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Disneyland Christmas Events 2013

Discover the magical fun you can enjoy at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California!

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of exciting and unforgettable Christmas attractions at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. If these photos make you enthusiastic about planning a holiday visit to Disneyland...why not go with your feelings? You may see still more pictures (and discover more details) about planning a Christmas outing to Disneyland as you read through this page!

When does Disneyland begin its annual Christmas celebration?

Picture: Disneyland Castle has sparkly new decorations for the Christmas holiday season! Disneyland's holiday activities this year run from November 8, 2013 through January 5th, 2014! This schedule is perfect for true Christmas-lovers. You'll have nearly 2 full months for visiting during your favorite season at the Happiest Place on Earth!

When is the best time to enjoy Disneyland's awe-inspiring Christmas attractions? If you hate crowds, then you'll find plenty of time this year when you'll have some elbow room at Disneyland Park. Weekdays during November (except for the Thanksgiving Holiday period) and also Mondays thru Thursdays during the first part of December offer a full slate of fun without the park being overly crowded.

For the last half of December...and particularly during the vacation week between Christmas and New Year's on the alert for extremely crowded conditions. Both local residents and out-of-town visitors descend on the park in droves. You'll need to allow extra time to park your car, purchase tickets and enter Disneyland's gates...and maybe even extra time simply to exit the freeway and reach the park! Disneyland may fill up to capacity on some dates, so arriving early in the day will make sure that you're inside the gates when they close...instead of standing outside looking in. Can't make it by New Year's? Don't worry, Disneyland's Christmas attractions will remain open all the way until Sunday, January 5, 2014...nearly a full WEEK after New Year's Day! This is an exciting chance for both out-of-town vacationers AND the park's nearly-one-million passport holders to enjoy all of their favorite holiday attractions, even if they can't make it by New Year's time. But hurry...after January 5th, the holidays end at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure Park! The beautiful decorations, glowing lights and heart-warming parade floats will be put away again until the 2014 holiday season arrives in mid-November, 2014.

An exciting new holiday offering will be debuting at Disney's California Adventure Park: "Winter Dreams," a perky holiday version of the stunning World of Color water & light show! The Christmas World of Color show will add still more Christmas fun to Disney's California Adventure, which will complement the recent addition of Cars Land's quirky holiday decor, and the lovely traditional Christmas decorations & entertainment on "Buena Vista Street." Although Disneyland Park itself remains the more highly-decorated theme park of the two, you'll no longer be able to bypass the Disney California Adventure park and feel like you've "seen everything Christmasy" at the resort.

On this page, you'll see a list of the Disneyland Christmas attractions, rides and events that you may enjoy when you visit the Disneyland resort for the holidays this year.

Quick List of Disneyland Christmas Attractions

Here's a quick summary of Disneyland Christmas activities. You'll discover more detailed information about each one of them as you read further down this page.


1.) HOLIDAY HAUNTED MANSION: What's more fun than the Christmas version of the Haunted Mansion...featuring Jack Skellington & friends from "Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas! The Holiday Haunted Mansion is an annual crowd-pleaser that guests may enjoy throughout both the Halloween and Christmas seasons.

2.) SMALL WORLD HOLIDAY: Another favorite annual attraction at Disneyland Park is the It's A Small World, Holiday version. You can see dolls representing every region of the globe decked out in holiday splendor.

3.) CHRISTMAS PARADE AND FIREWORKS SHOW: Every year, visitors may enjoy the Christmas-themed fireworks spectacular show and popular Christmas parade at Disneyland. And, with a little help from snow-making equipment, the holiday season also brings snowfall several times nightly to the theme park! This year, Disneyland's Christmas Parade, snowfall and fireworks show will most probably NOT be able to be seen with a normal admission ticket, but will require a special "after-hours Christmas Party" ticket.

4.) Santa Visits: Enjoy meeting Santa Claus & whispering your secret wish list for Christmas toys! Santa can be found in his home-away-from-home in the Frontierland section of Disneyland, along with seasonal decorations and entertainment, as well.


