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Disneyland Resort celebrates the holidays with the return of ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ and more

by Attractions Magazine Staff

Holidays are back at Disneyland Resort, with the merry festivities happening from Nov. 12, 2021 through Jan. 9, 2022.

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Photos courtesy of Disneyland Resort

During this year’s magical time, guests can enjoy holiday traditions like the return of “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade, the”Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular, and Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Cast, all at Disneyland park. At Disney California Adventure, the celebration continues with Disney Festival of Holidays, “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” and the motor-themed holiday décor in Cars Land.

For the first time, guests can experience the magic and wonder of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto,” inspired by the people and cultures of Colombia. This limited-time experience brings a new cultural perspective to “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” at Disney California Adventure with live entertainment, interactive photo-ops and special appearances by Mirabel, the young hero from the film.

Throughout both parks, guests can see Santa Claus and Disney characters dressed in their holiday best, enjoy sweet seasonal treats at food and beverage locations, and pick up seasonal merchandise for everyone on their shopping list. The fun also continues at Downtown Disney District and Hotels of the Disneyland Resort with traditional décor and festive treats.

At Disneyland park

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Upon entering Disneyland park, guests are greeted by a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree on Main Street, U.S.A., decorated with nearly 1,800 ornament. Mickey and Minnie Mouse will also be waving for photos, dressed in festive new attire.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade during Disney Merriest Nights After Hours Event at Disneyland Park

“A Christmas Fantasy” Parade returns to march down Main Street, U.S.A. with Disney characters, reindeer, marching toy soldiers, dancing gingerbread cookies, and Santa Claus waving from his sleigh.

The seasonal transformation of Haunted Mansion to Haunted Mansion Holiday has also returned for this year, and at the entrance to Fantasyland, guests can enjoy the icy wonder of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle.

As the day comes to an end, guests can close out their day with the “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular, featuring magical “snowfall.”projections on Main Street, U.S.A., and projections on the façade of “it’s a small world.” A finale for the day comes in the form of the “kiss goodnight” moment from several Disney characters as they wave goodbye from the balcony of the Disneyland Railroad Train Station in Town Square.

Adding to the holiday offerings this year is the all-new holiday store, Plaza Point, which offers Christmas-themed treasures year-round. The shop on Main Street, U.S.A. reflects seasonal holidays around the world with ornaments, housewares, linens, and accessories. During other times in the year, Plaza Point also features other holidays, like Hanukkah, Lunar New Year, Easter, and Halloween.

Also new for this year is Disney Merriest Nites, a separately-ticketed, limited-capacity event that features six parties in one; this year’s five-night offering is completely sold out.

At Disney California Adventure

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Guests at Disney California Adventure can enjoy Disney Festival of Holidays as they discover the sights, sounds and tastes of a diverse collection of celebrations, including Christmas/Navidad, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. Offerings include live entertainment, shopping for themed merchandise and eight Festival Food Marketplaces.

Guests can pick up a Sip and Savor Pass to make it easy to taste their way through eight food or non-alcoholic beverages from participating marketplaces, as well as other participating locations like festival carts.

The celebration comes alive with “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” as Disney characters host a street party with Mexican folklórico dancers and Mariachis, Brazilian samba dancers and percussionists, giant mojiganga puppets, and Mickey and Minnie in their fiesta best.

Meeting Mirabel Madrigal from ‘Encanto’ at Disneyland #Shorts

In the Paradise Gardens section of the park, guests can find themed food and beverages alongside live music and performers for a limited time. To celebrate the upcoming release of “Encanto,” guests can indulge in a special arepa con queso and listen to live bands, including the band El Sabor Bueno, playing authentic Colombian music on Fridays and Saturdays. Guests can also learn more about the film and its Colombian setting with an activity booklet available while supplies last, and meet Mirabel herself.

At Pacific Wharf, guests can find holiday-themed menus and performances from The Mistletoes, an a cappella ensemble that performs classic holiday songs with rhythm and soul. Younger guests can also enjoy craft stations and cookie decorating kits.

“Mickey’s Happy Holidays” offers a cheerful seasonal celebration with Mickey Mouse and friends as they travel through the heart of the park. Guests are encouraged to join in the fun with Disney and Pixar characters as they dance and march to the music and rhythms of the Holiday Toy Drummers. This offering happens several times daily.

The residents of Radiator Springs have once again pulled out all the stops with the holiday décor in Cars Land. A snow-covered billboard stands outside the land’s entrance and the decorations continue all the way to the hubcap-studded tree that decorates the front of the courthouse. The fun continues with the return of festive magic to transform two of the land’s attractions into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree.


To learn more about Holidays at Disneyland Resort, visit Disneyland.com.

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