It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

That’s right, it’s finally the holidays again at the Disneyland Resort, and the park is transforming as we speak. On November 10, the holiday season officially begins, with new décor, goodies, and events to entertain visitors. Here’s what to expect this year.


There’s no Disneyland quite like holiday Disneyland. Garlands, wreaths, and ornaments hang from windows, the holiday fireworks light up the sky, and Elsa provides a dusting of snow on Aurora’s castle. The whole park just feels extra magical.

Holiday Season 2017

Some of the attractions join in on the fun, with special seasonal overlays. It’s A Small World transforms into a global holiday celebration, and the Haunted Mansion continues its Nightmare Before Christmas theme that starts during Halloween. But a new development this year – there will be NO Jungle Cruise overlay. Disney never provided an official reason why, but the leading rumors are that Disney is completely redesigning the overlay, and that recent crowds meant Disney did not want the attraction closed for set up and take down of the theming.


On the other side of the esplanade, California Adventure slowly catches up to Disneyland each year. Buena Vista Street’s décor is slowly expanding, and Buena Vista Street will once again have its own tree.

This year, the Festival of the Holidays returns, including fan favorite Viva Navidad. The festival includes tons of food carts, and live entertainment celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali.

Festival of the Holidays 2016

And in the evenings, World of Color will transform into Season of Light, a holiday-themed show featuring classic Disney scenes paired with fan favorite songs.

 Source: Disney Parks Blog


  • Make peace with the crowds. There is virtually no downtime during the holiday season, so you’ll be hard pressed to find a quiet day without long lines. Go in with a solid plan, realistic expectations, and lots and lots of patience.
  • Prioritize overlays and live entertainment. There’s such a short window for the attraction overlays and wintertime shows, and they’re all fantastically done. Grab fast passes or book dining packages where you can, and if you’re debating which line to get into, opt for the seasonal one.
  • Scope out snacks! Disneyland pulls out all the stops during the holidays, and the seasonal treats are as pretty as they are delicious.
  • Check out the scenery. The décor in both parks has so much stunning detail, which many guests blow right past to get in a line. If you’re not a “stop and smell the roses” type, at least scope out the decor while you’re standing in a line. The parks never shine brighter than during the holidays.

For more information about the Disneyland Resort’s holiday events, check out the Parks Blog post here.

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