ParkSpotting at Disney California Adventure – Theme parks don their holiday finery as Christmas rolls in at Disneyland

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, ParkSpotting, Theme Parks

DCA’s Buena Vista Street is dressed to the nines for the holiday season! The mood is classy, retro, and festive, and visitors seem ready for all the Christmas magic.

Even the Red Line is festooned.

The area’s usual “streetmosphere” has been upgraded to include smartly-dressed shoppers who browse the store windows in character and then gather for a surprising show.

Hand bells and a carol or two make the scene merry.

Further down the lane, Elias & Co. has been transformed to feel like an old-timey Christmas movie department store. The mezzanine mannequins are celebrating the season in new party attire, and a new scene features a boy trimming a tree.

Nothing says “fa-la-la” like fashionable feathers, ladies!


Young Pip has quite the eye for ornamentation.

They’ve saved the best for last. The round room at the far end of Elias & Co., which usually caters to savvy young ladies, is playing holiday host to St. Nick! The abundance of tinsel, dapper host, and classic postcard framing make this meet & greet picture perfect.

Ho ho ho! Move over, Miracle on 34th Street!

Elsewhere in the park, decorations are fewer and farther between. Hollywood Land has a small nod to Santa near the entrance to the Hyperion Theater.

If he hurries, Santa may still make it in time to get the good seats for Aladdin.

Cars Land displays the most cheer outside of Buena Vista Street, with many creative trees and garlands throughout Radiator Springs.

Looks like it’s Mater’s year to don the appropriate apparel. Some new conversation software might be on his Christmas list this year. He couldn’t stop wishing visitors happy birthday, much to his handler’s dismay.

Across the bay on Paradise Pier, Viva Navidad is bringing some freshness to the Christmas festivities at DCA. Celebrating the Mexican traditions of the season, the special offerings include food and drink, holiday crafts, a special character greeting with Mickey and Minnie, music, decorations, and new cast costumes.

A sign outside Paradise Gardens welcomes visitors.
Feliz Navidad!
This singular float cruised silently down the pathway. Lacking the context of music, announcements, or other floats, it was a little bit strange – but fun nonetheless!
Viva Navidad includes opportunities for crafting.
Mickey and Minnie in their Navidad wear were extremely popular. Minnie was fabulous, but it looked like Mickey may have gotten into the margarita mix…

The dining locations in Paradise Gardens were also in on the fun for Viva Navidad. The Mediterranean Grill had a completely new seasonal menu, while Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta kept their namesake menu items and added a themed display inside the foyer of the restaurant.

Many guests were walking away with shredded beef street tacos, but all the food looked tasty. The emphasis is on more authentic fare than what is already served at Cocina Cucamonga.
The Christmas fiesta continues into Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta.

Christmas at California Adventure has come a long way since the large-breasted deer lifeguards that used to stare vacantly from towers in the park’s entrance plaza. Now the vibe is sophisticated, curated, and glitzy – with a dash of kitsch and a splash of culture – very much like the iconic California celebrated by the park year-round. Way to go, DCA.

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, ParkSpotting, Theme Parks

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