Disneyland Special Events, Activities & Tours

LAST UPDATE: 1/25/23

Wondering what Disneyland special events may be happening during your visit to Disneyland Resort? Listed below are the major Disneyland events and festivals taking place during the year.

On this page you will also find any deals and discounts available on special activities at Disneyland Resort, as well as how to save money on theme park tours.

Notes:

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Special Events

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January-May Events

June-August Events

September-December Events

New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day

Disneyland stays open late on New Year’s Eve and offers extra entertainment, usually including live performances, an extra parade and fireworks. These festivities are included in regular park admission.

If you plan to visit one of the theme parks on New Year’s Eve (December 31) or New Year’s Day (January 1), be aware that these are two of the busiest days of the year. The parks (especially Disneyland) usually reach full capacity at some point during the day, and you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) to the parks after that point. (This is true even if you have a ticket, even if you’re staying at a Disney resort and even if you have dining reservations in the park. If the park is full, it’s full — Disney has to follow fire codes!) For that reason it’s best to arrive first thing in the morning and stay in the same park all day. Bring any sweaters or jackets you may need later and stow them in a locker when you arrive (the lockers will also sell out). Get Genie+ and buy paid Lightning Lane reservations right away, because the lines will be very long by noon and reservations will be gone quickly.

Disney hotels may offer a special dinner or party for New Year’s Eve, to find out go to the Disneyland dining page.

Three Kings Day

In 2023, Three Kings Day was celebrated January 2-8.

January 6, Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany or the Twelfth Day of Christmas), is a popular holiday in Mexico. The holiday celebrates the arrival of the Magi bearing gifts for baby Jesus, and Día de los Reyes Magos is the traditional day for Mexican children to receive Christmas gifts

The celebration in Paradise Garden at Disney California Adventure includes entertainment, Disney characters in festive attire, kids’ activities and specialty food items. It is the grand finale of Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

In 2024, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend will be held January 11-14. Registration will open February 14, 2023.

After a long hiatus, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is back. The weekend will include a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and more. More details, including information about the race course, will be announced at a later date. There may be a virtual race option for some race events.

Disneyland Magic Key holders, Walt Disney World annual passholders, DVC members and Club runDisney members are able to register ahead of the general public for some runDisney events. Check the annual passholder or DVC member website for details closer to the public registration date.

Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)

In 2023, Lunar New Year will be celebrated January 20 – February 15.

The Lunar New Year celebration takes place at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure and includes traditions from Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. In addition to the Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession parade, there are performers, musicians, local artisans, kids’ activities and specialty food items. Disney characters are there as well, including Mulan, Mushu, Raya, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Each night, before World of Color, the Lunar New Year Celebration culminates in a six-minute pre-show called Hurry Home, presented in water, animation and special effects on Paradise Bay. This story of a Little Lantern on its journey home to join its Lantern family to celebrate Lunar New Year features animated appearances by Mulan and Mushu in “dream sequences” inspired by traditional Chinese paper cut-out style animation. 

Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite

In 2023, Disneyland After Dark: Sweetheart’s Nite will be held January 31; February 2, 5, 7, 9, 14 and 16 at Disneyland Park.

Disneyland After Dark events take place after closing in either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. Each Disneyland After Dark event requires a separate ticket. Select attractions will be open and there will be special entertainment, food, photo opportunities, collectible merchandise and more, all based on that evening’s theme. Attendees also receive unlimited digital downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos taken during the party. There are a limited number of tickets for each event. 

While the party itself takes place after the park closes to the general public, Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite ticket holders can enter Disneyland Park as early as 6:00 pm, giving you up to 7 hours in the park. A theme park reservation is not required. 

For Sweethearts’ Nite there will be a special themed fireworks show and projection effects on Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street, U.S.A. A jazz ensemble will perform aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. There will be other live entertainment, including a Royal Ball. There will be character appearances by Disney couples and photo opportunities in romantic scenes from Disney films, along with themed décor, food and beverages.

Costumes are encouraged, but must follow the costume rules for this event. See the Disneyland After Dark: Sweetheart’s Nite page for full details. Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into the event unless their costume can be modified to meet the standards.

