Having Disneyland and the Holidays together really is magical, and it is one of my favorite times to visit! This year, Holiday Time at Disneyland will run from November 9th, 2018 through January 6th, 2019. If you are lucky enough to visit during these weeks, there are many special offerings for you to enjoy! Here are just some of them.
Holiday Attraction Overlays – This year, there will be four attractions that will outfitted, or have overlays, for Holiday Time. The Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas overlay began during Halloween Time, but Jack Skellington and his friends from Halloween Town will continue to entertain you throughout the Holiday season. Each year the Imagineers design a new gingerbread house that is located on the dining room table. Enjoy this year’s version (I love the big spider!) and the gingerbread smell that is piped in as you ride through.
DIVA TIP – Lines for this popular attraction will extend to several hours late in the day. Be sure to either ride the Haunted Mansion early in the morning or use FastPass to cut down on the wait time. “it’s a small world” will be filled with children singing a holiday medley for each of the countries in the attraction. It is beautiful and a nice change to hear them singing a new tune. This attraction also has FastPass so use that if the lines extend beyond 30 minutes. Over at Cars Land in Disney California Adventure park, Mater’s and Luigi’s rides will transform into Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, meaning you will dance and twirl to holiday themed songs.
Holiday Food!!!! – With so many treats to enjoy, it will be hard to try them all. But make that your vacation challenge!! The Mint Julep Bar will have Mickey shaped beignets flavored with Candy Cane. The Jolly Holiday Bakery and the Candy Palace at Disneyland, along with Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure park, will have decadent items to temp you off your Keto diet. Eat your way around Disney California Adventure park through the Holiday Food Marketplace Kiosks. Each kiosk will have holiday snacks and drinks in sample sizes so you can consume multiple items.
If your vacation will be between Thanksgiving and Christmas, check the Disney Parks Blog for the days when Hand Pulled Candy Canes will be available. These Candy Canes are only available on those special days, and the location will alternate between Trolley Treats and Candy Palace. Purchasing a Candy Cane is serious business. You will need to lineup to receive a wrist band, which will give you a time slot to return and purchase your candy cane.
DIVA TIP: If you want a candy cane, lineup as early as an hour before park opening (especially on the first day of the release) and walk fast (don’t run!) to the candy store. There you will line up and receive a wrist band from a Cast Member. Historically, you can purchase up to two candy canes per person for about $13 each, and discounts do not apply. Be careful as they can easily break! I purchased two of them one year, and one almost immediately broke even though it was bubble wrapped. Rent a locker or return to your hotel to safely store your candy cane. I ended up keeping one as a souvenir and eating one. They are divine!!
Entertainment – Check the entertainment schedule and be sure to secure your spot for the Christmas Fantasy Parade. If you also want to take the Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour, you will enjoy reserved seating for the parade! This tour lasts 2.5 hours, costs $85 per person (15% discount for Annual Pass Holders and Disney Visa Cardholders) and also includes a collectable pin and holiday treat. The fireworks show is transformed into the “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks.
DIVA TIP: Fireworks at Disneyland are unfortunately cancelled frequently. If you have a multi-day trip, schedule yourself to watch the fireworks the first day of your trip just in case they are cancelled on a subsequent day. The Disney magic will continue after the fireworks with SNOW! Be sure to let the soft ‘snow’ fall onto you near the castle, at Rivers of America, or near “it’s a small world”. Disneyland has not yet announced when World of Color will return, other than late 2018. If it does return during your trip, it will include a special showing themed to the holidays called “Season of Light”.
Decor and Lights – Imagine how beautiful your holiday card will be next year with the winter version of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle as a backdrop! Or have PhotoPass take a snapshot of you in front of the Christmas tree at either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park. Every lamppost and storefront will be decked out with garland and ribbon. I find the nighttime view of ‘it’s a small world’ to be especially breathtaking. If you love the decor, be sure to visit Downtown Disney and any of the Disneyland Resort hotels, as they are also decorated with lights and tinsel. Last year, we took our family Christmas photo in front of the gingerbread house in the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel.
Did I get you excited about visiting at Holiday Time? If so, be sure to contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel for a free vacation quote.
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