Having just experienced Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Holiday Magic, here are 10 activities to see and experience in both theme parks before January 7, 2017.California Adventure seems extra festive this year. For a second year the park is decked out for the spirit of the season with decorations offering a celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali.
- Now until Dec. 24 meet Santa at Redwood Creek. The area has been turned into a holiday wonderland filled with interactive games for families to play while exploring the meandering trails. There is also a cookie decorating kit for purchase. Visit with Santa before or after you follow the Holiday Challenge Trail map to discover your secret elf name.
- Celebrate Hanukkah listening to the lively band named Mostly Kosher. They perform near Paradise Park and the World of Color – Season of Light viewing area. This band weaves rock, hip hop, jazz and Latin rhythm to their lyrics. Nearby is the Blissfully Braised food station serving slow-cooked brisket and other delicious dishes. Throughout the park are festive food offerings at various marketplaces. Brews & Bites, Classic Crocks & Casseroles, Winter Sliderland and Making Spirits Bright offer joyous toasts and delicious dishes.
- Visit Disney Viva Navidad! Festive food offerings include Torta Al Pastor, Elote – Street-style corn, Paleta, Jamica, Horchata Agua Fresca, Chicharrons, Street-style tacos, Chicken Mole, Pozole and Burritos. Meet, greet and take a photo with Elena of Avalor.
- When visiting “a bugs land” be sure to see a special preview of Disney Pixar’s newest movie Coco at the Bug’s Life Theater in Disney California Adventure Park. It’s an interactive experience with 3-D glasses and guests will feel the special effects in the movie. Before the movie begins, there is a display of movie memorabilia.
- After getting a free Peppermint Bark chocolate at Ghirardelli and piece of Boudin sourdough bread, be sure to hear the lively a capella vocal group The Sound performing by Pacific Wharf. They celebrate Kwanzaa and Christmas with heartwarming, soulful classic holiday songs.
- Purchase one of the Santa Mickey souvenir ornaments filled with red seedless grapes or pineapple. It’s a fun memento to hang on your tree. Other souvenirs include festive Mickey ornaments, sweaters, necklaces and holiday gifts.
- Be sure to see the display window at Trolley Candy Treats of the Buena Vista Trolley traveling into a Candy mountain tunnel. Inside the store are great holiday gifts that include Gingerbread Cookie Mix and sweet treats with a holiday spin that include Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse rice crispy treats, candy apples, cake pops and cupcakes.
- Cars Land at Disney California Adventure offers “Seasons Speeding” and is decked out with themed holiday decorations along Route 66. From tires and hubcaps turned into trees, the Disney team turns into air filters, traffic cones and oil cans into whimsical holiday decor.
9. Be sure to see the Gingerbread Hotel at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Located in the the soaring ceiling lobby near the magnificent Christmas tree is a Gingerbread display made with 600 pounds of gingerbread and 600 pounds of powdered sugar. It stands 7 1/2 feet-tall and 12-feet-wide.
10. Be sure to visit Disneyland’s It’s A Small World celebrating the splendor of the season with sweet sounds for peace on Earth and sung by children’s choruses from around the world. This classic festive yuletide boat ride sails from Nov. 10, 2017 through Jan. 21, 2018.