Best Holidays to Visit Disneyland

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There's magic at Disneyland year round, but during the holidays, Disneyland Resort is even more enchanting. From the twinkling holiday lights at Christmastime to the patriotic parades on the Fourth of July, the folks at Disneyland really know how to throw a party.

Some holidays are more popular than others, and the parks can be quite crowded during these times. Still, if holiday magic is your thing, the longer lines might be worth it. Special events run throughout the year, with the parks dressed up in all their seasonal finery. Check online for the latest schedule. Here are some of the best holidays during which to visit Disneyland:

November-December Holidays

From November 12 through January 2, 2011, Main Street at Disneyland Resort turns into a holiday wonderland, with some 200,000 lights, hundreds of poinsettias and a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree in the Town Square. Snowdrifts and icicles adorn Sleeping Beauty's Castle, where a nightly presentation unfolds in three acts. The finale is the "Believe...in Holiday Magic" fireworks show, which ends with the ever-popular "White Christmas" and snowfall along Main Street, U.S.A. A treasured holiday tradition at Disneyland is "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, where Disney characters delight little ones with their holiday spirit. Special holiday versions of It's a Small World and Haunted Mansion run throughout this season. The façade of It's a Small World Holiday is covered in some 300,000 lights, and Haunted Holiday Mansion offers a zany look at what happens when the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide.

Halloween, Late September-October

Disneyland lets guests celebrate the fun of Halloween in not-so-scary ways. The park is covered in decorations, lights and fall colors, and Disney characters meander through the park dressed in their spooky best. The Haunted Mansion is transformed with "A Nightmare Before Christmas" motif throughout. At Disney California Adventure, take the kids to Mickey's Trick or Treat Party, which is available on select nights.

Fourth of July

It's a day to be patriotic, and many enjoy spending the Fourth of July at Disneyland. The events are even more patriotic than usual, and the day ends with an exceptional fireworks show. Be aware, though, that the park can be crowded. You may spend a lot of time waiting in line.

Your Birthday

Want to celebrate your birthday in style at Disneyland? Guests celebrating their birthdays receive a special button from Guest Services, and then each employee you meet will wish you a happy birthday. If you'd like to celebrate at a Disneyland table-service restaurant, you can pre-order a personal-size party cake at 714-781-3463. Be sure to make restaurant reservations for your group at the same time.

Mardi Gras

Disneyland's New Orleans Square is hopping during Mardi Gras. You'll find Creole and Cajun food, along with music and entertainment. The most action takes place at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. The restaurant serves up all the southern favorites, from Gulf seafood and gumbo to jambalaya, po' boys and bread pudding. Live jazz is played at the restaurant almost every night.

Mother's Day

Take mom to an event the whole family can enjoy. Disneyland Hotel holds a special buffet honoring mothers each Mother's Day in the grand ballroom. You'll need to reserve at least 60 days ahead to get seats. Call 714-781-3463.

Photo, Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

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