(credit: Disney Parks)

(credit: Disney Parks)


From late September through the New Year, Orange County Amusement Parks come alive with holiday themes that bring a new and exciting perspective to a visit to your local theme park. From a mistletoe-laden, nostalgic stroll through Christmastime at Disney Parks or a horrifying nightmare run at Knott’s Scary Farm, here’s your guide to holiday events at Orange County theme parks.

(credit: Disney Parks)

(credit: Disney Parks)


Winter Holidays
Disneyland Park
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-7277
www.disneyland.com

The Happiest Place on Earth gets a little merrier every single year with a variety of Christmas and holiday themed decorations, entertainment, and ride changes. This holiday season, don’t miss the 62,000 twinkling lights on the Main Street Christmas tree, or the winter splendor of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle as it is illuminated by the holiday firework extravaganza (with nightly snowfall!). Rides get dressed up as well for the holiday including the “Jingle Cruise,” “Haunted Mansion Holiday,” and “it’s a small world holiday,” and be sure not to miss the Jingle Jangle Jamboree where kids can meet and greet with Santa, Mickey, and all his pals as you listen to live Christmas music, play games, and make special crafts. The Christmas Fantasy Parade is a season must.

(credit: Disneyland Resort)

(credit: Disneyland Resort)


Viva Navidad and Winter Dreams
Disney California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802
www.disneyland.com

Disneyland’s California themed neighbor also gets into the spirit of the holidays with a wide variety of winter themed fun including last year’s most anticipated addition, World of Color Winter Dreams, a beautifully orchestrated color and water show that features holiday music, classic Disney holiday scenes, and brand new animation, all hosted by everyone’s brand-new-Disney favorite, Olaf! Don’t miss Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, a celebration of Latino holiday culture boasting live music, folklorico dancers and lessons, crafts, face painting, and Mexican holiday specialties including our favorite: posole! Quintessential Cars Land will also be overflowing with holiday cheer; don’t miss the decorations made out of car parts!

(credit: Janel Murray)

(credit: Janel Murray)


Knott’s Merry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5200
www.knotts.com

Knott’s Merry Farm, open daily through the Christmas holiday season, features beautiful decorations, carolers, themed holiday rides, and special holiday shows this season. “It’s Christmas, Snoopy,” a holiday ice-skating musical show, will be featured annually as well in the Charles M. Schulz Theater and two abridged Christmas favorites, “A Christmas Carol” and “The Gift of the Magi” are performed daily in the Birdcage Theatre. End your evening by singing traditional Christmas carols under the Calico Square Christmas tree each night; Snoopy and all his pals will join in on the fun. Don’t miss the free Knott’s Christmas Craft Fair as well, with numerous artisan bakers, artists, and crafters selling their wares on the streets of Knott’s Ghost Town, open daily even when the park is not in operation.

(credit: Disneyland Resort)

(credit: Disneyland Resort)


Mickey’s Halloween Party
Disneyland Park
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-7277
www.disneyland.com

If you’ve ever wanted to trick-or-treat until the wee hours of the morning on the streets of Main Street, U.S.A., then you must snag a ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party, offered on select nights through the Halloween season. For the year’s scariest season, the park shuts down early to regular guests, and party-goers, dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes, can enjoy premium access to rides, photo opportunities with all of the elusive Disney villains, dance parties, a firework spectacular, and trick or treat stations throughout the park. Tickets sell out in advance, so be sure to plan your visit early in the season.

(credit: Knott's Berry Farm)

(credit: Knott’s Berry Farm)


Knott’s Scary Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5200
www.knotts.com

For the OC’s scariest Halloween amusement option, be sure to head to Knott’s Scary Farm, a SoCal Halloween tradition since 1973. Hosted by Elvira, the legendary Mistress of the Dark, the night boasts more than a thousand monsters hiding in the park’s 160 acres, terrifying mazes, spooky shows, and access to all of Knott’s most thrilling rides. Consider purchasing Fright Lane with Skeleton Key for front-of-the-line access to all mazes and exclusive terror scenes for the hard-to-impress.

Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.

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