2023 Ticket Prices:

Limit 8 tickets per person. Each ticket is valid for admission to the event on the specified event date. Tickets are not valid for theme park admission prior to the hours of the event, except as noted above. Please note: Parking is not included with your ticket purchase.

  • 2023 Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite tickets went on sale for Magic Key holders on December 12, and for everyone else on December 14, 2022. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Disneyland After Dark: Sweetheart’s Nite page. Please note: only a limited number of tickets went on sale for Magic Key holders on December 12. 

Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day (always on February 14), several Disneyland Resort restaurant offer a special menu including Blue Bayou, Carnation Café, Napa Rose and Storytellers Café. There are also some holiday themed desserts and treats offered throughout the parks and hotel restaurants. You can reserve holiday meals on the Disneyland dining site or by calling 714-781-DINE (3463).

Celebrate Gospel

In 2023, Celebrate Gospel will be held on February 18 and 25 in Disneyland Park.

Celebrate Gospel features gospel choirs from a variety of communities. Performances take place at the Fantasyland Theater from 2:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Troubadour Tavern will offer a special honey-glazed fried chicken bowl and red velvet Bundt cake during Celebrate Gospel.

2023 Celebrate Gospel performances (schedule subject to change):

Mardi Gras

In 2023, Mardi Gras will be February 21.

The New Orleans Square area of Disneyland celebrates Mardi Gras each year. On that day, the streets of New Orleans Square are filled with music, Disney characters, street performers and special food items. This Mardi Gras celebration typically includes performances by Princess Tiana, Louis and Naveen and meet & greet opportunities with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale – all dressed up in their Mardi Gras finest!

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

In 2023, the Disney California Food & Wine Festival will be held March 3 – April 25.

The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival celebrates some of the best of California cuisine. Festival Marketplace Kiosks offer California-inspired small plates and beverages at over a dozen different venues. There is live music, as well as food-related activities and demonstrations for all ages. On weekends there are culinary demonstrations from local, visiting and Disney chefs.

The Carthay Circle Winemaker Receptions and Wine, Beer and Mixology Education & Tasting Seminars must be booked in advance.

In 2023, Soarin’ Over California will return to Disney California Adventure just for the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival. 

There are also special events and menu items at select restaurants in Disneyland Resort Hotels and Downtown Disney.

Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite

New for 2023, Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite will be held March 7 and 9 at Disneyland Park.

Disneyland After Dark events take place after closing in either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. Each Disneyland After Dark event requires a separate ticket. Select attractions will be open and there will be special entertainment, food, photo opportunities, collectible merchandise and more, all based on that evening’s theme. Attendees also receive unlimited digital downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos taken during the party. There are a limited number of tickets for each event. 

While the party itself takes place after the park closes to the general public, Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite ticket holders can enter Disneyland Park as early as 6:00 pm, giving you up to 7 hours in the park. A theme park reservation is not required. 

Receive a royal welcome at the Disneyland Train Station from Princess Minnie Mouse and Princess Daisy Duck along with fanfare trumpeters. There will also be a musical concert celebrating heroines; a candy-themed dance party with Vanellope Von Schweetz; character appearances by Disney heroines and leading women; photo opportunities with Disney Princesses, along with themed décor, food and beverages.

Costumes are encouraged, but must follow the costume rules for this event. See the Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite page for full details. Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into the event unless their costume can be modified to meet the standards.

2023 Ticket Prices:

Limit 8 tickets per person. Each ticket is valid for admission to the event on the specified event date. Tickets are not valid for theme park admission prior to the hours of the event, except as noted above. Please note: Parking is not included with your ticket purchase.

  • 2023 Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite tickets went on sale for Magic Key holders on December 12, and for everyone else on December 14, 2022. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite page. Please note: only a limited number of tickets went on sale for Magic Key holders on December 12. 

Easter

In 2023, Easter Sunday will be April 9.

In 2022, Eggstravaganza, an Easter egg scavenger hunt, took place March 31 – April 17. There were three different game boards, one for Disney California Adventure, one for Disneyland Park and one for Downtown Disney. A game board and stickers costs $9.99 plus tax and can be purchased at select merchandise locations. Return your game board to Plaza Point at Disneyland Park, Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure, or Disney’s Pin Traders and World of Disney at Downtown Disney District by April 30, 2022 to pick up a surprise.

