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Getting Into the Holiday Spirit at Disneyland Resort

I think my family and I have adopted a new holiday tradition: going to Disneyland and California Adventure to kickoff the season! Yes, we’re lucky enough to live just 30 minutes away from “the happiest place on earth,” but the joy and authentic holiday magic you get at the Disneyland Resort should be experienced at least once by everyone.

As you can imagine, Disney goes all out to make sure that as soon as you step into the parks you feel like you’ve walked into a winter wonderland. Both parks transform with the most beautiful decorations, music, seasonal eats and treats, characters in festive costumes, fireworks, special shows and attractions and so much more. The holiday magic is so permeable that even my husband, who’s more on the grinch-y side of the holidays, got into the spirit.

My 5-year-old girl is at an age where what impresses her leaves a permanent mark and she’ll talk about it non-stop for a long time. What she loved the most was definitely the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade and getting to see her favorite characters in winter attire, preceded by a jolly Santa Claus – our first peek at him this year! Her second favorite was visiting the holiday edition of “It’s a Small World” and singing some of our favorite Christmas carols along with the characters from around the world and seeing the holiday touches that have been added to each land. Of course, our favorite was the Mexico and Latin America area that just bursted with color and a fiesta atmosphere.

Check out the slideshow below for our Disneyland Resort must-do’s. There are SO many things to check out during the holidays at both Disneyland and California Adventure that we really needed two days to hop from park to park and take it all in. Make sure you visit the main Disneyland site for a full list of holiday happenings from November 12 through Dec. 6.

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  • The girl excited to let the Disneyland Resort Holidays magic begin! 1 of 19
    The girl excited to let the Disneyland Resort Holidays magic begin!
  • 50-foot Christmas tree in Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street 2 of 19
    50-foot Christmas tree in Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street
    This tree is the highlight of the holiday decorations on Buena Vista Street and is adorned with vintage ornaments reminiscent of the 1920's, the era when Walt Disney arrived to Los Angeles.
  • Tire wreaths adorn Route 66 in Cars Land 3 of 19
    Tire wreaths adorn Route 66 in Cars Land
  • Tow Mater poses in holiday garb 4 of 19
    Tow Mater poses in holiday garb
  • Girls just want to have fun! 5 of 19
    Girls just want to have fun!
  • Main Street in Disneyland gets a holiday facelift 6 of 19
    Main Street in Disneyland gets a holiday facelift
  • The first float of the A Christmas Fantasy parade 7 of 19
    The first float of the A Christmas Fantasy parade
  • Tin soldiers lead the way in the A Fantasy Christmas parade 8 of 19
    Tin soldiers lead the way in the A Fantasy Christmas parade
  • Minnie and Mickey’s ice skating float in the A Christmas Fantasy parade 9 of 19
    Minnie and Mickey's ice skating float in the A Christmas Fantasy parade
  • The Princess and Prince float 10 of 19
    The Princess and Prince float
  • Pinocchio’s float in the A Christmas Fantasy parade 11 of 19
    Pinocchio's float in the A Christmas Fantasy parade
  • Santa Claus himself closes the A Christmas Fantasy parade 12 of 19
    Santa Claus himself closes the A Christmas Fantasy parade
  • A holiday facade for It’s a Small World 13 of 19
    A holiday facade for It's a Small World
  • image-30 14 of 19
    image-30
  • Mexico gets festive in It’s a Small World 15 of 19
    Mexico gets festive in It's a Small World
  • Beautiful message at It’s a Small World 16 of 19
    Beautiful message at It's a Small World
  • Goofy visits guests at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree 17 of 19
    Goofy visits guests at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree
    In Big Thunder Ranch, Fronteirland guests can meet characters, play games, decorate cookies, take a picture with Santa and so much more.
  • Waiting her turn at the games in Jingle Jangle Jamboree 18 of 19
    Waiting her turn at the games in Jingle Jangle Jamboree
  • A family picture with Minnie and Daisy 19 of 19
    A family picture with Minnie and Daisy

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