The holidays arrive at Disneyland in November! Typically during the second week of the month, the holiday decor arrives and it feels a lot like Christmas in the California theme parks. Holiday overlays, parades, shows, and even “snow” can be found throughout the entire Disneyland Resort. Weekends will likely be busy, and the crowds will definitely pick up as it gets closer to Thanksgiving. But with a little bit of pre-planning, November can be a wonderful time to visit Disneyland!
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Planning a Disneyland vacation in 2023? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Disneyland Resort has to offer this year including the reopening of Mickey’s Toontown, the Disney100 Celebration, and more!
- Disneyland in November will be cooler, but pleasant. Layers are an excellent way to be prepared for warmer afternoons and cooler evenings. It is also worth noting that this month marks the beginning of the rainy season. Ponchos are a great way to be prepared!
- Disney typically begins the festivities during the second week of November. So if you want to enjoy the holidays without the crazy Christmas crowds, November (prior to Thanksgiving) can be a wonderful time to visit.
- The holidays at the Disneyland Resort are very popular and crowds should be expected. That being said, November should be less crowded than December. Weekends will be busier with locals, Veteran’s Day Weekend could also see an increase in crowds, and Thanksgiving week will be very busy.
The holiday season typically begins during the second week of November, and no one does the holidays like Disney! So if you’re anxious to experience the holidays at Disneyland without the December crowds, visiting in November can be a great way to make that happen! While we don’t have details yet for the 2023 holiday season, here are some highlights from 2022:
- “it’s a small world” Holiday: This classic favorite is transformed each season inside and out. Experience holiday decor as well as changes to the famous song featuring the tune of “Jingle Bells.”
- Haunted Mansion Holiday: Many fans claim that this holiday overlay based on Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is even better than the original ride!
- Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl: One of my personal favorites, this Cars Land attraction features dancing cars to holiday tunes.
- Mater’s Jingle Jamboree: Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree transforms for the holidays featuring festive decor and classic holiday music with a “Mater” twist.
Parades and Shows
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade: This special holiday parade features prancing reindeer, marching toy soldiers, dancing gingerbread cookies, and some of your favorite Disney characters.
- Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle: The transformation of Sleeping Beauty Castle is truly something special during the holidays. Daytime decorations greet you as you first make your way down Mainstreet, and it is illuminated at night with over 80,000 LED lights in spectacular fashion. In the evening (typically between 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM), there is a lighting ceremony in front of the castle which includes a brief snowfall.
- “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks: Fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle is truly special. Even the castle itself glows featuring 80,000 holiday lights, sparkling “icicles,” and “snow-capped” turrets. And did someone say “snow”? Enjoy special holiday snowfall near “it’s a small world” Holiday in Fantasyland, Main Street, U.S.A., and near the Rivers of America.
- “it’s a small world” Holiday Lighting: The holiday lighting displayed on “it’s a small world” at night, is truly magical. Photos definitely don’t do this display any justice, as it’s something you have to see in person to fully grasp how amazing it is! At night, the exterior of this ride features nearly 250,000 holiday lights. There is also a short projection show that lights up the attraction every 30 minutes.
- Holiday Dance Parties: Goofy, Pluto, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and others will participate in nightly holiday dance parties at the Tomorrowland Terrace.
- Buena Vista Street Holiday Tree Lighting: Just outside Elias & Co., this 50-foot tall Christmas tree comes to life each night featuring beautiful holiday decor and twinkling lights.
- World of Color – Season of Light: This spectacular nighttime show featuring dancing fountains and class Disney music transforms for the holidays. Featuring scenes and music from Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast, and Fantasia as well as contemporary favorites like Frozen, Toy Story, and Inside Out.
Even though it seems as if Disneyland goes straight from Halloween to Christmas, Thanksgiving does not get forgotten. Thanksgiving meals are offered at select fine dining locations.
Veteran’s Day is honored at Disneyland each year with a larger flag retreat ceremony. This features the Dapper Dans and the Disneyland Band and is held daily in the park. But for Veteran’s Day, the festivities include Disneyland Cast Members who are veterans (or are in the reserves). Sometimes a military band is also in attendance.
Dapper Day is scheduled for November 12, 2023! (The Dapper Day Expo will take place November 11-12 at the Disneyland Hotel.)
November Refurbishments & Closures
*We’ve included all current refurbishments here on this list… even ones that may be open in time for November 2023. (Please note that this list could change at a moment’s notice.)
- Tarzan’s Treehouse is currently closed and will be receiving new theming as Adventureland Treehouse (likely to open in 2023)
- Splash Mountain closed on March 31, 2023, for retheming. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is likely to open in late 2024.
- Sailing Ship Columbia will close from September 11-14, 2023.
- Mark Twain Riverboat will close on September 17, 2023. An opening date is yet to be announced.
- Space Mountain will close on September 18, 2023. An opening date is yet to be announced.
- Fantasmic! will be suspended until Spring 2024.
California Adventure Park
- Golden Zephyr will close on August 28, 2023. An opening date has yet to be announced.
- Rogers: The Musical completed its seasonal run on August 31, 2023.
- San Fransokyo Square officially opened on August 31, 2023.
Disneyland in November will be cooler, but pleasant. The average high is 70 degrees and the low is typically around 53 degrees. Layers are an excellent way to be prepared for warmer afternoons and cooler evenings. It is also worth noting that this month marks the beginning of the rainy season. Ponchos are a great way to be prepared!
November Disneyland Crowds
Crowd calendars are very popular, but they can also be a bit unpredictable. That being said, the pandemic has made predicting crowds even more difficult than normal.
While crowd calendars can be a big help in planning your trip, keep in mind, that they are predictions at best. When designing our calendars, we take a look at events, school calendars, ticket prices, park hours, holidays, and typical monthly patterns. Unfortunately, our crowd calendars cannot predict other things such as weather, travel advisories, pandemics, or last-minute openings or closings of shows and attractions.
The holidays at the Disneyland Resort are very popular and crowds should be expected. That being said, Disney typically begins the festivities during the second week of November. So if you want to enjoy the holidays without the crazy Christmas crowds, November (prior to Thanksgiving) can be a wonderful time to visit. Weekends will be busier with locals, and Thanksgiving week will be very busy.
Ready to Start Planning Your Visit to Disneyland in November?
Here are some resources to help you get started!
Disneyland Dining Guides:
Disneyland Attraction Guides:
Planning your first Disneyland vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to get started!