Travel: Disneyland Holidays

Disneyland’s Holiday’s started on November 9th.  Last year was our first time going during this magical time of year.  The park wasn’t too crowded when we went in December, but I think it gets busier the closer you get to Christmas and New Year’s.  It’s a very special time at the park with all the lights, and the treats, and the smell of gingerbread.

Travel Disneyland Holidays

What We Did

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, and departed the following Tuesday.  I let my daughter miss some school so we could beat the crowds.  I am a firm believer that the experience and memories are worth more than the two days of school she missed.

We checked into our hotel and then went to Disneyland.  We tried to get the rides with longer waits out of the way, like the Haunted Mansion.  It’s super busy from Halloween to Christmas since it’s A Nightmare Before Christmas themed.  Not only does it smell like gingerbread in there, but it’s like having Halloween on Christmas and we’ll wish it never ended, because FYI, the line doesn’t.  And you have to stay until dark to see the beautiful lights on It’s a Small World.

Travel Disneyland Holidays

The next day, we started at California Adventure.  We did park hopper passes, which we’ve never done with my daughter because she was too young and too tired from one park to justify the extra money to run back and forth.

Travel Disneyland Holidays California Adventure

My sister, niece and I took turns riding Guardians of the Galaxy as many times as we could before it got too busy.  Ella likes to hang out in the adjacent A Bug’s Land while we do this.  Hopefully, next time we go she’ll be ready to pee her pants with Chris Pratt.

We took a mid-afternoon break at the Grand Californian to check out the gingerbread house in the lobby, and then went to Disneyland for the rest of the day.  We also knocked another first off of our list when Ella finally saw Fantasmic.  We did the later show, and it wasn’t busy at all, but it was really cold outside so that may have had something to do with it?

Travel Disneyland Holidays

Our final park day we started at California Adventure again, this time in Cars Land.  We hung out here most of the day.  We had tickets for World of Color but it was cancelled that night due to wind, so we decided to go back to Disneyland for the night.

Travel Disneyland Holidays

We spent our last day shopping in Downtown Disney and hanging out with the characters at the Disneyland Hotel.

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel.  I have always wanted to stay here, and I always get vetoed.  I made sure I got my wish this time.  There was a giant gingerbread house in the lobby and it smelled like gingerbread here, too {are you sensing a theme.}

Disneyland Hotel

We stayed in the Adventureland tower and our room looked out onto Downtown Disney, which was a little loud because there’s a band playing into the night.  The room was nice and I would say it’s my second favorite property after Grand Californian.

Where We Ate

Blue Bayou – We always eat here when we come to Disneyland.  Make reservations ahead of time.  We did a Fantasmic dining package so we wouldn’t have to worry about seating at the show.

Carnation Café – We always wanted to go here, but you need to make reservations ahead of time and we always forget, but not this time!  We had lunch here and Ella loved the Mac and Cheese.

Cove Bar – We drank fancy drinks, ate appy’s and watched the action on Paradise Pier.  Now, it’s called the Lamplight Lounge and you can watch the action on Pixar Pier.

Travel Disneyland Holidays

Earl of Sandwich – We ate sammies in Downtown Disney before heading to the airport.

Jolly Holiday Bakery and Café – I had a Matterhorn Cream Puff for breakfast.  Yum!

Little Red Wagon – My friend Sara gave me this tip and we had delicious corn dogs upon our arrival at the park.  The line gets long, so get there early!

Mint Julep Bar– Beignets and coffee in the afternoon.  They have seasonal flavors for the holidays, so these beignets were gingerbread, of course.

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria – Located in Downtown Disney, this is one of our go to’s.  We ate here on our first night on the way back to the hotel.

Starbucks – For my favorite, a gingerbread latte {so much better than pumpkin spice.}  There’s one located on Main Street in Disneyland {it’s disguised as Market House} and one in California Adventure on Buena Vista Street {disguised as the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe.}  Neither are disguised very well and the lines are long.

Tiki Juice Bar – Can’t go to Disneyland without getting a Dole Whip!

This was one of my favorite Disney trips!  I’m looking forward to the next one!


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