Disneyland Preview — Week of December 23

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We’re at that point of the year when EVERYONE is off of school, and that means that Disneyland will be BUSY. What else is in store? Read on to find out in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

The same holiday festivities we’ve been talking about continue this week at Disneyland Resort.  This includes 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).

Still haven’t had a chance to meet Santa? The big guy will be at Ahwahnee Camp Circle at the entrance to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail with other holiday activities. Santa will be taking a breather starting on Christmas, but Goofy will take over and will be available for photos in the same location. 

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. Over at Disney’s California Adventure, World of Color has been replaced by World of Color — Season of Light.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 have their holiday overlays in palce, 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 is currently holding “A Coco Celebration,” including a sneak peek of Disney•Pixar’s movie Coco at the Bug’s Life Theater through January 7, 2018 at Disney’s California Adventure.

Finally, let this serve as a quick reminder that a new scene has been added to Star Tours from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie (which has recently opened, in case you hadn’t heard). You’ll be visiting Crait during a battle, which you may have seen in the trailers and movie.


Been a while since we’ve seen this much red on a crowd calendar, but it’s the holiday season, and frequent readers know the drill. This weekend isn’t too obnoxious, and Christmas Eve is actually pretty reasonable, but the rest of the week is quite busy — nines and tens from Tuesday on.


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


Another very nice December week in Anaheim — low- to mid-70s more or less all week long, though the evenings will be chillier, dipping into the 40s.  No rain in the forecast, so you can leave those ponchos at home.


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! 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 1 2 1 1 1 1 1

Admission and Hours

Almost all passholders are blocked out all week long: Southern California Passholders, Southern California Select Passholders, Deluxe Passholders, and even Signature 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 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12
California Adventure 8-10 9-10 8-10 8-10 8-11 8-11 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.


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, 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.

Looking ahead, Splash Mountain and Dumbo will be going down January 2 and 8, respectively, for routine maintenance. Haunted Mansion will undergo a brief break in operation 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. Also, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail will begin a more routine refurbishment starting on January 8.

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.

James 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.