Holiday time at the Disneyland Resort is arguably the most magical, happy, holly, jolly place in the world. I'm biased because it's my favorite place all year round, but there truly is something special about celebrating the holiday season in the park.
I recently experienced this holiday magic, and I wanted to cry the entire time because it was so beautiful ... plus I learned some pretty amazing things.
If you're looking to uncover some of the best Disney holiday secrets, you've come to the right place. Here are 10 things you MUST know for your next trip:
I was skeptical about the MaxPass at first, but it's seriously incredible. You pay an extra $10 per Park-Hopper per day to get access to Fastpasses from your phone and unlimited PhotoPass downloads. When it's time to use the Fastpass, you just scan your phone at the ride and skip the entire line.
My husband and I used it the whole time we were in Disneyland, and we made it onto every ride within 15 minutes.
The rare candy canes are a coveted Disneyland treat, because you can only get them on certain days if you're lucky. The candy cane experts only handmake 120 of them per day, and you have to have a special wristband to purchase one.
Right when the park opens, go straight to the Candy Palace on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland or Trolley Treats on Buena Vista street in California Adventure. When the shop opens, you might be lucky enough to get one of the wristbands to purchase a candy cane later on. They only make three batches of 40 per day (on certain days), so be sure to get there early.
This is the greatest Disney secret I never knew about. As I was strolling through California Adventure, I started panicking because my phone was about to die and it was only 6:00 p.m. I walked into a store looking for a portable charger, and to my delight, I found a kiosk full of them.
The charger is called a fuel rod, and you pay a one-time $30 fee. You get a charger and three connecting cords, and you can swap out the charger whenever it runs out of battery for FREE. You get to keep the charger you end up with, and it can be re-charged at home.
When you walk into Disneyland and see the fire station to the left, make sure to look up in the window. There's a little tree decorated with ornaments and lights to honor Walt Disney and his love of Christmas. The tree stays lit 24/7 and can be best seen at night.
I always wondered why people would take a tour of Disneyland until I took one myself. It was amazing! We learned so much about Walt Disney, the meaning behind the holiday decorations and we got to sit in the front row for the Christmas Fantasy Parade. It was an incredible experience, and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone — even the Disney fans who think they already know everything.
If you want a super magical surprise, make sure you're on Main Street at 7:30 p.m. or right after the fireworks show. The lights dim, music starts playing and snow falls. Everyone stops to take in the beauty of what's going on, and it's a magical experience you won't want to miss.
You don't want to miss World of Color Season of Light. It's an incredible show for your whole family, and it's the perfect end to a wonderful day at the parks. It can be hard to get a good spot for the show if you're not early, but with a little planning, you can snag a great spot.
My personal favorite place to view the show is from the "wet zone." This allows you to stand at the very front of the crowds with an absolutely amazing view. You'll get a few splashes and mists of water, but it's so worth it for the view you get.
Even if you're not staying at the Grand Californian, their lobby is open to guests looking to relax for a bit. They have gorgeous holiday decor right now, and a giant fireplace where you can warm up and take a little nap. They also have an area where kids can sit and watch the Disney movie being featured that day.
There are many perks to staying in a Disneyland hotel, but one of the best ones is that you can send your souvenirs to your room. The stores are packed full of holiday cheer right now, and you'll want to take it all home. But if you don't want to carry heavy bags around all day, ask the cashier to have it sent to your room. It'll be there when you get back! This can be especially helpful for fragile purchases, like ornaments.
Make the most of your time at the parks by shopping after the rides close. The shops are open an extra hour, so it's the perfect time to get those last-minute souvenirs.
If you're planning a Disney trip anytime soon, you'll definitely want to remember these tips to make your trip as magical as it can be.