Disneyland Preview — Week of December 30

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Another super busy week at Disneyland Resort as we transition to 2018, though it becomes slightly more manageable as the week progresses. Read on to find out more in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

We get to usher in 2018 this week, and that means we get to experience the special New Years offerings at Disneyland! The New-Year’s-only (generally) Fantasy in the Sky  fireworks will run twice on New Years Eve, at 9 pm and again at 11:55 to welcome the New Year. If seeing the fireworks from Main Street U.S.A. is important to you, you’ll want to make sure you stake out a spot even earlier than usual. California Adventure will also ring in the New Year at Paradise Pier with its Fountains and Fireworks countdown. Special dining events are available at Napa Rose and PCH Grill; advance reservations are strongly recommended for these experiences. 

The same holiday festivities we’ve been talking about continue, most notably the Festival of Holidays at Disney’s California Adventure (featuring food and drink kiosks sprinkled throughout the park). Princess Elena of Avalor has a special show, and there’s also Disney ¡Viva Navidad! (celebrating Latino holiday traditions). During the Festival, Annual Passholders are eligible to pick up a Sip & Savor Pass for $45 that is good for eight Festival food and beverage offerings (excluding alcohol).

At Disneyland Park, A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… In Holiday Magic are being shown in lieu of the regular daytime parade and evening fireworks, respectively (with the exception of New Year’s Eve, when Fantasy in the Sky is shown). Over at Disney’s California Adventure, World of Color has been replaced by World of Color — Season of Light. All of these special shows are included with your normal park admission, so make sure you check them out.

On the attraction front, it’s a small world holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday still have their holiday overlays in place, and a couple of Cars Land attractions get the holiday treatment for the first time this year: Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters transforms into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. The resorts are all decked out with holiday decorations, including a gingerbread replica of the Grand Californian in that hotel’s lobby. Make sure you check out Rikki’s preview to learn more about what you can expect for the holidays.

Disney’s sneak peek of Disney•Pixar’s movie Coco at the Bug’s Life Theater through January 7, 2018 at Disney’s California Adventure. Also, a new scene has been added to Star Tours from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie.


It will come as no surprise to anyone that the crowds will be pretty heavy this week, with level 9 crowds on Saturday and Wednesday. Remember that crowd levels are a function of wait times, however, and that even though the resort-level New Years Eve crowded is rated as a 7, it may feel more congested than that with guests coming in for the festivities. Also, expect Disneyland Park to be far more crowded than California Adventure on New Year’s Eve.


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


The turn of the New Year will usher in yet another week of very pleasant winter weather in Southern California — low- to mid-70s during the day more or less all week long, and upper 40s in the evening, so you might want to bring a light jacket if you’re going to be hanging around later.  Only a hint of a chance of rain towards the end of the week, but that’s actually more of a chance than they’ve seen in a long time in the area.


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.


All of Disney’s major shows are running full schedules, as one would expect for a busy week like this. Detailed show schedules, including smaller productions like Storytelling at Royal Theatre, can be found here.

Show Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Fantasmic! 3 3 2 2 2 2 2
A Christmas Fantasy Parade 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Believe … In Holiday Magic 1 0 1 1 1 1 1
Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
World of Color 3 2 1 1 2 2 2

Admission and Hours

Passholders blockouts are again a reality this week: Signature Passholders are blocked out Saturday-Monday. Deluxe Passholders are blocked out those days plus Tuesday, and Southern California and Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are at Peak cost ($124/$118) every day this week (and for the remainder of the year).

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

Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri
Disneyland 8-12 8-2 9-11 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12
California Adventure 8-10 8-1 9-9 8-9 8-11 8-11 8-11

As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney’s 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.


With the exception of shows that are dark to make way for seasonal or limited run productions (like the parade or It’s Tough to Be A Bug!), everything is currently operational at Disneyland as the week starts, though Splash Mountain and the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail will both go down for refurbishment starting on January 2.

Looking ahead, Dumbo will be going down January 8 for routine maintenance, and Haunted Mansion will undergo a brief break in operation also starting January 8 to remove the holiday overlay. Much more significant plans are afoot at California Adventure: California Screamin’, the Games of the Boardwalk, and Mickey’s Fun Wheel all close on January 8 as that portion of the park gets a Pixar-themed makeover; Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar will likewise close at this time.

As always, you can see the full slate of refurbishments by checking here.

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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