Some restaurants may have a special Easter brunch menu. 

Disney Junior Fun Fest

New for 2022, Disney Junior Fun Fest took place on April 29 from 10 am – 4 pm in Disney California Adventure.

Disney Junior Fun Fest begins with a cavalcade of Disney Junior characters. Throughout the day there are games, trivia and music for preschoolers and their families, along with a Doc McStuffins stage show, surprise appearances and the “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party,” a hands-on cupcake decorating course.

Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite

In 2022, Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite was held May 3, 4 and 27 at Disneyland Park.

Disneyland After Dark events take place after closing in either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. Each Disneyland After Dark event requires a separate ticket. Select attractions are open and there is special entertainment, food, photo opportunities, collectible merchandise and more, all based on that evening’s theme. Attendees also receive unlimited digital downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos taken during the party. There are a limited number of tickets for each event. 

While the party itself takes place after the park closes to the general public, Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite ticket holders can enter Disneyland Park as early as 6:00 pm, giving you up to 7 hours in the park. A theme park reservation is not required. 

On Star Wars Nite there is a Star Wars-themed fireworks show, a Galactic dance party and a March of the First Order led by Captain Phasma. Star Wars themed attractions are open. Star Wars characters make appearances throughout the evening and there are Star Wars themed photo opportunities, merchandise, food and beverages.

Costumes are encouraged, but must follow the costume rules for this event. See the Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite page for full details. Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into the event unless their costume can be modified to meet the standards.

Tickets start at $134 per person (age 3 and up). Parking fees are not included in the ticket price.

Mother’s Day

In 2023, Mother’s Day will be May 14.

On Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, Blue Bayou Restaurant and Carnation Café have offered special meals. Other restaurants may offer special meals as well.

Disneyland After Dark: Grad Nite Reunion

In 2022, Disneyland After Dark: Grad Nite Reunion was held June 23, 28 and 30 at Disney California Adventure.

Disneyland After Dark events take place after closing in either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. Each Disneyland After Dark event requires a separate ticket. Select attractions will be open and there will be special entertainment, food, photo opportunities, collectible merchandise and more, all based on that evening’s theme. Attendees also receive unlimited digital downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos taken during the party. There are a limited number of tickets for each event. 

While the party itself takes place after the park closes to the general public, Disneyland After Dark: Grad Nite Reunion ticket holders can enter Disney California Adventure as early as 5:00 pm, giving you up to 7 hours in the park. A theme park reservation is not required. 

On Grad Nite Reunion there will be a march-along pep-rally style with Disney characters, dancing to hits from the last six decades and cafeteria-inspired food and beverages. Disney characters will make appearances throughout the park, some in their cap and gown, and there will be retro photo opportunities. 

Themed attire that celebrates your favorite decade or shows your school spirit is encouraged, but must follow the costume rules for this event. See the Disneyland After Dark: Grad Nite Reunion page for full details. Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into the event unless their costume can be modified to meet the standards.

Tickets start at $150 per person (age 3 and up). Parking fees are not included in the ticket price.

Independence Day (July 4)

On July 4, Disneyland Park has a special patriotic nighttime spectacular: Disney’s Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.

Some Disneyland Resort Hotels offer a special meal, like a BBQ, or holiday activities. Sometimes these are open to the general pubic, sometimes they are only for hotel guests.

If you plan to visit Disneyland on Independence Day (July 4), be aware that it is one of the busiest days of the year. The park may reach full capacity at some point during the day, and you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) after that point. (This is true even if you have a ticket, even if you’re staying at a Disney resort and even if you have dining reservations in the park. If the park is full, it’s full — Disney has to follow fire codes!) For that reason it’s best to arrive first thing in the morning and stay in the same park all day. Bring any sweaters or jackets you may need later and stow them in a locker when you arrive (the lockers will also sell out). Get Genie+ and buy paid Lightning Lane reservations right away, because the lines will be very long by noon and reservations will be gone quickly.

CHOC Walk in the Park

The 2022 CHOC Walk was held on August 27.

This annual charity walk at Disneyland is a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC). The walk passes through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, followed by festivities in Downtown Disney.

Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort

In 2022, Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort was September 2 – October 31.

