Continuing my recent vacation posts (recent… as in ‘over a month ago’), here’s one about the other side of the Disneyland parks — Disneyland. As mentioned in the previous post, I took my family to Disney over the holidays. A good idea in theory, but in reality it was crazy busy. The only thing that kept me sane was seeing how happy my kid was. Christmas Eve wasn’t bad over at California Adventure but Christmas Day in Disneyland was a different story.

Wall to wall people everywhere. You couldn’t take two steps without running into a scrum of people. That’s why we had to be strategic about our day. As soon as the park opened I got fast passes for the family at Space Mountain while the wife took the kid on Astro Orbitor. We met back up at Star Tours, the 3D simulator ride that they seemed to have refreshed since my last visit. Tomorrowland gets incredibly congested so crossing those rides off our list early in the day meant that we could avoid that headache for the rest of the day.

It’s also smart to get fast passes for other major rides early in the day, if possible. Attractions like Indiana Jones get busy and may run out of fast passes. There’s also a chance the Indiana Jones ride may break down, as it did during our visit. We stood in line for about half an hour before they got it up and running again. If you get fast passes for that or any other ride, make sure you hit up the surrounding rides while you wait.

As for holiday decor, some parts of the park were more decked out than others. Main street provides some great photo ops and you don’t want to miss the Christmas parade. It started at 5:30 (and lasted about 40 minutes) but people were lining up a couple hours in advance. You’ll have to do the same if you want a curbside seat. The most in-demand spots are along Main Street, so if you can’t get there early go farther up the park toward It’s a Small World.

If you want the same holiday experience without the big crowds it’s better to visit the park the first week or two of December or the first week of January.

You can read my reviews of all Disney attractions I experienced on Yelp.

1313 S Disneyland Dr
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-4000

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