With the flip of a giant switch, Holiday Time began at the Disneyland Resort with the help of the Gallard family in front of It’s a Small World. On November 13, the Gallardo family of La Habra, California were given the honor of turning on the lights of this iconic attraction and kicking off the holiday season. This charming family was able to help Disneyland kick off the holiday seasons. Their 13 year old daughter Maya had fought cancer, with the help of her brother, at City of Hope and were nominated for this role. City of Hope is a renowned cancer research hospital. In a brief interview after the ceremony the family expressed their gratitude and excitement about being chosen for this event. The youngest daughter, Emma, was quite excited for their moment in the spotlight and could barely contain her delight at being “famous!”
The ceremony was hosted by Disneyland Resort Ambassador Sachiko White with an appearance by Vice President of Disneyland Mary Niven to share about what is going on around the Resort during this special season.
November 13th wasn’t just about turning on Christmas lights though. Many other holiday offerings can be found around the Disneyland Resort. It is the merriest place on Earth and that title is earned.
At Disneyland, there are many offerings for those who love the holidays.
- During the day the ragtime pianist at Refreshment Corner (more commonly known as Coke Corner) will be playing the day away with seasonal favorites.
- The Dapper Dans and Disneyland Band will also perform some holiday classics that are new and old.
- Throughout the day some smaller ensembles can be found on Main Street and New Orleans Square playing the songs of the season.
- It’s time to experience a country Christmas story at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree and meet Santa Claus while there.
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade brings Santa Claus, Mickey & Minnie, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and more magical moments daily along the parade route.
- Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle gets snowed on nightly as the 80,000 LED lights coupled with falling snow create a truly magical experience.
- Believe… In Holiday Magic fireworks spectacular lights up the skies above Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle followed by the beginnings of a white Christmas.
- It’s a Small World Holiday is the merriest cruise on Earth as this classic Disney attraction celebrates peace on Earth. It’s a Small World, is sponsored by Siemens.
- What happens when two holiday collide? Jack Skellington has the answer at the Haunted Mansion Holiday in New Orleans Square.
- The Jungle Cruise has been taken over by a bunch of ding-a-lings again and turned into Jingle Cruise as it attempts to compete to be the merriest cruise on Earth.
Throughout Disneyland special food and merchandise can be found throughout Holiday Time. If interacting with food is fun, cookie decorating can be found at Jingle Jangle Jamboree. If just eating is enough, stop by Jolly Holiday Bakery and Cafe, Market House, or Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante for some special holiday offerings. Mickey Mouse popcorn buckets also can be found around the park. Finally, for those who want a more in depth look at Holiday Time, take the “Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort” guided tour to experience many of the things mentioned above along with a look at decorations in Disney California Adventure. This also includes reserved viewing for A Christmas Fantasy Parade, a keepsake, and a treat.
Disney California Adventure
Disney California Adventure has no shortage of holiday cheer.
- This year, World of Color – Winter Dreams returns with some enhancements and surprises for returning guests.
- Disney ¡Viva Navidad! celebrates the season with a latin twist to it with a special street show in the parade corridor near Paradise Gardens. This will also be centerpiece of the Three Kings Day celebration January 2-6, 2015.
- The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers bring carols and handbells to Buena Vista Street with new and old favorite seasonal songs.
- With Santa Hats and Christmas spirit, the Red Car Newsboys help Buena Vista Street celebrate the holidays.
- Every evening a special Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place to light the Buena Vista Street Christmas/Holiday tree.
- Mad T Party turns into a rockin’ wintery wonderland as the Mad Hatter, Alice, and the band warm people up in the Southern California winter nights.
- Visit Santa Claus in Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street.
- See how Lightning McQueen, Mater, and friends decorate Cars Land for the season and catch the nightly lighting of Route 66.
- See what Christmas looks like from the perspective of an insect when visiting Bug’s Land, which is all decked out for the season.
- Eat sourdough bread in holiday shapes at Boudin’s or bread bowls with turkey pot pie soup.
- As in Disneyland, seasonal Mickey Mouse popcorn buckets can be found.
- Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café has some seasonal offerings as does Trolley Treats!
Downtown Disney & Disneyland Resort Hotels
In Downtown Disney, there is no shortage of holiday cheer. In fact, nearly every night some form of entertainment can be found. Some consistent offerings include:
- Olaf’s Ice Skating Ring offers guests young and old the chance to experience first hand a bit of a winter wonderland.
- The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa features a 6-foot tall gingerbread house that is definitely worth checking out.
- Restaurants throughout Downtown Disney & the Disneyland Resort Hotels have special seasonal food offerings. Check your favorite restaurant to see what is being offered.
- If staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, look into the Extra Magic Hours. Get a jump on regular day guests and go into one of the Disneyland Resort parks early!
The start of Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort isn’t just flipping on some Christmas lights. It is the start of an abundance of magic that truly makes the Disneyland Resort not only the merriest place on Earth, but also the most magical.