Disneyland Holiday 2015- The Complete Guide

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the complete guide holiday time at Disneyland
I know I have a lot of favorite times of the year at Disneyland, but Holiday Time really is my absolute favorite!

I tried to hold off writing this post till after Thanksgiving, but I just couldn’t do it… I have to share this all now. There is so much happening at The Disneyland Resorts right now during the 2015 Holiday Time from Nov. 13, 2015 through Jan. 6, 2016! 

Holiday time is best experienced over two days, but if you are strategic you can see, do, and eat it all in one day! We always start in Disneyland and park hop over to Disney’s California Adventure when the crowds hit Disneyland midday. Then we head back over to Disneyland in the evening.

Let’s get started with all the fun!

disneyland holiday for families
Both parks have spectacular trees again this year with extra sparkles added to them! There are photo spots by them both too. To save time I often have the girls stand to the side to get a quick picture in.

disneyland christmas

There is no better time than during the holidays to take a horse drawn trolley ride up or down Main Street USA. It’s also the perfect way to sit back and enjoy all the holiday decorations! 

haunted mansion

Now it’s time to explore and go on more rides!

The Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a spooky but lighthearted mashup of the Halloween and Christmas holidays as imagined by Jack Skellington from the Walt Disney Pictures animated classic Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Continuing an annual tradition, a new gingerbread house is created each year for the Mansion, adding a humorous touch to the ballroom scene. This year, the gingerbread house design features gingerbread zombies constructing a teetering “house of cards.”  This is Maddie’s favorite ride even if you go on it each year, it’s fun to see all the changes they have made for this year’s ride!

Jingle Cruise is also all ready for the holidays!

Hop on a boat for an adventurous, fun-filled expedition. Discover a cargo of holiday gifts and decorations that have been jettisoned over the jungles of the celebrated Jungle Cruise attraction in Adventureland. This year, a few new surprises have been dropped into the Cruise’s African veldt scene.


After the Haunted Mansion go straight to The Winnie The Pooh ride.

It rarely has long waits so we always hop on… it’s also one of Emmy’s favorite rides! As you leave the ride there is an area to the right of it where you can meet Santa! Go as early in the day as possible!

disneyland holiday treats

After meeting Santa head on into the store behind you (next to Winnie the Pooh) for a holiday treat! There are also special ones in celebration of the 60th (an announcement was made that it will continue till Monday, Sept. 5, 2016!)

mickey mouse christmas cookiedisneyland holiday candied apple60th anniversary treatspeppermint dessert disneyland

Candy maker Beau shared with me all about the holiday time sweet treats:

I picked some of my favorite holiday merchandise too… I love these ears!

christmas minnie mouse ears

These crossover holiday and Season Of The Force pins are just straight up awesome!!! 

season of the force pinsnew Star Wars Pins Disneyland

The park is beautiful at night!


We love the holiday colors on the castle!

Right in front of the castle is a great spot to catch “Disneyland Forever,” the dazzling, new fireworks spectacular! It’s a street-to-sky, immersive experience like nothing seen before at the Disneyland Resort, with pyrotechnics, original music and viewing locations throughout Disneyland Park. Guests will be surrounded by the worlds of timeless Disney tales, from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, thanks to the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects.
Disneyland castle

Don’t forget to check and see what time “A Christmas Fantasy” parade is happening.

It’s not to be missed. It’s a Disneyland holiday treasure, presents Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and an array of Disney characters celebrating the holiday season. The daytime parade features 100-plus performers including Santa Claus, who brings jolly holiday wishes from the North Pole. 20151112_232839

After dark, the Diamond Celebration “Paint the Night” parade will bring its own brand of glittering magic to Disneyland, with dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances, Disney characters and spectacular floats. The luminescent parade creates a river of color flowing down Main Street, U.S.A., with more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights. 
small world disneyland holiday time

I wanted to ride this 100 times.

Everyone on our boat left full of joy. It is such a special tradition to ride “it’s a small world” Holiday! This ride offers a worldwide celebration of the season, with more than 60,000 twinkling LED lights on the attraction’s façade. Inside, animated dolls representing children of many nations are dressed in holiday attire, singing holiday songs as well as the classic “It’s a Small World After All.” 
its a small world december disneyland
holiday time disneyland ca

Here is everything happening over at Disney’s California Adventure…




dca holiday time

If you haven’t experienced one of these shows you must. They are breathtakingly beautiful and fun!

For the first time (in forever, I had to add that Frozen reference in there), two splendid versions of the “World of Color” spectacular will be presented nightly during the Holiday season on Paradise Bay. The holiday-themed show, “World of Color − Winter Dreams,” features host Olaf the snowman along with classic winter scenes from beloved Disney and Disney●Pixar films such as “Bambi,” “Toy Story” and “Frozen,” the blockbuster Disney film. For the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, “World of Color – Celebrate” pays a fun, surprise-filled tribute to Walt Disney, whose imagination led to the creation of Disneyland and so many beloved characters. “World of Color – Winter Dreams” is the first show of the evening, followed by “World of Color – Celebrate!”

“Disney ¡Viva Navidad!”

“Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” is a daily celebration of Latino culture and holiday traditions with music, dancing, vibrant colors and delicious food. Disney characters join the fun in the lively “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party,” presented multiple times a day.

“Olaf’s Snow Fest”

“Olaf’s Snow Fest” celebrates its return to Hollywood Land with Olaf, the comical snowman from “Frozen.” Stage 17 is transformed into a charming castle courtyard inspired by the “Frozen” kingdom of Arendelle. Kids of all ages have fun in a giant wintry play area with real snow where they are encouraged to build snow creations and zip down a snow slide. Guests who wish to observe the icy fun will have a nearby viewing area. Music and storytelling entertainment will be presented throughout the day.


The residents of Radiator Springs will welcome guests with a “Snowcar” at the entrance of Cars Land, and each address along Route 66 – Flo’s V8 Café, Fillmore’s Taste-In, Cozy Cone Motel and more – will feature holiday decorations reflecting the personalities of the “Cars” character who lives there.

Flik and his buddies decorate “a bug’s land” with giant Christmas lights and holiday ornaments, adding to the festive spirit.


There is even more fun in the Downtown Disney District.

You can take a break from holiday shopping and dining to go skating on Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rinkand The Downtown Disney Winter Village around the ice rink. It creates a festive mood and guests may purchase holiday gift items from the windows of the charming village chalets. Last year they had awesome hot chocolate too!

What are you most excited for?

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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