While holiday celebrations got underway at Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World this past Monday, and taping for the annual Christmas Parade took place over the weekend, Disneyland Resort in California officially kicks off the holiday season this Friday, November 12.
As snow falls gently over Mainstreet U.S.A., guests will experience all of the wonderful traditions of a Disneyland Christmas – and they’ll have a chance to see some new things, too.
Fanciful lights will cover Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, adrift with snow and sparkling with icicles. Every night after dark, a beautiful display of special effects and lights will transform the castle and will reach all the way to Town Square, where the 60-foot Disneyland Christmas Tree will be lit in spectacular fashion with more than 60,000 energy-efficient LED lights.
Rides at the park will also display their holiday spirit. It’s a Small World will play host to Christmas celebrations from around the world, while the Haunted Mansion will host Jack Skellington from the film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Is it Halloween? Is it Christmas? Who can tell as Jack mixes and mingles the two in a truly unique celebration of the holidays.
And what would a holiday celebration be at Disney without a special parade and fireworks show to mark the occasion? Disney presents its holiday tradition, “A Christmas Fantasy,” parade. Watch in wonder as characters prepare for Santa’s arrival, and Mickey and Minnie even take to the ice to enjoy some frosty fun. “Believe…in Holiday Magic,” the timeless fireworks display to celebrate the season, wraps up the evening’s festivities with a heartwarming rendition of “White Christmas.”
Want to visit with Santa himself? You’ll find him at Santa’s Reindeer Round-up in Big Thunder Ranch, Frontierland, where Santa will greet guests, who might also see a reindeer or two!
Guests may also book guided holiday tours which bring them up close and personal with both the It’s a Small World and Haunted Mansion holiday celebrations. Reserved seating is available as well for “A Christmas Fantasy.” Guests’ reservations also include a keepsake remembrance, as well as special information about the history of Disneyland holiday traditions. For information regarding reservations please visit Disneyland City Hall or call 714/781-4400.
California Adventure Park can also gets in on the holiday fun. The park’s iconic “California” sign will be transformed into peppermint sticks! And as Flik and his buggy buddies celebrate the season with giant decorations in their little world, Santa will greet guests on the Boardwalk near Ariel’s Grotto.
While not strictly holiday-themed, the ElecTRONica nighttime street parties are colorful nevertheless. In celebration of “Tron: Legacy,” Disney’s new feature film due in theatres December 17, the street parties take place in the entry plaza of California Adventure on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and will occur nightly December 17 through January 2.
Guests will also enjoy extended hours at both theme parks, with California Adventure opened until 10 p.m. and Disneyland opened as late as midnight on some nights.
Photo courtesy of Disney.