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2021 Disneyland Holiday Guide (including the new After Hours)

Home2021 Disneyland Holiday Guide
2021 Disneyland Holiday Guide (including the new After Hours)

Just like the holidays at Walt Disney World, there are all kinds of holiday events at Disneyland.

So, what can you expect this year at the happiest place on earth? Go no further, because here is your 2021 Disneyland holiday guide.

Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure have holiday celebrations.

Each park’s festivities are very different from one another, which makes the holidays all the more special. There’s more to see, do, and enjoy!

Downtown Disney District and each of the official Disney Resort hotels also have holiday offerings, including decor, trees, treats, and, of course, gingerbread house displays.

Better yet, the majority of holiday offerings are available to every single guest that has valid theme park admission and a park reservation. That’s right, no need to pay extra.

However, Disneyland is introducing a brand new After Hours event for 2021 that is an additional charge. More on this limited-time event below.

Now, let’s take a look at all of the ways you can celebrate the 2021 holiday season at Disneyland.

Unless otherwise noted, all of Disneyland’s holiday events begin on Nov. 12, 2021 and run through Jan. 9, 2022 (three days longer than normal!).

Disneyland Park

disneyland park main street holiday decorations

From a parade, to fireworks, to two classic attractions with special overlays, to decor throughout the park and each land, Disneyland Park has a variety of holiday celebrations.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

disneyland a christmas fantasy parade

This holiday parade features a range of Disney characters, like Mickey, Minnie, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Anna, Elsa and Olaf, Woody and Buzz, and the Disney Princesses. Of course, Santa Claus is also included as part of the big finale.

Keep in mind that the parade route can vary.

If there’s only one parade a day, it usually begins on Main Street, U.S.A. and will end by “it’s a small world.”

If there are two parades a day, the first parade typically begins at “it’s a small world” and ends on Main Street, with the second starting on Main Street and ending at “it’s a small world.”

You’ll want to check the Disneyland app for that day’s schedule, but the current parade times are listed as 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Believe…In Holiday Magic Fireworks

believe in holiday magic fireworks at disneyland

These fireworks are held nightly and last around 15 minutes over Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. There are, obviously, fireworks, special music, more than 80,000 twinkling lights illuminating the castle, and even some snow on Main Street.

Tip: Plan to see the fireworks every night of your trip, because Disneyland fireworks are known to be cancelled much more often due to weather (specifically wind) compared to fireworks at Disney World.

Typically, fireworks begin at 9 p.m., but you’ll want to check the Disneyland app to make sure. Also keep in mind that there won’t be fireworks when the park closes early for Disney Merriest Nites.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

haunted mansion holiday disneyland

For both the Halloween and holiday seasons, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas takes over the Haunted Mansion both on the exterior and interior.

This is also the 20th year for the Haunted Mansion Holiday!

Per usual, there’s a massive gingerbread house you’ll see during the ballroom scene that is grand and miraculous. This year, the house (above) honors all of the previous gingerbread houses.

“it’s a small world” Holiday

it's a small world holiday disneyland

During the holiday season, “it’s a small world” is transformed with holiday decorations both inside and outside.

When riding the classic attraction, you’ll also be able to hear traditional holiday tunes play, in addition to the “It’s A Small World (After All)”.

And at night, the façade is illuminated with lights and a holiday nighttime projection show that occurs every 30 minutes.

This year, “it’s a small world” Holiday will remain open through Jan. 23, 2022.

You’ll want to check the Disneyland app for the most up-to-date schedule, but “it’s a small world” Holiday Lighting is currently listed as beginning at 5:15 p.m. each evening.

Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle

disneyland sleeping beauty castle dream lights

Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle is covered in icicles, wreaths, and other décor for the holiday season. Every night, you’ll even be able to see the castle light up with falling snow and music.

Usually, this begins at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., but, of course, check the app for the exact times.

Christmas Tree & Lighting

disneyland park christmas tree

Located on Main Street, U.S.A., you can find the heavily decorated Christmas tree with thousands of ornaments.

There are, of course, decorations along Main Street, including storefronts, lampposts, and rooftops with festive wreaths and garland.

The tree usually lights up daily around 4:55 p.m.

Candlelight Processional

disneyland park candlelight processional

Disneyland Park’s Candlelight Processional was held on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, 2021. Shows both nights were at 5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

The yearly holiday show takes place in front of the train station and is usually by invitation only. But, those without tickets can watch from designated areas on Main Street, U.S.A.

The celebrity narrator in 2021 was Sterling K. Brown from This Is Us.

Disney Merriest Nites

disney merriest nites at disneyland

For 2021, Disneyland Park hosted a holiday-themed After Hours event called “Disney Merriest Nites.”

The event took place on Nov. 11, Nov. 16, Nov, 30, Dec. 7, and Dec. 9. Tickets sold out for the event.

The event granted admission to the park starting at 5 p.m. (no theme park reservation were required) and the party will took place from 8 p.m. to midnight.

General admission started at $165 per person (ages 3+). Parking was not included. Here are a few other things that were featured:

  • Unlimited digital Photopass downloads (for 45 days after initial capture)
  • Character appearances, including rare and classic Disney characters dressed in their holiday best and even Santa Claus, himself
  • Snow on Main Street, U.S.A
  • Themed-photo backdrops
  • Specialty food and beverages
  • Disney Merriest Nites-themed merchandise available during the event
  • Guests can dress as their favorite character during the event (more costume guidelines here)

There were also 6 different character-themed parties across the park (click the image to zoom).

disney merriest nites holiday character parties

Read more about special events at Disneyland.

