Disneyland Christmas Guide: Parades, Pageantry Bring Magic to Anaheim

After Halloween, Christmas cheer seems everywhere. But never more than at Disneyland Resort, where the season’s magic comes alive like nowhere else on earth – except maybe the North Pole. Due to the festivities, it’s the perfect time and place to take a holiday vacation to southern California’s capital of Christmas. Get a Disneyland Christmas guide and start celebrating the season.

Disneyland Christmas Guide: 6 Must-do Activities for Visitors

disneyland christmas guide family vacation

Watch the Disneyland Christmas Parade

Start this joyous celebration with the Christmas Fantasy Parade down Main Street, U.S.A. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Disney princesses, prancing reindeer, marching toy soldiers, dancing gingerbread cookies, plus Woody and Buzz, along with Anna, Elsa and Olaf all join Santa to extend a warm winter welcome as they ring in the excitement of Christmas.

Stroll Main Street

A stroll down Main Street, U.S.A. after the parade reveals its own package of wonders. Storefronts, lampposts and rooftops are gaily wrapped in festive wreaths and garlands. Then there’s the towering Christmas tree all aglow. Visitors stay in awe as Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle glistens to life at nighttime, with its snow-capped turrets and shimmering icicles creating a dreamlike ethereal glow.

Later, during the Believe…in Holiday Magic Fireworks Spectacular, the castle undergoes more stunning transformations, concluding in a captivating snowfall over locations throughout the park.

disneyland christmas guide world color

See a World of Color, Season of Light

From November through early January, visitors to Disneyland Park — Walt Disney’s original park that opened in 1955 — and Disney California Adventure Park become enthralled by the dazzling World of Color-Season of Light show. The awesome display stretches over 18,000 square feet, weaving classic Disney films against a soaring illuminated wall of mist that is created by hundreds of fountains spouting to the sounds of the season, as glittering snow floats across the enchanted scene.

The show tells a tale of friendship, love and light through Disney favorites such as Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast, and Fantasia. While newer hits — like Frozen, Toy Story and Inside Out — thrill young ones. Heartfelt seasonal songs accompany this rich visual presentation. Hear Let It Snow, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Feliz Navidad, along with popular hit themes from movies, blending into a musical medley that delights the ears and hearts of all.

disneyland christmas food activities

Dine Disneyland Style

What could top that? Try a three-course dining experience before the light spectacular at one of three exquisite Adventure Park restaurants. As an extra bonus, guests also receive a voucher for preferred viewing at Paradise Park. For more information, consult Disneyland’s World of Color Dining Package.

Don’t Miss Happy Horror Days!

Dickens may have his trio of Christmas ghosts, but Disneyland has Jack Skellington and his ghastly Haunted Mansion Holiday! Join Jack for a special Christmas haunting as he puts frightfully festive touches — jack o’ lanterns, terrifying toys and spooky characters from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas — to the scary old mansion.

Guests enjoy a bunch of frights plus some additional seasonal surprises — ginger-dread houses and blood-curdling pies are just some of Jack’s Yuletide delights. Sally, Oogie Boogie and other icons will also be there to say, “Season’s Screamings!” It isn’t every day that Jack gets on his Christmas hat. Enjoy this offbeat holiday fare in the finest Disney custom.

Note to parents: The Haunted Mansion contains some mildly frightening subject matter. Some smaller souls and those scared of the dark might find the mansion a tad more frightful than delightful.

disneyland christmas shopping vacation

Photo: Cory Doctorow

Shop for Disney Products, Gifts

No Disneyland Christmas guide is complete without shopping for Disney-themed merchandise. Choose from an array of products, from mouse ear hats and headbands to Dooney and Bourke leather handbags and satchels. Or check out the Disney-themed game boards and Disney-character jewelry and accessories, such as a Haunted Mansion snowglobe or a Space Mountain 3-D model kit. You’re simply not Disney without the real thing!

It all adds up to the ultimate fairy-tale Christmas vacation! Plan a family Christmas at Disneyland getaway today and browse rentals in Newport Beach and other vacation deals in California.