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When Does Disneyland Switch to Christmas?

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Disneyland, known as the “Happiest Place on Earth,” becomes even more magical during the Christmas season. The park transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with festive decorations, unique attractions, and special events that celebrate the holiday spirit. But when does Disneyland switch to Christmas? Let’s find out.


Disneyland typically switches to its Christmas theme in the second week of November. For instance, in 2023, the Christmas season at Disneyland is expected to run from November 10, 2023, through January 7, 2024. However, the exact start date can vary slightly from year to year.

Transition to the Christmas Season

Disneyland typically switches to Christmas in the second week of November. For the year 2023, the Christmas season at Disneyland is expected to run from November 10, 2023, through January 7, 2024. This aligns with the date range from the past few years. However, it’s important to note that the exact start date can vary slightly from year to year, while the end date is more consistent, usually falling in the first week of January.

Christmas Season Highlights

During the Christmas season, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure offer a variety of holiday-themed experiences. These include seasonal ride overlays, fireworks, parades, entertainment, parties, and decorations. Here are some of the key highlights:

  1. Haunted Mansion Holiday and ‘it’s a small world’ holiday: These popular attractions receive festive makeovers, adding a unique twist to the standard ride experience.
  2. A Christmas Fantasy Parade: Disney characters join Santa Claus in a merry celebration down Main Street, U.S.A.
  3. Candlelight Processional: A celebrity narrator tells the Christmas story, accompanied by hundreds of choir members and an orchestra.
  4. Festival of Holidays: This joyous celebration at Disney California Adventure features holiday foods, festivities, and entertainment that honor Christmas, Navidad, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and more.

Tips for Visiting During the Christmas Season

The first weekend of the Christmas season at Disneyland can be particularly busy, as it often coincides with Veterans’ Day, a popular holiday for visitors. To avoid crowds, it’s recommended to visit earlier in the season and on weekdays if possible. Here are some more tips for your visit:

  1. Arrive Early: The early mornings are the quietest at the Disneyland Resort. Get there when the park opens to maximize your time.
  2. Layer Up: The weather can be chilly in the mornings and evenings but rather warm during the daytime. Layer your clothing to stay comfortable throughout the day.
  3. Try the Christmas Treats: Disneyland offers many holiday treats around the park. Don’t miss out on gingerbread cookies, Christmas cupcakes, snowmen shortbread, and the legendary hand made candy canes.

Wrapping Up

Visiting Disneyland during the Christmas season can be a magical experience, offering a unique blend of holiday cheer and Disney magic. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disney veteran, the Christmas season at Disneyland is sure to create lasting memories. Just remember, the park can be crowded during the Christmas season, so patience and planning are key to having a fantastic Disneyland vacation.

Now that you know when Disneyland switches to Christmas and what to expect, you can start planning your holiday visit. Happy Holidays!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to purchase a special ticket to experience the Christmas events at Disneyland?

No, all Christmas events and attractions are included with regular park admission. However, Disneyland does offer special ticketed events occasionally, so it’s always a good idea to check their official website for any updates.

Are all Disneyland attractions open during the Christmas season?

Yes, all regular Disneyland attractions are open during the Christmas season. Some attractions, like the Haunted Mansion and ‘it’s a small world,’ even receive festive makeovers.

Can I see the Christmas decorations after the park closes?

The Christmas decorations, particularly the ones on Main Street, U.S.A., are usually lit up for a while after the park closes. However, keep in mind that you may be asked to leave by security as they clear the park.

What’s the best way to avoid long lines during the Christmas season at Disneyland?

To avoid long lines, consider visiting on a weekday and arrive early when the park opens. Also, utilizing Disneyland’s FastPass service can help you skip the lines for popular attractions.

Are there any holiday-themed merchandise available during the Christmas season?

Absolutely! Disneyland offers a variety of holiday-themed merchandise during the Christmas season, including special edition pins, ornaments, clothing, and more. These items can be found throughout the park and at World of Disney in the Downtown Disney District.

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