small World Holiday through a festive global wonderland adorned with 50,000 plus bedazzling lights, music and video projections. Costumed dolls and toys representing cultures and holiday traditions from all over the planet are represented on this attraction, singing traditional tunes that will be music to your ears.

photo: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

The Believe…in Holiday Magic show casts colorful hues and decor onto the buildings of Main Street and gorgeously decorated Sleeping Beauty Castle that’s dripping with shimmering icicles and twinkling lights––all while stunningly beautiful fireworks are set off in the nighttime sky to holiday music. The event is capped off by snowfall on Main Street as you look upon the towering, impressively lit Christmas tree that graces Disneyland’s entrance. It’s the stuff dreams are made of!

photo: Beth Shea

Delight in Festive Foods

Who needs visions of sugar plums when you can literally dine your way through Disneyland? Sweet and savory options abound to tantalize tastebuds with holiday cuisine. From the Peppermint Mickey Shake and the Minnie Wreath Donut to the adorable Mickey Gingerbread Man and an array of gingerbread-inspired crispy treats, candied and caramel apples and festively flavored churros, there’s a treat for everyone on your list. Delicious savory offerings include the Thanks-Mas sandwich and the Holiday Dinner Pizza. Don’t miss several brand new plant-based options too, including the plant-based Shephard’s Pie and the Plant-etarium Street Tacos.

Festival of Holidays

Multicultural music, performances, food and fun enable your family to celebrate an array of holidays including Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa at Disney’s Festival of Holidays. Authentic cultural foods with that spectacular Disney twist are on offer throughout the season and celebrations like Viva Navidad and Three Kings Day will have everyone dancing to the beat of the same drum. Treat yourself to a Festival of Holidays Sip and Savor Pass so you can explore the culinary delights and beverages at participating Festival Foods Marketplace kiosks and dining locations for a set price.

photo: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

Meet Santa Claus… and Santa Goofy Too!

Your eager elves can wave to jolly ol’ St. Nick as seen above in A Christmas Fantasy Parade, but even better, they can meet Kris Kringle face to face at Santa’s Holiday Visit at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. The Trail has been transformed into a jolly playground boasting seasonal, elfish games. Little ones can grab an activity map and try to find all the decorations and toys hidden along their route to meet and snap a photo with Santa.

Santa Goofy will also grace the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Dec. 25-Jan. 6 to sign autographs and take photos. Mark your calendars for this truly one-of-a-kind photo opp!

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Visit Disneyland & Disney California Adventure now through Jan. 6, 2020 to experience the Merriest Place on Earth for the holiday season.

Disneyland & Disney California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802
Online: disneyland.com

––Beth Shea

This trip was paid for by Disneyland, but all opinions here belong to the writer. 

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