Disneyland Paris at Christmas
Christmas at Disneyland Paris is all about decorations, Christmas parades, unique shows and the traditional tree lighting; every detail is orchestrated for you to live a once in a lifetime experience and have a great time!
Christmas at Disneyland Paris is serious business. So serious that it begins to warm up its engines in November by putting up the first decorations and exhibiting the first shows, and by December the itinerary is mind-blowing, magical and moving in equal proportions.
Disneyland Paris is considered one of the greatest attractions in the continent; the reason is simple: beyond the amusing park games and attractions, everything in this place is orchestrated and designed to provoke emotions, to make you fall in love with the charm and want to come back again and again. Needless to say, it is the perfect place if you are traveling to Paris with children, because although we adults have a lot of fun at Disneyland, the innocence of children tinges everything with a special touch.
1. New Year's Eve Party at Disneyland Paris
Every year on New Year's Eve, Disneyland Paris organizes an exceptional party with many activities, parades, shows and lots of fireworks!
The program of the New Year's Eve celebrations starts around 7:00 pm, but my recommendation is to arrive at the park no later than 5:00 pm to enjoy the beginning of the party. A DJ entertains the evening and several characters from the Magic World of Disney offer shows to invite us to dance. In addition, Disney Park restaurants offer special menus for New Year's Eve.
Tip: The demand for this party is high, so book early, buy your Disneyland Paris tickets and arrive as early as possible.
2. Admire the festive decorations and colors of the park.
Throughout the holiday season Disneyland Paris is enveloped by the magic of Christmas. A 24-meter-tall twinkling tree is placed to welcome you right in the Town Square, the main nave is filled with Christmas lights that will guide you on your way to Sleeping Beauty's Château. Several times a day, and as soon as you least expect it, it will snow on Main Street USA.
This is only the main area of Disneyland Park; as you go deeper into your tour you will realize that Christmas details and decorations will be everywhere you look: the roofs of the stores, the colors in the attractions, the characters' clothes and much more; being this one of the best times to go to Disneyland.
3. Take a tour to meet the Disney characters and Santa Claus
From early in the morning your favorite Disney characters are strolling around the park and you can take pictures with them. The funniest part? They're all dressed in their 100% Christmas-themed finery. Even Jack Skeleton from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" shows off his trademark Santa suit with a fake beard.
But without a doubt, the most iconic Christmas character at Disneyland is Santa Claus, whom you can meet every day at the "Meet Mickey Mouse" house until, of course, Christmas Eve. Meeting Santa is one of the best things to do in Disneyland at Christmas, do not leave without taking a picture with his fabulous sleigh parked at the entrance door.
4. Try the special Christmas menu at the park's restaurants
Whether it's table service or take-out, Disneyland Park's restaurants and food stands join in the festive atmosphere by preparing special menus. From delicious hot drinks, seasonal dishes, gingerbread cookies, burgers in holiday colors or Christmas-themed decorated desserts; every detail has been thought of to contribute to the visual experience. Some interesting alternatives include:
For fast food:
- Café de la Brousse
- Cookie Kitchen
- Cool Post
- Cowboy Cookout Barbecue
**For free buffet
**- Restaurant Agrabah Café, - Plaza Gardens Restaurant
- Bistrot Chez Rémy
- Captain Jack's
- Restaurant des Pirates
- Silver Spur Steakhouse.
5. Enjoy the Disney Princess Enchanted Waltz
Called Royal Sparkling Winter Waltz, it is possibly the shortest show at Disneyland Paris: during the Christmas season, but I recommend it just the same. It lasts 15 minutes and takes place in the open-air Plaza located right next to Sleeping Beauty Castle. The stage is beautifully decorated with colorful Christmas trees and the princesses accompanied by their princes dance a romantic waltz.
Tip: This is the best opportunity to see the princesses up close, the show is usually repeated 2 or 3 times a day, depending on the seasonal itinerary. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with Disney park schedules, arrive early and get a good spot for the shows.
6. Don't miss Mickey's Christmas Big Band
Here you can enjoy the Christmas concert of Mickey Mouse and his friends performing with a live big band. Originally located in the Videopolis Theatre, the famous show moved to the Animagique Theater in Walt Disney Studios Park a few years ago.
Two important details to highlight about this show: Mickey Mouse playing the drums fabulously and the "French touch" that can be glimpsed in the show's choreographies. Some songs in the repertoire include live versions of: White Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Here Comes Santa Claus, A Holly Jolly Christmas and Frosty The Snowman.