5.) Christmas in "Cars Land": For Christmas, this area will be decorated with quirky "Cars"-themed decorations. If you've gotten your fill of traditional, heart-warming fare, Cars Land is the place to head next. "Zany, quirky and humorous" is more the style you'll find here. It helps if you know the various Cars movie characters, because these Christmas fixtures play on each character's likes and peculiarities. Nevertheless, even if you've never seen either of Disney/Pixar's "Cars" animated movies, you can appreciate them on a more general level, and learn the answer to a question which may never have crossed your mind...namely, "How would an automobile decorate for the holidays?" If you haven't visited Disney's California Adventure Park since the new Cars Land themed area opened, you will probably enjoy viewing our Cars Land page to view pictures & discover the fun things to do in this exciting area of the park.

6.) Christmas on Buena Vista street celebration! Buena Vista Street is a 1930's-themed area at the entrance to the Disney California Adventure Park. (Why? Because Walt Disney first came to Hollywood in the 1930's.) Traditional Christmas decor is the rule here, along with a giant Christmas tree, roving Christmas carolers, and special holiday foods & merchandise.

7.) For 2013, "Winter Dreams," a new Holiday World of Color show opens at Disney's California Adventure. For the show's inagural year, you'll enjoy viewing a new Disney character--Olaf the Snowman! Don't worry if the name "Olaf" doesn't come to mind as you think back through various Disney short cartoons and feature films. Actually, Olaf is a brand-new Disney character for 2013; you'll see him in this year's new animated feature, "Frozen!" Olaf will be joined by other Disney characters to round out "Winter Dreams." These include characters (and scenes) from Bambi, Toy Story and Fantasia. In other words, even if you've already seen the non-holiday version of the World of Color water & lights show, you'll need to return to Disney's California Adventure if you want to enjoy the new limited-time holiday version. It's expected that "Winter Dreams" will become a popular Christmas attraction at the Disneyland Resort for years to come!

Disneyland Christmas Attraction Details

Holiday Haunted Mansion ride!

Photo of Disneyland Park's Haunted Mansion ride sporting its December holiday decor
The "Nightmare Before Christmas" holiday version of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride is ALWAYS popular. Jack Skellington, Sally, and other characters from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas take over the Haunted Mansion...and the results are amusing and delightful. More than a few fans of this ride think that the Holiday Haunted Mansion ride is even better than its "regular" version.

Though many people visit this ride during October, November and December each year, you may not always find the lines here to be unbearable. That's because the Haunted Mansion moves a crowd through its doors rather least "quickly" when compared with some other rides at Disneyland Park! Unless you see the line snaking through the mansion's front garden & heading out of the entrance gate, your waiting time should be tolerable.

You can find out more about the Nightmare Before Christmas version of the Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride by visiting the Holiday Haunted Mansion pages of our site.

"It's A Small World" ride's holiday version!

Photo of Disneyland's Holiday Small World ride at night
The Holiday version of Disneyland's "It's A Small World" ride is beloved by many repeat theme park guests. And, how could it NOT be so? During the ride's "regular" version...which runs MOST of the year...the dolls, costumes and international decor featured inside this park-favorite are simply adorable! Add Christmas costumes and decorations...and you've got a "can't be beat" family attraction!

Even if you ride "It's A Small World" during the daytime, be sure to stop back by this attraction after dark---this time, to view its exterior. Every evening, thousands of twinkling lights are lit up in the plaza area in front of the ride. It's a dazzling display!

To see pictures of "It's a Small World" during the Christmas season, please visit the Small World Holiday pictures page of our site.

Meet Santa at Disneyland's "Big Thunder Ranch"

Disneyland Park traditionally hosts a Western-themed Christmas event in Frontierland. This fun family attraction is once again a part of Disneyland's Christmas festivities this year.

What's this attraction all about? The Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree is a family-oriented activity area where kids can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, make holiday crafts, and meet 'n greet costumed Disney Characters. Chip 'n Dale, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and other popular characters have been known to make surprise visits, and you'll find them all clad in seasonal costumes to make your holiday pictures with them extra-special.

Disneyland Christmas Parade!

Picture: Santa Claus greets the crowd from his float at Disneyland's Christmas Parade! For some guests, the parades at Disneyland Park form the "heart" of their visit! This year, the parade will be moved to Disneyland's new extra-fee, after-hours Christmas parties. For those of you who would like to enjoy a good view of the parade without sitting on the curb to hold your spot for hours, this may be a grand opportunity for you. Crowds are generally lighter at extra-pay parties, expecially on dates early in the season. You'll finally get to see what happens on ground-level, and not just up at the top of tall floats.

