The most wonderful time of the year

Is anyone else having one of those blink-and-you-missed-it moments? Most of our holiday time this year was spent wrapped up in Disney Weddings craziness, with 8 days at Aulani for our big “I do” and then another round at Disneyland a few weeks later for our second reception at the Grand. With all the obsessive planning and stressing and Did-I-Forget-Anything-ing, it felt like December lasted all of 45 minutes, while Christmas itself was maybe 2 minutes tops.

Since I didn’t get a time-turner under the tree this year — OR my Hogwarts letter (come on, what’s the hold up) — I’ll just have to re-live my favorite Disney Christmas moments through a good old fashioned blog post.

Here are some of my favorite photos and highlights from the very merriest season at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Disney treats

Per usual, one of my favorite things about Disneyland during the holidays is the excess of delicious things to eat and drink. The Festival of Holidays sets up shop in DCA through November and December, with no shortage of sips and snacks (if you haven’t tried the pork belly adobo, you really haven’t lived).

And, of course, one of my favorite seasonal treats is the rum-spiked hot chocolate that they sell in the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel. TBH, pretty much everything the Grand does is unparalleled. In addition to the rum hot chocolate, they took it up a notch this year by offering chocolate chip cookie shot-holders that you could fill with milk or your favorite liquor.


The epic Christmas treat stand in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
Peppermit cookie shot with Bailey’s Irish Creme
Sugar cookies from Disney’s Festival of Holidays in DCA
The best popcorn bucket outside of Tokyo Disney

VIP tour

Another holiday highlight for us was the opportunity to go on a VIP Tour. The last time we splurged on one of these was for Mark’s birthday — which also ended up coinciding with his proposal. This year, the VIP Tour was a wedding gift, so we decided to invite some close friends (those who’d celebrated with us in Hawaii) and family (my parentals and sister).

Our last VIP Tour was a fantastic experience, and this one felt even more magical (chalk it up to the Christmas pixie dust). We had 8 hours with our guide, Diane, and got onto 17 rides across both Disneyland and California Adventure. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about whether the VIP Tour is worth the cost, and the answer is unequivocally YES. The guides essentially act as human Fastpasses — getting you to the front of line at rides, as well as reserved seating for fireworks and parades — which is a lifesaver, especially during peak season.

Since our last Plaid experience, they’ve added a nifty lounge area in Tomorrowland for guests on VIP Tours. The space is outfitted with couches, chargers, books, games, coloring stations, plus a table filled with complimentary treats (everything from snacks and sunscreen to scarves and Mickey ears!)

My parents hung out here and colored (ha) while the rest of us went on Space Mountain.

Disneyland aside, the greatest holiday highlight for us this year was spending our first Christmas as a Mr. and Mrs.!

Here’s to many (many) more years to come…



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