7. Rediscover the attraction "Its a small world"
The mythical attraction It's a small world is a must on a Disneyland tour; listed among the best attractions of Disneyland Paris, it is located in Fantasyland. The ride consists of a leisurely boat ride on a water canal, exhibiting more than 300 animatronic dolls whose traditional costumes represent cultures from around the world.
At Disney Christmas This attraction is reinvented to include beautiful Christmas decorations and new colors. So, if you saw it in the past, it's time for a repeat visit.
8. Enjoy a meal and caroling at Café Hyperion
Plan your lunch route for a day at Café Hyperion and enjoy your lunch in conjunction with a caroling show. Particularly charming is the screen above the stage that displays, throughout the show, the lyrics of the songs allowing the audience to sing along with the performers and Disney characters.
This carol show is usually performed 4 times a day; twice in the morning and twice in the evening. If you don't want to eat in the café you can enjoy the caroling standing in front of the stage in an area set aside for this purpose.
9. Discover the French side of Disney at L'Hiver Gourmand
During the winter season, L'Hiver Gourmand, a Christmas gourmet food market that honors Parisian gastronomy, is held every year at La Place de Rémy.
I recommend a stroll through the Place de Rémy at dusk, where the Christmas decor turns on all its fabulous lights. The decoration of this space is different from the rest of the park as it evokes a neater but equally vibrant French style.
The food stalls are arranged in small, elegant red chalets. From gingerbread, old-fashioned hot chocolate cider, mulled wine, Disney-branded sparkling champagne, sweet pancakes, French crepes or nut soup, you'll have enough stomach to try anything!
10. Do your Christmas shopping at Disneyland
Disneyland' s festively decorated stores and boutiques are the perfect place to find your Christmas gift list. My favorite part of visiting Disneyland is that the souvenirs you find in their stores are really durable so when you give a gift, you not only get something nice but also a gift that will keep for a long time.
At Disneyland you will find two stores with Christmas decoration themes: the Boutique du Château and Merlin l'Enchanteur. The Christmas balls with Mickey Mouse ears are really cute!
11. Don't miss the Christmas Parade or Cavalcade
Among the highlights of any visit to Disneyland is the parade of floats. During the holidays this event is renamed the Mickey and his Sparkling Christmas Parade and the stellar characters from the world of Disney ride on five large, beautifully decorated floats.
The parade includes Mickey's float with his friends, the Disney princesses' float, Tinker Bell's float and, of course, Santa's float in his sleigh. The Christmas parade is held twice during the winter season, my favorite is definitely the daytime version where the floats display spectacular lighting.
12. Attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony
Another iconic moment of Disneyland Paris at Christmas time is the Christmas tree lighting party. The spectacle has become a tradition and one of the most anticipated events for fans who gather every year for the holidays.
With its 24 meters high tree is located in the Town Square during all the holidays, in this place there is enough space to gather the large audience that attends the ceremony. Mickey, Minnie, Santa Claus and other characters will sing carols under the night sky and finish the show by bringing the giant Christmas tree to life.
13. Cap off a magical evening with the Disney Illuminations show
The show that closes a magical day at Disney is known as DisneyIlluminations. It lasts approximately 20 minutes and takes place every day outside Sleeping Beauty Castle.
On the façade of the castle you will see all kinds of stories circulating, from The Little Mermaid to Frozen, Finding Nemo and even Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean, brought to life through a play of lights and sounds, water jets, and amazing pyrotechnic effects.
At Christmas, beautiful messages of peace and love can be seen at the end of the show, so once the fireworks are over, wait a few more minutes for the surprise.
14. Visit the Disney Village and its Christmas decorations.
At the end of your day at Disneyland, take a moment to stroll through Disney Village. It is a square full of boutiques and restaurants located just outside Disneyland and where you will also find spectacular Christmas decorations. Winter time is the best time to enjoy the Village because the parks close a little earlier during this season.
Tourist flow in Disneyland Paris at Christmas time
During the Christmas holidays, the number of tourists in Disneyland Paris is still high in spite of the winter cold. However, by following these tips to visit Disneyland you will be able to plan your vacations and avoid excessive crowds as much as possible. During the month of December, the influx of visitors is as follows:
- The first two weeks of the month, before December 20, are the least crowded and you will be able to enjoy the full itinerary of Christmas shows. The only exception during this period are the weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) where the number of visitors increases considerably.
- Approximately from December 20 until New Year's Day, the flow of people is overwhelming, every day of the week.
In conclusion, if you visit Disneyland Paris in December and you have flexibility in your schedule, choose the first two weeks of the month and try to go between Monday and Thursday.