Note: The following is a guest post so graciously contributed by Angela Lytle of

If the magic of your holiday season needs a boost, there is nothing more magical, more inviting, or more awe-inspiring than Disneyland at Christmas time. From the third week in November through the first week in January, the park will transform into a magical wonderland that will have your family talking for years. Take the whole family, plan in advance, or show up early—this is quite an adventure!

The Enchantment You Can Expect!

Christmas at DisneylandExpect to have more fun than you ever dreamed possible, from the time you reach the entrance, to the time you say goodnight to your child. Let’s start the journey. When you reach the entrance, feast your eyes on the giant California Adventure sign that has now been covered with candy canes in celebration of the season. And once inside, you won’t want to miss a thing, because everything else is pure enchantment.

Thousands of lights sparkle and glitter everywhere. When you reach The Small World, with more than 300,000 lights, and special Christmas music and decorations, plan to spend some time and join in with a Christmas carol. This attraction is being refurbished just in time for Christmas, and is truly a favorite for families with small children. Visit Santa in various places, most often in Frontierland. Check the map and schedule to make sure you don’t miss Santa or any other activities or shows during your stay.

Jack SkellingtonWhile you’re walking, breathe in the sounds, smells, and excitement in what will most likely be a Southern California warm day or evening. But remember, in the winter there is a chance of rain at times, so be prepared. The Haunted Mansion will draw you in with its special holiday activity. Jack Skellington from the “Nightmare Before Christmas” will welcome you to view the scenes of the haunted holiday feast, and spooks in the spirit of Christmas. This may not be the best for smaller children, but if you do visit, try to brave it after dark when it’s most exciting.

Younger children will enjoy a visit with Santa and his reindeer. Like the holiday traditions children have known to love, the Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland won’t let them down. Children can pet the reindeer, or tell Santa and Mrs. Claus what they want for Christmas. They can also try their hand at art projects and play some reindeer games. Take the whole family on a good old holiday get together and enjoy the festivities.

Another highlight of this holiday magical park is the nightly fireworks. Stay until it’s over, though, so you can watch the snow fly. Once again, check the schedule and don’t be late. Watch as Disneyland transforms into a Christmas parade with Disney characters, floats, magical lights, and Santa riding through on his sleigh.

Make it a Hassle Free Vacation

Christmas at DisneylandPlanning ahead always makes a trip run a little smoother. If you are going to Disneyland for the holidays without reservations, be sure to arrive early to avoid having to tell the children, or your spouse, that you can’t get in because you arrived too late. That could put a slight damper on things. By noon they may have reached capacity, which is said to be somewhere around 80,000 people. There are always holiday tour deals, you can check a Disneyland information website. Check out specials at the Disneyland Hotel, or other nearby hotels.

If you can arrive during the first week of December, you’ll be able to enjoy the wonder of the Candlelight Celebration at Disneyland. For those who long for a good old fashioned holiday join your friends or your family and come see what the Candlelight Celebration is all about. Marvel at the lights, the choirs, the orchestra and the parade down Main Street, while bell ringers add to the excitement and the traditions of Christmas.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at ChristmasVisit Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, a breathtaking world of lights and icicles, all covered with a blanket of glittery snow. Stay and enjoy a nightly show that includes holiday music, fireworks, and performances, all under a starlit Southern California night. While you’re there, shoot some family photos for the album, the backdrop here is perfect. Share your memories.

Plan Ahead For Your Next Disneyland Christmas Holiday

As one can only imagine, Disneyland gets its busiest during Thanksgiving weekend and from Christmas Eve to New Years. Every day can be busy, however, so prepare for a crowd—after all, this is the nation’s number one theme park, it’s expected to be busy. But don’t let that stop you. Just plan ahead. You can always get tickets online if you don’t want to stand in line. If you’re anxious to get on Space Mountain or one of the other fun rides, get tickets in advance and save yourself some time. If planning on spending a few days, make reservations for a hotel. You can also find special holiday tour deals that can offer you discounts on popular attractions. You can even make reservations for some of the restaurants, such as the Blue Bayou, or California Adventures Golden Vine—up to a month and at least two weeks prior to arrival. And remember, in the winter months Disneyland has shorter park hours. You can get all of the dates, times and information you need by visiting a Disneyland information website.

Once you’re there, relax and enjoy the sites. Spend some quality time with your children and notice the joyful look on their faces, the sparkle in their eyes, and the happiness that surrounds them. Whether you’re going alone, with a spouse, or with children, Disneyland Christmas is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you won’t want to miss. If it’s a traditional Christmas, with all the glitter, sounds, smells, and tastes that you’re after, you’ve found it here at Disneyland.

Whoever Said Christmas and Disneyland Were for Kids?

All you have to do is look at an adults face to know this is not the case. For years young and old alike have been visiting Disneyland and enjoying every minute of it. Visit during the holidays and see how young it makes you feel. I guarantee it will bring out the child in you. Have a safe and happy holiday.


About the Author: Angela Lytle is a self-employed mother of four and publisher of Christmas Decorations Online, a website featuring holiday decorations from Artificial Christmas Trees to beautify your home to Outdoor Christmas Lights that will brighten up your holiday display!

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