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How Is Disneyland on Christmas Day?

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Disneyland during the holiday season is a magical experience, brimming with festive decorations, unique holiday rides, and attractions, as well as special entertainment options. While Disneyland on Christmas Day is a bucket-list item for many, it’s also one of the busiest times of the year at the park. This article will provide an in-depth look at what you can expect from Disneyland on Christmas Day, including crowd levels, special events, and tips for making the most of your visit.


Disneyland on Christmas Day is a magical experience filled with holiday-themed decorations, special events, and unique food offerings. However, it’s also one of the busiest times of the year with high crowd levels and long wait times. To make the most of your visit, it’s recommended to arrive early, make dining reservations in advance, use the Disneyland app for updates, and plan your day around peak times for popular attractions.

Decorations and Transformations

Disneyland pulls out all the stops for the holiday season, with decorations adorning every corner of the park. From early November until early January, both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks offer various Christmas-themed experiences. Some of the highlights include:

  • A Christmas Fantasy Parade: A festive parade featuring prancing reindeer, marching toy soldiers, dancing gingerbread cookies, and favorite Disney characters.
  • “it’s a small world” Holiday: A holiday-themed version of the classic attraction, beautifully lit at night.
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday: A seasonal overlay of the Haunted Mansion attraction featuring characters and themes from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
  • Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle: The iconic castle is transformed with twinkling lights and snow-capped turrets.
  • “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks: A spectacular holiday fireworks show with a “White Christmas” snowfall finale on Main Street U.S.A, New Orleans Square, and “it’s a small world”.

In addition to these unique experiences, Disneyland is beautifully decorated for the holiday season, with a massive 60-foot Christmas tree in Town Square, over 70,000 lights, and 2,000 custom-made ornaments on Main Street USA.

Special Events and Parades

On Christmas Day, Disneyland offers a variety of special events and parades. The “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade is one of the main highlights, featuring beloved Disney characters, dancing reindeer, toy soldiers, and Santa Claus himself. The parade takes place on Main Street, U.S.A., and runs from November 10, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

In addition to the parade, guests can experience “it’s a small world” Holiday, a seasonal transformation of the classic attraction with festive decorations and a holiday soundtrack. The “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks show is another popular event, featuring a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and a magical snowfall.

Dining Options and Holiday-Themed Foods

On Christmas Day, Disneyland offers special dining options and holiday-themed foods at various locations throughout the park. Some popular dining options for Christmas dinner include Blue Bayou Restaurant, Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel, and other restaurants like Cafe Orleans, Carthay Circle, Carnation Cafe, Napa Rose, River Belle Terrace, Storytellers Cafe, and Wine Country Trattoria.

During the holiday season, Disneyland also offers limited-time treats and foods, such as candy cane beignets, caramel apples, gingerbread Mickey cookies, and Santa Mickey cookies. The Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure features festival booths with dishes inspired by international holidays and traditional American treats.

Crowd Levels and Wait Times

Christmas Day is one of the busiest days at Disneyland, with high crowd levels and long wait times. According to historical data, wait times on Christmas Day can range from 20% to 100% higher than usual, depending on the park’s busyness. To make the most of your visit to Disneyland on Christmas Day, consider arriving early, prioritizing attractions with holiday overlays, and planning your day around peak times for popular attractions.

Tips for Navigating Disneyland on Christmas Day

Visiting Disneyland on Christmas Day can be a magical experience, but it’s essential to plan ahead and be prepared for large crowds. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  • Arrive early: Plan to arrive at the park at least an hour before the official opening time to get through security and be one of the first in line for attractions.
  • Make dining reservations: Popular dining options fill up quickly during the holiday season, so make reservations up to 60 days in advance.
  • Use the Disneyland app: The app is a valuable tool for checking wait times, making dining reservations, and even ordering food.
  • Take breaks: The parks can be overwhelming, especially with large crowds. Take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge.
  • Stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so it’s important to stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes.

In conclusion, Disneyland on Christmas Day is a magical experience with unique holiday offerings, but it can also be very crowded. With proper planning and patience, you can make the most of your visit and create lasting holiday memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to visit Disneyland on Christmas Day?

The cost of visiting Disneyland on Christmas Day is the same as any other day. Ticket prices vary depending on the date, age group, and whether you want to visit one or both parks. As of 2023, a one-day, one-park ticket starts at $104 for children ages 3-9 and $110 for ages 10 and up.

Are there any special Christmas shows at Disneyland?

Yes, Disneyland offers several special Christmas shows during the holiday season. This includes the “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade, the “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks show, and the “it’s a small world” Holiday display.

Are all attractions and rides open on Christmas Day at Disneyland?

Yes, all attractions and rides are typically open on Christmas Day at Disneyland, including those with special holiday overlays like “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. However, it’s always a good idea to check the Disneyland website or app for the most up-to-date information.

Can I purchase tickets in advance for Disneyland on Christmas Day?

Yes, it’s highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance for Disneyland on Christmas Day due to the high crowd levels. You can purchase tickets online through the official Disneyland website or app.

What is the weather like at Disneyland on Christmas Day?

The weather at Disneyland on Christmas Day can vary, but it’s typically mild with daytime highs in the mid to upper 60s (Fahrenheit) and nighttime lows in the upper 40s. It’s always a good idea to check the forecast before your visit and dress appropriately.

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