Disneyland at Christmas – Very Rough First Thoughts

I had intended to write a much longer post, and I will, but then I had to deal with flight delays and, well, that longer post isn’t going to happen today. However, I didn’t want the holiday to pass without at least sharing a little bit of what my very remarkable experience at Disneyland was like just a few days before Christmas, so here’s a small taste.

It wasn’t my intention to be at Disneyland the weekend before Christmas, but I’m so glad it turned out that way. I was on a cruise that ended in Los Angeles and since I had such an amazing first experience at Disneyland over the summer and LA is so close to Anaheim, I quickly decided to spend a couple of days at the park. 

Disney being Disney, the Christmas season is a very big deal in the park and I literally spent months planning and preparing for the brief 2-day visit. As soon as I entered the park, the same magic that won me over a few months ago once again had me entranced and I couldn’t wait to see what was different for the holiday season.

I visited the Friday and Saturday before Christmas and, frankly, I was prepared for insane crowds. Imagine my surprise when all day Friday the crowds were fairly minimal, allowing me to ride almost everything on my to-do list. Saturday was certainly busier, but since I had done so much the day before I didn’t feel as much pressure to do it all on that one day. 

Before leaving home, I had printed out lists of the special holiday food items for sale, and after sampling many of them I can affirm that they are as good as they sound. I also booked a guided tour of the park that highlighted the train history of Disneyland. I shouldn’t be surprised, but the tour was excellent in every way and greatly heightened my own appreciation for the park. If I get the chance to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure again I’ll certainly be sure to book one of the other tours offered, they’re worth every penny.

I spent about 10-12 hours in the parks on both days and yes, by the end I was wiped out. But I also didn’t want to leave. As I looked behind me one last time, I had to mindfully make the decision to go back to my hotel. I just didn’t want the magic to end. That may sound silly or even immature, but it’s just how I felt. Disneyland has a certain magic to it, especially around Christmas, that isn’t just infectious, it’s all-consuming. 

I’m writing this late at night while staying at an airport hotel, so this may or may not make a lot of sense. I hope it does though. I hope that I’m able to convey that Disney is so much more than a theme park, it’s a way of thinking. It’s about a worldview and it’s about a certain ethos. There’s no better time of year to be reminded of the importance of happiness and being kind to our fellow man than at Christmas, and it’s because of that fact that I can’t imagine a better time of year to visit Disneyland.

This is a brief overview of my experience in Disneyland at Christmas. More than anything, I hope I was able to share just how very special this second experience was and yes, I’ll write something much more thoughtful soon.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Subscribe and get my free ebook!

Subscribe to the LandLopers newsletter and get a free copy of my new book, "My Favorite 50 Travel Photos."

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

Leave a Comment