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Disneyland During the Holidays

The first day in October generally means for me that the holiday season has started. October 1st is the day when I light my favorite Christmas candle from Bath and Body Works (toasted marshmallow), I change my desktop and iphone backgrounds to snowy winter scenes, and I blast holiday music (which generally consists of Michael Bublé’s Christmas Album, the Home Alone soundtrack, Michael W. Smith’s Spirit of Christmas, and the Disneyland Main Street Christmas music loop). My family thinks I’m completely insane that I start celebrating Christmas so early. “Enjoy fall while it lasts!” My dad always exclaims, exasperatedly.

“But Christmas is my favorite time of year, so why shouldn’t I start the season a little earlier than normal?” Is always my response.

Celebrating Christmas gives me the same feeling I get when I visit Disneyland. It’s magic. Christmas and Disneyland are magical and that’s what’s so special about them. So when I visited Disneyland for the first time during the Christmas season almost ten years ago (man I’m getting to be an old geezer), I almost lost it, because my two favorite things on this planet (Disneyland and Christmas) combined to form one epically magical experience. I’m happy to announce that the Christmas season at Disneyland is upon us, and with that comes holiday food, attractions, and shows.

Let’s face it, the food at Disneyland is always a mouth-watering, extraordinary experience. However, during Christmas, that experience is sprinkled with pixie dust and Christmas magic that makes it even more wonderful. Indulge in peppermint ice cream from the Gibson Girl and homemade candy canes from the Candy Palace (they’re practically collector’s items because they only make 135 per week). Or enjoy the peppermint beignets from the Mint Julep bar and the salted caramel macaroon from the Jolly Holiday.

Even the attractions at Disneyland are spiced up for the holidays. The Haunted Mansion gets taken over by Jack Skellington and the rest of The Nightmare Before Christmas gang starting in late September. Haunted Mansion Holiday is a completely different ride from the original Haunted Mansion attraction. Each year, Disneyland chefs construct a huge gingerbread house to be placed in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion. The room is by far my favorite part of the ride, because it smells like freshly baked gingerbread. This year, the 200 pound gingerbread house is modeled after Sally’s house in The Nightmare Before Christmas.

It’s a Small World transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. Instead of singing “It’s a Small World”, the children sing Christmas classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls”. Although the interior of the ride is fantastic, the façade of the attraction is by-far the most impressive. At dusk, thousands of twinkling lights illuminated the whimsical attraction to form one jaw-dropping sight.

Most recently, the famous Jungle Cruise has been renamed the Jingle Cruise during the holiday season. Fruit cakes float in the jungle water and elephants sport Christmas wreaths, as they greet the guests swinging by in boats. The skippers even replace their famous jokes for holiday puns that never fail to leave my abs sore the next day.

The entertainment at Disneyland always bring tears to my eyes, but the Christmas shows make me into one big emotional mess. A Christmas Fantasy Parade is always a must during the holidays, as it is one of the oldest holiday traditions at Disneyland (it’s going on 22 years strong). Enjoy viewing California Adventure’s new holiday World of Color show, Season of Light where your favorite Christmas songs come to life. The Disneyland fireworks show, Believe…In Holiday Magic, is the ultimate Disney experience that always leaves me in a blissful state of pure happiness. With the snow-covered castle as it’s backdrop, this firework show truly captures the spirit of the holidays. I don’t want to spoil the finale for you, but let’s just say that the warm California weather is no match for Disney when it comes to holiday magic (yes, it snows in Disneyland after the fireworks show).

If you can’t make it out to Disneyland this holiday season, here are a few of my favorite YouTube videos that will get you in the Disney holiday spirit. Happy holidays!

Christmas at Disneyland—Time Lapse:

2015 DCA Christmas Lighting Ceremony:

Disneyland’s Dapper Dans Christmas Show:

It’s a Small World Lighting Ceremony:

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