Holiday-Themed Food & Beverages

disneyland holiday foodie guide 2021

Another big part of the holidays at Disneyland Park are the themed-treats and beverages! There’s a lot to look forward to this year, too.

Here’s what you can expect (pricing TBD).

Alien Pizza Planet (mobile order available)

  • Chicken Parmesan Pizza – Chicken breast tossed in zesty marinara sauce with mozzarella and Parmesan topped with sun-dried tomato drizzle, seasoned breadcrumbs, and basil
  • Tomato Cream Pasta – Italian sausage and bell peppers served on chef’s choice of pasta tossed with blush sauce
  • Green Alien Holiday Macaron – Macaron filled with marshmallow crème and chocolate ganache

Blue Bayou Restaurant (mobile check-in available)

  • 31 Royal Street Signature Julep – A refreshing blend of blood orange and mint
  • Cookie Butter Crème Brûlée with cookie crumbles and chocolate brownie

Café Orleans (mobile dine walk-up and mobile check-in available)

  • Hot Cocoa Crème Brûlée topped with marshmallow chantilly and served with sugar cookies
disneyland holiday food 2021 carnation cafe

Carnation Café (mobile check-in available)

  • Herb-roasted Pork Sandwich – Herb-roasted pork, mortadella, pickled onions, and  arugula on ciabatta served with your choice of fresh fruit or seasoned french fries

Churro Cart – Castle Hub

  • Chocolate-Cinnamon Churro – Traditional cinnamon-sugar churro rolled in hot chocolate powder

Churro Cart – Critter Country

  • Groom Churro – Classic churro dressed in a duo of dark and milk chocolate

Churro Cart – New Orleans Square

  • Bride Churro – Elegantly dressed churro in a bouquet of vanilla and sugar
disneyland holiday churros 2021

Churro Cart – Tomorrowland

  • Pink Coconut Churro with chocolate marshmallow crème dipping sauce

Churro Cart – Town Square

  • Holiday Cookie Churro topped with crushed ginger snaps and holiday spices with vanilla dipping sauce

French Market (mobile order available)

  • Smothered Beef with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, caramelized onions and roasted garlic au jus
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday Wreath Cookie
  • Wedding Cake – Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, sour cherries, cream cheese filling, finished with a splatter of cherry sauce
disneyland holiday food 2021

Galactic Grill (mobile order available)

  • Specialty Burger – 1/3 lb. Angus beef patty, roasted sausage, provolone, chimichurri aïoli, honey-mustard, arugula, grilled onion, and red bell peppers on a toasted bun served with choice of Greek yogurt or french fries
  • Peppermint-Mocha Frappé – Frozen coffee beverage with peppermint and chocolate, topped with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies
  • Caramel Pecan Brownie Parfait – Layers of devil’s food cake, chocolate brownie, caramel pecans and vanilla chantilly

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor (mobile order available)

  • Peppermint Holiday Sundae – Two scoops of peppermint ice cream with fudge topping, crushed peppermint, whipped cream, and a cherry

Refreshment Corner (mobile order available)

  • Spicy Meatball Sandwich – House-made meatballs, marinara, shredded mozzarella, and cheese sauce on a toasted garlic hoagie roll
disneyland holiday food 2021

Golden Horseshoe (mobile order available)

  • Churro Funnel Cake à la Mode – House-made funnel cake topped with dulce de leche gelato, cinnamon sugar, toffee candy and caramel

Harbour Galley – reopening soon (mobile order available

  • Seafood Boil for Two – Shareable experience with Cajun-buttered shrimp with red potatoes, corn, and andouille sausage with rustic bread (also available as an individual portion; offering starts mid-Dec.)

Hungry Bear Restaurant (mobile order available)

  • Spicy BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger – 1/3 lb. Angus chuck patty with applewood-smoked bacon, American cheese, onion ring, pickled jalapeños, and BBQ sauce served with Cuties Mandarin oranges or french fries
  • Honey Cream Cold Brew – Cold brew sweetened with honey cream served over ice
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Funnel Cake

Ice Cream and Vending Carts

  • Cinnamon Cotton Candy
disneyland holiday food 2021

Jolly Holiday Bakery Café (mobile order available)

  • Turkey Noodle Soup
  • Holiday Brownie with white chocolate mousse, holiday sprinkles, and decorations
  • Chocolate-Mint Macaron with white peppermint cream filling and rich chocolate ganache
  • Holiday Sandwich – Roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce on rustic bread served with house-made chips
  • Maple Walnut Cheesecake – Maple cheesecake with walnut-graham cracker crust, vanilla chantilly, and candied walnuts
  • Mickey Gingerbread – Soft gingerbread Mickey cookie

Market House

  • Mickey Gingerbread – Soft gingerbread Mickey cookie
disneyland holiday food 2021

Mint Julep Bar (mobile order available)

  • Peppermint Beignets – 3- or 6-pack beignets dusted with peppermint powdered sugar

