Holiday time at SoCal Disney parks means Christmas trees are up and winter has come to Sleeping Beauty’s castle

It’s not yet Thanksgiving yet, but you wouldn’t know that at Disneyland and California Adventure Park. Each park has a mammoth Christmas tree in place, and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle has officially gone into winter mode.

If you’ve never been to the theme parks during the holidays, there are decorations, concerts and parades you’ll see only at this time of year.

Holiday transformations at the Anaheim theme parks kicked off Friday and will continue through Jan. 7.

If you want a bit of history, you can take a guided Holiday Time at Disneyland Resort tour of both parks. It takes 2½ hours and is offered daily at 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $85 a person, and reservations are required.


Perks include reserved seating for the Christmas Fantasy Parade, holiday treats and a collectible pin.

Info: Holiday Time at Disneyland Resort Tour, (714) 781-8687

Here’s some of what you can expect to see inside the parks this holiday season.


►The park’s biggest selfie spot is on Main Street where visitors are welcomed to the park by a 60-foot Christmas tree decorated with more than 1,700 ornaments.

►Disney characters, tin soldiers, gingerbread cookies and Santa Claus appear in A Christmas Fantasy Parade daily during the holiday season. Santa also holds court in Critter Country.

►If you’ve ever wanted to hear some other music besides “It’s a Small World” at the popular ride, now’s your chance. “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls” are woven into the soundtrack of the attraction, which is decked out for the holidays.

►Tim Burton fans will love seeing Jack Skellington towering over the Haunted Mansion. Other characters from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” appear.

►Sleeping Beauty’s Castle shimmers with icicles and LED lights. Nightly fireworks bring a dusting of “snow.”


California Adventure Park

►For the first time, Cars Land, featuring characters from the Disney “Cars” movies, has gotten into the holiday spirit. Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree reflect the seasonal twist.

►Festivals of Holidays covers celebrations around the world, from Christmas and Hanukkah to the light festival Diwali, Kwanza and Three Kings Day. Viva Navidad performances and holiday concerts — featuring musical acts Mostly Kosher, Blue13 Dance Company and the Holiday Toy Drummers — are part of the entertainment.

► “World of Color – Season of Light” is an outdoor event that combines dazzling lights and holiday songs with scenes from Disney and Pixar animated films.

►A 50-foot Christmas tree decorated with 1920s-style ornaments (reminiscent of the time when Walt Disney came to Los Angeles, a news release says) can be found on Buena Vista Street.


Ticket prices vary, from single-day admission to one park from $97 to $124, to a two-day park-hopper ticket to visit both parks starting at $244.

Info: Disney Resorts Theme Park Tickets


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