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2018 Disneyland Holidays | Special Holidays at Disneyland Events

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I think just about everyone can agree that spending the holidays at Disneyland is a special time. With such a special place, how could it not be?! Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 Disneyland Holidays, including if you should purchase MaxPass for your trip!


Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle During the Holidays

The Disneyland Resort is a magical place for creating holiday memories with family and friends. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns Nov. 9, 2018 through Jan.6, 2019, featuring seasonal offerings that include Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, Festival of Holidays, and “Believe in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular, plus guest favorites including “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Thanks for partnering with me for this post, Disneyland!

I just got back from a quick trip to Disneyland— between seasons. This was a great time to visit, but I was bummed to miss Disneyland Christmas by a few days. 

Protip: if you don’t want to worry about crowds and don’t mind missing Halloween and most of Christmas at Disneyland, the week right after Halloween is your sweet spot!


Disneyland holidays Festival of Holidays decorations

Early signs of Christmas were starting to appear at Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park!


But… you will miss a lot of Disney Christmas awesome, so I’d encourage you to make that trip during the actual season. 


2018 Disneyland Holidays | Special Holidays at Disneyland Events

People plan for this trip all year long and, trust me, the planning is worth it. You’ll want to follow these tips for a Disneyland Christmas if you are heading there this year! And if you need help planning your trip, send me an email at 

Disneyland is my love language, and I am happy to help you make your holiday dreams come true!

Disneyland kicked off the Holiday Season on November 9th and it runs through January 8, 2019. 


Disneyland Christmas holidays


Disneyland Holidays: Enjoy the 2018 Festival of Holidays

Back for 2018 is the popular Festival of Holidays, with heartwarming holiday festivities inspired by cultural traditions from around the world.

Disney California Adventure Park is the place to be for this special holidays at Disneyland event!


festival of the holidays at Disneyland Resort


The Festive Foods Marketplace is back after a 2017 debut season with a mix of holiday comfort dishes that bridge many diverse cultures and family traditions.

Kiosks offered this year- and you don’t want to miss a single one!- include:

  • Brews & Bites? Chorizo queso fundido with house-made tortilla chips, beer flights and beer by the glass
  • Favorite Things?Holiday ham shanks with brown sugar-pineapple glaze, Reuben potato tots with Russian dressing and rye toast, cranberry sangria with lime garnish, egg nog cocktail with whipped cream and nutmeg dusting
  • Holiday Duets?Shrimp and grits with Andouille sausage, holiday Mickey and Minnie cookies, curry cauliflower soup with braised lamb and mintchurri, warm peppermint chocolate float
  • Making Spirits Bright? Mimosa flight, white and red wine flights, sparkling wine
  • Vision of Sugarplums? White chocolate cranberry blondie, eggnog wreath ?clair with white chocolate icing, warm sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce, horchata fudge, warm Bourbon cider with house-made Bourbon-infused whipped cream, s?mores frozen chocolate milk
  • Merry Mashups? Turkey and stuffing tamale with cranberry relish, lox & everything bagel nachos, holiday punch with lime sherbet and sprite, ?hot cocoa? marshmallow macaroon, sparkling wine punch
  • Winter Wonders? Pumpkin soup with maple cashew cream, chana masala with grilled garlic naan, vanilla & cranberry trifle, pomegranate lemonade (non-alcoholic)
  • Blissfully Braised? Braised pork belly adobo with garlic fried rice, cornbread cakes with braised collard greens and smoked bacon gravy, blood orange ginger mule
  • Grandma?s Recipes? Candied yams with marshmallow cream and toasted pecans, beef pot roast on a potato roll with horseradish cream, gingerbread Mickey
  • Winter Sliderland? Roasted turkey slider with cranberry sauce, milk chocolate candy cane pot de cr?me, holiday stuffing mac & cheese, frosty fros?
  • Spicy Celebrations? Nashville hot fried turkey with dill pickles, jalape?o latkes with chipotle crema featuring Horizon organic sour cream, pomegranate margarita with chipotle-smoked sea salt half-rim
  • A Twist on Tradition? Black Forest yule log, ?chicken-less? mole with Spanish rice, pozole rojo beef with hominy polenta, winter michelada with Modelo Negra and brown sugar rim

My stomach is growling already!