Plaza Inn

  • Chocolate Chip-Red Velvet Bundt Cake filled with cheesecake, cream cheese glaze, and holiday sprinkles
  • Holiday Cake – Devil’s food cake with swirled chocolate mousse filling, buttercream frosting, and holiday sprinkles
  • A Christmas Fantasy Parade Dining Package – Roasted New York strip loin and house-made mac and cheese with autumn vegetables and chocolate bread pudding. Includes prime viewing for A Christmas Fantasy Parade. You can book online. Pricing is: $45 per adult, $25 per child (ages 3 to 9). Magic Key Holder and Cast Member discounts apply.
disneyland holiday food 2021

Rancho del Zocolo

  • Pork Pozole – Traditional Mexican stew of hominy, shredded pork and guajillo peppers garnished with lime, cabbage, onion, and radish
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate with cinnamon flavor
  • Cinnamon Crisps with Dipping Sauce – Caramel, honey-vanilla, or chocolate
  • Dessert Nachos – Cinnamon crisps topped with berry compote, whipped cream, and honey crème anglaise
  • Horchata – Sweet creamy cinnamon, rice, and milk beverage served over ice

Pretzel Carts – Tomorrowland

  • Toffee Pretzel – Cream cheese-filled pretzel sprinkled with toffee sugar and chocolate marshmallow crème dipping sauce

Red Rose Taverne (mobile order available)

  • Eggnog Cold Brew – Cold brew coffee and eggnog topped with whipped cream and holiday spices
  • Holiday Grey Stuff with holiday sprinkles and a white chocolate star
  • Mickey-shaped Gingerbread Cookie
disneyland holiday food 2021

River Belle Terrace (mobile dine walk-up and mobile check-in available)

  • Hummingbird Cake – Pineapple-banana spice cake with cream cheese frosting and candied pecans
  • Country Ham Cubano – Pulled pork, Havarti cheese, and pickles
  • Seasonal Monkey Bread

Royal Street Veranda (mobile order available)

  • Pumpkin Fritters with cream cheese dipping sauce

Stage Door Café (mobile order available)

  • Spicy Corn Dog – Hand-dipped spicy beef frank drizzled with cheese sauce and crushed spicy chips served with Cuties Mandarin oranges or small bag of chips
  • Churro Funnel Cake – House-made funnel cake topped with cinnamon sugar, caramel, toffee candy, and whipped cream
  • Classic Funnel Cake with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and snowflake sprinkles

Tropical Hideaway

  • Holiday DOLE Whip Sundae – A swirl of DOLE Whip Cherry and Lime topped with festive decorations

Specialty Holiday Candy (all available via Mobile Order)

You can find the following holiday candy at Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen on Main Street, U.S.A. and Hunny Spot in Pooh Corner.

  • Snowflake Apple: Granny Smith apple dipped in caramel and white chocolate decorated with blue sanding sugar
  • Peppermint Marshmallow Pop: Mickey-shaped marshmallow pop dipped in dark chocolate and coated with crushed peppermint candy
  • Snowflake Cake Pop: Chocolate cake pop dipped in white chocolate and decorated with blue sanding sugar and white chocolate snowflakes
  • Pumpkin Spice Churro Toffee Square (only available during November): Buttery toffee dipped in white chocolate and coated with pumpkin spice
  • Gingerbread Crispy: Crisped rice treat dipped and decorated with various chocolates
  • Peppermint Fudge: Peppermint-flavored chocolate fudge
  • Pumpkin Fudge: Pumpkin-spiced fudge
  • Churro Marshmallow Pop: Mickey-shaped marshmallow pop dipped in white chocolate and coated with cinnamon and sugar
holiday gingerbread rice crispy treat disneyland

Candy Canes

A very limited number of the famous 18-inch long candy canes will be available for purchase at both Disneyland and California Adventure locations.

They are only sold at the following spots during these specific dates:

  • Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen at Disneyland: Dec. 7, 9,15, 21, 23
  • Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure: Dec. 8, 14, 16, 22
disneyland candy canes

This year, you’ll join a mobile waitlist system due to limited quantities.

Once the mobile waitlist is activated, you can add your name and phone number at the location to receive a text back with a time to return to the location for the opportunity to purchase your candy cane.

Candy canes are not available through mobile order. There is a limit of 1 per guest.

Disney California Adventure

clarabelle festival of the holidays california adventure

Disney California Adventure’s holiday celebrations are so much more than Christmas. There are events that honor a range of holidays, traditions, and cultures, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings’ Day.

Important: Times haven’t been posted yet for many of the following events, but we will update as soon as we learn more.

Disney Festival of Holidays

disney california adventure festival of the holidays sign

The festival in Paradise Gardens Park celebrates diverse cultural festivities and traditions with multicultural music, food, merchandise, and entertainment, including:

Festive Foods Marketplace

disney california adventure festive foods marketplace festival of holidays

The Festive Foods Marketplace features a variety of food and beverage booths celebrating global traditions.

You’ll also want to make sure you purchase a Sip and Savor Passport ($56; $51 for Magic Key holders), which offers 8 entitlement tabs that you can redeem for select food and nonalcoholic beverages at participating Festive Foods Marketplace kiosks and dining locations.

In addition to each marketplace, there are also special festival-inspired treats at select restaurants, carts, and kiosks around the park.

A few important details to keep in mind about the Sip and Savor Passport:

  • Passes expire Jan. 9, 2022, and entitlement tabs may not be redeemed at any other event.
  • Sip and Savor menu items are only tasting-size portions, so similar to Epcot festivals.
  • Sip and Savor Pass are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
  • Valid admission and a theme park reservation for Disney California Adventure Park are still required.

