Disneyland: The Holidays

Those who follow me on Pinterest and Facebook know that we went to Disneyland last month, and let me tell you – We had the time of our lives!!

Each year, in November, we try to take the kids to Disneyland. WHY? Because not only do the kids love it, but WE (the hubby and I) love it. I think we’re just big kids at heart. This is our one family vacation we do each year, and instead of doing a BIG Christmas with lots of presents, we decided we would try and do a family vacation every November or December and then just get the kids a couple presents each. The kids don’t seem to mind, and this year I even asked my daughter Lily what she preferred. She said Disneyland and 2 presents was better than 5 or 6 presents. We agree.

Now, the reason we love to go to Disneyland this time of year is because we love the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. It’s already so magical there, and with the holiday decor and events they have it’s truly the most magical time of year to be at Disneyland!! The attractions, shows, special food and decor are all to die for and today I want to share with you some of my favorite reasons why we like to go this time of year!


The Decor at Disneyland is ALWAYS amazing but around the holidays it is beyond beautiful. Everything is decked in red, white, green, silver and gold and the whole place sparkles during the day and night.

The new Cars Land is so fun, and I was seriously amazed at all the fun Christmas decorations they made out of fun Cars Parts. See for yourself:

The castle is BEAUTIFUL with its Christmas decor!! You may even want to find out when the Castle lights come on because it is a one-of-a-kind event that your kids will love!

Probably my favorite Christmas decorated area of all is New Orleans Square over by The Pirates of the Caribbean and The Blue Bayou. I just adore how they incorporated all the Mardi Gras decor and necklaces with all the Christmas decor!

And you can’t miss the beautiful Christmas Tree at the entrance of Main Street in Disneyland. It’s the perfect Photo Opp, and is the only tree I’ve ever seen that lifesize clocks, nutcrackers and dolls are used as Ornaments. I LOVE it!


We also love the attractions at Disneyland during the Holidays, and I’ll tell you why… I’m constantly saying to myself as I enjoy and look around on each ride, “Only at Disneyland…” I truly believe that they are capable and able to do anything they want there and are able to make anything they’ve imagined come to life.

Our favorite attraction of all is The Haunted Mansion. If you haven’t been at this time of year you may not know that the regular Haunted Mansion goes under a complete makeover and is decked out in The Nightmare Before Christmas. This movie is a family favorite, and the kids were so excited to see Jack, Sally and the Oogie Boogie all on this ride. What’s great about this ride is not only the amazing black-lit decor, but everyone (including the babies) can go on this ride. Sweet!! It is truly our favorite and a ride that CANNOT be missed during the holidays!!

And don’t forget to snag a picture with Jack and Sally outside the Haunted Mansion. This was BY-FAR my kids’ favorite part. Jack and Sally spent 5 minutes talking to the kids and asking what they wanted for Christmas. My kids left Disneyland thinking (and they still thing) that Jack and Sally are their newest best friends. These guys don’t come out most the year except October – December, so be sure to say hi and meet this scary and lovable characters!

Our other favorite attraction at California Adventure is Toy Story Mania. The ride is only a few years old and as I’ve talked to people I’ve realized a lot of people still do not know of it or have never gone on it, but I’m tell you now – GO ON IT!! It is the most fun ride and is very much like Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. It’s in 3-D and is another ride that the entire (including babies) can enjoy!


Not only are the rides great, but Disney has been able to plan some of the most fun and unique Christmas shows during this time of year. Our favorite thing they do is the Parade! The kids LOVE seeing all the characters as well as Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the Reindeer. The best part of the whole parade is if you are by Main Street when it ends because they have Fake Snowfall. Sure, it may be soap suds, but I have yet to see a kid that wasn’t looking up in awe and enjoying the magical moment.

And last but not least….


The food at Disneyland is always the best, but at Christmas time, they have some additional treats. They have awesome Christmas Caramel apples, Snowman pops and Candy Canes!! And my favorite thing to eat there when it’s nice and cold is the Broccoli Cheese Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl at the Pacific Wharf Cafe in California Adventure. In case you missed it, I did a mock recipe for it that you can find HERE. I must admit that sitting at the cafe with my family, eating that soup, and enjoying my surroundings is a little bit like heaven. 🙂


I know a lot of you have plans to go to Disneyland here in the coming weeks, and I cannot tel you how excited I am for you. Not only will you love it, but your kids (and YOU!!) will leave with some of the best memories. Every day since we’ve been home my kids have asked if they could go back to Disneyland. I kindly remind them that we’ll wait and see until next year, but what I love about it the most is they will always go on to tell me how much they loved it and will usually share one of their favorite experiences with me (like meeting Jack and Sally or going on Splash Mountain for the first time). 🙂

{The fam with Mickey & Pluto}

{Lily doing Gangham Style with Minnie & Daisy – LOVE it!}

Disneyland truly is the Happiest Place on Earth, and I hope you too can experience during the Happiest Time of the year!

Come Experience Holidays at the Disneyland Resort from Nov. 12 through Jan. 6, 2013. Go to www.Disneyland.com for more details. 


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Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. I would so love to visit Disney at Christmas time – it must be even more magical! We went to Walt Disney World in Orlando last year and are booked to go back in 2013 – I can’t wait!! Christmas at Disney is definitely on our bucket list.

  2. Thanks for posting some pictures of the Christmas decor in Cars Land! I am annual passholder, but wasn’t able to make it there for the Christmas holidays (I was one week too early), so it’s neat to see what they did in Cars Land. My favorite time there is Halloween – it is awesome! I feel so fortunate to live close enough to the parks and to have close friends that work there also. I’ve been to a couple of their Cast Member Holiday parties and it’s neat to be there with less of a crowd.
    I also think it’s really cool that your kids appreciate your trips there too! 🙂