Disneyland FEstival of Holidays food Merry Mashups Marketplace at Disney Festival of the Holidays

The turkey & stuffing tamale with cranberry relish can be found at the Merry Mashups marketplace during Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park. The festival, taking place Nov. 9, 2018, through Jan. 8, 2019, entertains guests with the sights, sounds and tastes of diverse cultural festivities and plenty of Disney magic. Guests can stroll through the Festive Foods Marketplace and enjoy a variety of holiday comfort dishes that span cultures and family traditions. Disney California Adventure Park is located in Anaheim, Calif. (Disneyland Resort)


A daily lineup of entertainment will include unique shows including special Disney characters, street parties, cavalcades, music, and dance.

  • Festival of Holidays entertainment includes musical and dance performances by the mischievous Holiday Toy Drummers, Mostly Kosher, Blue13 Dance Company, The Sound, and the GRAMMY? Award-winning Mariachi Divas, and Phat Cat Swinger

The celebrations include Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas/Navidad and Three Kings Day.


Disney ?Viva Navidad!

As part of the Festival of the Holidays, Disney ?Viva Navidad! returns.

This is a show you don’t want to miss when visiting Disney California Adventure.

It’s vibrant and exciting and you won’t be able to stop dancing.


holidays at the disneyland resort information for 2017 is out now! Come see how to Christmas at Disney.


Cars Land Holiday Overlay

Route 66 is getting in on the holiday action this year as well!


Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. Seasons Speedings at Cars land Christmas!

HOLIDAYS AT THE DISNEYLAND RESORT (ANAHEIM, Calif.) ? The Disneyland Resort is a magical place for creating holiday memories with family and friends. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)


This is the second year for this event and if it’s as well done as Haul-O-Ween was, I expect it will be just darling all around.

Luigi?s Rollickin? Roadsters becomes Luigi?s Joy to the Whirl and Mater?s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater?s Jingle Jamboree.


Cars Land holiday

HOLIDAYS AT DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) ? Lightning McQueen and the residents of Radiator Springs are set to ?deck the halls? this holiday season at Cars Land in Disney California Adventure park with festive decorations down Route 66. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort return Nov. 9, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2019. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)


Mater and Luigi add even more cheer to the seasonal fun by singing new holiday tunes for the occasion.

I loved the Halloween version of the land and can’t wait to experience a Cars Land decked out for Christmas too!


Disneyland Holiday Overlays


its a small world holiday

HOLIDAYS AT THE DISNEYLAND RESORT (ANAHEIM, Calif.) ? The Disneyland Resort is a magical place for creating holiday memories with family and friends. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns Nov. 9, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2019, features seasonal offerings that include Festival of Holidays and ?Believe ? in Holiday Magic? fireworks spectacular, plus guest favorites ?it?s a small world? Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. Glistening Christmas trees and beautiful seasonal d?cor adorn the entire Disneyland Resort, and ?A Christmas Fantasy? Parade is performed daily at Disneyland park. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)


Two attractions get special treatment with holiday overlays: you don’t want to miss these!

it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion undergo special treatments during this season.

Be sure to visit each attraction for these unique experiences.


Disneyland Park Holiday Entertainment

The Dapper Dans are my absolute favorite entertainers at the Disneyland Resort. And they are going to be singing all your Christmas favorites during the season. 

Be sure to check the Disneyland Park app for their appearance times; you don’t want to miss them!


DApper DAns Singing during Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland perform in their holiday attire along Main Street, U.S.A. during the holidays at Disneyland Resort. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort take place Nov. 9, 2018 through Jan.6, 2019, featuring seasonal offerings that include Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, Festival of Holidays, and “Believe in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular, plus guest favorites including “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

The Christmas fireworks are not to be missed, either! So make those plans to stay after dark to ensure you get the perfect spot on Main Street, USA for ?Believe ? in Holiday Magic? fireworks spectacular. 

