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Holidays at California theme parks are festive events with seasonal decor, shows, parades and treats. From whimsical to classic decor and attractions, each park puts its own spin on holiday fun. It’s easy to get in the spirit of the holidays with light displays, Christmas tree ceremonies, carolers, and seasonal entertainment and snow flurries.
Holidays at California Theme Parks
Deck the parks with boughs of holly, colorful lights and an array of themed decor. Holidays at California theme parks vary from one to the next. But they’re all uniquely spectacular. Santa comes to town, sometimes with reindeer, and sometimes with the Grinch and other fun characters. Find new shows and holiday treats as your favorite theme parks are transformed into a winter wonderland.
Although the parks are especially crowded during the holidays, don’t let that stop you from visiting during this wonderful time of the year. For less crowded parks, consider visiting early in the season or after Christmas when the parks are still dressed up for the holidays.
LEGOLAND California Resort
Presented by Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas, Holidays at LEGOLAND is bursting with holiday cheer. From festive decor to twinkling lights and holiday tunes, LEGOLAND is a fairy tale come true for kids. Enjoy shows, food, live music and more. Photos with holiday characters include Santa and the Gingerbread Man. In Fun Town, there’s a 30-foot LEGO Christmas tree decorated with more than 400 LEGO ornaments. The tree twinkles to holiday tunes at the Holiday Light Show. In addition, see the new show, Santa’s Top Elf, and hop on a sleigh with a life-size LEGO Santa.
New Year’s Eve features a kids’ party with bands, party favors, fireworks and a 6 p.m. giant brick drop.
SeaWorld San Diego
During Sea World’s Christmas Celebration, meet Rudolph, see new holiday shows and shop for gifts through Jan. 5, 2020. In Rudolph’s Christmastown, meet and get your picture taken with Rudolph and Bumble or Yukon. In addition, a dazzling Christmas tree lighting takes place at 5 p.m. daily.
Plus, the new Sesame Street Christmas Village features sing-alongs, twinkling lights, and falling snow. In addition, enjoy Sesame Street story time with Mrs. Claus and meet Santa. While in SeaWorld, enjoy live shows like the all-new Winter Wonderland on Ice and Cirque Christmas.
For an additional price, make a reservation to Dine With Orcas and Santa, a 90-minute experience on select dates in December. A chef-crafted meal is served poolside next to Orca whales with a special visit from Santa. Cost: $56 (ages 10 and older), $28 (ages 3 – 9).
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure become even more magical when Mickey and his pals celebrate the holidays through Jan. 6, 2020. For example, the Disneyland Resort transforms into the Merriest Place on Earth with snowfall and new entertainment. In addition, enjoy holiday music, parades, dazzling lights and seasonal treats.
New this year, holiday entertainment includes Mickey’s Happy Holidays character celebration at Disney California Adventure Park. Plus, the new Disney Holiday Dance Party debuts at Disneyland Park. Returning in 2019 is the dazzling World of Color – Season of Light. The holiday-themed production features lights, lasers, water, fire and hundreds of fountains bringing animation to life.
In addition, many favorite holiday experiences and traditions return, including Disney Festival of Holidays. This popular events honors the sights, sounds and tastes of Christmas/Navidad, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa and Three Kings Day (Jan. 3-6).
Holidays at California theme parks: Knott’s Merry Farm
This charming Buena Park theme park has the Peanuts gang celebrating the holiday season through Jan. 5, 2020. Every winter, the park transforms into Knott’s Merry Farm, a Christmas celebration for all ages. Holiday attractions include live entertainment, a Christmas Crafts Village, and seasonal food. In addition, enjoy the splendor of lavish holiday decorations, and a nightly snow fall in Ghost Town. Merry Christmas, Snoopy! is an ice show starring the famous beagle, the Peanuts Gang and a cast of world-class ice skaters.
Holidays at California theme parks: Universal Studios Hollywood
The Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood features themed activities through Dec. 29. The special events are included in the price of theme park admission.
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Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter transforms the quaint town of Hogsmeade into an enchanting holiday village. Seasonal décor is uniquely themed to each of the individual storefronts. In addition, a dazzling light projection brings the iconic Hogwarts castle to life.
As night falls, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle illuminates Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with colorful imagery. There are also dimensional animations that dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter movies. Musical performances from the a cappella Frog Choir entertain with their harmonized holiday themed songs.
Shoppers will find a selection of custom-made Christmas ornaments created especially for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And, of course, holiday-themed fare and hot butterbeer further complement the overall experience.
An all-new 55-foot tall Grinchmas tree is adorned with ornaments and LED lights choreographed to music for the annual Who-lebration. Dazzling Grinchmas tree lighting ceremonies take place every evening, accompanied by a snowfall flurry. The festival features The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos.
Universal CityWalk’s 40-foot tall Christmas tree sparkles with 200,000 LED icicles choreographed to holiday lights and sounds. Plus, free concerts and performers take place on the plaza. Although admission to Universal CityWalk is free, there’s a parking fee.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
The magic of the season takes over with Holiday in the Park at 5 p.m. nightly Nov. 23-Jan. 5, 2020. On select Holiday in the Park evenings, the event will include festive shows, activities and seasonal treats. Plus, don’t miss personalized meet-and-greets with Santa and his helpers.