Festival of Holidays debuts at Disney California Adventure

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New for 2016, the Festival of Holidays brings a diverse cultural holiday celebration, including the popular Disney Viva Navidad event, plus new entertainment and food booths. Plus some of your favorite Disney characters, including the newly coronated Princess Elena of Avalor, will be available to meet and greet and don’t forget Santa Claus. He’ll be there too.

The daily lineup of entertainment includes nearly 50 performances of nine unique shows, with more than 100 artists rejoicing in the holiday season. They include special Disney characters, cavalcades and performing ensembles that range from a Klezmer band with a global sound to traditional Indian dancers. Disney ¡Viva Navidad! is part of the fun and Princess Elena, the first Disney Princess inspired by Latin American cultures, makes her Disneyland Resort debut as part of the Festival. Princess Elena stars in the new Disney Channel series “Elena of Avalor.”

An all-new holiday spectacular, World of Color – Season of Light,” brightens the night on Paradise Bay during Festival of Holidays.

Holidays celebrated throughout the Festival:

  • Diwali, the Eastern festival of lights
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas/Navidad
  • Kwanzaa
  • Three Kings Day/Dia de los Reyes

Festive Foods Marketplace: From chile pozole to adobo pork bao and mini turkey pot pies, the food and drink at 14 marketplace locations will tempt guests along the Disney California Adventure walkway, from Carthay Circle to Paradise Garden. Menu items include:

  • Heritage Cottage – braised beef short ribs, sausages and sauerkraut, vanilla rice pudding
  • Making Spirits Bright – wines by the glass and tasting flights, warm holiday spiced wines, sparkling juice
  • Nosh & Nibbles – brisket potato croquette, sweet spiced noodle kugel, Reuben potato smash
  • Good Fortune’s Feast – adobo pork bao, smoked duck and vegetable spring roll, chilled papaya shrimp salad, winter mint milk tea
  • Spice Salutations – chicken and potato curry, carrot and chickpea fritters, cardamom and saffron sweet cheese tart, mango lassi
  • Brews & Bites – local seasonal and international beers and tasting flights, holiday cheese ball with crackers and pretzels
  • Mistletoe Morsels – holiday Swedish meatballs, classic crab cake, shrimp cocktail martini, holiday eggnog cocktail, merry berry sherbet punch.
  • Southern Hope Holidays – grilled spicy chicken sausage, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie, hard lemonade, cranberry sweet tea
  • Winter Sliderland – roasted turkey slider, Kalua pork slider, praline & bourbon whoopee pie, hard cider, sparkling juice
  • Fiesta en Familia – green chile pozole, red chile pozole, fresh fish ceviche, guava aqua frescha
  • Yuletide Yummies – mini turkey pot pie, pesto puff pastry twist, gingerbread Bundt cake, eggnog cheesecake, mocha yule log, raspberry Linzer tart, sticky toffee pudding, inspired wines and flavorful beers by glass and flight, frozen chocolate milk, pumpkin spice hot chocolate
  • Mosaic Delights – roasted lamb, mini falafel donuts, baklava, iced Moroccan mint tea
  • Abuelita’s Kitchen – chicken cilantro tamale, beef and cheese tamale, chorizo bean sopes, spiced peanut brittle, pomegranate margarita
  • Treats for Santa – cookie decorating, harvest puff pastry, cookies, panettenes, peppermint bark, fudge, warm bourbon cider, white hot chocolate, holiday fruit punch

In addition, Paradise Garden Grill will offer some seasonal specials for Disney ¡Viva Navidad!  including torta al pastor, street style tacos and chicken mole.

Festival Entertainment

  • The classic Disney ¡Viva Navidad! holiday celebration includes a high energy street party hosted by The Three Caballeros (Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Pancho). Mickey and Minnie join the fun, dressed in their fiesta best, along with folklorico and samba dancers. Additional Disney ¡Viva Navidad! highlights include holiday foods, crafts, Disney character experiences and Latin American bands.
  • Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival welcomes the adventurous and kindhearted Princess Elena of Avalor, her royal dancers and magical friend Skylar as they celebrate the holiday with an uplifting musical cavalcade.
  • Blue13 Dance Company turns up the fun with traditional Indian dances that build to a Bollywood party for all.
  • Mischievous Holiday Toy Drummers march to their own merry beat as they perform precision drills with holiday cheer.
  • The Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas celebrate the holidays with their signature repertoire of catchy bilingual tunes.
  • Mostly Kosher Klezmer band showcases an entertaining and eclectic musical tapestry that weaves together jazz, Latin rock and hip-hop.
  • Raise, an uplifting a cappella vocal group, brings its powerful harmonious R&B spin to new and popular holiday songs.
  • Santa will arrive for Santa’s Holiday Visit to greet guests of all ages. The joyful elves have transformed Redwood Creek Challenge Trail into a jolly playground of holiday fun and games.

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The event runs now through January 8th. Will be making a special visit to Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure?

(Photos courtesy Disneyland, Scott Brinegar photographer)

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