It’s the most wonderful time of the year…, especially during Disneyland’s Festival of Holidays! This past weekend, I had the opportunity to check out all the seasonal offerings, from new food items, entertainment, gift ideas and everything in-between that Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are offering for the holiday season. It was an all-day event that put a smile on my face but have no fear, we were still able to find some creepy offerings woven into all the holiday cheer.
First off, let’s talk about the new food items. If you are a visitor to the Disney parks, you know that their food offerings can be just as addictive as anything else in the park. Though we didn’t get to try everything, we did get a taste of some of the holiday fare which included The Shepherd’s Upside-down Pie, The Holiday Stuffing Mac & Cheese, and Reuben Potato Tots with Russian dressing and rye toast. I was a huge fan of the Shepherd’s Upside-down Pie, which I came to find out was a vegan dish. I further learned that a slew of holiday food offerings was either vegetarian or vegan, something that I know many of our readers, and friends of mine, will be relieved to learn. As for the desserts, I indulged in the Mickey cookies as well as a delicious brownie concoction that was sprinkled with M&M’s on top. There was no shortage of appetizing desserts, a lot which were highlighted with a dash of peppermint such as the peppermint churros and peppermint hot chocolate. I was also very taken by the Toy Story alien macaroons which were so cute I wasn’t even sure I would want to eat them! Needless to say, there is enough food offerings to choose from that everyone will be more than happy, and very full, when visiting the Disneyland parks for the holidays.
When it comes to merch, oh boy, did my little black heart grow in size by all the options. Whether it’s the newest electronics (such as an animatronic Simba from the live-action Lion King film) or a small stocking stuffer (such as a Toy Story 4 Funko), the options were limitless. For those who enjoy a little evil in their Disney gifts, they do offer an adult Villainous game that looks like it is to die for! I appreciate the range of merchandise that is being offered for this holiday season because it’s not just solely directed towards children. For those who love to collect Disney mugs, they have a brand-new one that features Mickey as the cup and the top is designed to look like frosting with sprinkles. For those wanting something a little bit more spooky to give their friends and family, there are an abundance of Haunted Mansion merch ranging from the Hatbox Ghost stockings to Jack Skellington nutcrackers. I tried to get my boyfriend to buy me a Disneyland adult onesie because it looked especially comfortable but unfortunately he said I had to wait till Santa visited. However, the one thing that I found myself instantly gravitating towards was the new Snowman Tumbler. This wasn’t just any tumbler, as it changed colors and could even project an image of a Mickey ornament with a “Season’s Greetings” message. Let it be known, I’m not waiting until Santa or Krampus delivers that, I will be purchasing it IMMEDIATELY. And lastly, for all of you collectors out there, Disney is offering the Mickey Jingle Ornament Light-Up Sipper as well as three different popcorn buckets: Mickey Light-Up Tree, Pluto, and my favorite, Pajama Alien.
Aside from the food and the merch, Disneyland also offers a variety of holiday entertainment in the form of attractions and live shows. Of course, there is our beloved Haunted Mansion which gets a holiday overlay featuring The Nightmare Before Christmas. For us goth/spooky kids, this is our home away from out, and though I do miss the OG Haunted Mansion during the Halloween season, the overlay is perfect for the Christmas season. The ride features all of our favorite characters from Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie as well as a festive Hatbox Ghost. There is also the Haunted Mansion gingerbread house which for this year’s festivities celebrated the 50th anniversary of our darling mansion. This isn’t the only attraction that gets a holiday overlay, as “It’s a Small World” finds itself completely revamped for the season. Say what you will about this ride, there is one thing we can all agree on and that is that it’s absolutely stunning once the overlay is completed. The outside is decked with thousands upon thousands of shimmering lights while the inside is transformed with holiday decor which represents the different countries seen throughout the ride.
Along with the holiday overlays, there are also parades and shows and fireworks to take in! At Disney’s California Adventure, where you’ll find a lot of the food offerings, guests can experience the festive Mickey’s Happy Holidays parade which features live music, dancing, and character interactions with Mickey and his friends. Also at California Adventure is World of Color – Season of Light which is absolutely breathtaking. The show utilizes water, light, and a unique form of storytelling resulting in a dazzling presentation that captures the holiday spirit in a way that will stay with you long after it’s over. Back at Disneyland, guests can experience the beautiful Christmas Fantasy Parade which includes elaborately designed floats, all of our favorite Disney characters, and much more as they join Santa Claus for the ultimate holiday celebration through Main Street, U.S.A.
I think it goes without saying that there is much to immerse yourself in when it comes to experiencing the holidays at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. From food to entertainment and everything in-between, there is bound to be something for everyone – even those of us who like our holiday’s to be on the darker side of things. Disney’s Festival of Holidays will take place from November 8, 2019 to January 6, 2020 and it’s sure to be one of the most magical experiences you’ll have this season! For more information and to purchase tickets to the park, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com.