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family photo with mom and dad with their young boy and girl kids

This past trip to Disneyland we were lucky enough to enjoy the Christmas decor in January. While I would NEVER reccomend that anyone go to Disneyland during the actual Christmas holidays, I can’t exult enough over how I think you should go when the Christmas decor is still up!

If you don’t know by now, I am a total Christmas freakazoid. It’s my favorite holiday. I have a massive tree that I take hours to decorate ever year. I collect Christmas moose.

So when  you add Disney to Christmas?

My mind just blows up.

creepy things at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland

The very best part of Christmas at Disneyland is the Haunted Mansion. Oh my goodness. It combines my love of creepy things, Christmas AND Disney.

Disney Haunted Mansion creepy view during Christmas season
It was my very first time seeing the Haunted Mansion at Christmas.

I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

monster figure at the entrance of haunted mansion

Waiting in line? No problem.

There are little Christmas delights for you to enjoy the entire time you line up.

a figure of creepy elf sitting in a haunted pumpkin holding snowflake near the nose

The exterior of the mansion is just amazing.

amazing exterior of the mansion from the outside view

Once you are inside, you can see how the ride is changed to the Nightmare Before Christmas theme and if you are like me and adore this movie you seriously HAVE TO SEE IT.

The “Ghost Host” , once you step into the octagonal room, introduces you with the verses:

“Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams. For the story that you are about to be told, began in the holiday worlds of old. I know you’re curious to see what’s inside, it’s what happens when two holidays collide.”

There is so much awesomeness on this ride when they change it that I can’t even start to tell you all about it.
inside the haunted mansion with the Ghost Host

As luck would have it, as soon as we were off the ride and wandering around New Orleans Square, guess who was hanging around the back part?

The whole family was thrilled to see Jack Skellington out and about. During all of our trips there, we have never seen him! So make sure to hang around New Orleans square and check every once in a while to see if he’s there!! It seemed that he was hanging around the back around the shops, not coming out to the front at all.

kids photo with Jack Skellington at their back

Another ride that slightly changes is the Jungle Cruise, into the Jingle Cruise. It only has a few Christmas joked interwoven into the commentary, nothing like the Haunted Mansion overhaul!

banner at the entrance of Jungle Cruise ride

The last ride that really goes all out at Christmas is It’s a Small World. The outside is lit up in an incredible light display. I was so glad that I brought along my wide angle lens this past trip.

It’s absolutely spectacular.

night view of the It's a Small World Ride with colorful lights up

Not only that, the song changes to Jungle Bells and inside there are all sorts of holiday themes for different culture and I must admit, we rode on it three times this past trip.

inside the It's a Small World Ride are colorful images

I would like to point out that as a Canadian who enjoys blizzards, ice storms and more on a regular basis that a Christmas parade with green trees, warm sun and blue skies makes me feel incredibly Christmasy.

Oh man you guys. This is seriously my kind of Christmas.

Give me fake snow any day. Please.

The Christmas parade at Disneyland is incredible and my favorite one of all.

The Christmas parade at Disneyland

My favorite area in all the Disney Parks is New Orleans Square. I’ve always loved it and now that I’ve seen it during Christmas, I love it even more.

The decorations are sooo beautiful!

The New Orleans Square During Christmas At Disneyland with Color Blue themed DecorsSleeping Beauty’s Castle?

Absolutely breathtaking.

The Sleeping Beauty's Castle view at night

Main Street?

Decked out beyond measure.

Ice cream parlor at the Main Street during Christmas At Disneyland

The last time I have been in Disneyland for Christmas was actually Christmas, when I was 19. That is almost 20 years ago now and while it was busy then, Christmas at Disneyland now is what I would call insane. Go before or after, but I wouldn’t go during any time that school break is on. It’s crazy. Attendance numbers are the highest they are all year and they’ve even closed the gates for people entering on occasion since the park was full.

The next time we go for the Christmas decor, we will go when it all starts, in mid-November, before it gets crazy. It’s a quieter time to go but you still get to enjoy a lot of the Christmas fun! Just make sure to always check the schedule to see what’s going on.

Have you ever been to Disneyland at Christmas? What are your thoughts?




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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Terri Lamanque Hamelin says

    Been there at Christmas – spectacular!

  2. Sabine Dumdei Vanderkley says

    one year when we went we were there for Halloween but stayed into the first week of November and they were decorating for xmas so that trip we got a 2n1….lol. but we have spent time there for each holiday. next time is Halloween again!

  3. Laura MacDonald says

    October is awesome too, they are all decked out for Halloween by September.

  4. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Oh and April will be a fabulous time to go! Have fun you lucky duck!

  5. The Kitchen Magpie says

    It IS a zoo over Christmas. It’s amazing, but SO busy. We are going to Disney World next year,I CAN’T WAIT!! I am so excited!!

  6. Peggy Doyle says

    Never been to Disneyland, at all. But been to Disney World (last time was out honeymoon). I’d love to see either park with Christmas decor but my husband only gets holidays right over Christmas. It would be a zoo

  7. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I have yet to go at Halloween, it’s on my list!

  8. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Early December would be a perfect time to go! We were there this January (the decor is left up until the 6th -ish) and it was still pretty busy.

  9. Arleigh Gladwin Stockwell says

    These pictures are making me swoon. An early Dec trip is planned in a few years for us, I have to wait patiently – though I’m still pretty pumped for our April 2015 trip that we just booked (shhh, don’t tell the kids – it’s the little one’s first visit!)

  10. Sabine Dumdei Vanderkley says

    love love love Disney at Christmas and at Halloween!

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