Important note from Disney: “If you have an unredeemed 2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Sip & Savor Pass, as a one-time exception, you may use your remaining entitlement tabs for eligible 2021 Disney Festival of Holidays offerings at participating locations. The entitlement tabs must still be intact and attached to the original 2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Sip and Savor Pass in order to be accepted. Or, you can request to exchange the unused, qualifying entitlement tabs for a Disney Gift Card eGift.

You can also pick up the Disney Festival of Holidays Tasting Passport at any of the Festive Foods Marketplace kiosks and receive stamps as you work your way around each marketplace kiosk.

After you collect each marketplace stamp, be sure to stop by the Holiday Central Pergola (near The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure) to receive a special completion stamp.

Festive Foods Marketplaces

1. Holiday Duets Marketplace

  • Braised Pork Belly Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice
  • Shrimp & Grits with Andouille Sausage
  • Pabana Cachaça Colada – Cachaça, passionfruit, banana, mango, coconut cream, and lime
  • Calamansi Melon Lemonade – Calamansi, cantaloupe, and house-made lemonade
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

2. Brews & Bites Marketplace

  • Impossible Chorizo Queso Fundido with House-made Tortilla Chips
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

3. Winter Sliderland Marketplace

  • Nashville Hot Turkey Slider with dill pickle
  • Bourbon Cranberry Cocktail – Bourbon, cranberry, orange, and cinnamon
  • Prickly Pear Tea Lemonade – Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. Ceylon Black Tea (cold brew), prickly pear beverage syrup, and house-made lemonade
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

4. Grandma’s Recipes Marketplace

  • Impossible Arepa Encantada
  • Gingerbread Mickey
  • Berries ‘n’ Crema – Huckleberry, strawberry, and raspberry house-made syrup, condensed and whole milk, and fruit-flavored cereal topped with house-made strawberry whipped cream
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

5. A Twist on Tradition Marketplace

  • Reimagined Beef Brisket Wellington
  • Reuben Potato Bites with Russian Dressing & Rye Toast Crumble
  • Churro Toffee Cold Brew Latte – Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company Mexico Origin-blend Coffee, Demerara and cinnamon sugar, vanilla bean and almond milk topped with whipped cream and churro toffee pieces
  • Red Sangria
  • Sauvignon Blanc
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

6. Making Spirits Bright Marketplace

  • Cinnamon & Sugar Holiday Tart
  • “Hot Cocoa” Marshmallow Macaron
  • Maple Hazelnut Hot Buttered Rum – Rum and maple syrup with flavors of hazelnut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove topped with house-made salted caramel whipped cream
  • White Wine Flight
  • Red Wine Flight
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

7. Favorite Things Marketplace

  • Holiday Stuffing Mac & Cheese
  • Chana Masala with Grilled Garlic Naan
  • Hibiscus Ginger Mezcal Mule – Mezcal, house-made hibiscus syrup, ginger, lime juice, and Topo Chico Mineral Water
  • Selection of Pale Ales and Stouts
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

8. Merry Mashups Marketplace

  • Esquites Carnitas Mac & Cheese featuring Oaxaca and Cotija cheeses with spiced puffed rice
  • Holiday Spiced Wings with citrus cranberries
  • Holiday Mix
  • Honey Guava Pisco Punch – Pisco, guava, spicy honey syrup, ginger, and lime juice
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

9. Treats for Santa Marketplace

  • Mickey Snowman Cookie Decorating Kit
  • Holiday Mix
  • Maple Hazelnut Hot Buttered Rum – Rum and maple syrup with flavors of hazelnut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove topped with house-made salted caramel whipped cream
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

Other Festival-Inspired Treats

Viva Navidad at Paradise Garden Grill (mobile order available)

  • Chile Relleno Plate – Roasted poblano stuffed with veggie stew topped with roasted tomato sauce and tofu crema served with Spanish rice and black beans (plant-based)
  • House-made Pozole – Mild red chile and pork stew with hominy topped with shredded cabbage, onions, radish, lime, and oregano served with tortilla chips (Sip and Savor Pass portion eligible)
  • Torta al Pastor – Soft telera roll, chorizo beans, pork al pastor, cabbage, guacamole, and crema served with tortilla chips and molcajete salsa (Sip and Savor Pass eligible)
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure
  • Street-Style Tacos – Three corn tortilla tacos filled with carne asada, carnitas, and chicken with white onion and fresh cilantro served with Spanish rice and black beans topped with queso blanco (Sip and Savor Pass portion eligible)
  • Pineapple Tres Leches Roulade – Vanilla sponge with layers of pineapple filling and cinnamon buttercream finished with white chocolate mousse and tres leches soak
  • Kids’ Street-Style Tacos – Corn tortilla taco filled with choice of carne asada, carnitas, or chicken served with Spanish rice and black beans topped with queso blanco and choice of small lowfat milk or small DASANI Water
  • Kids’ Cheese Quesadilla – A whole-wheat tortilla with melted cheese served with a mandarin orange and choice of small lowfat milk or small DASANI Water

Paradise Garden Carts

  • Beef Tamale with Red Sauce
  • Guava and Cheese Pan Dulce – Guava and cheese pan dulce finished with a colorful chocolate sarape
  • Maple-Hazelnut Hot Buttered Rum – Rum, maple syrup, and flavors of hazelnut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove topped with a house-made salted-caramel whipped cream
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

