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Guide to visiting Disneyland during the Holidays 2021

This past weekend, I went to Disneyland during Christmas time! I got to go to the beautiful park with my family, best friend, and boyfriend. The holiday seasons at the parks last from November 12, 2021, to January 9, 2022. I did a lot over the 4-day trip, such as eat amazing food, go on rides, take cute photos, watch fireworks and buy merchandise. I enjoyed every minute of the Disney holiday joy, and I have a lot of tips for you to maximize your ticket’s worth at the parks! 

My first tip is to download the Disneyland app! Having this app is essential when it comes to visiting the parks. This is where you can mobile order food, check ride wait times, add yourself to waitlists at restaurants, access photo pass pictures, and mobile order merchandise. This app holds everything you could ever need throughout your stay; download it and your life will be so much easier! 

When it comes to visiting the parks during the Christmas season, it is important to be prepared for the crowds. Since kids are out of school and the holidays are a very popular time to visit, the parks will likely be at maximum capacity. This can be inconvenient but doesn’t have to negatively affect your stay. As long as you go to the parks at the right times and utilize reservations for restaurants, the crowds shouldn’t be an issue. Saving money is also important whenever making a Disney trip, but especially during the holidays. There is a lot of Christmas merchandise and food to be purchased, so saving money beforehand will allow you to spoil yourself on vacation. 

Getting to eat all of the delicious holiday food and other classic Disneyland snacks was definitely a highlight of my trip. In California Adventure, they have the festival foods marketplace. There are 8 different stands containing different holiday treats along the California Adventure walkway between Cars Land and Pixar Pier. They have new churro flavors this year as well including holiday cookie, peppermint, cherry chocolate. Almost every restaurant has something new and limited edition to try for the holidays. My favorite holiday exclusive meal was the chicken pesto cone that you can get in Cars Land! Everything the parks have to offer is delicious and I highly recommend trying everything you can, whether it is a classic Disneyland food item or a limited edition holiday one. 

The rides are even more extravagant during the holiday season! Many rides undergo holiday changes, such as the jungle cruise, haunted mansion, small world and cars land rides These rides add many holiday decorations and fun surprises that make them so much more fun to go on. Unfortunately, we did not get to ride It’s a Small World since there was a flood the week prior to our trip. When it comes to rides, there is a chance that the waits will be long. My suggestion is to come to the park right when it opens and stay until closing time so that you can take advantage of the smaller crowds and shorter wait times. A lot of people with younger kids leave earlier during the night, so I recommend staying as late as possible so that you can go on several rides within a short amount of time. Going on rides during parades or the firework show will also go by very quickly as many people in the park are watching them. 

Going to Disneyland means that there will be a variety of different opportunities for cute photos. My favorite spots to take pictures were in front of the It’s a Small World ride, the castle, Pixar pier, in Toontown, and in cars land. All of these spots have beautiful lights that shine throughout the night and look amazing in photos. Every area in the parks is decked out for the holidays, which will make pictures even more aesthetically pleasing. You can also still take photos with the characters! There is still a social distancing rule, so characters are typically in one designated spot and you can come near them to take selfies from a distance! Santa is also available to take photos with people in several spots throughout the parks. If you end up having the privilege of visiting the resort this holiday season, take advantage of all of these gorgeous photo spots!

Getting to visit Disneyland during the holidays was a magical experience I wish I could relive. I always have fun when I visit the parks, but there’s something about the Christmas season that makes the vacation even more enjoyable. If you get the opportunity to attend the parks, I hope that you find my tips helpful and use them to make the most of your trip!

Tell us your Disneyland tips by tagging us @HerCampusSJSU!

Hello everyone! My name is Bella Phan and I am a third year studying public health at San Jose State University! I have always loved to write and I am so excited to be continuing that passion with Her Campus at SJSU.
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