Christmas is best time of the year to visit Disneyland. On November 9, 2018 Disneyland begins the Christmas Celebration. If you are fortunate enough to visit during the holidays, it is a Christmas you will never forget. Disney offers the full Christmas experience before Thanksgiving. The park looks beautiful, and the atmosphere is friendly. Disneyland is at its best. The pitfall is that Christmas at Disneyland is crowded. Crowds are almost impossible to avoid. That is why I am sharing with you my best tips, and suggestions help you avoid the crowds.
Many travel websites say Disneyland is less crowded in the rain. Many sites suggest planning your trip during the winter or rainy season. I go to Disneyland 1 to 2 times a week I can tell you right now that is a misnomer.
People post on Disney Facebook groups during the rain that Disney should be empty. People state they driving to Disneyland right now to have the park to themselves. Many pictures posted of empty rides and lines are rides that no one can ride in the rain. For example, you will see empty pictures of the teacups which Disney closes during the rain. Instead, visit Disneyland early in November after they set the decorations up. Or wait until after December 14. Most Disneyland annual pass holders passes are blacked out.
Parking can turn this trip into a nightmare, and you can miss rope drop. Many people try to park in Mickey and Friends. Sometimes cars block traffic to get into Mickey and Friends. Rather than get stuck in that traffic Park at the Toy Story lot and take the shuttle bus. If the park opens at 8 AM try to be in the parking structure or lot before 6:30 AM.
That gives you time to park and get through security. Please check isitpacked.com before planning your trip. Check the crowd calendar this will tell you when to avoid Disneyland.
Disneyland park has three rides themed for Christmas. The first one being the Jingle Cruise which has no overlay in 2018. I hope the Jingle Cruise is back in 2019 but as of now the Disneyland website has no sign, it will be returning. The second is the Haunted Mansion Holiday. The third is It’s A Small World Holiday.
Disney is empty when they open ride Pirates of the Caribbean or the Haunted Mansion Holiday. The Haunted Mansion Holiday offers FastPass. You could also try to MaxPass instead. Some people wait for two hours!
Head on over to Critter Country to see Santa and visit Santa before it gets crowded. Or take Big Thunder Trail to Fantasyland and go left. Ride It’s A Small World Holiday which is now on the FastPass System. I also recommend visiting Toontown since it’s right next to It’s a Small World. Later at night It’s a Small World has a light show that happens every 15 minutes after dark.
People like to wait in line for is the handmade candy canes. The Disney parks blog will post information about the candy canes. You must arrive early and get a wristband to get the candy canes. I don’t think they are worth the hassle.
The Festival of Holidays at California Adventure is a do not miss. Twelve Festival Kiosks offer food and drinks from all over the world. The Festival of Holidays are an amazing way to discover new cultures and foods. The festival can get crowded so visit as soon as possible. Remember to save room. Disneyland has a lot of great christmas treats like cookies and candy apples you will eat a lot. The food is one of the best perks of being at Disney during Christmas.
A few things are worth waiting for like the Christmas Fantasy parade. I see people claiming a spot hours before. Waiting hours fora parade is a waste of time and your admission money. About 45 to 30 minutes before the parade you should find a good spot. Ask a cast member on Main Street if the parade is starting in Fantasyland or on Main Street. If you’re on Main Street and the parade is starting in Fantasyland, the parade will take about 20 minutes to get you.
Viva Navidad is something you do not want to miss. You should arrive about 20 minutes before the parade. Crafts are offered near Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.
The World of Color Season of Light is fantastic. Sadly it is currently under refurbishment. Fast Passes will be available, but you cannot choose where your viewing area is. I recommend taking advantage of the World of Color dining package. You receive priority seating this is a standing room type of event.
Sleeping Beauty Castle on Main Street USA lights up at the nighttime and it snows. This spot gets crowded, and you will be shoulder to shoulder. Snow falls at It’s a Small World. Fewer people watch the fireworks in Fantasyland. A light show occurs every 15 minutes at night.
Kids can visit Santa at the Redwood Creek Trail in California Adventure. The wait can be long, and I don’t feel the wait is worthwhile. I suggested earlier to visit Santa in Critter Country if you’re at the Haunted Mansion Holiday. The line is much shorter in Critter Country.
California can get a little cold in winter so nobody wants to go on Splash Mountain. Not everyone wants to go on the Winnie the Pooh ride. Most days the line isn’t half as bad as the one at the Redwood Creek Trail. Pooh Corner is also an excellent place to pick up Holiday sweets because the line is shorter. People often overlook critter Country in winter which can save you time.
They decorate the entire resort for Christmas. Even the gift shops will have Christmas trees. The Grand Californian Hotel is decorated and recommend checking out the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree Main Street has a long line. If you want to take your picture with a Christmas tree, I recommend the California Adventure tree. Which has vintage decorations, and the line is much shorter.
I’ve written on how to avoid standing in line at Disneyland. Read this it save you time and hassle.
Avoid the hub at Disneyland if you can at night the hub is worse. This time of year Disneyland is a major tourist destination so crowds are given. Plan and try to make the best of the situation if the crowds worry you. I hope this guide will make your visit more enjoyable.
Disneyland’s attendance rates have changed drastically over the years. There are rarely any days where Disneyland is a ghost town anymore. If the Mouse Waits app most days after about noon has Disneyland past 80% capacity. Disneyland will always crowded to some extent.
To have the best experience possible it helps to know it will be very crowded most days. Especially during shows and parades the crowds will be crazy.
My best advice to you is this read my other posts on Disneyland. Since I visit once or twice a week I have a lot of great advice to give to make the day less stressful.
I will link you to some posts below. Being prepared for crowds and having a great attitude about them helps a lot. Disneyland is more fun when it is not packed. The reality is though Christmas season is the busiest time of year.
If you let the crowds affect you you will feel miserable. Plan ahead. Keep in mind that once you make it to your destination crowd or not what Disneyland offers is amazing.
Here are some helpful posts to help prepare for your visit to Disneyland.