During the winter holidays (November through January), the Happiest Place on Earth gets a bit merrier. Each year Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure add festive decorations — including Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle — that make the parks merry and bright, attraction overlays to get you into the holiday spirit, special meet and greets with characters in their holiday best, and much more. It’s a holiday celebration you won’t want to miss!

Attraction Overlays

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort brings some extra cheer to some of your favorite attractions. Here are some of the special experiences you can enjoy during this most wonderful time of year.

“it’s a small world” Holiday (Disneyland)

In this heartwarming overlay, the children of the world celebrate their cultures’ holidays while singing some classic carols in their native tongues. Not only is this the merriest cruise that ever sailed, the facade for “it’s a small world” is a sight to behold during the holidays, transforming into a colorful display each night, illuminated by thousands of holiday lights.

Haunted Mansion Holiday (Disneyland)

Inspired by the modern classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington wrecks the halls of the famed Haunted Mansion, creating a holiday mash-up guests are dying to visit each year. Featuring a number of characters from Halloween Town (including Sandy Claws himself), effects and surprises exclusive to this Holiday overlay, and a gingerbread house made special each year, this is a guest favorite you won’t want to miss.

Season’s Greetings at Radiator Springs (Disney California Adventure)

During this magical time of year, Carsland offers two holiday-themed overlays: Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. Both of these Carsland favorites play special holiday soundtracks, allowing you to celebrate the Radiator Springs way.

Disneyland Entertainment

One of the highlights of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort celebration are the special entertainment offering at Disneyland Parks, including a parade and fireworks spectacular exclusive to this time of year.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

Featuring dancing reindeer, toy soldiers, your favorite Disney characters, and Santa Claus himself, this parade is jam-packed with holiday cheer. Make sure to arrive early for the best viewing —especially if you plan on enjoying the procession from Main Street USA.

“Believe… in Holiday Magic” Fireworks

Snow in Southern California? “Believe” it or not, this fireworks spectacular makes that magical feat happen on most nights during the holiday season. Before that dazzling snowfall, enjoy a pyrotechnic display complete with a holiday soundtrack that’s sure to warm the heart of even the biggest grinch.

Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

During the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort celebration, Disney California Adventure highlights a diverse set of cultural during the Disney Festival of Holidays. This special event features culturally-rich entertainment, a number of festival food marketplaces, the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! festivities, and much more.

For more on all this celebration has to offer, be sure to check out our Disney Festival of Holidays guide.

Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Tour

If you truly want to explore all of the holiday magic that the Disneyland Resort has to offer, this two-and-a-half hour tour is a gift waiting to be unwrapped. Your guide will share some stories holiday traditions from around the world, invite you to enjoy reserved seating for A Christmas Fantasy Parade, and more. You’ll also receive a tasty treat and commemorative pin you’ll definitely want to place under the tree.

The holidays have returned to the Disneyland Resort. To celebrate, Disneyland has United States Marine Corp Sergeant Juan Valdez and his service dog Midas light the attraction for 2015.

As is tradition, our own Doug Marsh learned how to make a holiday treat in this Caramel Apple Tutorial

Main Street:

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New Orleans Square:

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Critter Country:

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Disney California Adventure:

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Downtown Disney:

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