Holidays at Disneyland Resorts Are More Festive Than Ever
Holidays at Disneyland Resorts are More Festive Than Ever!
The Most Merriest Time of the Year is soon approaching! Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Return November 10 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.
The park will be all decked out once again for the holiday season which includes some special holiday overlays on a few select rides. The Haunted Mansion (which starts September 15th for the Halloween season) and It's a Small World will each get 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 so far (more info to follow closer to the start of the season)
- 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.
- Haunted Mansion Holiday: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas comes alive is this overlay with a few new surprises!
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 next to the Pixie Hollow (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 time as they tend to fill up a 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. The Main Street one gets packed very quickly, FYI. Only down side to this location is exiting the park as you will be at the furthest point from the exit.
- 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. Maxpass is another valuable tool (additional cost of $10 per person, per day)
Disneyland California Adventure
Disneyland California Adventure is bringing back... Festival of Holidays! Along with its own merry make over with a stunning tree on Buena Vista Street, treats made for the season and delicious food and special entertainment including the return of Disney ¡Viva Navidad! The celebration will feature a new take on the popular Festive Foods Marketplace, presenting a side-by-side mix of holiday comfort dishes that bridge many diverse cultures and family traditions. At night, “World of Color – Season of Light” will light up Paradise Bay with a sparkling winter fantasy combining classic holiday songs with memorable moments from treasured Disney animated films.
New this year will be the addition of Plaza de la Familia, an all-new festivity beginning September 15 at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park that celebrates Disney·Pixar’s “Coco” and the everlasting bonds of family with a Tree of Life, it's own Coco music and Folklórico dancers. (Plaza de la Familia September 15 – November 2 at Disney California Adventure Park)
So here are some of 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.
- Festive Foods Marketplace Kiosks: As you descend into the park you will be surrounded by different kiosks with an assortment of food and beverages from around the world!
- Plaza de la Familia, an all-new festivity beginning September 15 at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park that celebrates Disney·Pixar’s “Coco”
- Meet Santa Claus and His Merry Elves: Santa and his clever elves are here for their annual visit. Come to Ahwahnee Camp Circle near the entrance of Redwood Creek Challenge Trail for a visit with Santa. You’ll be able to take pictures and have a chance to discuss how good you’ve been this year.
A Merry Passholder Perk! Just for AP's Starting November 2017, enjoy special seasonal fun, just for Annual Passholders. Show your Annual Passport to enjoy: Exclusive photo location Activities for the kids and Button distribution (limit one per Passholder for event duration)
For times and info on all the entertainment happening at DCA visit them here: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/entertainment/disney-california-adventure/
Some tips for the holiday activities if visiting with a child or young adult on the spectrum.
- Meet and Greets. The park offers no fastpass system for the meet and greets. If you can, have someone wait in the line for you or get there for the first meeting. The lines will be long so plan accordingly, see daily entertainment guide or the Disneyland app for character times and locations.
- 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.