When I think of the holiday season, one of the first things I think of is food. I love how everyone has their own holiday recipes specific to their families, and I love how food can bring people together. And for me, the holidays mean great food ... at Disneyland. I grew up going to Disneyland for Thanksgiving every year, and I recently had the opportunity to visit the park and try all of their festive treats — and they did not disappoint.
If you're planning on visiting the magical land of Disney this holiday season, you NEED to try these incredible food items you can only get this time of year:
This year is Disney California Adventure's second annual Festival of Holidays, and it's seriously awesome. Plan on letting your kids do fun holiday crafts while you go on a food tour.
When it comes to the food for this festival, my very favorites were the Beef Corn Tamales and the Reuben Potato Smash, but you honestly can't go wrong. The chef is awesome, and he makes sure his recipes are absolutely perfect for guests.
After the major success of the pumpkin spice churros, Disney took another spin on the classic park treat and made a chocolate peppermint flavor. The churros are darling, festive and delicious. If you love yummy churros and peppermint, this treat is definitely the thing for you.
It gets pretty chilly at night, even in sunny southern California. I had my fair share of hot cocoa while I was exploring the parks, and I can honestly say that it's some of the best hot cocoa I have ever had in my life. Sprinkled with holiday magic, this hot cocoa will warm your body and your soul.
These gingerbread cookies are hard to come by, but they're seriously amazing. My mom even said they were some of the "best gingerbread cookies" she had ever had. It was a little awkward eating them while the gingerbread men danced down the street in the parade, but the darling cookies are a must-have during your Disney holiday vacation.
I had tears in my eyes when I saw these cookies because they are SO CUTE. You can get these in the Festival of Holidays food carts, and they're definitely worth buying. They're so yummy and so adorable.
6. The Main Street candy cane
These weren't available yet when I was in the park, but I'm on a quest to get my hands on one. These rare candy canes are only given to the most devout Disney-goers, and you have to have a special wristband to purchase one. If you're looking for a challenge (and an awesome treat, plus a super cool Instagram post) hunt down one of these handmade candy canes. You'll be a legend!
OK, how cute is this funnel cake? Disney doesn't do anything half-heartedly, and their food proves just how serious they are about the holidays. This darling spin on a theme-park classic will have your mouths watering and your hearts swooning.
Another holiday spin on a Disney classic, these peppermint beignets are a must-have when you're eating your way through the parks. There's nothing better than a fried, Mickey-shaped, peppermint and powdered sugar covered dessert to get you in the holiday spirit.
You're probably wondering what's so special about a marshmallow on a stick, but these babies are what dreams are made of. They're mysteriously delicious, and they're the perfect size for a little afternoon snack.
I know I've said this about almost every food on this list, but these apples really are the cutest. You can't go wrong with a classic Mickey and Minnie caramel apple! And the marshmallow ears are both darling and delicious.
If you're looking for a little sweetness but don't want to spend any money, look no further than the Ghirardelli shop in California Adventure. When you visit the chocolate shop, you'll be greeted by heavenly smells and a smiling cast member ready to hand you a complimentary piece of peppermint chocolate. It's the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
12. Pluto popcorn
Souvenir buckets from Disneyland are double the fun; you get a yummy treat and you get to keep the adorable container! These pluto souvenir buckets are to die for, plus you can use them over and over again.
These are technically at Disneyland year-round, but there's something special about eating warm soup out of a bread bowl when it's just a tad bit chilly. My husband lived in Maine for a while, so the clam chowder is his favorite if you can't tell (this picture was taken literally 20 minutes after we arrived at the resort).
If you're planning on visiting the Disney parks this holiday season, don't forget to check out all of these amazing foods. If you're not planning on visiting, change your plans because you'll be in the most magical place for the most magical time of the year.
Did we miss any of your holiday favorites? Let us know in the comments!