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Tour the Sights, Sips and Shops That Make Disneyland the Best Place to Spend Your Holiday Season

Written By: Erica Nichols
Photography Provided By: Disneyland Resort Disneyland Holidays

If you thought the Happiest Place on Earth couldn’t get any merrier, you’ve never been to the Disneyland Resort during the holidays. Proudly claiming the “Holidays Begin Here,” there’s truly no better way to get into the holiday spirit than taking a trip to Disneyland. This year’s holiday season—running from November 9 to January 6, 2019—has taken the magic up a notch with a new menu of delectable Disney treats, a complete makeover of the Main Street Christmas Tree decorations and lots (and lots) of Instagrammable moments. We’re not telling you to take the day off from work to go experience the magic for yourself…but we’re also not not telling you.

Disneyland Holidays

‘Tis the Social Media Season

Running out of new ways to take your Disney Insta pics? This holiday season welcomes in a number of refreshing opportunities for all the fun photo-ops around both parks. “Everything is being set up for those Instagram moments,” said Disney Ambassador Alexa Garcia. As part of the #shareyourears campaign, when you take a photo in front of the dedicated mural wall by the Hollywood backlot in Disney California Adventure, the Walt Disney Company will donate $5 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every photo shared. “It’s really great and an amazing way to get people actively engaged,” Garcia said.

 

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For a couple secret spots for the perfect Gram, Garcia suggests the newly-reimagined World of Disney where you’ll find intricate brickwork, unique artwork that pays homage to the Nine Old Men and walls inspired by an old bus depot. And for our Boomerang-fanatics, Garcia suggested timing your day to be in front of It’s A Small World or the Tree on Main Street by 5 p.m. for totally swoon-worthy content. We’re waiting to double tap!

Disneyland Holidays

Food Festivities

Don’t put your phone away just yet. The new Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure has so many perfectly-positioned, deliciously-prepared dishes for you (and your followers) to crave. From Turkey and Stuffing Tamales with Cranberry Relish to Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage, this holiday season’s festive offerings span the globe. You can grab your palate passport and literally wine and dine your way around the globe—Disney style! Garcia noted that in addition to the food tasting amazing (the grits dish was a particular favorite!), each plate is also worthy of a couple snaps on your phone. “All the food is perfectly prepared for those foodie posts,” she said.

Grand Californian Hotel Executive Pastry Chef Jorge Sotela shared that the Disney culinary team starts planning for the menu a year in advance. “This is a huge collaboration effort by the chefs where we craft a menu of new treats every year.” This year’s sweet treats include Chocolate Peppermint Churros, Mickey Shortbread with Blue Icing (Chef’s personal favorite!), Gingerbread Funnel Cake Fries and a seriously grand Gingerbread House on display at the Grand Californian Hotel.

Shop the Halls With Boughs of Holly

Listen, if there’s anything that can potentially hinder your holiday magic, it’s shopping at the mall before Christmas. But for all you Disney lovers (and really, who isn’t?) you can consider those mall woes a thing of the past. Disney’s latest holiday merchandise collection is a one-stop shop for everyone in your crew. Whether it’s the Disney traditionalist or the Star Wars fanatic, Resort Spokesperson Mirna Hughes shared that the collection (found at World of Disney and throughout the parks) “has something for every kind of Disney fan.” We’ve personally got our eyes locked on those holiday sweaters, but you can find pajama sets, advent calendars, Minnie ears, ornaments and more to create Disney magic in your own home.

As you shop your heart away at World of Disney, be sure to fully admire the whole new layout. The remodeled space is a nod to the Nine Old Men, the original core animators behind some of Disney’s most beloved animations. “You’ll see a lot of sketchwork, canvases and paint jars to honor the Nine Old Men,” said Hughes. In classic Disney fashion, blink and you’ll almost miss the artwork spring to life with subtle animation. “We always look back to Walt Disney and innovation and the idea of taking what already exists and transforming it into something even greater to entertain guests.”

Disneyland Holidays

Holiday Cheer for All to Hear

Throughout the day, you can find a number of special experiences and entertainment in both parks to enjoy your holiday season. From afternoon to night, here are a few of our can’t-miss events:
A Christmas Fantasy Parade
”Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks
”it’s a small world” Holiday Lighting