Christmas at Disneyland is amazing! This page is going to share when it is, tips, where to get the best price on tickets, and what rides change. It was honestly, one of our family’s best memories.
Disclosure, I did receive 2 free 1-day tickets (but purchased many more days for the rest of my family) from Disney to provide the coverage of the park this holiday season.
Disneyland During Christmas
Decorations during Christmas at Disneyland
Disney never does anything small and Christmas is one of those things it’s amazing at. From the garlands across Main Street, the snow-covered castle it’s all just so cute and AMAZING.
Being from AZ we don’t get a lot of traditional Christmas in our area (neither do they in So Cal) so I enjoy it extra.
The décor extends across the park, also in California Adventure too.
Fun places to check out that are different:
- Christmas tree and garlands on Main Street
- Cars Land
- Be sure to look for extra hidden mickeys in the decor
When do Christmas decorations go up at Disneyland?
Halloween decor comes down VERY quickly after October 31st, often that evening they are gone.
Christmas takes a bit to get up but it usually up by mid-November.
Christmas at Disneyland 2018
For 2018, Christmas decorations is/will be up by November 9 through January 6th.
If you’re looking for more info on other times of the year at Disneyland – -check out my post on the times of year to visit Disneyland.
Rides that are different during Christmas at Disneyland
Small World during Christmas at Disneyland
Oh my goodness, it’s everything you ever thought it should be. The lights outside are absolutely amazing. Every 15 minutes there’s a projected show on it that is really cute. It makes up for the line being much longer than normal.
They also decorate inside and add Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls to their regular “It’s a small world”
Nothing overtly religious, but just a really nice Christmas feeling asking for peace on earth. One of my favorite things to ask for.
All your favorite regular dolls are there, just decorated for the holidays too!
The Haunted Mansion stays Christmas-y too as they keep the nightmare before Christmas decor up from Halloween.
Haunted Mansion during Christmas at Disneyland
Haunted Mansion stays the same as it was over Halloween — the Nightmare before Christmas. I talk all about that in my post about Halloween at Disneyland. Suffice it to say that it is super fun and colorful. 🙂
CarsLand during Christmas at Disneyland
Carsland has a lot of rides that “transition” to holidays like Christmas or Halloween pretty easily by theming and music, including Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. I find them both to be very fun, but not really “different”.
Disneyland tickets for Christmas
Disneyland does sometimes have particularly busy times a bit more expensive than other times of the year.
I have always found the best prices right here. Remember if you get a whole package — code CURLS10 will save you $10.
Festival of the Holidays
There were a bunch of food booths with traditional foods from across the world. They were small portions, but the pricing wasn’t bad. A fun addition!
The Fireworks at Disneyland for Christmas
Disney has a holiday fireworks show that they do nightly during the Christmas season (weather permitting). It’s so sweet, and centers on “believe”. There are nods to all type of religious traditions in the show, including Christianity (which I thought was nice – I hate it when organizations entirely leave out the reasons we are each celebrating). And, at the end of it, it “snows”. Super magical. Super sweet. One of my favorite parts of our visit.
The Weather in Anaheim over Christmas
Oh man, it was JUST RIGHT. Sure we had sweatshirts, but we weren’t too hot and not too cold. It was absolutely glorious! Be prepared for rain though — I always recommend having ponchos in your bag anyway (see my post about what to bring to Disneyland).
Related post: Best time of year to go to Disneyland
Performances during Christmast Disneyland
All of the regular performing groups had awesome Christmas tunes they’d gotten together. Brass Bands, barber shop from the Dapper Dans. All super cool!
Downsides to visiting Disneyland during Christmas
Crowds – We did pull our kids out of school to go on our vacation in early December, and mid-week the crowds weren’t bad at all. Our last day was a Friday and things picked up considerably. Just be aware that Christmas is a SUPER busy time! Your mindset should be that you’re there to enjoy the spirit of the park, and you will likely ride fewer rides and stand in line more.
Also, if at ALL possible — I would recommend going at least the week before Thanksgiving, or the week after Thanksgiving/the first couple of weeks of December.
Everyone just LOVES Christmas at Disneyland so it can be really hard.
Be sure to grab my Disney Day Planner to help you most effectively spend your time at the park:
I will also say that there are many reasons to enjoy Disney at. If adding it at Christmas is too stressful, pick another time of year. We’ve always enjoyed our Disney trips (thanks to quick and easy planning with Get Away Today). Each one has special things to offer if you’re looking to enjoy your trip.
Christmas at Disneyland FAQ’s
When does Disneyland decorate for Christmas 2018
The official dates are: November 9 through January 6th. That means that after Halloween decorations quickly go up — but rides will be switched over (especially Small World) by November 9th.
Disneyland Christmas Food
There are SO many amazing options at the Festival of the Holidays. They change every year — so just keep your eyes open. Other popular options:
- Candy Canes (people stand in line to get them)
- Festive Churro options (like s’more)
- Macaroons at the Jolly Holiday Bakery on Main Street
Disneyland Christmas Parade
It’s a very sweet parade, very festive and fun. Check the Disneyland app or web page to see what time it’s scheduled for your visit.
Is Disneyland Open on Christmas Day?
Yup! They sure are.
When is the absolute best time to visit Christmas at Disneyland?
I have heard the early hours are great on Christmas (but the park fills up quickly), but I also heard that January 1st morning is also great as many people are hung over from New Year’s Eve. 🙂
Christmas at Disney is absolutely magical. I am so glad we went, I doubt we’ll head back during the December timeframe (not a fan of crowds and normally not a fan of taking my kids out of school, I just felt like we REALLY needed it this year) anytime soon, but we’ll always remember our Christmas at Disneyland!
Don’t miss all of my other Disneyland tips — be sure to sign up for my Disneyland packing list and check out my other Disneyland posts below that!
How Much Does it Cost to go to Disneyland: Your Disneyland budget & how much spending money to bring