For the past two years, Amanda Ficili has been the Disneyland Resort panelist on the Disney Parks Moms Panel, answering all kinds of questions from people who are planning a visit. She offers a mom’s keen insights, tips on where to eat, fun ideas for all ages and lots more. I caught up with Amanda to get some holiday recommendations for Disney Parks Blog readers.
She loves the soundtrack in the new “World of Color – Winter Dreams” and the silly snowman Olaf. She also recommends the food and festivities at “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!”
From her long list of tips, I narrowed it down to an Eat-Shop-Play Holiday Guide, with “must-dos” to experience before the end of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort on January 6.
Eat: Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge is a beautiful place to sit down for a holiday meal, and there’s a special holiday menu the week before Christmas. You can you reserve a table online. If you’re looking for more of a pit stop, swing by Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land, where holiday tunes are rocking from the juke box and lights are twinkling from the record-clad Christmas trees. Flo’s V8 Cafe serves delicious comfort food and a holiday version of the “Ugly Crust Pie” – Pear and Cream Cheese. Meals for the little ones arrive in a winter-themed Lightning McQueen car lunchbox.
Shop: From a holiday Duffy the Disney Bear to Disney-themed ornaments, there are plenty of gift ideas at the Disneyland Resort. Two favorites are the glass ornaments that can be personalized, and any item from Beautifully Disney, the new line of cosmetics that includes blush, eye shadow, nail polish and lip gloss. If you can’t decide, Disney Gift Cards are always a hit with the Disney fan on your list.
Play: Along with the fun attractions, be sure to see the amazing shows, stunning Christmas trees and holiday décor, too.
- Celebrate holidays around the world with a cruise through “it’s a small world” Holiday in Disneyland park. Plan your voyage in the evening and you’ll see the exterior shining with thousands of dazzling lights, plus a charming animated show that’s projected onto the façade of the attraction.
- Stake out a place to see “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade near the beginning of the route, when it starts near “it’s a small world.” This parade has skating snowflakes, marching soldiers, wobbling snowmen, prancing reindeer and Santa Claus himself.
- Take the little ones to Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland. It’s a great place to relax and let them play in the middle of a busy day, with games, crafts, cookie decorating and holiday cheer.
- Don’t miss “Believe … in Holiday Magic,” the fireworks spectacular that sets the skies ablaze over Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and concludes with snow falling over the park! Amanda’s favorite viewing location is from Main Street, U.S.A., looking at the castle. The snowfall is beautiful in New Orleans Square, too.
- As you’re speeding into Cars Land over at Disney California Adventure park, stop at the entrance and snap your holiday photo with the Snow Car. You can also take photos throughout the parks with characters in holiday attire.
- Step back in time to 1920s Los Angeles on Buena Vista Street, where every lamp post and shop window is adorned with elegant, vintage decorations. Look for Santa at his post in the Elias & Co. department store, and the Red Car Trolley News Boys, who woo you with familiar Christmas tunes.
Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your tips about the Merriest Place on Earth and for all your tips that help families plan their vacations to the Disneyland Resort.