Holidays at Disneyland Resorts Are More Festive Than Ever
Holidays at Disneyland Resorts are More Festive Than Ever!
It's officially the holiday season at Disneyland and Disneyland's California Adventure! Now through January 8th, there are some major changes that you are going to want to see! Learn about the different ways each of the parks are celebrating and make your plans to experience all the magic of the season with the family. Visiting with a child or young adult on the autism spectrum, be sure to read my general tips below.
We were able to make a complete day out of our visit to the parks by staying with our partner hotel, Grand Legacy at the Park. The ability to come and go throughout the day made all the difference and allowed us to stay late into the night soaking up all the holiday fun! Besides being directly across the street from the main entrances to the parks they offer several ways to save during your stay, I love that AP's get special rates plus early check in and out times.
The park is decked out once again for the holiday season which includes some special holiday overlays on a few select rides. The Haunted Mansion (which started for the Halloween season) The Jingle Cruise and It's a Small World each got a festive transformation and there is always a slight change or addition to keep them interesting and fresh.
Then there is the central beauty of the park in all her glory, Sleeping Beauty's Castle. As the focus of the grand finale of the evening, it's only made more spectacular with the addition of the fireworks that are shot into the skies over her. With more than 80,000 twinkling lights, sparkling “icicles” and shimmering snow-capped turrets it's a sight to be seen!
So here are all the highlights during the Disneyland Holidays
- It's a Small World: Festive overlay inside the attraction will have you singing along, tons of lights, fanciful projections and joyful music awaits you on the outside!
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade: With all your park favorites, the parade kicks off with the sisters of Frozen and ends with an appearance by the big guy himself!
- Believe....In Holiday Magic fireworks Spectacular: Watch as the night skies are graced by a rainbow of colors as the castle is a glow with over 80, 000 lights. With music, fireworks and the castle a glow, watch as your little ones are amazed by the snow falling around them.
- Jingle Cruise: Be "Sleighed" by your skippers corny jokes while seeing how the jungle critters spend their holidays.
- Haunted Mansion Holiday: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas comes alive is this overlay with a few new surprises!
- Santa meet up: Find Santa in Pooh's Corner (see character times on the App or daily guide)
For times and all the info on the holiday entertainment visit Disneyland here: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/entertainment/disneyland/
Tips on visiting during the holidays with a child or young adult on the spectrum.
- There are 3 locations set aside for handicap viewing of the parades, one is near the Disney Showcase by the park entrance, one nect to the Pixie Hollow area (on the way to the Matterhorn and one right before you get to It's a Small World. If you have a stroller tagged as a wheelchair or a wheelchair, you are free to view the parades from these spots. If you don't have either, I would speak to the CM in charge of the area and explain your situation. This works great if your child has issues with being too close to people and waiting long times for the parade to start. Try to find a spot within these areas ahead of the parades as they tend to fill up a half hour or so before the parades begin. We always view the parades from the area closest to It's a Small world, there you can see some of the fireworks, snow fall and watch the projections on It's a Small World too. Main Street one gets packed very quickly, FYI.
- As for the attractions with holiday overlays, they are always busy. Hit them as early as you can, use your DAS to get a return time or a fastpass and if the fastpass lines are long, ask for alternate entry to the attraction via exit.
Disneyland California Adventure
Stepping up their game, Disneyland California Adventure presents... Festival of Holidays! With new food adventures, a new princess and a revamped night time spectacular, you are going to have a hard time choosing which park to spend your day in!
There's a new princess in town and she has her own meet and greet area along with a parade full of dancing and singing your won't want to miss! Enjoy all the music, food and fun with Viva Navidad featuring Elena of Avalor!
If your special princess is a fan of Elena like mine is, be sure to stop in with Elena as she will be greeting her friends and taking pictures. You can find her directly to the right upon entering the gateway to Viva Navidad. Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival happens several times a day as well, check the Disneyland App for showtimes and for the meet and greet so you won't miss either of them!
So here are all the highlights during Disneyland California Adventure's Festival of Holidays!
- World of Color Season of Light: Season of Light tells the story of friendship, love and light for this limited holiday show. Be sure to secure your FastPass for this show near Grizzly Creek!
- Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party: Join this Latin-American street party filled with dancing, music and singing! Daily shows.
- Introducing Princess Elena & Character Meeting: From special one on one time with the latest Disney princess to welcoming her as she makes her way down to Paradise garden, you are bound to be charmed by this Latina Princess as she makes her debut to the park.
- Santa's Holiday Visit at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Visit with Santa till December 24th. You’ll be able to take pictures, discuss how good you’ve been and be sure to sign Santa’s nice list to discover your secret elf name! From December 25 until January 8, 2017, Santa Goofy will pose for photos and sign autographs as Santa is busy Christmas day and will be taking a long needed break!
- Festive Foods Marketplace Kiosks: As you descend into the park you will be surrounded by 14 different kiosks with an assortment of food and beverages from around the world!
For times and info on all the entertainment happening at DCA visit them here: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/entertainment/disney-california-adventure/
After our long day (that hit 90* I might add) it was nice to not have to make the drive home and instead just take the 5 minuet walk to our comfy room. If you are planning a staycation during the holidays at Disneyland, I recommend you look into the current offers and deals to be had at Grand Legacy at the Park to make the most of your visit. I will say we had most of the day to visit both parks and didn't get to experience it all, I would say 2 days (one per park) would do the trick. Happy Disneyland Holidays everyone!
Some tips for the holiday activities if visiting with a child or young adult on the spectrum.
- Elena of Avalor does NOT have a fastpass system in place for the meet and greet. If you can, have someone wait in the line for you or get there for the first meeting. The line will be long as she is a new character to the park.
- World of Color has a handicap area that you don't need a fastpass for IF you have a stroller tagged as a wheelchair or you are in a wheelchair. If you happen to not have either, always speak to a CM (cast member) and explain your situation, most likely they will accommodate you. The show runs for approximately 25 minuets.
- If visiting Santa and the lines are too long and your child is having trouble waiting, always let a CM know of your situation. More times than not they can make special arrangements for you.