Disneyland: The Holiday Season

Occasionally on my blog, I like to stray a little bit away from food to get a little more personal with you. Recently, my family had the pleasure of going to Disneyland. As a kid, I grew up in Southern California and was able to experience the magic almost once a year with my family. The wonder that you feel at Disneyland cannot compare to anything else. After moving away from California, we still loved going to Disneyland as often as we could. Disneyland is universal in that people of all ages love to be a part of the atmosphere that Disneyland brings. Walking through Disneyland is like walking through your favorite Disney movie.

Once my husband and I started  having children, it became more difficult to get back there. I was either pregnant or my oldest was still too young. This year however, my baby girl is 3 and a half and we knew she was ready to soak in all the magic and joy that Disneyland brings. While I have always loved Disneyland, I had no idea how fun Disneyland could be until I saw it through my daughter’s eyes. As a parent, this trip will forever be a stamp on my heart and a memory I treasure.

Because we did so much on our trip, I am going to make this a 3-part series.

So why did we choose to go to Disneyland during the holidays?

Whenever we went to Disneyland growing up, my parents never took us during the holiday season. We always went during the off season. And while that is great in its own way, I had absolutely no idea what I was missing out on. The holidays only add to the magic of Disneyland.

Disneyland and California Adventure completely dress up their parks from head to toe in holiday theme. To see it first hand is very impressive. From the garland that drapes the buildings and streets, the characters dressed in the holiday attire, the music, the shows and the 50 foot tree that greets you upon arrival- it is something every single person ought to experience if they have the opportunity.

One of my daughter’s favorite things was entering the park and seeing Sleeping Beauty’s Castle topped with snow and draped with icicles and twinkling lights. My daughter is in a phase in life where she is OBSESSED with princesses. We watch a Disney Princess movie almost daily in our home. It was as if she was walking into the movies she has enjoyed and into the fairytales we have read together so often.

Growing up, one of my favorite attractions was, “It’s a Small World.” I loved the holiday touches Disneyland added for the season. A holiday soundtrack played in the background as we beheld the holiday season around the globe.

The Christmas Fantasy Parade is a wonder all of its own. My daughter especially enjoyed it because all the characters she adores have a part in this fun and festive event. Besides the known Disney characters that our families love, you will find gingerbread men, reindeer, Mrs. Clause and Santa Clause himself.

Even the characters were sporting their holiday attire….

We absolutely LOVED California Adventure’s latest attraction, Cars Land! Mator looked darling in his Santa hat. We also loved the cute little snow car that greeted you as you entered.

(photo curtesy of Disneyland News)

Walking into cars land was amazing. I loved the jolly feeling the streets gave off as one of our favorite movies became a reality.

(photo curtesy of Disneyland News)


I thought this Christmas Tree at the Cozy Cone was too perfect. I seriously was in awe of the creativity that went into decorating the park.

(photo curtesy of Disneyland News)

Walking through Buena Vista Street in California Adventure made me excited to hurry home and start decorating for Christmas. The windows are lined with holiday displays and garland streches itself across the way. There is also a towering tree that is absolutely breathtaking.  Holiday cheer is spread throughout the street from live choruses and performances. You can also find Santa in a department store at the end of the street. As we walked through Buena Vista, we felt like we had taken a travel back in time to a few decades past, and were seeing Christmas as we would in the 1920s’.

(photo curtesy of Disneyland News)

And now for my personal favorite, the Holiday Treats at Disneyland! Disneyland is know for the attractions and the magic, but it is also known for it’s yummy food. During the holidays, you can find special treats decorated and dressed in holiday cheer. I took as many pictures as I could of there darling desserts and hope to be able to maybe recreate a few for my blog :)


Peppermint and Eggnog Marshmallows :)

If you have never visited Disneyland during the holiday season, I highly recommend it. My family could not get enough of the holiday magic at the park and we took with us memories that we will keep with us forever.

This year, the holiday season at Disneyland will last November 12, 2012 through January 6, 2013. It is a wonderful time to visit Disneyland because it only amplifies the magic that is felt there. For more information, visit www.Disneyland.com

(photo curtesy of Disneyland News)

Disclosure: My family was provided 3-day hopper passes and stay at the California Grand to visit Disneyland. All opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.


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  1. Mandy's Recipe Box

    How fun! My family and I went last year during December and it was even more magical than usual. Thanks for the pics and bringing back those memories for me!

  2. Steph @ Silver Boxes

    Your trip sounds fabulous! My family just made it's first trip to Disneyland this July & it was magical. I would love to go at Christmas time to experience everything again!

  3. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    So much fun! I have been to Disney World during the holidays, and it truly is a magical place! Going with your kids makes it even better, my son loved it too.

  4. Trish - Mom On Timeout

    We were just there last week and Cars Land was a blast. It looks like we took a lot of the same pictures :) What a wonderful opportunity for your family!

  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    What a blast and so many amazing pics! I only live like an hour or so from Anaheim, just down in San Diego! Glad you guys were out here and loved it!

  6. Casey

    Wow, this makes me really want to go right now! I love the pictures and your little girl is darling!

    1. Marty

      We were just there in October...I have to say, though, it looks soooo fun to be there when the Christmas decs are up!! It was our first time visiting Cars Land, and I was a lil surprised in that I LOVED it. Especially the Cars racing ride...it was so fun. My four year old loved getting on it again and again. Your daughter is such a cutie!

  7. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    How fun to see it all decorated for Christmas...I would love to take our kids during the holidays (really I just want to go:-) Your little girl is so super cute!!!

  8. Kristen

    Oh my goodness - look at the castle! You make me want to go there during the holidays. Wow!

  9. Tanna

    Oh my! Thank you soooo much for taking me back 9 years ago when I went with my kids. We definitely have to go again after reading this. That place is magical. Your daughter looks so sweet!

  10. Juliette

    Your pictures are wonderful and your little girl is a doll. Looking forward to your recipes of the Disney treats.

  11. Rona

    Wow, beautiful photographs! So glad you shared! Love all your recipes , thank you for taking the time each day to inspire us all to cook up a feast! Have a wonderful Christmas

  12. Taylor K.

    All of these pictures are beautiful! My husband and I went to Disneyworld on our honeymoon and this makes me want to go back so bad!!!!

  13. Angela @ AnotherBitePlease

    i love love disney...we are planning on taking our boys to disneyworld next Christmas...and your photos make me that much more excited :-)

  14. Erika

    Every November we go to Disneyland just because of this! We love Christmas Disney!!! I have heard Halloween there is great also.....maybe next year. They know how to do holidays. :)

  15. Ala

    I love, love, love Disneyland and am ecstatic that your daughter and I have pictures with some of the very same beloved characters <3 I'm also very sad that my annual pass will be expiring soon...but I can't wait to get in at least two more holiday visits before then! (We're visiting the candlelight procession next month--can't wait!) These definitely are happy memories from the happiest place! And I'll be hopefully posting some recreating caramel apples, too.

  16. capturing joy with kristen duke

    oh my goodness, how fun!!! It is so beautiful for the holidays, I have never gone then,either, and they do such a great job of making it even more magical! your daughters smiles are priceless!!! i'd love to get on that radar for next year!

  17. lisabella

    New reader here! And I bet we were at Disneyland at the same time. I'd never been during the holidays, what a magical place it was!