A Guide to the Holidays at Disneyland 2021

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holiday season disneyland resort

Credit: Disney

‘Tis the season to be jolly…and book a trip to Disneyland! The Happiest Place on Earth is getting even “merrier” this year as the holidays are back at Disneyland Resort in 2021. Visiting Disneyland is one of the many beloved holiday traditions for many Disney fans. Keep reading for our complete guide to the holidays at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in 2021.

Ready to book a Disney trip for the holiday season? Click here!

its a small world holiday at disneyland
Credit: Disney

What to Expect During the Disneyland Holiday Festivities

For many Guests and Disney fans, the holiday season is their favorite time of the whole year to visit Disneyland Resort. It is the time when The Happiest Place on Earth becomes The Merriest Place on Earth, and holiday magic can be found around every corner. If you are a Christmas fan and a holiday enthusiast, then you would love Disneyland during the holidays. Everything is merry and bright!

DLR main street christmas
Credit: Disney

This year, we have a lot to look forward to for the Festive Holidays & Christmas celebration at Disneyland Resort, including attraction overlays, activities, decorations, special events, entertainment, food, and so much more at Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, the Downtown Disney District, and even the Disney hotels. In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about the holidays at Disneyland in 2021, and we’ll continue to update this article with more information as Disney announces it.

For an extra special holiday treat, we have shared what you need to know about the holiday decorations at the theme parks — read more about the Disneyland holiday decorations here!

a christmas fantasy parade at disneyland
Credit: Disney

Schedule of Holiday Events 2021

The official dates for the holiday season at Disneyland Resort are November 12, 2021, through January 9, 2022. Note that Disney starts preparing for the holidays early, so you will likely start to see holiday decorations go up at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park before November 12. However, November 12 is the first official day of the Festive Holidays & Christmas Celebration at Disneyland Resort, and the celebrations will run through January 9 of next year.

a christmas fantasy parade at disneyland
Credit: Disney

Disney Merriest Nites

This year, for the first time ever, Disneyland is hosting a separate ticket, after-hours event specifically for Christmas! Disneyland Resort has hosted a variety of special events and after-hours parties in the past, but this year there is an all-new holiday event called Disney Merriest Nites.

Merriest Nites
Credit: Disney

Below, we have included the official description of Disney Merriest Nites, courtesy of the Disneyland website:

Our classic holiday favorites have some new twists! Mickey Mouse has invited many of his friends to host 6 themed parties throughout Disneyland Park on select nights—so you can celebrate the season in a merry new way.

During this separately ticketed holiday event, you can enjoy after-hours admission to Disneyland Park with limited capacity, including select attractions and entertainment, unique Disney Character sightings, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A., themed photo ops, unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital downloads from the event, themed menu items, live bands, dance parties and the opportunity to purchase special event-themed merchandise!

Festival of Holidays

Disney California Adventure offers the Festival of Holidays year after year. During Festival of Holidays, Disney California Adventure celebrates cultural traditions from around the world. Just like the rest of the holiday festivities at Disneyland Resort, Festival of Holidays runs from November 12 through January 9.

Festival of Holidays
Credit: Disney

Offerings at Festival of Holidays include the following:

  • Festival entertainment featuring Mariachi Divas, Mostly Kosher, Holiday Toy Drummers, and more.
  • Disney Viva Navidad featuring authentic holiday music, dance, décor, and more.
  • Festival Foods Marketplace kiosks serving a “seasonal smorgasbord of multicultural and diverse cuisine.”

Click here to visit the Disneyland website for more information!

Disneyland Hotels During the Holiday Season

In addition to the theme parks, the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort go all out every holiday season. There are three hotels on Disneyland property: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Each of the hotels is magical and charming in their own way, and they are even more special during the holiday season.

Christmas tree at grand californian hotel
Credit: Inside the Magic

The three Hotels of the Disneyland Resort decorate for Christmas by displaying gorgeous themed Christmas trees in each lobby. We highly recommend, if you have time or you are visiting Disneyland on multiple occasions this year, to pay a visit to each of the hotels, even if you are not staying there. The Christmas decorations are so different at each hotel and they offer their own unique Disney magic. Remember that it is completely free to walk around the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort.

Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

If you can only visit one hotel at Disneyland this holiday season, we suggest making it Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Grand Californian is the most luxurious of the three hotels on Disneyland property — it is the equivalent of a Disney Deluxe Resort at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, if you are familiar with Disney World and have traveled there before.

Gingerbread house at Disney’s grand californian hotel
Credit: Inside the Magic

Every holiday season, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel displays a stunning gingerbread house for Guests to see, and there are even hidden Mickeys on it! Plus, there is a food and beverage cart located in the lobby right next to the gingerbread house. You can purchase a hot chocolate or a cookie and enjoy the holiday atmosphere of the Grand Californian. This is one of our favorite holiday traditions at Disneyland — and you don’t even need a theme park ticket to experience this holiday magic.

Best Disneyland Holiday Food For 2021

Every year, Disneyland Resort offers a variety of delicious seasonal food and beverage options for the holiday season. This year will be no different, as we expect we’ll be able to feast on plenty of delectable dining offerings all season long. As soon as the holiday menus are released, we will update this guide so you have all of the information you need to know about the best Disneyland holiday food for 2021.

More Information on Christmas at Disneyland

Want even more information on the Christmas and holiday season? Stay tuned to Inside the Magic as we continue to bring you the latest news on seasonal offerings at Disneyland Resort, and visit the official Disneyland website for more updates.

Holidays at Disneyland Resort - “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade at Disneyland Park
Credit: Disney

Ready to book a trip?

Finalized your holiday travel plans for Disneyland yet? If you are ready to book a trip, then we are ready to help. Our favorite Disney travel agents are the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel, experts on all things Disney Parks. They can book your next Disney trip whenever you’re ready and share all of their expert Disneyland tips for your upcoming trip. There is plenty of time to book your next Disneyland vacation just in time for the holiday season — click here to make your magical vacation dreams come true!

christmas on main street at diseyland
Credit: Disney

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