During this time period Disneyland Resort visitors will find Disney characters in seasonal costumes, whimsical décor, decked-out attractions and special seasonal treats. Halloween Time experiences include special appearances of Disney characters in their Halloween costumes and spooky-silly holiday themed decorations. The SCAREolers, a ghostly glee club, will perform Halloween songs and tributes to Disney Villains on Friday through Sunday evenings from September 30 through October 31.

In Downtown Disney there is Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit, a Halloween-themed pumpkin hunt. Search for different hidden pumpkins throughout Downtown Disney, each inspired by a different Disney character. Once you find a pumpkin, place the corresponding sticker on your game board. Game boards and stickers are available for $10.76, tax included. After your search is complete, return your game board to World of Disney or Disney’s Pin Trader for a surprise.

The Disneyland Resort Hotels have Halloween-themed displays in their lobbies and Halloween carolers perform on select afternoons in October. During the last week of October, the hotels will each have a professional pumpkin carver at work carving real pumpkins. There is FREE trick-or-treating from October 28-31, 2022 for guests staying at the Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel or Paradise Pier. You can pick up a map of treat locations at any of the three hotels and are encouraged to sign up in advance at the front desk. On October 31, 2022 there will be a costume contest and movie night on the Adventure Lawn at Disneyland Hotel; check with the front desk for details.

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is a separately ticketed night time event which gives kids and their families the opportunity to dress in their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat throughout Disney California Adventure after it has closed to day guests. This event replaces Mickey’s Halloween Party.

Special Halloween activities at Disney California Adventure include:

Over at Disneyland you’ll find:

For more information, visit Disneyland Resort’s Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort page.

Halloween Dining Package at Plaza Inn

In 2022, the Plaza Inn Halloween Dining Package was offered on September 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30; October 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 and 31.

This dining package includes villain-inspired sweet and savory treats, a specialty beverage, a lanyard and access to a reserved viewing area for the Halloween Screams fireworks in Disneyland Park. This dining package is available between 7:30pm and 9pm. The cost is $55 per person (age 3 and up), plus tax.

Disneyland Park admission and a theme park reservation are required and not included in this dining package. 

  • Reservations for the 2022 Halloween Dining Package at Plaza Inn can be made via the Disneyland app or on the Plaza Inn Dining Packages page. You will receive a wristband and credentials for the reserved fireworks viewing area at the end of your meal. 

Haunted Mansion Holiday

In 2022, Haunted Mansion Holiday was September 2, 2022 through January 8, 2023.

The holiday-enhanced version of the attraction is a Disney California Adventure celebration where the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide. The ghoulish but well-meaning Jack Skellington from the film Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas comes to the Haunted Mansion to transform it with his skewed vision of the holidays. The Hatbox Ghost, who recently rejoined the Mansion’s happy haunts, is staying to celebrate Halloween and Christmas with Jack Skellington and his friends. Inside the Mansion, you will find a Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house.

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

In 2019, Mickey’s Halloween Party was replaced with Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party at Disney California Adventure.

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party at Disney California Adventure

In 2022, Oogie Boogie Bash was held September 6, 10*, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29; October 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29 and 31.

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is held on select nights at Disney California Adventure after the regular closing and requires separate admission to attend. Attendees can enter Disney California Adventure for up 3 hours before the event starts. A theme park reservation is NOT required for the park mix-in and event.

This 5-hour event includes:

There will also be treat trails throughout the park for trick-or-treating and character sightings. New Halloween magic will appear on the façade of Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street.

You can make a reservation for the Wine Country Trattoria Oogie Boogie Bash Parade Dining or Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party. Both include access to a reserved viewing area for the parade, if available. See below for more details about these dining packages.

All event attendees – including adults – may dress in their favorite Halloween costume but must follow strict guidelines. See Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash page for full details. Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into the event unless their costume can be modified to meet the standards.

2022 Ticket Prices:

*In 2022, the D23 member-exclusive Oogie Boogie Bash night was September 10, 2022. Tickets cost $179 per person (age 3+) and went on sale June 28, 2022. To purchase tickets for that night, sign in with your linked Disney account. If you recently added a D23 membership, you may need to sign out and sign back in again.

Limit 8 tickets per person, per event date. Each ticket is valid for admission to the event on the specified event date. Tickets are not valid for theme park admission prior to the hours of the event, except as noted above. Please note: Parking is not included with your ticket purchase.