Willie’s Churro Cart

  • Chocolate-Pecan Churro – Classic churro topped with maple glaze, toasted pecans, and chocolate drizzle

Grizzly Peak Churro Cart

  • Peppermint Churro – Churro coated with crushed candy canes and drizzled with chocolate and vanilla icing

Hollywood Churro Cart

  • Chocolate-Hazelnut-Strawberry Churro – Classic churro drizzled with chocolate-hazelnut and strawberry sauces
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

Lucky Fortune Cookery (mobile order available)

  • Bao Bun with Seasonal Fruit – Crispy bao bun filled with seasonal fresh fruit tossed in a berry sauce and dusted with powdered sugar

Pacific Wharf Café (mobile order available)

  • Apple Fritter Bread Pudding – Warm apple-cinnamon bread pudding served with whipped cream and warm salted caramel sauce

Smokejumpers Grill (mobile order available)

  • Holiday Shake – Spiced shake garnished with green whipped cream and a red wreath donut
  • Loaded Latke – Traditional latke loaded with smoked brisket topped with soy yogurt-horseradish sauce and scallions
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

Sonoma Terrace (mobile order available)

  • Avocado Cheese Steak – Thinly sliced steak with grilled onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, avocado spread, and melted jack cheese
  • Peppermint Cold Brew Cocktail – Cold brew with coffee liqueur, a splash of crème de menthe, and crème de cacao garnished with a miniature candy cane
  • Cranberry Mule – A twist on a classic mule with cranberry juice and agave garnished with a sprig of rosemary and a cape cranberry

Studio Catering Truck (mobile order available)

  • Deconstructed Carnitas Tamal – Rajas con queso tamale, carnitas, salsa verde, avocado salsa, crema, and queso fresco

Pym Tasting Lab (mobile order available)

  • Holiday Snack Molecules – Gingerbread and Mexican hot chocolate caramel corn, mini pretzels, honey-roasted peanuts, dried cranberries, and popped sorghum

Terran Treats

  • Pineapple-Coconut Ration – Pineapple-flavored spiral churro dipped in a coconut-flavored glaze and sprinkled with toasted coconut
festival of holidays 2021 menu disney california adventure

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

disney viva navidad california adventure

This is a fun street party featuring Disney characters (like Mickey and Minnie in their “fiesta best”), Mexican folklórico dancers and Mariachis, Brazilian samba dancers and percussionists, and giant mojiganga puppets.

Holiday traditions from Mexico and Brazil are brought to life by cultural performers, authentic Mexican specialities served throughout the holidays at Paradise Garden Grill, and more.

Paradise Gardens is decorated with “colorful papel picado banners, piñatas and a flurry of festive accents.”

There’s also a Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party featuring Donald Duck and his friends during this “ultimate family fiesta,” which includes mariachi and samba musicians, folklórico dancers, and a 12-foot tall mojiganga puppets of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Meet Mirabel from Encanto

mirabel meet and greet disney california adventure

New this year, you can meet Mirabel from Disney’s new film, Encanto. She makes appearances in Paradise Gardens with a colorful photo location inspired by Mirabel’s family casita.

Mickey’s Happy Holidays

mickey's happy holidays california adventure

This is a brief street party starring Mickey Mouse and pals as they dance to the magical merry rhythms of the Holiday Toy Drummers.

Bands

mariachi divas disneyland

There are a range of bands performing during the festival.

  • Mariachi Divas: festive spin on classic holiday tunes
  • Mostly Kosher: honor Hanukkah with an eclectic blend of musical styles from klezmer and jazz to Latin and rock
  • Blue13 Dance Company: salute Diwali with traditional dances during a Bollywood party
  • Phat Cat Swinger: brassy, classy, swinging and holiday music selections
  • The Suffragettes: a cover band performing chart-topping hits from favorite musical artists

Holiday Toy Drummers

holiday toy drummers california adventure

In Paradise Gardens Park, the Holiday Toy Drummers march to their own beat while drumming. There are multiple performances daily and they are not to be missed.

Santa’s Holiday Visit

Satna at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

From Nov. 12 through Dec. 24, 2021, you can wave hello and snap socially-distanced photos of Santa Claus a the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. The trail is also transformed into a holiday playground with seasonal games and outdoor activities.

Cars Land Holiday Transformation

cars land holiday overlay

Similar to Halloween, Cars Land is transformed into a holiday wonderland. Two of the attractions even have themed-overlays.

Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl is the same, but has festive dances and tunes sang by Luigi. Mater’s Jingle Jamboree is the same, but is set to classic holiday songs performed by Mater.

Buena Vista Street Tree & Holiday Lighting

Disney California Adventure's Buena Vista Street during the holidays

The 50-foot tree on Buena Vista Street lights up in the plaza outside Elias & Co. daily.

The entirety of the street transforms into a “nostalgic winter wonderland filled with festive sights and friendly folk straight out of 1930s Hollywood.”

The tree lighting is usually around 4:55 p.m.

Three Kings’ Day

three kings day at dca

Technically part of Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, Three Kings’ Day is also known as El Día de los Reyes Magos and occurs over four days (Jan. 3-Jan. 9, 2022) in Paradise Gardens Park.

This event honors the 3 Wise Men’s visit to the nativity. There’s traditional decorations and a photo opportunity.

