Disneyland Resort Announces Holiday Details for 2023, Here’s What You Need to Know

If you're planning a trip to Disneyland this holiday season, here's what’s in store and what to check out during your visit.
A Christmas Fantasy Parade at Disneyland (Photo: Disneyland)
A Christmas Fantasy Parade at Disneyland (Photo: Disneyland)

California’s Disneyland Resort recently announced the return of its holiday festivities, which this year will run from November 10, 2023, through January 7, 2024. The holidays are a great time to visit the Happiest Place on Earth, and since the park events run for two months, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the sights and sounds of the season without worrying about the peak holiday season crowds from mid- to late-December.

If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland this holiday season, here’s what’s in store and what to check out during your visit.

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A Christmas Fantasy Parade at Disneyland Park (Photo: Sean Teegarden)
A Christmas Fantasy Parade at Disneyland Park (Photo: Sean Teegarden)

Holiday Season Events at Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park is filled with things to see and do each holiday season, and this year will be no exception. You can expect the return of all of the fan-favorite offerings from limited-time entertainment to seasonal overlays of popular rides.

It all starts on Main Street, U.S.A., where a larger-than-life Christmas tree will greet you as you enter the park. You’ll be able to send your holiday greetings to Mickey and Minnie Mouse, donned in new mid-century style apparel outfits that were revealed in an artist’s rendering earlier this year.

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Disneyland features two annual ride overlays that have become beloved traditions at the park. The “it’s a small world” Holiday returns this November, along with its dazzling light display at night. Jack Skellington and the world of The Nightmare Before Christmas arrive in September with the annual return of Haunted Mansion Holiday, complete with an all-new gingerbread house design featured in the ballroom scene.

Disneyland Park will also be the home of two returning entertainment offerings. The long-running “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” will perform daily, and each night the fireworks spectacular “Believe…In Holiday Magic” can be seen throughout the park. And, as a perfect closure to your holiday visit to Disneyland Park, “snowfall” can be spotted up and down Main Street, U.S.A.

Holiday Season Events at Disney California Adventure

If you’re a die-hard foodie, then Disney California Adventure is where you will want to head this holiday season. The park’s Festival of the Holidays returns on November 10, featuring food booths at the Festive Foods Marketplace, serving up limited-time small bites and beverage offerings. Music and dance performances can be found in multiple locations around the park, including Hollywood Backlot, a first for the festival. Head over to Cars Land for two seasonal ride overlays: Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Jingle Jamboree.

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During the day, two lively entertainment offerings are available to celebrate the season. The first is a daytime cavalcade called “Mickey’s Happy Holidays,” where you will spot a lot of familiar Disney characters dancing to the rhythm of the fan-favorite toy drummers. 

Another popular daytime parade, Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, will return to California Adventure this year. This year will also mark the 10-year anniversary of the celebration, featuring Mexican folklórico dancers and mariachis, Brazilian samba dancers and percussionists, and giant mojiganga puppets. The event will be joined by Mickey, Minnie, and the Three Caballeros. The party continues throughout Paradise Gardens Park, where you can meet Mirabel from Disney’s Encanto, as well as check out an all-new menu at Paradise Garden Grill.

At night, make sure to head toward the lagoon at the center of California Adventure for the return of World of Color–Season of Light. This seasonal overlay is one you do not want to miss!

Celebrating the holidays (Photo: Joshua Sudock / Disneyland Resort)
Celebrating the holidays (Photo: Joshua Sudock / Disneyland Resort)

Holiday Events Beyond the Theme Parks

Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks are not the only places where you’ll find holiday magic. The Downtown Disney District and the resort’s three hotels also teem with decorations and activities each November and December. In addition to all of the holiday shopping you’ll be able to check off your list at Downtown Disney, you can catch a live musical performance on select evenings at the Downtown Disney LIVE! Stage.

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Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and Disneyland Hotel are two locations where you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday season at a much more leisurely pace. In particular, the Grand Californian lobby is where you will find a gingerbread house inspired by sweet treats and pastries, as well as a selection of limited-time treats available for purchase.

Speaking of treats, Disneyland Resort is filled with holiday-inspired food and beverage items. The hub for all things holiday food is the Festival of the Holidays at California Adventure, but be on the lookout for limited-time menu items at both parks, as well as Downtown Disney and the hotels. This includes the return of the fan-favorite hand-pulled candy canes, available on select dates at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

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Carly Neil
Carly Neil is a New England-based writer who specializes in theme parks, local attractions, food and drink, and travel. Her expertise for all things Disney has been featured in numerous industry-leading sites, and over the years she has become a trusted voice in helping first-timers and experts alike plan their Disney vacations. When Carly isn’t planning her own Disney getaway, she can be found catching the latest Broadway play. Visit her website at carlyterzigni.com for more information, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @itscarlyneil for theme park news, other daily musings, and pictures of her pets.