  • 2022 Oogie Boogie Bash tickets went on sale for Magic Key holders on June 28, and for everyone else on June 30. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash page. Please note: only a limited number of tickets went on sale for Magic Key holders on June 28. 

Wine Country Trattoria Oogie Boogie Bash Parade Dining

In 2022, the Wine Country Trattoria Oogie Boogie Bash Parade Dining was offered on September 6, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29; October 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29 and 31 as part of Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party.

This separately ticketed event includes a three course meal and access to a reserved standing viewing area for the Frightfully Fun Parade. This dining package is available for lunch or dinner on party dates during the mix-in party time. The cost for lunch or dinner is $59 per adult (age 10 and up) and $35 per child (age 3-9), plus tax and gratuity. There is a extra $10 charge if you order the rib-eye steak.

Admission to Oogie Boogie Bash is required and is not included in the price of this package.

  • Reservations for the 2022 Wine Country Trattoria Oogie Boogie Bash Parade Dining can be made on the Wine Country Trattoria page by making a regular reservation for any date that Oogie Boogie Bash is offered. When you arrive for your reservations, let the host know you want to upgrade to this dining experience, which is subject to availability. Please note: admission to Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is required to upgrade to this dining package and is not included in the price.

Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party

In 2022, the Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party was offered on September 6, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29; October 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29 and 31 as part of Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party. Reservations can be made for 7:00 pm or 9:30 pm.

This separately ticketed event includes a dessert buffet, beverages and access to a reserved seating area for the Frightfully Fun Parade.   

Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party costs $89 per person (age 3 and up), including tax and gratuity. Children ages 2 and under may attend free of charge, provided they are seated on the lap of an adult. Admission to Oogie Boogie Bash is required and is not included in the price of this package.

  • Reservations for the 2022 Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party can be made on the Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party page. Please note: admission to Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party is required and is not included in the price.

Día de los Muertos

In 2022, Día de los Muertos was held September 2 – November 2.

In Disneyland Park, Zócalo Park in Frontierland will have a colorful display featuring marigolds and papel picado, along with a traditional ofrenda, calaveras (sugar skulls), an iconic figure of La Catrina and food at Rancho del Zócalo.

Plaza de la Familia

In 2022, Plaza de la Familia took place September 2 – November 2.

In Disney California Adventure in Paradise Gardens, Plaza de la Familia celebrates Coco and the everlasting bonds of family. Families visiting Plaza de la Familia can share memories of loved ones on the memory wall near the Árbol de la Vida, or Tree of Life. There will also be a World of Coco exhibit and a special menu of Mexican dishes at Paradise Garden Grill. “A Musical Celebration of Coco,” performed several times a day, will feature storytellers, the Mariachi Divas and authentic Folklórico dancers to tell the story of Miguel’s journey in Coco.

Thanksgiving

In 2023, Thanksgiving will be November 23. Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November.

Disneyland does not offer a Thanksgiving parade or decorations in the parks. However, the Christmas decorations are in place in the parks by Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas Holiday events are well underway by that weekend.

A Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast is usually offered in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel on Thanksgiving Day. Many other restaurants on property also offer Thanksgiving menus.

Holidays at Disneyland Resort (Overview)

Small World Holiday by Loren Javier

It’s A Small World Holiday by Loren Javier (CC)

For 2022, Holidays at Disneyland were held November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023.

The park decorations start going up gradually right after Halloween and are complete by the beginning of the official holiday period. The ABC-TV Disney Christmas Parade special (which is broadcast on Christmas Day) is filmed in part at Disneyland, usually on the first or second weekend of November, so the decorations on Main Street, U.S.A. have to be in place by then.

Once the holiday period officially begins, Disneyland Park guests can enjoy a nightly holiday fireworks spectacular – Believe…in Holiday Magic. During the holidays, the fireworks show concludes with a magical snowfall down Main Street, U.S.A., Small World Mall and New Orleans Square. A Christmas Fantasy, Disneyland’s annual holiday parade, begins around the same time. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle becomes Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle – covered with shimmering icicles and twinkling lights. Several rides undergo a special holiday transformation: Haunted Mansion Holiday and “it’s a small world” Holiday. Santa Claus greets guests in Critter Country through Christmas Eve (December 24).

