We may not be far into November, but Disneyland’s elves have been busy stringing lights, polishing jungle bells, and flocking fake snow over everything in sight. It’s a sparkling place any time of year, but the Christmas season combines the spirit of the season and the wonder of magic into a winter wonderland for all of us to enjoy. Step inside the gates and see what’s in store for the holidays at Disneyland in 2017! (Which kicks off today!)
Rides classic and new
it’s a small world entertains guests year-round with its spirit of friendship and inclusion. The decorations and music added for the season in it’s a small world holiday elevate the ride and include holiday traditions from around the world. The familiar theme has Christmas carols interwoven. It’s my favorite version of attraction and I try to ride it multiple times to catch all of the details.
Jack Skellington decorated the Haunted Mansion Holiday for both Halloween and Christmas in his attempt to combine the holidays. The gingerbread Oogie Boogie in the ballroom this year is frightfully deliciously and the ride brims with macabre cheer. I want Jack’s wrapping paper and ribbon for my house!
New this year, it was just announced that Cars Land will get two ride overlays for holidays similar to their Halloween versions. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters will become Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater will whip us around with his Jingle Jamboree. Expect new holiday tunes for each experience. The rest of Cars Land will be festooned with imaginative and unique automotive decor.
Visiting at the holiday season brings a slate of special seasonal entertainment. In Disneyland Park, the classic Christmas Fantasy Parade brings cheer through the whole park twice daily in the afternoons. Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street light up each evening before performances of the “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks show.
Across the esplanade in California Adventure, Viva Navidad returns for a fifth year, bringing a cultural feast of music and food to the Paradise Pier area. The Festival of Holidays booths return throughout the park and have added new dishes to sample, plus entertainers from around the world. World of Color shows us a “Season of Light.” I saw this last year and it was a favorite even among all of the strong holiday offerings.
Where to start? Beyond the Festival of Holidays booths, Disneyland will offer a wide array of seasonal special goodies. We’re sure to get holiday-flavored beignets, peppermint desserts and gingerbread-flavored baked goods, and anything the talented chefs at Disneyland can put a Santa hat or snowflake on! Stay tuned to the Disney Parks blog as they unveil new treats over the new few weeks.
My dream Disney career would be decorating the parks for the holidays. No one does Christmas quite like Disney, which has a multitude of decorated trees, wreaths, light strings, and garland draped everywhere. Be sure to visit the resort hotels, where each year Christmas trees, carolers, and gingerbread houses delight visitors.
Who gets the job of getting dressing the bear?
The little touches
A few years ago I spent a day at the parks during December. My young son asked me what attractions I rode. I told him I only went on four rides, one of which was the monorail! He didn’t quite understand. Being part of the holidays at Disneyland is more about seeing and feeling the Christmas spirit than the rides. Plus eating the seasonal goodies, of course. Pause during the hustle and bustle to take a few minutes soaking up the Christmas cheer!
These toy soldiers from the Festival of Holidays definitely played to the many cameras
Miniature decorations on the houses of Storybook Land Canal Boats
Hello boys! Even the dour Roz gets into the Christmas spirit on Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue
The best way to take a break — feet up in front of the fireplace in the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel
Seeing the holidays at Disneyland in 2017 will give you a wonderful boost of magic and joy. Take time to enjoy the Disney details as you share the season with your fellow fans!
The holidays at Disneyland run from November 10 through January 7, 2018.