Things To Do With Kids At Disneyland For The Holidays

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Thank you so much to Disney for inviting us to Disneyland Resort’s Holiday Media Event! 

(photo credit Disney)

Can Disneyland get any more magical? It can and does during the holidays!

We always say it doesn’t feel like the holidays until we have visited Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure! Each year we go back to see our favorite things and to experience all the new fun that is added. This year is no different! The parks are jam packed with holiday fun and I’m so excited to share them all with you! From November 13, 2014 through January 6, 2015, the entire Disneyland Resort transforms into a magnificent winter wonderland.

Here are 11 Things You Must Do At Disneyland Resorts During The 2014 Holiday Season

(photo credit Disney)

1. Visit the Haunted Mansion. 

Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are completely transformed {including some rides too} for the holidays including the madcap celebration of Haunted Mansion. It’s the perfect mix of holiday cheer and creepy Nightmare Before Christmas.

Perfect for the whole family… but especially teens. 

(photo credit Disney)

2. See “A Christmas Fantasy” parade featuring Anna and Elsa from FROZEN… and Santa too! 

Anna and Elsa are a new addition to the magical parade and a must see for all FROZEN fans. It starts by It’s A Small World and that is our favorite place to watch it. The parade is held while it is still daylight so nobody will miss it if they fall asleep early.

Perfect for the whole family… especially younger FROZEN Fans! 

(photo credit Disney)

3. Enjoy the festive “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” at Disney California Adventure park.

Celebrate the festivities with authentic musicians, dancers and storytellers as you indulge in traditional Latino foods and enjoy the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party You can catch the joyous spirit of the holidays during a high-energy street party. Leading the jubilation are the Three Caballeros: Donald Duck and his amigos Panchito from Mexico and Jose from Brazil. Joining the trio of feathered friends are authentic mariachi and samba musicians, folklorico dancers, more Disney Characters and amazing 12-foot-tall mojiganga puppets of Santa and Mrs. Claus! Paradise Garden in Disney California Adventure Park will be brightly dressed up for the holidays—featuring cheerful, traditional papel picado flags and colorful piñatas. And be sure to stop by Paradise Garden Grill to sample authentic Mexican specialties being served up all during the holiday season.

Perfect for the whole family.

(photo credit Disney)

4. It’s A Small World is one of those rides you have to go on each time you visit the parks…

But especially when it’s all lit up like this! If you go on it during the day you still have to come back and see it once the sun goes down! It’s a sight to see with all those lights on it!

Perfect for the whole family, but especially Preteens and Preschoolers!


5. The festive food!

I wrote a whole article just on all the fun food that you can eat during the holidays at Disneyland Resorts because there is so much of it! Be sure to stop and enjoy a treat or two!

Perfect for the whole family, especially the FROZEN treats for the little ones.


6. Once the sun drops the space above the castle becomes the perfect backdrop for the most festive fireworks ever!

Settle in with some hot chocolate or ice cream and enjoy “Believe … in Holiday Magic”, the fireworks spectacular plus there is a nightly snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.

Perfect for the whole family and all of the kids LOVE the snowfall at the end of the fireworks!


7. Take a picture in front of the castle.

The decorations are so beautiful and a picture in front of the castle has to be on your list of things to do. It would make the perfect Christmas card photo too!

Perfect for the whole family. Everyone loves seeing how amazing the decorations are.

(photo credit Disney)

8. Take a ride on the Jingle Cruise.

The Jungle ride has been transformed into the Jingle Cruise for the holidays and all of the animals couldn’t be happier! The festivities seem to have made the natives even wilder so hold onto your hats and enjoy the ride!

Perfect for the whole family… this was the Tween’s favorite!

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9. Meet Anna and Elsa.

Meeting these two will bring more joy to visit. There is no need to stand in a line to see them anymore because there is now a Virtual Standby Line. Be sure to stop by early to secure your spot in the virtual standby line! Return time tickets are distributed at this location as soon as the park opens—have your valid theme park ticket or Annual Passport on hand to participate in the experience!

Perfect for everyone. I think the younger ones love it the most… but as you can see all of the kids had fun even if they on’t admit it out loud!

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(photo credit Disney)

10.  “World of Color – Winter Dreams” holiday spectacular is a must see!

I can’t even say enough awesome things about this. There is even a spot when everyone sings along to a FROZEN song. For the best viewing areas you will need to get a fast pass for it first thing in the morning… although we have watched it from the side and still enjoyed it, but the best way to see it is from the official viewing areas. 

Perfect for everyone. We all loved it!

(photo credit Disney)

11. All the decorations.

I could write books on all the ways the parks are decorated for the holidays! Every inch of the park has added holiday magic. Cars Land needs to be on the top of your list for decorations. The contrast between the regular feel and the holiday decorated feel is amazing! There are also tons of photo opps for you to take pictures at and seeing the cars all decked out with Santa Hats will bring a smile to everyone!

Perfect for everyone! Seriously, I love watching other visitors see it for the first time because it is so awesome! 

What is your favorite way to get into the holiday spirit?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


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