Disneyland Preview — Week of November 18

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The holidays are here, and there are a few special events as Thanksgiving ushers in some pretty large crowds this week. Read on to learn more in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Photo: @Kenlyy1

The holidays are in full swing at Disneyland! In addition to holiday decor at every turn, the daytime parade has been replaced by A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… In Holiday Magic takes over for the evening fireworks. Also, the holiday overlays for it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion remain in place for the season. Over at Disney’s California Adventure, 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 all get into the spirit as well 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.

Of particular note is the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure. In addition to food and drink kiosks sprinkled throughout the park, which are always well-received, Princess Elena of Avalor has a special show, and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! will be taking place throughout the Festival. Lots of great stuff happening this season, well worth checking out!

During the Festival, Annual Passholders are eligible to pick up a Sip & Savor Pass for $45 that is good for 8 Festival food and beverage offerings (excluding alcohol). In addition to potentially saving you some money, you’ll also get a lanyard and a special AP button at each kiosk where you redeem a coupon.  Passholders can stop by the AP Corner at Sonoma Terrace for exclusive photo opportunities and a complimentary commemorative collectible art button.

This Saturday, November 18 is Mickey’s birthday!  Celebrate the big guy with a parade from it’s a small world up to Main Street U.S.A.

Disney is currently holding “A Coco Celebration,” including a sneak peek of Disney•Pixar’s upcoming movie Coco at the Bug’s Life Theater through January 7, 2018 at Disney’s California Adventure.

Also starting this week is a new scene that’s been added to Star Tours from the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie. Expect to visit Crait, which you may have seen in the trailers, and be immersed in a spectacular battle!

Wanting Thanksgiving dinner at Disneyland? That can be arranged of course.  A buffet, complete with characters, is being served at the Disneyland Hotel. It is, umm, not cheap, and will cost $94.99 for adults and $34.99 for children 3-9. This does include one specialty cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage.


Lots of red and orange this week on the ol’ crowd graph–a busy week at Disneyland. The weekend will be lighter than the week, with Saturday having the most moderate crowds predicted, but they’ll be above average every day.

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


Shocking though it may be, it will once again be very nice in Southern California this week.  Highs in the upper 70s and low 80s most days, lows in the 50s, and not a bit of rain in the forecast. Thanksgiving Day is predicted to be the warmest day, with Monday the coolest.  Great weather no matter which day you pick, though.

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.


One good thing about larger crowds is that Disney runs their shows more often, and this week features a full slate of shows every day. Detailed show schedules, including smaller productions like Storytelling at Royal Theatre, can be found here.

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

Admission and Hours

Several Passholder blockouts to be aware of this week: Southern California Passholders are blocked out on Saturday, Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Friday, while Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out on those same days plus Sunday. Deluxe Passholders are blocked out on Friday only. All other Annual Passports will be honored all days of the week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are at Peak cost ($124/$118) 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 8-11 8-11 8-11 8-11 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’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.


Most everything is currently operational at Disneyland. At Disneyland Park, River Belle Terrace is indefinitely closed. At California Adventure, Goofy’s Sky School is currently closed. Everything else is currently open, and no other refurbishments are scheduled for the remainder of the year. That said, just as attractions can go down unexpectedly over the course of the day, more significant issues can result in unexpected closures; as of now, however, it should be a more or less full slate of attractions until the new year.

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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