PHOTO REPORT: Disneyland Resort 12/28/18 (Crowds, Ballast Point, Jessie’s Carousel, ETC.)

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We decided to take a very quick trip around Disneyland Resort on Christmas morning before the crowds became completely out of control. Aside from it taking 40 minutes from exiting I-5 to actually parking, the security line and tram wait was short at 8:30 am. For APs, the parking attendant was clear that ONLY Signature Plus would work that day. Construction was stopped on Christmas Day, but the escalators and layout of the new structure are finally taking shape.

disneyland december 2018 parking garage construction

The line getting into Disneyland Park looked busy, so we opted for Disney California Adventure first.

disneyland december 2018 entrance crowds

Disney California Adventure

A quick stop at Elias & Co. to check out the new ears available, including the Purple Potion Minnie Ears and of course, these adorable “Up” Ear Headbands! They’re both available for $27.99.

UP minnie ears

Also spotted these Cheshire Cat ears that I liked ($27.99).

chesire cat ears

The holiday merch was pushed to the front, but more and more 2019 items are starting to show up.

disneyland december 2018 2019 merch

Seems like the crowds didn’t opt for MaxPass as there were plenty of FastPasses available an hour after park opening. Let’s head to Pixar Pier.

disneyland december 2018 pixar pier

California Adventure was still fairly calm early on.

disneyland december 2018 dca entrance

Most of the crowd was heading to Midway Mania or Incredicoaster… until it broke down for at least an hour.

disneyland december 2018 incredicoaster

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… GO!

disneyland december 2018 incredicoaster 2

The Poultry Palace and Senior Buzz were big hits for breakfast.

disneyland december 2018 midway mania

Still no change to Jessie’s Critter Carousel construction other than this strange wall and red paint on the top.

disneyland december 2018 jessie's critter carousel

disneyland december 2018 jessie's critter carousel wall

disneyland december 2018 jessie's critter carousel side wall

disneyland december 2018 jessie's critter carousel photo wall

disneyland december 2018 jessie's critter carousel photo wall side

After a Midway Mania ride, we grabbed a Haunted Mansion Holiday FastPass.

Disneyland Park

Not that we were surprised, but Disneyland Park was crowded.

disneyland december 2018 disneyland entrance crowds

disneyland december 2018 disneyland entrance crowds 2

The one spot that did not seem to have a crowd was the new Tropical Hideaway restaurant. We also spotted Santa in his light-up tree hat.

disneyland christmas day 2018 tropical hideaway

If you are a bacon fan, try the Bacon-topped Dole Whips. It sounds weird, but bacon fans will enjoy it (for a mere $0.99 extra.)

disneyland christmas day 2018 tropical hideaway bacon dole whip

Adventureland was packed.

disneyland christmas day 2018 adventureland

Finally! 0 days until XMAS!

disneyland christmas day 2018 haunted mansion holiday

disneyland christmas day 2018 haunted mansion holiday pumpkin carriage

disneyland christmas day 2018 haunted mansion holiday jack skellington

disneyland christmas day 2018 haunted mansion holiday graveyard

Upon exiting Haunted Mansion, there were still lots of FastPasses available for the major rides, although standby wait times were long.

disneyland christmas day 2018 tom sawyer island

Crowds flocking to Tom Sawyer Island.

disneyland christmas day 2018 sleeping beauty castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle was popular.

disneyland christmas day 2018 goofy statue hub

Goofy wondering if we’re all nuts for being here on Christmas Day.

disneyland christmas day 2018 disneyland railroad

Even the line for the train was full and wrapped down the stairs.

disneyland christmas day 2018 city hall crowds

I can’t even imagine how long this City Hall line was going to take.

disneyland christmas day 2018 city hall crowds wrapped

Getting crazy busy before the parade. Time for us to go.

disneyland christmas day 2018 afternoon entrance crowds

Lines to get into Disneyland Park were now at least 50 people deep around 11:30 am. However, across the esplanade, the DCA gates were empty.

disneyland christmas day 2018 dca entrance

Downtown Disney

disneyland christmas day 2018 downtown disney

At 11:30 am, Downtown Disney wasn’t busy. Seems like DCA and Downtown Disney may be the way to go on Christmas Day if you’re okay with skipping the parade and don’t want to fight crowds.

disneyland christmas day 2018 downtown disney holiday decor

Last stop is Ballast Point construction. Workers were off today, but we did catch a glimpse of these stacked chairs by the windows.

disneyland christmas day 2018 ballast point construction chairs
Ooh, chairs!

disneyland christmas day 2018 downtown disney wetzels pretzels

disneyland christmas day 2018 downtown disney 2

On the way out, the security line was now using the entire queue area… so early is definitely the way to go on Christmas.

disneyland christmas day 2018 security lines

disneyland christmas day 2018 security lines 2This was my first time braving Christmas Day at Disneyland, and aside from taking a long time in the parking line, it was doable. It’s worth paying for MaxPass if you want to get on rides, but keep in mind getting into Disneyland Park takes awhile, so plan accordingly… park hopping won’t be easy. Restaurant reservations were gone, but an early lunch walk-up would have been feasible at Downtown Disney. Perhaps we’ll visit Ballast Point next Christmas!

About the author

Ali

Ali is a SoCal transplant by way of Milwaukee. When not on a pool deck coaching swimming or training for Spartan/runDisney races she is usually found at Disneyland (or WDW whenever possible).

Contact Ali at [email protected]