Skip to Content

Disneyland in December

Sharing is caring!

Disneyland is a magical place that evokes excitement and joy for all ages. In December, Disneyland transforms into a winter wonderland with holiday treats and decorations. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make your Disneyland vacation extra special this December! 

Sleeping Beauty Castle with holiday decorations.

This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, I get a small percentage back at no cost to you! For more information see my disclosure policy.

I love visiting Disneyland during the Christmas season. It really helps make it the most wonderful time of the year!

Although it is very magical, there tends to be larger crowds during the holidays. But have no fear! I’m here to help you know all about what to expect at Disneyland in December!

Minnie ears in front of the Christmas tree on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.

Tips for Disneyland in December

My first tip would be to purchase your tickets as soon as possible after you secure the dates of your visit. Then you will want to make park reservations as well. Check out these park hopper tips  to help you get the most bang for your buck in December.

You will also want to check out how to go to Disneyland on a budget!

Disneyland Fire Station decorated for Christmas.

Go on an off-peak day, like Tuesday or Wednesday. This is not to say that days like Thursday or Friday won’t be fun – they will just be more crowded.

Get to the park an hour before it open for rope drop, or plan to arrive about 30 minutes after opening to avoid crowds at the gates of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

 

Meet Santa sign at Disneyland.

If you want to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, you will need to join a virtual queue on the day of your visit. Ready my step-by-step instructions for getting into a boarding group here.

Mickey shaped poinsettia plants.

What are Crowd Sizes like at Disneyland in December?

Crowds are generally pretty manageable at the beginning of the month, but as the Christmas holiday approaches, crowds will definitely increase.

Disney has announced a new service to replace Disney MaxPass and Fastpasses, called Disney Genie. Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ are designed to help you battle the crowds. Read all about this new service here.

A boy in a Spider-Man Christmas shirt with a Mickey Mouse bubble wand.

Which Rides at Disneyland Have FASTPASSES?

Like I mentioned above, FASTPASSES have been phased out at Disneyland and will be replaced by Disney Genie and Disney Genie+. The attractions listed below were part of the Fastpass service and will most likely be included with Disney Genie+.

Splash Mountain decorated for Christmas.

Disneyland Park

Grizzly River Run decorated for the holidays.

Disney California Adventure Park

If you’re wondering what Disneyland is like in other months of the year? Check out my posts for January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November.

Entrance sign for "it's a small world" Holiday.

Special Events at Disneyland in December

Dates for holiday celebrations have not yet been released for Disneyland. But you can most likely expect the following during the months of November and December. Get a full overview of Christmas at Disneyland here.

Cars Land decorated for Christmas.

Disney California Adventure Park

At Disney California Adventure the Festival of Holidays will immerse you in the sights, sounds, and flavors of different cultural traditions and activities!

You can also head over to Cars Land to ride Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl.

Disney California Adventure entrance decorated for Festival of Holidays.

Disneyland Park

The magic continues over at Disneyland Park, with special Christmas touches like:

  • A Christmas Fantasy Parade
  • “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks
  • “it’s a small world” Holiday Lighting
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • “it’s a small world” Holiday
  • Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle

Disney’s Merriest Nights

Disney’s Merriest Nights is an after-hours event that will take place on select nights throughout November and December. Tickets will be sold separately from park admission and start at $165. Read more about Christmas at Disneyland here.

Haunted Mansion Holiday.

Special Treats Available at Disneyland in December

One of my favorite things about visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in December is the treats! There are always special treats available to celebrate the holiday season.

Here are a few examples of the treats that are available at Disneyland in December:

Santa’s Cookies & Milk Churro – A churro dusted in Biscoff cookie crumbs served with a sweet cream dipping sauce. Get the recipe to make at home here.

Santa's Cookies & Milk Churro at Disneyland.
Santa’s Cookies & Milk Churro

Santa Hat Macaron – A Santa hat-shaped macaron filled with raspberries & cream. Available at Jolly Holiday Bakery & Cafe.

Santa Hat Macaron in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Santa Hat Macaron

Peppermint Christmas Tree Ice Cream Cone- Peppermint ice cream covered in Christmas sprinkles with a star on top. Available at Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land.

Peppermint Christmas Tree Ice Cream Cone at Cozy Cone Motel at Disneyland.
Peppermint Christmas Tree Ice Cream Cone

Candy Cane Mickey Beignets- Mickey Beignets dusted in powdered sugar and crushed candy canes.

Holiday treats from Mint Julep Bar at Disneyland.
Holiday treats at Mint Julep Bar

Cranberry Julep- A cranberry infused Mint Julep served at Mint Julep Bar.

Cranberry Julep from Disneyland.
Cranberry Julep

Mickey Gingerbread Cookie– A classic gingerbread cookie decorated and shaped like Mickey Mouse.

A Mickey Mouse gingerbread cookie.
Mickey Mouse Gingerbread Cookie

Pecan Pie Churro- A classic churro topped with maple glaze, toasted pecans, and chocolate drizzle. Available at Willie’s Churro Cart.

Sign for a Pecan Pie Churro at Disneyland.
Pecan Pie Churro
A pecan pie churro from Disneyland.
Pecan Pie Churro

What is the Weather Like at Disneyland in December

The average high temperatures at Disneyland in December are in the mid 60s to low 70s and lows are in the upper 60s.

Most days will be sunny or partly cloudy with a few scattered rain storms here and there. Sounds great to me!

Graph showing average temperatures at Disneyland in December.

