Theme Parks Decked Out for the Holidays 

Join the celebration at Universal Studios Hollywood as Hogwarts castle lights up for the holidays and holiday decorations brighten up the streets of Hogsmeade. Don’t forget to order a Butterbeer. Photo Universal Studios Hollywood.
Join the celebration at Universal Studios Hollywood as Hogwarts castle lights up for the holidays and holiday decorations brighten up the streets of Hogsmeade. Don’t forget to order a Butterbeer. Photo Universal Studios Hollywood.

By Michele E. Buttelman 

Signal Staff Writer 

It’s not the holiday season without a trip to one of the many Southern California theme parks. Time is running out to enjoy the special sights and tastes of the holidays at area theme parks. Each theme park celebrates the season in its own unique way.  

Holiday in the Park through Dec. 31 

Six Flags Magic Mountain 

26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia 91355 


At this “Winter Wonderland” experience, which begins at 5 p.m. nightly, you can enjoy holiday decorations, lights and exclusive holiday eats only available at this time of the year. These include holiday-flavored fudge, peppermint bark and white chocolate candy apples. Plus, cozy up with your loved ones and roast marshmallows over an open fire pit at one of four locations in the park. 

Try a “Root Deer Fizz” a chilly concoction of classic Barq’s root beer mixed with cookie butter syrup served in a festive cup with whipped cream, a mini candy cane and a red cherry nose.  

 Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and their merry elves. Plus take home a souvenir photo with the big guy himself.  

A Holiday Celebration through Jan. 1 

Universal Studios, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City 91608 


Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates the holidays with a towering Christmas tree on CityWalk and festive décor throughout the theme park.  

Join the celebration as Hogwarts lights up for the holidays and holiday decorations brighten up the streets of Hogsmeade. Enjoy a hot Butterbeer while the Frog Choir puts a holiday spin on its performances. 

You can also enjoy the ‘Who-tacular’  festivities with the Grinch and Max during Grinchmas. Meet the maven of mischief himself, his dog Max and favorite Whoville residents. You’ll also witness the spectacular lighting of the one-of-a-kind Dr. Seuss inspired tree to join in a celebration of music, song and light. 

Disney Festival of Holidays through Jan. 7 

1313 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim 92802 


Disneyland Resort is home to two theme parks, three hotels and a shopping, dining and entertainment district known as Downtown Disney. Enjoy holiday fun now through Jan. 7.  


It’s the most magical time of the year at the Magic Kingdom. Celebrate the season with themed entertainment, food and festivities. Enjoy the following holiday attractions: 

It’s a Small World Holiday 

Celebrate the splendor of the season with a festive yuletide take on this classic attraction when you set sail along a wondrous wintry waterway transformed with whimsical décor. Behold jubilant regional adornments all along your world tour of good cheer. Listen as the costumed chorus of children sings the classic “It’s a Small World (After All)” song and traditional holiday tunes. 

Be enchanted by the ride’s iconic façade, which is adorned with thousands of shimmering lights for the season. 

A Christmas Fantasy Parade 

Beloved Disney characters join Santa Claus for a merry musical celebration, heading your way down Main Street, U.S.A. 

With prancing reindeer, marching toy soldiers, dancing gingerbread cookies and more, his holiday parade brings the most magical time of year to Disneyland.  

Haunted Mansion Holiday 

Take a tour of the eerie estate’s annual merry macabre makeover where the original mansion settings are blended with the 1993 film “Nightmare Before Christmas.” 

Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle 

Gaze in wonder at Sleeping Beauty Castle decked out in icicles, wreaths and festive décor. Each evening, gather to see the castle shimmer to life. As snow falls and music fills the air, watch thousands of twinkling lights illuminated in stages. It’s a truly breathtaking sight. 

California Adventure Park  

Embrace a seasonal celebration of diverse cultural festivities with music, food and fun. The highlight of the park is the reimagined “World of Color — Season of Light” spectacular.  

Share the wonder as water, light, story and song are transformed into pure holiday magic. See beloved moments from Disney and Pixar films illuminate a towering wall of mist. Watch hundreds of sky-high fountains dance in time to festive music as shimmering snowflakes fill the scene. It’s a mesmerizing spectacle as enchanting and magical as the holidays themselves. 

Knotts Merry Farm through Jan. 7 

8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park 90620 


The holiday spirit shines bright at Knott’s Merry Farm. Experience a Christmas celebration with winter wonderland-inspired décor transforming the entire park into a classic holiday festival, featuring a landscape of thousands of twinkling lights, miles of themed garland, jumbo snowflakes and a variety of picturesque seasonal settings.  

Enjoy Christmas shows like Home for the Holidays, a musical revue featuring classic Christmas tunes, holiday lights, magical dancing toys and dazzling snow, all set on an elaborate, transforming wintertime stage.  

The holiday season also means a return of the beloved ice show starring Snoopy, the Peanuts Gang and a cast of world-class ice skaters. 

‘Tis the season for holiday dining food that can’t be found anywhere else and only offered this time of year. Try the Candy Cane Lane Fudge Brownie and the gourmet hot chocolate.  

The streets of Calico play host to a Christmas Crafts Village offering one-of-a-kind gift ideas and a magical Snow and Glow experience dancing to the beat of holiday music. Guests can also experience Santa’s Christmas Cabin and a nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony.› 

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