Disney California Adventure celebrates the season with special decorations and entertainment offerings and the Festival of Holidays. This event features diverse cultural holiday celebrations, including Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, along with the global sounds of special guest musical groups. There is holiday décor in Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. World of Color – Season of Light, a special holiday version of World of Color, takes place on select nights throughout the season at Disney California Adventure. Holiday music and decorations transform Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree into Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. Santa Claus greets guests at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. 

In Downtown Disney, there are carolers and holiday décor. At the Downtown Disney Live! Stage there is live entertainment Friday through Sunday evenings through December 25th.

New for 2022, Festival of Holidays extended into Downtown Disney. Naples Ristorante e Bar and Tortilla Jo’s offered “Friends of the Festival” menu items through January 8, 2023. There was a FREE holiday crafts table near the Downtown Disney Live! stage from 11 am – 6 pm daily through January 8, 2023. 

Decorations in the resort hotels and Downtown Disney usually go up right after Thanksgiving (substantially later than the park decorations). Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is decorated with Craftsman-inspired décor, including natural garlands, a Christmas tree lit with “arts and crafts” lanterns and a giant gingerbread replica of the hotel in the lobby. Holiday sweets can be purchased from the lobby’s holiday cart. The midcentury Disneyland Hotel receives a retro-holiday look with silver trees and bright colors. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel features blue, green and silver holiday décor—along with shells and starfish garland.

Santa visits all three Disney hotels starting in late November/early December through Christmas Eve (December 24). Local performers and holiday carolers perform throughout the holiday season at each resort hotel.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

In 2022, the Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure were held November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023.

The Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure features holiday festivities inspired by cultural traditions from around the world. Entertainment experiences throughout the park draw on the diverse celebrations that bring joy during this festive time of year, including Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas/Navidad and Three Kings Day. This celebration also includes Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, a celebration of Latino cultures. There is also Mickey’s Happy Holidays, a dance party featuring Disney and Pixar characters and the Holiday Toy Drummers.

The Festive Foods Marketplace features holiday favorites from different cuisines and traditions. As part of the Festive Foods Marketplace, you can purchase a Sip and Savor Pass. The Sip and Savor pass has 8 tabs, each tab can be exchanged for one food item or one non-alcoholic beverage at participating Festive Food Marketplace locations. The Sip and Savor Pass costs $57, tax included, and is available for purchase at various locations throughout the park. 

World of Color – Season of Light, a special holiday version of World of Color, takes place on select nights throughout the season at Disney California Adventure. This nighttime spectacular combines classic holiday songs with memorable moments from Disney animated films to create an experience filled with magic.

Head into Redwood Creek Challenge Trail for Santa’s Holiday Visit, where you can meet Santa through Christmas Eve (December 24) and see how his joyful elves have transformed the area into a playground of holiday fun and games. 

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

In 2022, Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure took place November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023.

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! is inspired by the warmth and joyous spirit of Latino cultures, filled with holiday traditions, jubilant dancing and exciting music. Based in and around the Paradise Garden area of Disney California Adventure, the special activities include crafts and face-painting for children, live music, dance lessons, holiday foods, a Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party and, of course, appearances by some popular Disney characters.

Paradise Garden is decorated with holly, banners and Latino cultural icons, including traditional “papel picado” hand-cut paper art decorations. At the bandstand, guests can enjoy performances by traditional mariachi, Norteño, and other regional music groups. Community music and folklorico troupes will perform throughout the day. Disney ¡Viva Navidad! guests will find opportunities to enjoy fun arts and crafts, storytelling and face-painting, and they may also discover a selection of unique merchandise in the area. Dining locations in Paradise Garden feature Mexican dishes that are often served for the holidays.

The Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party takes over Paradise Garden several times daily, featuring the Three Caballeros on a festive holiday float, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse transported on colorfully decorated street tricycles, flag-bearers carrying papel picado banners, Mexican folklorico dancers, samba dancers and drummers, plus giant “Mojiganga” puppets, including representations of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

The grand finale of Disney ¡Viva Navidad! is the special celebration of Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes Magos) in Paradise Garden.

Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional at Disneyland Park is usually held the first weekend in December, with two performances each night, at 5:30 and 8:00 pm. Exact dates and narrators are not always announced in advance.