But, as you probably know, the weather has a mind of its own and can be unpredictable. 

It can change at any time, so make sure to check the current weather forecast before you leave, so you will know what to expect.

A marching band dressed like toy soldiers at Disneyland.

What to Pack for Disneyland in December

Do you need to know what to pack when going to Disneyland in December? Well, I’ve got you covered!

Check out my list below as well as some options that you can purchase ahead of time to be prepared for your Disneyland vacation!

Santa Mickey Mouse Loungefly Backpack.
Santa Mickey Loungefly Backpack

Also, make sure to read my post on what you should have in your Disney Park Bag and how you can use Amazon to save money at Disney! You can find my complete Disney packing list here.

Radiator Springs Christmas Tree.

Pack Rain Ponchos

Although it doesn’t rain much in December at Disneyland, I always take disposable ponchos with me.

My kids and I are not big fans of getting wet on rides. Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run happen to be a couple of my favorite rides, so wearing a poncho while riding, allows us to still enjoy them!

A family wearing ponchos at Disneyland.

It is so much easier to carry around a couple of ponchos than it is to bring a spare set of clothes for my kids when the get wet.

A Christmas decoration at Disneyland.

Pack Sun Protection

You might not think that you need sunscreen in December, but I’m here to tell you that although it is winter, the California sun can still be brutal. Make sure that you are ready for the UV rays by packing some sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses

A bottle of sunscreen at Disneyland.

Also, make sure your kids are protected too. Nothing ruins a magical vacation like a sunburn!

Christmas tree on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland.

What to Wear at Disneyland in December

First of all, if you’re going to Disneyland in December, the Christmas season will be in full swing. You will definitely need some cute Disney-themed Christmas apparel.

The mornings and evenings at Disneyland will get a chilly in December, especially if you take advantage of Magic Mornings (currently not available).

A woman in a Mickey Mouse sweater standing next to Mickey Mouse in a green Christmas sweater.
Red Sweater from Target

I recommend wearing a short-sleeved shirt with a pair of comfortable leggings during the day, but bring a lightweight jacket or sweatshirt to wear when it cools down. 

Make sure that whatever sweatshirt or jacket you choose, it is light enough that you can keep it in a backpack or tied around your waist.

Cars Land at Disneyland decorated for Christmas.

Where to Find Adorable Disney-Themed Apparel

I like to dress my family in Disney-themed apparel when we go to Disneyland, but the cost can really add up. I am always looking around for good deals. Here are a couple of places I have bought shirts for my family when preparing to go to Disneyland.

A family at Disneyland.
Disney shirts from Target and Kohl’s

Jane.com

Before I go on a Disney vacation, I like to check out Jane for adorable and affordable Disney vacation t-shirts.

I have found so many cute Disney-themed accessories and cute shirts for only $13.99!

A girl in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Disney-themed shirt

Just head to Jane.com and type “character” or “vacation” into the search bar and all of the cute Disney stuff should show up!

The deals change daily, so make sure to check back often and follow @mommymouseclubhouse on Instagram to keep up on all the cute merchandise!

Daily Boutique Deals

shopDisney

I’ve also had really good luck taking advantage of sales from the Disney Store!

A boy in sunglasses, a Captain America mask and shirt at Web Slingers at Disneyland.
Shirt and Mask from shopDisney.com

If you can catch a sale, you can save so much money over what you would pay for the same items at the parks.

Click the shopDisney button below to see what is on sale right now!

Disneyland Park Hours in December

Here are the projected hours for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in December.

As always, these hours are subject to change so check Disneyland’s website for current information.

Sign for Critter Country at Disneyland decorated for Christmas.

Disneyland Park

  • Open from 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • Park Hopper Hours 1:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Fly with the Reindeer sign at Disney California Adventure Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.

Disney California Adventure Park

  • Open from 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Park Hopper Hours 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm
A family in front of the ferris wheel at Disneyland.

Ride Closures in December 

I love that Disneyland takes pride in their parks and attractions. Because of this, there are usually a few rides at both parks that are closed for refurbishment at different times throughout the year.

You can stay up to date with ride closures by checking Disneyland.com.

Christmas toy soldier decoration at Disneyland.

Disneyland seems to update their list of refurbishments one or two months ahead of time, so check back for December closures in October or November.

Cozy Cone Christmas Tree in Cars Land.

Disneyland Ticket Savings

There aren’t a lot of Disneyland ticket discounts out there, but they can be found if you know where to look.

Make sure that if you buy Disney tickets from a third party, that they an authorized ticket seller.

Disneyland tickets.

I buy my tickets and book my hotel rooms with  Get Away Today. Their prices are always a few dollars cheaper than Disneyland’s gate prices and you can  now purchase tickets from them that include Disney MaxPass!

Get Away Today is almost always offering some kind of special on tickets and/or hotel vacation packages.

Partners Statue at Disneyland.

Use the promo code: MommyMouse to get an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California vacation package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount.)

Use this coupon code in conjunction with a sale, the Layaway Plan, and the Peace of Mind Plan, and you will get the best deal on a Disneyland vacation around!

Clickable banner with pink polka dots and two Mickey Mouse Heads that says: Book Disneyland Package Here!

There are so many things to think about when you are planning your trip. Hopefully these tips will help you plan a magical Disneyland vacation!

Disneyland Tips & Tricks

Sharing is caring!

How to Join a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance & Web Slingers
← Read Last Post
Cambria Hotel & Suites Anaheim Resort Review + Video
Read Next Post →

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.