The Christmas parade...called "A Christmas Fantasy," never fails to deliver what parade lovers love least, when they are ABLE to see it!

You'll see Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy...and all the rest of your Disney character "favorites," plus some of the lesser-seen costumed characters, as well. Naturally, all the characters and floats will be themed with the winter holiday season first and foremost in mind.

Santa Claus brings up the rear of the parade! Waving to the crowd from high atop his attractive float, Santa's appearance brings a smile to the faces of young and old alike.

Can kids meet Santa at Disneyland Park? Yes, they can! At Disneyland, they should head to the Santa's Reindeer Roundup area of the park, where Santa Claus has his own special meeting & greeting room. Photos will be taken by Disneyland staff, which are available for purchase. Or, you may snap your own pictures "free of charge."

FOR MORE PARADE PICTURES and information, please visit the Disney Christmas Parade page of our site.

Picture: Disneyland Castle at  Christmas, before the lights of the icicles have been turned on

Disneyland Castle's Snow and icicles!

Beginning Christmas 2007, (and continuing this year,) the Disneyland Castle has been dusted with festive-looking snow and adorned with shimmering icicles throughout the holiday season! Sleeping Beauty's Castle is the park's iconic centerpiece. Seeing the castle decked out for Christmas in such a stunning desplay affects most Disney fans so strongly that the mere sight of it brings a warm glow to their hearts.

By day, the icicles are visible...but aren't very prominent. How differently the castle looks after nighttime falls, however! The castle's spectacular nighttime lighting makes the icicles sparkle like diamonds!

Photo taken at Disneyland fireworks display

Disneyland Christmas Fireworks

A special fireworks display called " Holiday Magic" has been shown at the park for a number of years. This year, the fireworks show will be moving to Disneyland's new extra-fee, after-hours Christmas parties.

As Disneyland fireworks displays always are, the fireworks show will be "choreographed" to fit a musical soundtrack...a score filled with holiday tunes and Disney movie favorites. And at the end of the show? You can experience snowfall! (But only in certain locations throughout the theme park.)

If you'd like to see pictures and learn more about the Disneyland Park locations where you can experience BOTH the fireworks show AND the snow flurries afterwards, please visit the Disney Fireworks & Snow page of our site.

The magical decor at Disneyland Park

Photo of a famous New Orleans Square courtyard at Disneyland Park sporting its Christmastime decor Crowds would flock to see Disneyland Park at Christmas time even if there were NO special events at all---simply to view the theme park's stunning holiday decor!

Every year Disneyland's park planners try to "outdo themselves" over the year before...and, "impossible" as that job may be, they always manage to succeed! It certainly does seem like each passing Christmas season at Disneyland Park just gets better and better!

ALL areas of Disneyland Park sport holiday decor during November and December, but 3 of Disneyland Park's themed areas stand out in particular. These three area are Main Street USA, New Orleans Square, and Mickey's Toontown.

Main Street USA's "job" is to overwhelm visitors with holiday cheer and spirit as they first enter Disneyland Park...and Main Street certainly DOES succeed at doing that! You'll certainly NEVER forget what season it is on Main Street---you can't! Every lamp post is festively adorned. Christmas boughs...lights...ornaments...they're EVERYWHERE.

Main Street's many stores are stuffed to the seams with all types of heart-warming Christmas merchandise...from the cute, to the nostalgic, to the simply elegant. You could spend your whole day simply browsing through the creative wares for sale in the shops on Main Street (and all the other stores throughout Disneyland Park, as well!)

If you wanted to, you could find a suitable holiday gift for EVERYONE on your list...without ever leaving Disneyland Park! The variety is mind-boggling...and the prices are no more expensive in the shops of Main Street than if you headed towards your local shopping mall!

Photo of Christmastime decorations in Disneyland Park's Toontown section, Anaheim, California

New Orleans Square is the place to head to view Disneyland Park's most elegant Christmas decorations. And, for those who must attend the park before the heart of the Christmas season sets in, New Orleans Square is usually the first of the "lands" to receive it's glitzy holiday "look."

For the best in whimsical Christmas decor, head to Mickey's Toontown. There, you'll see the results of what surely must have been a contest---a contest by the Imagineers to create the zaniest and most humorous decor in the park!

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Use the button above to see more Disneyland Christmas pictures! Next up? Photos of the Disneyland Christmas parade!

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