by Beth Keating
September 2, 2021
Christmas is starting November 12, 2021, at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, and it has been a long time coming! Disneyland was closed last year because of the pandemic (though Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street were open for shopping), so this year’s celebration will be especially joyous. In fact, it will last for two months, until January 9.
Among the returning celebrations will be “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, with Disney characters sharing the parade route with prancing reindeer, brightly colored toy soldiers, dancing gingerbread men, and Santa himself.
The “Believe… in Holiday Magic” fireworks show will also be back, bursting with color over the top of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. Each night, the castle will come awake in stages for a breath-taking spectacle as snow falls, holiday music fills the air, and shimmering icicles and thousands of twinkling lights shine in the dark. Wintry projections will also wind their way down the buildings of Main Street U.S.A. during the show. A 60-foot-tall Christmas tree will grace Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A., and a 50 foot tree will dazzle on Buena Vista Street at California Adventure for your family’s holiday photos.
Eight food booths will also serve the holiday flavors celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day during Disney California Adventure’s Festival of Holidays. Visitors can dance along with Mickey and the Holiday Toy Drummers during Mickey’s Happy Holidays, or listen to the wide variety of musical and dance styles from the Mariachi Divas, Mostly Kosher, Blue13, Phat Cat Swinger, or the Suffragettes while they enjoy the food booths. Sip and Savor passes will be available.
During the celebrations, the “Disney Viva Navidad” street party will take place at Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Gardens, with Mickey and Minnie in fiesta outfits, and festive Mexican folklórico and Brazilian samba dancers, live music, papel picado banners, piñatas, and giant mojiganga puppets. Enjoy authentic holiday music and décor as you celebrate the customs of Mexico and Brazil.
Holiday overlays will make the rides and attractions a special experience as well, with Cars Land at Disney California Adventure getting a unique “automotive” themed overlay at “Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl” and “Mater’s Jingle Jamboree.” The “Haunted Mansion” will show off the much-loved 20th year of its “Nightmare Before Christmas” overlay, and “it’s a small world” will light up the night each evening, celebrating holidays around the world with its bright and festive overlay.
Mickey, Minnie and friends will be dressed in holiday costumes, and guests can take socially-distanced selfies throughout the season. Among the special appearances this year will be Mirabel from the upcoming animated release Encanto, who will be making her theme park debut. Guests stopping by California Adventure’s Redwood Creek Challenge Trail will be able to see Santa Claus and participate in seasonal games and activities there.
For ticket prices and complete information about the events, visit the Disneyland website.
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.
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