The holiday season has arrived, and that means the Happiest Place on Earth has decked its halls with festive fun that runs from now through the beginning of 2022.
With that in mind, we though this week would be a good time to share a collection of photos and videos we took over the opening weekend of this year’s Disneyland Resort holiday celebration, including looks at the characters, food, merchandise, and entertainment available around the two theme parks and the Downtown Disney District during the most wonderful time of the year.
Upon arriving at Disneyland Resort’s Mickey & Friends parking structure, you’ll find welcoming holiday-themed signage, and along the still-walkable tram route there’s a Honda minivan decorated with Mickey and Minnie as they enjoy their “Season’s Skiings.” Inside the park, Main Street USA and Sleeping Beauty Castle are adorned with the usual eye-catching decorations and colorful lights.
Watch Disneyland Resort Holiday Season 2021 – Characters, Food, and Merchandise:
In the above video, you’ll get an overview of the food and merchandise available around both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure during this year’s holiday season, with a special appearance by Mickey and Minnie Mouse in their new wintertime wear. During our visits, we spotted more holiday-themed character photo ops around the parks like Clarabelle Cow, Judy Hopps from Zootopia, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Pluto, Goofy, and even the Three Caballeros.
The food menu offerings around Disneyland Resort this holiday season are truly jaw-dropping in both their design and deliciousness. There’s cupcakes, cookies, cakes, cake pops, macarons, shakes, churros, and beyond… and that’s not even counting the dozens of items available during Disney California Adventure’s Festival of Holidays seasonal food event. Plus, you can grab cool food-related collectibles like an amazing Toy Story popcorn bucket, ornament sippers, and more.
Merchandise-wise, guests can visit the new Plaza Point store on Main Street for a collection of beautiful-looking ornaments, or simply browse around many of the resort’s gift shops for a variety of holiday items like fun stockings, apparel, and backpacks. There’s even a sizeable collection of Star Wars and Grogu-themed Christmas merchandise this year.
The aforementioned Festival of Holidays has returned to Disney California Adventure, with numerous holiday food kiosks, toe-tapping musical performances, and its own merchandise to bring home as souvenirs from this memorable celebration. And don’t forget to check out the ¡Viva Navidad! section of the park, which once again gives guests the opportunity to “revel in authentic holiday music, dance, décor and a dash of Disney magic.”
The ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party has returned to DCA as well, bringing with it the Three Caballeros and a vibrant collection of dancers, musicians, and even a few very welcome surprises.
Watch ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party (2021) – Disney California Adventure:
At Disneyland Resort’s outdoor shopping area the Downtown Disney District, a cheery holiday-themed mural starring Mickey and Friends is available for photo ops, while the former AMC Theatres building has been decorated with character-specific banners. In the LEGO Store, guests can check out a display of the new Home Alone house building set, and at the Pin Trader they can pick up the new “Disney Letters” series featuring several of their favorite characters. Over at World of Disney, the central park of this flagship store has been transformed into a winter wonderland, while the window displays outside welcome shoppers with plenty of holiday cheer.
But one of the last things you’re going to want to do before wrapping up your day at Disneyland during the holiday season is enjoy the “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks show, either from the viewing area on Main Street or above the “it’s a small world” facade, which lights up with projection-mapping effects in choreographed time with the show’s music.
Watch "Believe… In Holiday Magic" (it's a small world view) at Disneyland 2021:
The holiday season at the Disneyland Resort runs from now through Sunday, January 9. For additional information and to purchase advance tickets to the theme parks, be sure to visit the resort’s official website.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.