California Adventure is one of my favorite Disney theme parks for many reasons – for starters, I’m a sucker for Cars Land. Secondly, I visited it before the redo, so it gives me a lot of hope for what Hollywood Studios has the potential to be someday. Thirdly, WORLD OF COLOR IS THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ANYONE. David and I were so excited to get to see the park dressed up for the Holidays for the first time, and it did not disappoint. Today, we’re putting together our guide to the park for the Christmas season, to help you navigate your time there.
World of Color: Season’s Of Light
Let’s talk about the important things first – World of Color: Seasons Of Light. The show just debuted this year, and after LOVING the original World of Color, but being disappointed by the 60th Anniversary show, we went into it excited but wary. Seasons of Light is PHENOMENAL. It’s beautiful, full of wit and charm, and just the right amount of sentiment. Spoiler alert: it also has a great tribute to the Osbourne Lights, as well as the holiday tag from Illuminations. It also manages to take ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, and change it from a song about a lack of consent, to a charming montage of Disney characters. All in all, it’s one of the best Holiday show’s we’ve seen, and we think you should try to catch both showings, as you’ll probably want to see it more than once.
Festival Of Holidays
California Adventure is doing something new this year, called Festival of Holidays, which is essentially a celebration of Holidays from around the world. And how does Disney do this? By selling overpriced food of course! Just kidding. But really. Festival of Holidays is essentially a Food and Wine Festival type affair, with booths selling different foods and drinks, celebrating Holiday favorites from around the world. The prices are high, and we think you should essentially skip the festival offerings, and go grab a plate of lobster nachos at The Cove Bar.
On Buena Vista Street, you’ll find Disney Characters, dressed in their 1920s winter clothes. It’s a ridiculously cute site, and worth standing in line for, unless your heart is three sizes too small. You’ll also find Santa in the park, but MORE importantly, near him you’ll find Chip and Dale.
The park is beautifully decorated, with the majority of the decor being on Buena Vista Street, with a huge, tinsel clad tree, and Cars Land, which has the majority of the decorations. Cars Land has some of the coolest Christmas decorations we’ve seen at any Disney parks, really playing into the Cars theme, with tires, hubcaps, and neon used to create a Christmasy wonderland. You might want to spend time (a very long time), just wandering this area at night, after everything is lit up.
There’s plenty of seasonal food and beverages to try for the season. Our recommendations are the poinsettia cocktail at The Carthay Circle Lounge, and the candy cane crushed chocolate dipped ice cream bar at Clarabelle’s.
Viva Navidad is half street fair/half parade that celebrates different Latin American cultures holiday traditions, in a fun, Disney way. It exceeded our expectations, and we think it shouldn’t be missed. It’s a ton of fun, and a great addition to California Adventure for the Holidays.
California Adventure at Christmas is so much fun, and one of the best times of year to visit the park. We know you’ll love it, and we hope our guide to visiting during the Holidays make it easier to navigate the park.