Guest Spotlight: Celebrating 45 Consecutive Christmas Eves at Disneyland Resort

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

Several Disney Parks Blog authors have been sharing stories about their favorite holiday traditions at the Parks, and today we’re spotlighting a guest with a particularly special holiday tradition.

Brien, Mary and Erin Manning in front of Disney tree 2008

Erin Manning of Newport Beach, Calif. has visited Disneyland park nearly every Christmas Eve of her life, and her parents, Brien and Mary, have been celebrating Christmas Eve at Disneyland park for 45 consecutive years.

Brien Manning and Erin Manning 2008

“I know it is truly the holiday when I walk down the center of Main Street, U.S.A., and the Christmas tree and lights are shining bright,” Erin shared with me.

Erin also shared several photos with us, including this one of her Christmas Eve visit in 1968 as she sits atop her dad’s shoulders.

Brien Manning and Erin Manning Disney Parade 1968

Erin says: “Disneyland holds a special place in my family’s heart. My father tells numerous behind-the-scenes stories that we never get tired of hearing. One of my favorites is about his asking Mr. Disney for his ticket to ride the Gondola and about the days when they used to serve Mint Juleps on the River Queen. He even mentions being at the Grand opening and how it was so hot the asphalt was melting.”

Erin also loves this photo from the 1980s of her with Mickey Mouse and her sister, Shana.

Shana and Erin Manning with Mickey

Erin, we hope you and your parents have a very happy holiday and that your parents enjoy their 45th Christmas Eve at Disneyland park!

Erin shared her story with us by uploading photos of her favorite Disney memories at our “Let the Memories Begin” website. Please share your favorite Disney holiday memories with us by uploading a photo or video.


  • If only it were that easy!

  • So we have been going to Disneyland the same dya as these people for 39 years? Huh.

  • What an amazing story! I LOVE the old pictures! My partner and I have started the same tradition at Walt Disney World for New Year’s Eve. There really is no better way to celebrate the holidays, and we are fortunate enough to be able to have such a wonderful tradition. Here’s to 45 more years! 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with all of us Disney fans. I love traditions especially the ones that include trips to Disneyland. I wish you and your family many more memorable trips to Disneyland as I hope to continue with my family as well.

  • Thank you for sharing your story! I hope to spend my very first Christmas at Disneyland for Christmas 2012 with all of my family and friends. It is going to be HUGE!
    Thanks again!!

  • How special!! I hope Erin and her family have even more special Disneyland Christmas memories to come. Merry Christmas!!

  • Very cool! 🙂

  • That’s a very touching story. The park is so beautiful at Christmas time.

  • I just love it. Such a beautiful family tradition. Keep the photos coming.

  • What an AWESOME story! Like Erin, I have a lot of memories centered around Disney parks. It is fun to see pics from when I was a baby at Disney World(circa around 1971ish) to current with my kids.
    Nice to see how Disney can really make lasting memories for people, especially around the holidays!!!!!

    Great story…. thanks for sharing.

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