Disneyland News — Week of November 17, 2018

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The Matterhorn is back, and Turkey Day at Disneyland brings crowds and special dining opportunities! Read on to find out about this and more in this week’s Disneyland news.

Special Events and Notes


Thursday is Thanksgiving, and you can expect crowds, blockouts, and the like as a result.  You can check out the details below, but spoiler alert, it’s going to be very busy the latter part of the week. For those of you in attendance, make sure you keep your eyes open for characters in special Turkey Day attire and other special holiday opportunities!

Thanksgiving is a food-centric holiday, and you’ll have ample opportunity to get your turkey and stuffing (or is it dressing?) on even though you’re at Disney. The Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom is offering an all-you-can eat buffet with all of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes and accouterments, character greetings, and other fun.  Reservations are available here, and tickets are $120 for adults ($35 for kids).  Pretty much all of the hotel restaurants will have special offerings for the holiday as well, including Napa Rose, Goofy’s Kitchen, and Storytellers Cafe, and you can expect plenty of special offerings, from menus to snacks, throughout the parks as well. Remember, in a pinch, just grab a turkey leg and go! There’s never been a day when it’s more appropriate!

These days, it seems that Thanksgiving and Christmas are basically just one big long holiday, and sure enough, even though we’re just now getting to Thanksgiving, you’re going to see Christmas decor throughout the resort, characters in seasonal attire, and a couple of special 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. 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 get into the holiday spirit as well, with A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… in Holiday Magic Fireworks taking place regularly throughout the season. Several attractions also get a seasonal overhaul 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.


As is common for Thanksgiving week, we’re predicting very high crowds from Wednesday on. If you’re looking to tour without the crowds, target the early part of the week if you’re able.

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


It’s going to be a cool week by Anaheim standards,with highs around 70 most of the week, particularly during the holiday weekend. There’s just a hint of a chance of rain on Wednesday.

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 every day this week to accommodate the holiday crowds — all shows are showing every day this week. Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like The Straw Hatters 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

LOTS of Passholder blockouts this week; Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out all week, Southern California Passholders are blocked out on Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, and Friday, and Deluxe Passholders are blocked out on Thursday and Friday only. All other passes are honored every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are Peak Price ($135/$127) every day this 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 8-10 8-10

As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney California Adventure Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 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.


It’s a great time to be at Disneyland! The Matterhorn returns from a lengthy refurbishment, and everything else is scheduled to be online (with the exception of nighttime spectaculars and parades that are dark to make way for seasonal shows).

At California Adventure, World of Color remains offline until further notice — we’ll let you know when we have a better idea of when it will return as well. All other attractions are currently operational, but as always, be aware that refurbishments can pop up unexpectedly, so check out our refurbishments page for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.

That should do it for this week’s preview. 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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