There are also usually displays of Magi figures showing the gifts brought to Bethlehem and children’s shoes that were left outside to be filled with toys.

You can typically expect activities for kids, where they color themed-pictures and design their own custom crown.

Read more about special events at Disney California Adventure.

Holiday-Themed Food & Beverages

california adventure holiday food 2021

Disney California Adventure also has a big specialty holiday food and drink menu that’s separate from the Festival of Holidays food and beverages. Here’s what you can expect this year (pricing TBD).

Award Wieners (mobile order available)

  • Pastrami Reuben – Thinly-sliced pastrami with caramelized onions, pickled cabbage, Thousand Island dressing, spicy mustard, provolone, and pickle spears on a toasted baguette served with Cuties Mandarin oranges or filmstrip fries
  • Chocolate-Marshmallow Funnel Cake Fries topped with cinnamon-cocoa, marshmallow drizzle, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce

Boudin Bread Cart

  • Candy Cane-shaped Sourdough
  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

Churro Cart – Goofy’s

  • Dusted Gingerbread Churro with sweet gingerbread crumbles drizzled with vanilla frosting and finished with Christmas chocolates
california adventure holiday food 2021

Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (mobile order available)

  • Tres Leches Hard Float – Tres leches stout served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce
  • Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Sundae – Scoops of chocolate and peppermint ice cream in a candy cane premium waffle cup topped with whipped cream, chocolate-dipped cookies, and crushed peppermint
  • Chocolate-Peppermint Bar – Choice of ice cream bar dipped in chocolate drizzled in peppermint icing and topped with crushed peppermint
  • Mickey Gingerbread

Cozy Cone Motel 1 – Churros (mobile order available)

  • Cherry-Chocolate Churro – Classic churro rolled in crushed chocolate cookies and topped with cherry glaze and chocolate chips

Cozy Cone Motel 2 – Ice Cream Cones (mobile order available)

  • Peppermint Ice Cream (cone or cup) decorated with holiday sprinkles and topped with a sugar star

Cozy Cone Motel 3 – Chili Cone Queso (mobile order available)

  • Creamy Pesto Alfredo Cone – Creamy pesto alfredo pasta, marinated chicken, balsamic reduction, diced tomatoes, and Romano cheese served in a bread cone

Cozy Cone Motel 4 – Frozen Cone-coctions (mobile order available)

  • Peppermint Stout

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical

  • Mickey Gingerbread
california adventure holiday food 2021

Hollywood Lounge (mobile order available)

  • Holiday Lemonade – Butterfly pea tea, orange juice, and lemonade
  • Peach-Citrus Cocktail – Peach schnapps, rum, lemon-lime soda, blue curaçao, and orange juice
  • Holiday Mule – Peppermint schnapps, cranberry juice, and ginger ale
  • Holiday Limeade – Lemon-lime soda with grenadine garnished with a cherry
  • Blue Lemonade Fizz – Butterfly pea flower tea with hard lemonade seltzer
  • Tropical Holiday Margarita – Tequila, rum, coconut milk, lime juice, and coconut cream

Lamplight Lounge — Boardwalk Dining

  • Holiday Hot Chocolate – Peppermint schnapps and vanilla vodka in hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and peppermint
  • Holiday Martini – Vanilla vodka paired with peppermint, chocolate liqueur, and hazelnut liqueur with a rim of chocolate and peppermint

Lamplight Lounge (mobile check-in available)

  • Stout-braised Winter Short Ribs served atop creamy spiced butternut squash risotto with glazed baby carrots finished with short rib jus reduction, bourbon-cranberry sauce, toasted pepitas, and pea-shoot greens
  • Holiday Hot Chocolate – Peppermint schnapps and vanilla vodka in hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and peppermint
  • Holiday Martini – Vanilla vodka paired with peppermint, chocolate liqueur, and hazelnut liqueur with a rim of chocolate and peppermint
  • Peppermint-Hot Cocoa Donuts – Hot cocoa-dusted donuts with toasted marshmallow creme and peppermint-chocolate dipping sauces

Mortimer’s Market

  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Sourdough
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

Outdoor Ventures

  • Blue and White Swirl Cotton Candy in Snowflake Bag

Pacific Wharf Café (mobile order available)

  • Candy Cane-shaped Sourdough
  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Sourdough
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough
  • Mickey-shaped Gingerbread

Pacific Wharf Cappuccino Cart (mobile order available)

  • Mickey-shaped Gingerbread
california adventure holiday food 2021

Schmoozies! (mobile order available)

  • Peppermint Shake – Peppermint shake topped with whipped cream and chocolate crème cookies
  • Holiday Affogato – Peppermint ice cream with a shot of espresso
  • Mocha Almond Affogato – Mocha almond ice cream with a shot of espresso
  • Mocha Almond Fudge Shake with a chocolate peanut rim topped with whipped cream

Smokejumpers Grill (mobile order available)

  • Cranberry Turkey Burger – Grilled turkey burger, cranberry BBQ sauce, seasoned sweet potato fries, and fried onion strings served with choice of waffle-cut fries or onion rings
  • Apple Whiskey Cocktail – Whiskey with apple cider, apple juice, and hints of vanilla

Wine Country Trattoria (mobile check-in available)

  • Chocolate Peppermint Martini – Chocolate liqueur, peppermint schnapps and vanilla vodka in a crushed candy cane-rimmed glass

