As if Disneyland couldn’t get any more magical, visiting the park during a holiday does add a little something special to your trip. If you’re willing to put up with the extra crowds to enjoy the festive additions, there are plenty of ways to get into any holiday spirit.
First off, Disney pulls out all the stops for nearly every holiday. Throughout the park flowers and decorations suit the time of year and you’re immersed in holiday joy from the moment you enter. My personal favorites are Halloween and Christmastime. During winter, the castle glitters with twinkling lights and the holiday parade brings out all your favorite characters in their seasonal best. Halloween covers the park in Jack-O-Lanterns and adds new twists to food and attractions. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a Halloween event during certain evenings with specials attractions for kids, who are encouraged to arrive in costume.
In autumn there are many pumpkin flavored versions of Disneyland’s best treats to enjoy as the weather chills. In December gingerbread begins to pop-up around the park, including in the delicious beignets of New Orleans Square. To be honest, I’ve never been lucky enough to have the legendary Disneyland candy canes, but if how difficult it is to get them is any indication of how good they are, they must be pretty spectacular. They’re handmade each day and every year Disney announces the dates they will be available in advance. You have to arrive early in order to get one as they only sell a certain amount per day.
Many of my favorite rides get festive makeovers. The classic attraction It’s a Small World displays a winter holiday theme on the outside and inside as you cruise around the world. Space Mountain is even scarier during Halloween when it becomes a Ghost Galaxy. The speed increases and the starry sky is haunted with spooky spirits giving the ride an extra thrill. Haunted Mansion has the best to offer from Halloween all the way through the New Year. The mansion becomes home to a Nightmare Before Christmas‘ Jack Skellington who works to bring Christmas to Halloweentown. You also meet with Oogie Boogie instead of the usual hitchhiking ghosts that catch a lift at the end of your journey. This year, Disney gave the Christmas treatment to the iconic Jungle Cruise and while I didn’t get a chance to visit this year I hope they bring it back next season so I can check it out!