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Happy Holidays from Disneyland! Part 3: Characters, Shopping, and Food!

Now that we've seen Disneyland and California Adventure at its holiday best in Part 1 and Part 2, what about all the fun characters, food and goodies, and shopping to be done? Let's dive right in!

Characters

Although full-blown parades as we used to know them aren't back yet, you'll be happy to know that you can still catch mini parades and appearances of some of Disney's most popular characters! 

Disneyland

At Disneyland, stay near the castle around 3pm for one of the mini parades shown here. The staple characters include Mickey and Minnie, Goofy, Ariel, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, Jasmine and Genie, Chip and Dale, Donald, and Elsa and Anna.







You can catch a few characters like Rey and Chewbacca at Star Wars Galaxy's edge.



Chewie was photo bombing someone haha.


Rey was very sweet and spoke patiently to all the little kids excited to see her.


Not sure if this is new, but it's the first time I've seen the Lady in Red from the Pirates ride in New Orleans Square!

California Adventure

Over at Avengers Campus in California Adventure there's plenty more opportunities to spot your favorite Marvel characters in action throughout the afternoon. I caught a special lesson from the dora milaje.




Then Black Panther appeared on the roof!


In front of the Guardian's of the Galaxy ride you can see Star-Lord and Gamora leading an awesome dance-off. Star-Lord is obviously more into it than Gamora, but she reluctantly pulls out a few moves at the end.



I also got to see Ant-Man and the Wasp for the first time.


If you're lucky you might spot Shang-chi up on the balcony too!


Plus, there's a special fight sequence involving Black Widow and Captain America that takes place on the balcony too and lasts about ten minutes with special sound effects and dialogue. That was my favorite!

You can also see Mickey and Minnie and Anna and Elsa in California Adventure, too!





Food


Of course there's a ton of specialty holiday food on the menu at the Disney parks! I tried the Pym-ini sandwich at Pym's Test Kitchen and the shawarma at Avenger's Campus. The sandwich was good but a small portion; shawarma was also good but so spicy!


Other items on the menu at Pym's Test Kitchen. They all look so small!

In the evening I headed to the Pacific Wharf for a mac and cheese bread bowl.


I did want to try the hot cocoa macaron at California Adventure, but ended up going for my favorite pumpkin fritters instead since it was almost $6 for one. You can also get much cheaper macarons from a cart before the entrance to Pixar Pier. The snowman is so cute!


Gingerbread lovers, try this for sure!


Other favorites include cake pops, caramel apples, and cookies.




Festival of Holidays

A unique offering at California Adventure is their Festival of Holidays, which aside from entertainment includes special food stalls set up on the way to Pixar Pier and around the Little Mermaid ride!



If you want to sample multiple stations you can purchase a Sip and Savor pass, or just buy ala carte.







If you're lucky enough, they have passports where you can get stamps for purchases at every station but it's best as your pocket guide for what you can get and where! They are really low stocked on them though when I've been there, even first thing in the morning.



As an extra activity, you can complete the "passport puzzler" if you collect all the stamps.


The guide shows the selection at each stand and indicates what's vegetarian, plant-based, and kid-friendly, plus which holiday each drink/dish corresponds with.



The map is super helpful!


At the back you can see other festive food at other park locations around California Adventure.

Shopping


There's plenty of red, green, and Christmas sweaters to be had at all of Disney's clothing shops. You'll also find Christmas decorations and ornaments at the new Plaza Point holiday store. My favorite was the poison apple, but this Toy Story teacup also stole my heart because it spins!





Loved the glass slipper as well!


Of course, Disney would make it's own nutcrackers, but they are not cheap! Chip and Dale were $60 each!




There are some new wood displays that also light up.




These cookie jars are pretty cute!


You'll fine dishware and other cooking utensils, etc. too.


For pin lovers, there are definitely Christmas pins to be had. 


I personally really liked this avocado Mickey and (again) the poison apple set.



Off in the other stores, you can still find Hocus Pocus merch like these glasses/mugs.



They are also launching two new Designer Collection Princess dolls in Pocahontas and Jasmine.




I seriously considered if I might fit into the largest of this kid-sized Stitch shirt.


Super cute Christmas treats cell phone case!


Some Star Wars lovers out there would love these earring sets!



I prefer these Cinderella carriage and Minnie Mouse pearl earrings myself :)




You can celebrate the 70th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland with these Alice and White Rabbit plushes.


There were a lot of dresses you'll find in the Disney Dress Shop in Downtown Disney. Love the Esmerelda one!





Super cute for dog lovers!


This Stitch hoodie seriously tempted me the most. You can zip up his mouth or leave it open!


Over on Pixar Pier they were selling these Sully tails. 


Over at Bing Bong's Sweet Stuff, I loved the alien crane machine game and sipper.




Pizza Planet merch is also well-stocked.


These are a new line of small plushes that come in their video cassette case for nostalgia's sake.


I wasn't entirely sure, but I think the color scheme is for Walt Disney's 50th celebration?


Good news for fans of crystal and glassware who are only able to enter California Adventure: there's a stand outside the Little Mermaid ride selling items just like the ones you'll find in New Orleans Square!




In other special news, Encanto merchandise has also landed!



That's a wrap for Disneyland Holidays 2021! Hope you had a chance to make it or will soon! You can still enjoy the holidays at Disney through January 9th. Then, get ready to celebrate Lunar New Year at California Adventure from January 21 to February 13th. I'll be back with my full report then!