I love to visit Disneyland during Halloween or Holiday time. The decorations inside the parks are so festive and very in tune to Disney’s family fun style. I also love how some of the rides are completely transformed. Unfortunately I can’t always afford to visit the parks during this time, so the next best thing is Disney fun outside the Parks! There are quite a few ways to enjoy a little Disney Magic outside the parks. So I just wanted to share some Disney fun my kids had a blast seeing and I recommend checking these out before the Magic fades away.
Visit Downtown Disney
One of the closet ways to enjoy Dinseyland without actually going into the Parks is to go to Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney features many shops, restaurants and entertainment. And there is decorations and special fun just for the holidays there. Be sure to take advantage of the FREE parking offered for Downtown Disney. You will be able to receive 3 hours of FREE parking and with certain validations up to 5 hours FREE!
Visit Marceline’s Confectionery for some delicious treats that are also found inside the parks.
Go for a skate at Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink and visit the Winter Village. Olaf brought some of Elsa’s magic from Arendelle to Downtown Disney with his holiday ice rink. Set up in between ESPN Zone and the AMC Theater is a fun skating opportunity that is surrounded by Downtowns Winter Village, which are snow-caped cottages featuring special holiday gifts and souvenirs. The ice rink and village will be in Downtown until February 22nd.
See The Grand Californian’s Gingerbread House
While visiting Downtown Disney be sure to make a stop into the Grand Californian Hotel. Inside the lobby is a gorgeous 500lb Gingerbread House modeled after the hotel. It stands at 7 1/2 ft tall and is 12 ft wide and is the work of 1 Dreamer, 6 Craftsmen and 25 Team Members. It is truly a delicious sight! As with all things Disney be on the look out for 7 Hidden Mickeys. Try and take a minute to just enjoy the Hotels lobby while there. The lobby is beautifully set up and creates such a nice relaxing atmosphere.
The details of the Gingerbread Hotel are just so amazing! My daughter kept telling me how much she wished she could just take one bite, haha. The Gingerbread Hotel will be checking out January 6th so hurry to catch a glimpse of it!
Irvine Spectrum Disney Holiday Light Show
Every night until January 4th the Edwards Courtyard located at the Irvine Spectrum comes to life with Disney Magic. A special holiday light show from Disneyland Resort is on display here and has nightly showings. The showing are a brief glimpse of what the Holiday Magic inside the Parks is like. The shows begin at 5:30pm and happens every hour after until closing. This is such a fun little show to catch if you happen to be in the area. Also Fashion Island features a similar Tree Lighting set to Disney Holiday music.
So go enjoy some Disney fun outside the Parks!