Specialty Holiday Candy (all available via Mobile Order)

You can find the following holiday candy at Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff on Pixar Pier and Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street.

holiday granny smith apple at disneyland
  • Snowflake Apple: Granny Smith apple dipped in caramel and white chocolate decorated with blue sanding sugar
  • Peppermint Marshmallow Pop: Mickey-shaped marshmallow pop dipped in dark chocolate and coated with crushed peppermint candy
  • Snowflake Cake Pop: Chocolate cake pop dipped in white chocolate and decorated with blue sanding sugar and white chocolate snowflakes
  • Pumpkin Spice Churro Toffee Square (only available during November): Buttery toffee dipped in white chocolate and coated with pumpkin spice
  • Gingerbread Crispy: Crisped rice treat dipped and decorated with various chocolates
  • Peppermint Fudge: Peppermint-flavored chocolate fudge
  • Pumpkin Fudge: Pumpkin-spiced fudge
  • Churro Marshmallow Pop: Mickey-shaped marshmallow pop dipped in white chocolate and coated with cinnamon and sugar

Disneyland Resort Hotels

disney grand californian christmas tree

While there may not be as many activities as the hotels on property, the holidays are very much present.

The Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa each have their own respective:

  • Holiday decorations and displays
  • Holiday trees “decorated with whimsical flourishes, traditional trimmings, and dashes of pure Disney magic”
  • Christmas carolers

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will also have a giant gingerbread house with brand new details this year.

Holiday Decorations

disneyland hotel holiday mural

There’s a range of holiday décor at each Disneyland Resort hotel, including:

  • Paradise Pier: There’s a holiday tree with an under-the-sea theme featuring blue, green and silver decorations and a garland with shells and starfish.
  • Disneyland Hotel: There’s vintage-inspired art on the lobby wall and pool archway.
  • Grand Californian: There’s a tree with ornaemnts inspired by the Arts & Crafs movement of early California.

Gingerbread Displays

disneyland grand californian gingerbread display

Grand Californian has a gingerbread replica of the hotel.

It stands 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide, with the structure being created from more than 600 pounds of gingerbread, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 250 pounds of fondant and 1 pound of pixie dust. There are also 25 hidden Mickeys.

The lobby also has sweet treats, including Mickey Christmas Cookies, at the holiday cart.

Santa Claus & Carolers

santa claus meet and greet disneyland hotel

Guests can meet Santa at each Disneyland Resort hotel from Nov. 25 – Dec. 24, 2021.

Plus, there are carolers strolling each hotel during the following dates:

  • Grand Californian: Nov. 25, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022
  • Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier: Dec. 15 – 25, 2021

Tenaya Stone Spa

At Grand Californian’s new Tenaya Stone Spa, guests of any of the three Disneyland Resort Hotels can purchase a holiday season spa treatment from Nov. 26, 2021 through Jan. 3, 2022.

There’s a Candy Cane Lane Foot Treatment that uses a peppermint cocoa foot soak, scrub and a minty massage to soothe and invigorate feet and legs.

Another option is the Underneath the Tree Signature Massage that uses customized massage techniques combined with the scent of fir, California lemon, wild mint and a touch of eucalyptus for pure relaxation.

Holiday-Themed Food & Beverages

disneyland hotel and grand californian holiday food 2021

There are several holiday food and drink offerings at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the Disneyland Hotel. Here’s what is available this year (pricing TBD).

GCH Craftsman Grill (mobile order available)

  • Holiday Mickey Donut
  • Holiday Minnie Donut

GCH Craftsman Bar (mobile dine walk-up and mobile check-in available)

  • California Snowball – Rum, coconut rum, and cream of coconut garnished with coconut flakes
  • Holiday Spice – Cream liqueur, spiced rum, and pumpkin-spice syrup garnished with a cinnamon stick and a dusting of pumpkin spice

Disney’s Grand Californian Holiday Cart

  • Mickey Poinsettia Cookie
  • Mickey Snowman Cookie
  • Mickey Christmas Cookie
  • Mickey Gingerbread
  • Mickey Peppermint Crisped Rice Treat
  • Cookie Christmas Box
  • Gingerbread Stout Cake
  • Holiday Hot Chocolate
  • Holiday Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  • Holiday Hot Cider
  • Cookie Shot
  • Red Velvet Cookie Shot
  • Holiday Hot Chocolate with Irish Cream Liqueur
  • Holiday Hot Chocolate with Spiced Rum
  • Holiday Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
  • Holiday Hot Chocolate with Cream Liqueur
  • California Snowball – Rum, coconut rum, and cream of coconut garnished with coconut flakes
  • Holiday Spice – Cream liqueur, spiced rum, and pumpkin spice syrup garnished with a cinnamon stick and a dusting of pumpkin spice
disneyland hotel and grand californian holiday food 2021

Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill (mobile order available)

  • Snowball Cookies
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

The Coffee House (mobile order available)

  • Flaky Napoleon – Layered puff pastry with chantilly cream
  • Apple-Cinnamon Muffin
  • Egg Nog Latte
  • Hot Apple Cider

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar (mobile check-in available)

  • Ginger-Spice Cocktail – Gin, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, ginger syrup, and cinnamon syrup, dusted with cinnamon-dusted with candied ginger
  • Peppermint Rum Cocktail – Rum, peppermint schnapps, ginger syrup, lemon juice, cream of coconut, mint leaves, and pomegranate juice garnished with a candy cane
  • Sparkling Wine Cocktail – Trader Sam’s Gorilla Grog, lime juice, orgeat, orange curaçao, rum, sparkling wine, and cinnamon syrup garnished with a cherry
  • Holiday Cocktail – Spiced liqueur, coffee liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice, and coconut cream available in a Nutcracker Tiki Mug

Downtown Disney District

downtown disney holiday decorations

Downtown Disney District will have trimmed holiday trees, twinkling lights, and dressed up shop windows. You’ll also be able to spot Christmas carolers throughout the shopping and dining area.

