We LOVE to go to Disneyland and California Adventure during the holidays! Of course, any time you go, Disney magic can always be found. But at the holidays, everything is decked out with wintery decorations and the food and drinks also get a holiday makeover! Disneyland gave my family tickets to the park to check out all the holiday fun.
Before we go to Disneyland, there are a few things I like to do. I like to remind my kids that we probably won’t get on more than a few rides (I find it important to set expectations so you’ll have a really fun family day) and I find out what snacks we want to try this trip. We basically skip actual meals in favor of sharing a number of different treats. This is especially fun during the holidays! Both parks have awesome holiday treats to try. While every year I fall deeper in love with the Disney experience, there are far too many things for me to know about considering we only get to visit the park occasionally. So I always turn to my friend Kristen, of First Comes Latte (be sure to check out her Disney tab). I follow her Instagram account, First Comes Disney, so I can check out what goodies need to be on our radar. On this most recent visit, for a family media day, we got a chance to try out a few of the special holiday treats before playing in the parks. And I’m so glad that we did! It gave us another chance to try a few more of the goodies. I picked up the sample of the chocolate pudding for my son, but once I tasted it, I stole it. And it wasn’t just chocolate pudding, it was the Chocolate Peppermint Pots de Creme from one of the Festival of Holiday kiosks in California Adventure! SO GOOD! He got me back by stealing my Minnie cookie. He assured me it was delicious.
The Festival of Holidays is my favorite holiday addition to California Adventure. There are all kinds of savory foods and sweet treats to try. They take inspiration from all over the world and it’s so much fun to try them all! Kristen put together a list of treats that you should look for while in California Adventure!
Holiday Treats Found at California Adventure
Award Wieners || Gingerbread Funnel Cake Fries
Schmoozies || Yule Log Donut & Santa Mitten Mint Chip Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich
Paradise Pier Ice Cream Co. || Mint Chocolate Cone
Cozy Cone Motel || Red Churro with Crème Anglaise & Soft Serve Cone with Peppermint Topping
Flo’s V8 Café || Chocolate Peppermint Pie & Peppermint Candy Cane Shake
Clarabelle’s || Peppermint Waffle Cone, Peppermint Ice Cream & Peppermint Ice Cream Bar
Ghirardelli || Peppermint Sundae
Carthay Circle Lounge || Poinsettia Cocktail
Pacific Wharf || Pumpkin Bread Pudding
While this isn’t a holiday offering, we also had to try out the s’mores churro found at the churro cart in front of The Haunted Mansion after seeing it on Kristen’s Instagram. (Plus, the Haunted Mansion is currently running its holiday version which is MY FAVORITE!)
Holiday Treats Found at Disneyland
Churro Cart outside of Sleeping Beauty Castle || Peppermint Churro
Jolly Holiday || Santa Mittens Macaron & festive cookies
French Market || Praline Cheesecake
Gibson Girl || Peppermint Waffle Cone & Peppermint Ice Cream
Candy Palace, Pooh Corner & Trolley Treats, || Holiday Rice Crispy Treats, Caramel Apples, Marshmallow Wand & Cake Pops
We LOVE the regular Mickey Beignets so we HAD to try the peppermint version! Be prepared for a line! These are very popular and totally worth it!
Mint Julep Bar || Candy Cane Beignets
Plaza Inn || Chocolate Coffee Yule Log
Stage Door Café || Campfire S’mores Funnel Cake
Coffee Shops in both parks, plus Jolly Holiday || Gingerbread Man Cookie & Frosted Snowman Sugar Cookie
And then I found out that my husband doesn’t like anything peppermint flavored which meant that we each got our own beignets…Did you know you can get cocktails, wine and beer from California Adventure?? Plus, during holiday, they offer fun holiday inspired drinks. I had to check out the Pomegranate Mule! It was perfect for sipping while waiting for the rest of my family to get off of California Screamin’ (that ride gives me a headache every. single. time).
Festival of Holidays Drinks Found at California Adventure
Joy to the Sauce || Holiday Eggnog Cocktail
Spicy Celebrations || Winter Michelada & Pomegranate Margarita
Holiday Duets || Pomegranate Mule
Winter Sliderland || Hot Buttered Rum
Making Spirits Bright || Mimosa Flights
A Twist On Tradition || Frosty Frosé
Grandma’s Recipes || Warm Bourbon Cider with Bourbon Marshmallow
We didn’t get to try nearly enough of these holiday favorites! Fingers crossed we’ll get to go back one more time before the holiday events wrap up! THANK YOU, Kristen, for sending me these lists! If you have a trip planned to the Disney parks, be sure to check in with Kristen’s site and Instagram before you go (no matter what time of year, she always shares the best food and beverage photos!).
And that is just the sweet treats! There are also tons of savory offerings to make your mouth water. I had my eyes all over the short ribs from the Joy to the Sauce kiosk! The Macaroni and Cheese with Cornbread Crumbles, from the Holiday Duets booth, was delish!
Other Holiday Highlights
The Christmas Fantasy Parade is colorful and full of holiday cheer! Don’t miss it! Your whole family will love seeing their favorite characters on holiday inspired floats!
My favorite ride, It’s a Small World, is even more beautiful at Christmas! It’s the perfect ride for when you need a break from running around the park.
World of Color (in California Adventure) gets a seasonal update with holiday music that pairs perfectly with the dancing fountains and lights.
The Festival of Holidays (California Adventure) is a celebration of Christmas, Navidad, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa and Three King’s Day. There are special performances, festive food and drinks plus arts and crafts found throughout the park!
Don’t forget to check out Mater’s Jingle Jamboree, a new holiday offering this year! His junkyard gets a Christmas makeover!
And be sure to end the day with the “Believe…in Holiday Magic” Fireworks Spectacular at Disneyland! This is always a favorite part of our day. Not only does Disneyland put on an amazing fireworks show, but the snow on Main Street is the magical finishing touch on the perfect trip to the park!