Our family travel series continues with Valley-based boy mom and lifestyle contributor Nadine Bubeck (Mama B.). Every month, Nadine showcases a fabulous destination- providing five things about visiting the hot spot.
This month, we’re heading to the happiest place on earth. Here’s your inside scoop on doing the holidays at Disney.
Where to stay:
HOJO Anaheim is a Disneyland-partnered property that is seriously the smartest place to stay.
First, location; it’s literally a 5-minute walk to the park (with free parking).
Second, amenities. Building “one” has been beautifully revamped. We got a room with double beds and easily fit our family of five (plus there’s a breakfast nook in the room, in addition to a fridge). You could even see the Matterhorn from our balcony! If your kids need some Disney downtime, the hotel boasts an amazing waterpark as well.
And finally, the HOJO fits your budget. With spending plenty on park tickets, you don’t want to overspend on a room.
Where to play:
- At night “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular lights up the sky with its stirring snowfall finale.
- The holiday popular tradition, “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade can be seen on Main Street.
- Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle is illuminated with more than 126,000 twinkling LED lights, sparkling “icicles” and shimmering snow-capped turrets.
- “It’s a small world” has transformed into“It’s a small world” Holiday. It’s stunning.
- The Haunted Mansion has morphed into the Haunted Mansion Holiday, with Jack Skellington and his friends from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Disney California Adventure Park:
- “World of Color – Season of Light”returns this year.
- The Disney Festival of Holidays brings the spirit of the season to life through special entertainment and delicious food.
- New entertainment has been added to Disney Festival of Holidays, including the cheerful “Mickey’s Happy Holidays” character celebration with beloved Disney and Pixar pals.
Where to feast:
We love doing dinner at Downtown Disney, and our top pick is Catal Restaurant.
Request a table on the balcony flaunting gorgeous panoramic views (you can spot the fireworks if you plan timing accordingly). Your server will guide you through the eclectic menu featuring grilled seafood, select meats, signature burgers and more. Pair your meal with a cocktail or vino (yes please!) and take a breather from the Disneyland hustle. There’s also a fantastic kid’s menu!
What to bring:
An autograph book! My kids LOVED getting star-studded signatures from characters. The best books are sold right when you walk into Disneyland (and then you can score your first round of autographs on Main Street). Click here to see where to find your fave characters.
Download the Disneyland app as soon as you get in the park. This will save you valuable time! For $10 per day per ticket, you’ll have access to securing fast passes (in turn, beating the lines), as well as additional park perks.