Holiday-Themed Food & Beverages

downtown disney holiday treats 2021

Downtown Disney also has all kinds of festive treats for guests to enjoy outside of the parks. Let’s take a look (pricing TBD).

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes

  • The Peppermint Classic Shake is frosty with a chocolate mint pattie, whipped cream, crushed peppermint and chocolate drizzle.

California Churro 

  • The White Peppermint Churro is coated in powdered sugar and drizzled with peppermint icing.

Kayla’s Cake 

  • Find Christmas Snowman and Gingerbread Macarons.

La Brea Bakery & Café 

  • Pick up a Pumpkin Mousse Tart, or a Pumpkin or Peppermint Latte.

Marceline’s Confectionery (mobile order available)

  • Find Mickey Peppermint Marshmallow, a Mickey Santa Cupcake, a Snowflake Caramel Apple and more.

Naples Ristorante e Bar 

  • The Holiday Pizza is made with fontina, provolone, roasted pumpkin, finocchiona salami, sautéed onions and honey.

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen 

  • Pumpkin Glazed Beignet at the express window (available through Dec. 9, 2021)
  • Candy Cane Glaze Beignet at the express window (available Dec. 10-Jan. 9, 2022)
  • Bananas Foster Glazed Beignet inside the restaurant, along with a Snowfall Martini

Salt & Straw

  • Flavors like Peppermint Cocoa, Gingerbread Cookie Dough, Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache or The Great Cookie Swap (beginning Nov. 26, 2021),

Sprinkles

  • 3 holiday cupcakes: Christmas Cookie, Gingerbread, and Chocolate Peppermint.

Tortilla Jo’s

  • Trio de Tamales de Dulce starts with a red tamal served with a house-made strawberry jam
  • White Tamal Dulce de Leche is served with raisins and cinnamon compote
  • Yellow Pineapple Tamal is topped with a piña colada sauce

Wetzel’s Pretzels

  • Cin-A-Bitz are hand rolled pretzel pieces glazed with butter and layered in a cinnamon sugar coating. 

Specialty Holiday Candy (all available via Mobile Order)

You can find the following holiday candy at Marceline’s Confectionery.

  • Snowflake Apple: Granny Smith apple dipped in caramel and white chocolate decorated with blue sanding sugar
  • Peppermint Marshmallow Pop: Mickey-shaped marshmallow pop dipped in dark chocolate and coated with crushed peppermint candy
  • Snowflake Cake Pop: Chocolate cake pop dipped in white chocolate and decorated with blue sanding sugar and white chocolate snowflakes
  • Pumpkin Spice Churro Toffee Square (only available during November): Buttery toffee dipped in white chocolate and coated with pumpkin spice
  • Gingerbread Crispy: Crisped rice treat dipped and decorated with various chocolates
  • Peppermint Fudge: Peppermint-flavored chocolate fudge
  • Pumpkin Fudge: Pumpkin-spiced fudge
  • Churro Marshmallow Pop: Mickey-shaped marshmallow pop dipped in white chocolate and coated with cinnamon and sugar
peppermint marshmallow pop disneyland

Holiday Evening Entertainment

downtown disney holiday entertainment 2021

You can enjoy a capella carolers throughout the holiday season, including Holiday Harmony, The Moonrays, and The Sugarplums.

They all perform in the evenings at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9:10 p.m., near the Downtown Disney main stage, Fridays through Sundays, Nov. 26-Dec. 26, 2021, along with the main stage bands.

Holiday Guide

Here you can take a look at Downtown Disney’s Holiday Guide (click on each image for a closer look).

2021 downtown disney holiday guide
2021 downtown disney holiday guide
2021 downtown disney holiday guide

You can also check out this year’s Downtown Disney Holiday Guide online.

“Holiday Time At The Disneyland Resort” Guided Tour

cars land holiday decorations

Important: This tour is currently unavailable. We’ll let you know if or when it returns. The following information is based on what the tour offered in pre-pandemic times.

This is 2 and a half hour guided walking tour, where guests learn about worldwide holiday traditions and enjoy holiday sections at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

The tour ends with reserved seating for A Christmas Fantasy Parade and participants also receive holiday treats, a collectible pin, and more.

Every year, parts of the tour are refreshed, so there’s always something new offered. It costs $99 per person (ages 3 and older; tax not included), in addition to theme park admission.

Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and Disney Visa Cardmembers receive a 15% discount. You can usually book the tour up to 30 days in advance.

Read more about Disneyland extras and tours.

Be sure to also check out our guide to the 2021 holiday season at Walt Disney World! Just like Disneyland, there’s a lot to enjoy across each theme park, each resort hotel, and even Disney Springs.

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Heather Thomas