The annual event includes a celebrity narrator presenting the Biblical Christmas story as well as an orchestra and hundreds of choir members from local communities performing traditional carols. The members of the choir walk down Main Street, U.S.A. with lighted candles and gather in front of the train station in Town Square for the performance. Seating for this event is invitation-only. However, the general public can watch from any place not reserved for performers or invited guests.

Tips and tricks based on previous years:

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

In addition to the special parade, “snow” experience and fireworks at Disneyland, there are usually special buffet meals available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Information and reservations usually become available about 60 days in advance. Call (714) 781-DINE (3463) for information and reservations.

If you plan to visit one of the theme parks on Christmas Day, be aware that it is one of the busiest days of the year. The parks (especially Disneyland) usually reach full capacity at some point during the day, and you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) to the parks after that point. (This is true even if you have a ticket, even if you’re staying at a Disney resort and even if you have dining reservations in the park. If the park is full, it’s full — Disney has to follow fire codes!) For that reason it’s best to arrive first thing in the morning and stay in the same park all day. Bring any sweaters or jackets you may need later and stow them in a locker when you arrive (the lockers will also sell out). Get Genie+ and buy paid Lightning Lane reservations right away, because the lines will be very long by noon and reservations will be gone quickly.

Special Activities

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Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is owned by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother herself and operated by her wand-toting Godmothers-in-Training. Children ages 3 – 12 can choose a hairstyle then add makeup, nail color and accessories, and even a Disney Princess costume. There are a variety of Princess packages as well as a Knight Package and Deluxe Knight Package. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance and are highly recommended. 

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is next to Sleeping Beauty Castle in Fantasyland in Disneyland Park. Disneyland Park admission and a theme park reservation are required. 

Droid Depot

Droid Depot is an experience where guests get to make their own custom remote-control R2 unit, with custom pieces and decorations that make your specific droid one-of-a-kind. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance for the build-your-own droid experience. Reservations are not technically required, but unless you visit during very low season, a reservation is highly recommended. 

Droid Depot is in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Park. Disneyland Park admission and a theme park reservation are required. 

Splitsville Luxury Lanes (Bowling)

Splitsville is a luxury bowling alley with great food, located in Downtown Disney. They also have live bands performing every night. There is no cover charge.

Theme Park Tours

From time to time, Disneyland offers special discounts to Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa cardholders on various park tours. Reserve a tour up to 60 days in advance online or using the Disneyland app. Theme park admission and a theme park reservation are required. 

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Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Tour

This seasonal holiday-themed tour includes information about Disneyland holiday traditions, reserved seating at the Christmas Fantasy Parade, holidays treats and a collectible pin. This 2.5-hour tour is offered daily during the holiday season (mid-November through mid-December).

This tour costs $110 per person (age 3 and up). Park admission and a theme park reservation are required and are not included in the price.

Walt’s Main Street Story Tour

Experience Disneyland from its founder’s perspective – his inspirations and his challenges while designing his first theme park. The 90 minute tour includes a walking tour of Main Street, U.S.A., an exclusive look into Walt Disney’s private apartment (if available, sometimes it is another non-public part of the park) and refreshments on the apartment patio.

This tour costs $160 per person (age 3 and up). Park admission and a theme park reservation are required and are not included in the price.

VIP Tour

Disneyland VIP Tours are private tours just for your group. You’ll be led around by a Host or Hostess who will tailor the tour to your interests. They can usually assist you in experiencing the attractions with minimal waits (you don’t always skip the lines, but they know which rides will have the shortest lines at which times and in many cases they are allowed to use the Lightning Lane entrance). When you set up a VIP Tour, you can also request restaurant reservations, special viewing areas for certain shows and parades, etc. The cost is $425-$700 per hour for up to 10 guests (varies seasonally and higher rate applies if booked less than 48 hours in advance). There is a 7-hour minimum. Park admission is required. If you don’t already have a theme park reservation, the VIP Tour Office will assist you with getting one for the day of the VIP tour.

There are no discounts on the VIP Tours. You can arrange a VIP Tour by calling Disney Special Activities at (714) 300-7710. Unlike the other tours, VIP Tours can be booked 90 days in advance.