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9 Way Cool Ways Disneyland Brings the Holiday Magic

The Holidays at Disneyland

I’ve been to Disneyland in the summer, I’ve been to Disneyland in the spring, I’ve been to Disneyland in the fall, but I had never seen Disneyland at one of it’s most glorious and magical times in the midst of winter. But recently I was lucky enough to witness the wonderland that Disneyland becomes in honor of the holiday season. And yes, it was awesome. At first, I was skeptical that Disneyland could get any more wonderful. But the “happiest place on earth,” always surprises me in the most delightful ways.

Now, I’m as sentimental as the next mom, but the holidays at Disneyland touched my soul in waves of sappiness, excitement and awe. There is just something about the power of the memories being made during this time be it my own families or the family in the “It’s a Small World” boat behind us or the children running towards Mickey Mouse it’s a time none of us will ever forget. There were moments during our trip that will be embedded in my mind forever; the look in my daughter’s eyes when the snow started to fall on Main Street, the giggling when we ate the limbs off a gigantic Gingerbread Man cookie, and when our jaws dropped at the sight of Sleeping Beauty’s castle lit up in all its sparkly glory.

Here are 9 way cool that Disneyland bring the holiday magic, memories worth making:

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  • Cars Land 1 of 12
    Cars Land
    This is the first year that the new Cars Land at Disneyland has had the chance to celebrate Christmas, and the residents of Radiator Springs went all out for the season. One thing that was amazing was how they seamlessly incorporated holiday decor into the theme of the land from Christmas tress made of road signs, traffic cones and hub caps to Mater donning a giant Santa cap. It really was beautifully executed.
  • Cozy Cone 2 of 12
    Cozy Cone
    The Christmas tree in front of the Cozy Cone.
  • The Parade 3 of 12
    The Parade
    My grandmother loved a parade. She would camp out early to see them in person and would watch them on TV whenever she got a chance. Towards the end of her life she was a bit confused by some of our San Francisco parades, but she still loved them. But me? I couldn't stand them. It was just so borrinnnggg. But now I get it. The pageantry, the passion put into the creation of the floats, the grins of the people participating and those on the sidelines. And the parade that I "get" the most is a Disneyland Parade. They are eclectic in their homages to Disney icons of the past from Puff the Magic Dragon to the all important princesses. And for a the holidays they really pull out all the pomp and circumstance. We're talking Mr. and Mrs. Claus, dancing gingerbread men and of course Mickey Mouse.
  • The Gingerbread Man 4 of 12
    The Gingerbread Man
    I loved the gingerbread men costumes. Would love to borrow one for Halloween!
  • It’s a Small World 5 of 12
    It's a Small World
    To see the iconic ride transformed from it's normal white hue to a bright, vibrant and colorful masterpiece is a sight not to be missed.
  • It’s a Small World – Inside 6 of 12
    It's a Small World - Inside
    But it's not just the outside of "It's a Small World" that has been transformed, the inside of the ride has been sprinkled with season's greetings.
  • The Haunted Mansion 7 of 12
    The Haunted Mansion
    "It's a Small World" isn't the only ride that goes through a transformation, the crew at Disneyland does a phenomenal job assisting Jack Skellington of Nightmare Before Christmas in his takeover of The Haunted Mansion. It is NOT to be missed. I think we rode it about 4 times when we were there!
  • The Sweets 8 of 12
    The Sweets
    You can't go to Disneyland and not indulge in a special sugary treat, and the pastry chefs at the "happiest place on earth," do a delicious job at making the "yummiest treats on earth." Some of our favorites were the tricked out cupcakes, the Santa candied apples and, of course, the giant gingerbread men cookies.
  • The Music 9 of 12
    The Music
    There are all sorts of little holiday touches that pop up, one of our favorite was the traditional group of carolers who we ran into on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. Their classic holiday songs will totally get you in the mood.
  • The Characters 10 of 12
    The Characters
    Of course Disney's characters would be in the holiday mood! Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy and many more don their holiday finest worthy of your families Christmas card.
  • Jingle Jangle Jamboree 11 of 12
    Jingle Jangle Jamboree
    One of the funnest places for the family to make holiday memories is the extremely fun Jingle Jangle Jamboree. This special event takes over the Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland and features special character meet and greets, games, crafts, cookie decorating, and a chance to meet Santa! You could spend all day right there in that one area, it's that fun.
  • The Fireworks & Castle 12 of 12
    The Fireworks & Castle
    One of the most stunning visions at Disneyland, and arguably anywhere, is seeing Sleeping Beauty's castle lit up. And the best way to see it is to watch the amazing fireworks display that occurs before the castle takes the spotlight. I actually shed a tear while watching the end of the fireworks display. At the last big explosion, the castle is lit and then snow begins to fall on main street. It really is a magical moment and one I will never forget.
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Photo Source: Sunny Chanel and Disney
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