And bonus? It snows during the finale! I am not sure things get much more magical than snowfall in Southern California, but Disneyland makes it happen. 


mickey and minnie A Christmas Fantasy parade

HOLIDAYS AT THE DISNEYLAND RESORT (ANAHEIM, Calif.) ? Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns Nov. 9, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2018, with many magical ways to create holiday memories with family and friends. Guests will experience classic holiday traditions, including ?A Christmas Fantasy? Parade, performed daily at Disneyland Park. (Matt Petit/Disneyland Resort)

I also think you’ll want to watch the beautiful “A Christmas Fantasy” parade that happens daily. A Disney Christmas parade is something your family will remember for a lifetime.

Grab your hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies and settle in!


Disneyland MaxPass


Disney MaxPass Tips For The Holidays

When I was at Disneyland last week, I made a deep dive into the newest addition to the Disneyland app. MaxPass is a MUST for anyone traveling to Disneyland during the holiday season. 


Disneyland MaxPass


Purchase MaxPass

This is the not-so-great news about an otherwise amazing addition to your Disneyland ticket.

There is a charge for MaxPass. #WhompWhomp.

It’s $10 per person, per day. But the good news? 

It is WORTH the additional cost in the time it saves you (both from standing in line and from visiting kiosks for traditional FastPass acquisitions). 


Disneyland ticket with MaxPass


How to Use MaxPass

You will purchase and activate the MaxPass option via the Disneyland App on your smartphone once you’ve entered the gates. 

You cannot pre-plan FastPasses from home as you do at Disney World. If you are used to that aspect of Disney planning, you can make like Elsa and let it goooo at Disneyland. 

You won’t be able to choose a FastPass until you enter the parks, which I think is a huge benefit for most guests.

Disneyland MaxPass

Photo: Disneyland

But as soon as you purchase MaxPass and activate it, choose your first attraction!

And as soon as you scan your barcode at an attraction, you can reserve another one. Immediately. DO IT! 

This is what makes the purchase worth it; we hit something like 10 attractions in 2 hours of park opening when we first tried MaxPass. 

If you have any questions about MaxPass, ask a Cast Member to help you out. They may even have some tips to help you maximize your experiences!


PhotoPass with MaxPass

I absolutely love this aspect of MaxPass because I love taking PhotoPass pictures with my friends and family while in the parks. 

And the PhotoPass pictures are included with your MaxPass purchase.


Disneyland Photopass picture included with MaxPass

Bloggers love a good selfie, but with PhotoPass, we were able to get some great non-selfie options!


Ask Disney PhotoPass Photographers to either scan your Disney PhotoPass card or the code on your phone. Be sure to also link your Disney PhotoPass card to your Disney account- the QR code makes it super easy to do!

When you exit your rides with photos, be sure to snap a quick picture of the ID code for the attraction photo. You’ll enter the code in the Disneyland app. You?ll find the 8-character code on the photo monitor near where you exit the attraction. 


Incredicoaster on ride picture

I am THRILLED to have this gem, thanks to PhotoPass and MaxPass. It was my very first ride on the Incredicoaster!


Disneyland during the holidays can be one of the best times to visit – and also one of the most crowded. So grab your family, load up the MaxPass, and have the merriest of times at your Disneyland Christmas!

Happy holidays, everyone! 

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Meghan Cooper

Saturday 10th of November 2018

Hoping to go for the first time this year!

Brad Davis

Sunday 13th of November 2016

That reminds me of my childhood. Every Greatest Season my friends, relatives and I asked for it, a journey to Disney land park. Now being a grown up, I still keep all memories deeply in my heart. Thanks for your reminder.


Tuesday 15th of November 2016

That's wonderful. I love that you still find happiness in the memories!

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