Any links in this post to a merchant may contain an affiliate link, which means that if you click on that link and then buy something, I may earn a commission from it. However, all opinions in this link are 100% mine and 100% honest. If I didn't believe in a particular product, I wouldn't recommend it to you.
Disneyland is a magical place to visit with your family any time of the year. But, during the holidays, the parks become even more special. These tips will help you have the most enchanted time celebrating Christmas at Disneyland with your family.
Tip #1: Know when to go.
Disneyland typically celebrates Christmas from early November through the first week of January. So, you have plenty of time to celebrate the holidays in the parks. But, the holidays come with big crowds. So, it’s important to know when to go to get the most fun with the lowest crowds.
The week of Christmas and the week between Christmas and New Year’s are, by far, the busiest weeks of the season. For lower crowds, consider taking your holiday trip in early December or in November.
Additionally, crowds are usually lighter during weekdays than on the weekends.
Tip #2: Get to the parks early.
Because there tends to be heavy crowds at Disneyland during the Christmas season, it’s important to have a smart strategy for navigating the parks and avoiding the hordes.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to get to the parks early. Getting there before the parks open will allow you to stay ahead of the crowds. It will also allow you to ride the most popular rides before the lines get too long.
Tip #3: Marvel at It’s a Small World Holiday.
Disneyland has two major holiday overlays each Christmas season. The first of these is It’s a Small World. And it is one of the must-do’s during your holiday visit to Disneyland.
While this overlay is fun during the day, you definitely want to experience it at nighttime! The wow factor of this overlay is the thousands of Christmas lights that get added to the outside facade of the ride. This adds so much beauty and fun to the season.
Inside, the traditional It’s a Small World music gets intertwined with Christmas carols. And the scenes all get touches of Christmas decorations.
This is such a subtle and tasteful twist on an iconic attraction! You just have to experience it for yourself!
Tip #4: Celebrate at the Haunted Mansion.
The second attraction that gets a holiday overlay each year is the Haunted Mansion. This is as fun and playful as it gets!
Basically, Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas takes over the Haunted Mansion prior to Halloween each year. He gives the mansion a holiday update for both Halloween and Christmas!
The music and narration changes. There are Halloween and Christmas decorations that are picked out by Jack himself. And the crown jewel is a special gingerbread house that graces the dining table in the ballroom. The gingerbread house is different every year.
If you are a fan of this movie, Halloween, or Christmas, then you must take a spin on this one! You will love it!
Tip #5: Enjoy the holiday treats.
One of the best things about visiting Disneyland is tasting all the yummy snacks and delicious food. During the holidays, tons of special treats make a limited time appearance. The special Christmas treats include Peppermint Stick ice cream, a Yule Log, and handmade candy canes.
Many of the Disneyland restaurants also have special menu items, so if you are looking for something more substantial than ice cream and cake, you can find something to hit the spot!
So, have fun celebrating Christmas at Disneyland by eating some of these fun treats.
Tip #6: Get some special photos.
One of the things that I love the most about the Disney parks is all of the photo ops you can find throughout. It allows me to get some precious photos of my family during our trips.
During the holiday season, there are even more photo ops to allow you to capture the fun and spirit of Christmas at Disneyland. These include lots of Christmas trees and other holiday decorations.
So, definitely take advantage of getting some special photos of your loved ones during your trip! And maybe you will find the perfect spot to take your family photo for your Christmas cards!
Tip #7: Meet the characters in their holiday outfits.
My next tip to have fun celebrating Christmas at Disneyland is to meet the characters in their holiday outfits. Mickey and Minnie, as well as a lot of other characters don special outfits during this time of year.
Even if your kids have met their favorite character before, it will be fun for them to see them wearing something different. So, during your trip, be sure to grab photos of your kids with the characters in their special outfits!
Tip #8: Have fun with special holiday entertainment.
One of the ways to celebrate Christmas at Disneyland is by enjoying all the special holiday themed entertainment. At Disneyland Park, watch A Christmas Fantasy Parade, which runs twice each day. At night, enjoy the special Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks.
Additionally, if you are there during the first weekend in December, you can watch the Disneyland Candlelight Processional at the Main Street Train Station with celebrity narrators.
Over at California Adventure, have fun watching the Christmas overlay of World of Color, which is called World of Color-Season of Light. And savor all of the live entertainment at the Festival of Holidays.
Lastly, while in California Adventure, you can relish in Viva Navidad in the Paradise Garden area. This includes live music and dancing, crafts and face painting for kids, and a street party.
Tip #9: Tour the Disneyland Hotels.
Each of the Disney hotels at Disneyland get into the spirit of Christmas too. They all have lots of beautiful decorations and special entertainment.
If you have time (or just love Christmas decorations), take some time to tour the three Disney hotels. For some added fun, you can take part in the Very Boozy Christmas at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland Hotel.
Disneyland is a great place to spend time with your family. And it is an awesome place to create special holiday memories. These tips will help you have the best time celebrating Christmas at Disneyland. I hope you have the trip of a lifetime this holiday season!
For more help planning your Disneyland trip, see my must-do’s at California Adventure and Disneyland, everything you need to know about Toontown and Carsland, the best quick service restaurants at Disneyland, and my reviews of Flo’s V8 Cafe, Smokejumpers’ Grill, and Rancho del Zocale.
To book your Disneyland trip, head to Disneyland’s website.