Disneyland News — Week of December 22, 2018

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Christmas crowds are here, the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure marches on, and the whole resort is full of holiday cheer! Read on to find out about this and more in this week’s Disneyland news.

Special Events and Notes

It’s Christmas week at Disneyland, and that means you can expect really high crowd levels.  For those of you that are planning to be at the parks on Christmas Day, several restaurants will be featuring special menus for the occasion. If you’re looking for a festive feast on Christmas, Disney’s PCH Grill, Storytellers Café, Goofy’s Kitchen, and Napa Rose will all have seasonal buffets and/or menus for the occasion. Reservations are recommended.

In the parks, you will of course find seasonal decor, character costumes, and treats celebrating Christmas, in addition to Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and other winter holidays. Make sure you check out our photo tour of the resort, and Guy’s recent write up of the best seasonal treats to be found throughout!

There are a couple of special holiday events at Disney’s California Adventure. Disney’s Festival of Holidays includes the Festive Foods Marketplace, a collection of kiosks serving small bites of all manner of seasonal food and drink. You can check out some edible highlights here.  Additionally, Disney’s ¡Viva Navidad! is a cultural holiday celebration leading up to Three Kings’ Day that includes authentic music, dance, decor, and food. Passholders, make sure you stop by the AP Corner for special freebies and opportunities as well!

Disney’s parades and evening shows also get a holiday overhaul, with A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… in Holiday Magic Fireworks taking place regularly throughout the season. Several attractions also get a seasonal overlay for the holidays.  This year, in addition to perennial favorites like Haunted Mansion Holiday and it’s a small world Holiday, a couple of Radiator Springs attractions get a transformation. You’ll find Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl along with the wonderful holiday decor in Cars Land.

Finally, the reboot of Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, is finally here, and you can see a special exhibition of the Art of Mary Poppins at Disneyland. It’s in the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.


Everyone is off of school for Christmas break, and that means we’re going to see mammoth crowds this week, especially after Christmas. Only Saturday has crowds that are predicted to be lower than level 8, and Thursday and Friday are both predicted to have level 10 crowds.

Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.


The weather gurus are predicting a relatively chilly week in Anaheim for the holiday, and there’s even a decent chance of rain the latter part of the week.  Lows will dip into the 40s on most days, so make sure you plan accordingly.

As always, it’s wise to double check the weather as the day of your visit approaches. Check out the most up-to-date forecast here.


Disney has a full slate of shows all week long. Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like The Disneyland Band can be found here.

Show Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Fantasmic! 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Christmas Fantasy Parade 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Holiday Magic Fireworks 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


Admission and Hours

Passholder blockouts are in full effect this week; basically, unless you have a Signature Plus Annual Passport, you’re blocked out all week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are Peak Price ($135/$127) all week.

Regular park hours (excluding Extra Magic Hours/Magic Mornings) are as follows this week:

Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri
Disneyland 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12
California Adventure 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-11 8-11

Early entry is being handled differently this week for the holiday. Early entry at 7 a.m. is available at both parks every day this week starting on Monday (normal rules apply to the weekend — Disneyland on Saturday, DCA on Sunday) for eligible guests. Resort guests can take advantage of these hours every day of their stay for Extra Magic Hours, while guests eligible for Magic Mornings can use that benefit one day at Disneyland Park only. Full park hours can be found by clicking on each date in the Crowd Calendar.


Most everything is running at Disneyland! With the exception of World of Color at California Adventure, which remains offline until further notice with technical issues related to the redo, everything else that would normally be operating is operating. As always, be aware that refurbishments can pop up unexpectedly, so check out our refurbishments page to make sure your favorite ride is still running, and for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.

That should do it for this week’s news. Check back next week and every week to find out what’s coming down the pike. Got questions? Aware of anything else that prospective guests should know about? Let us know in the comments.

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Jamie Rosemergy

When not planning for or traveling to Walt Disney World with his beautiful wife and impossibly adorable daughter, James practices law in St. Louis. He also really likes cheese -- and loathes kale. He can be found on twitter at @jrtoastyman.

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