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Is the Holiday Time Tour at Disneyland Resort Worth the Price?

Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour Review

The Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour is a guided 2.5 hour walking tour through Disneyland and California Adventure where you'll learn about the festive decorations on display throughout the theme park, as well as Disneyland holiday traditions from around the world.  You’ll also enjoy reserved viewing for A Christmas Fantasy Parade, delicious holiday treats, a wonderful wintry ride on “it’s a small world” Holiday and more.

Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort

Celebrate this joyous season with a look at how Disney makes the magic shine so bright at both parks of the Disneyland Resort.

  • Location: Disneyland Park, check-in is located next to City Hall at Tour Gardens on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Guided Tour Length: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Price: $110 (tax not included) for ages 3+ (A gratuity is not required)

A valid ticket and park reservation for same park on same date required.

Our Tour Experience

We just returned from a holiday trip to Disneyland, visiting just after the Thanksgiving holiday on a weekday to avoid major holiday crowds.  We love visiting Disneyland this time of the year and enjoying all of the festive decorations, food and holiday fun.

Since we have visited Disneyland numerous times over the years, we decided to take a Holiday Time tour this trip to learn more about Disney history and holiday details that go into getting the theme park ready for the holidays.  We were also interested in getting reserved parade viewing seats for A Christmas Fantasy Parade, since people begin reserving their seats along the parade route hours before it even starts. 

After checking in at Tour Gardens for our 4:10 pm tour start time, we received lanyards with a Holiday Time Tour badge and headsets to wear during the tour.  Since the parks are crowded during the holidays and the tour size can be over 10 people, it makes it easier to hear what the cast member guide is saying as we make our way around the park.

We started the tour at California Adventure and were given an introduction to Buena Vista Street, the Christmas Tree and other holiday details most people overlook.  We made our way to Trolley Treats and were given a holiday cake pop to enjoy.

We made our way back to Disneyland and meandered our way around Main Street to Adventure Land, made a quick pit stop and then continued onto the Haunted Mansion and back around to Frontier Land, all while listening to the guide and stories and facts he was telling us about the holiday decorations and other Disney history.

Next we made our way towards it's a Small World, making a quick stop in front of the castle.  We were given priority walk on access to it's a Small World (very busy in the evening!) and then met back with our guide to make our way to our reserved seating area for the parade.

After getting to the reserved parade area in between Alice in Wonderland and the Castle, we were given holiday treats that included hot chocolate in a keepsake mug, gingerbread cake, and a holiday pin. 

The tour concludes at this point, just as the 6:30 pm parade starts.   

Overall Impression 

My overall impression of the Holiday Time Guided Tour at Disneyland is it is not worth the time or price of $110 per person.  The parks are way too crowded during the holidays to comfortably go on a tour around Disneyland and the reserved parade area is severely lacking for the price you are paying for this tour - it is just downright disappointing for the price.   

Our tour guide was very nice and knowledgable and nothing against him, but overall the tour was just meh.  Unless you are a huge Disney fan interested in random Disneyland facts and history, the time spent on the tour could be better spent elsewhere in the park.

My biggest gripe with the tour was the reserved parade seating or lack thereof.  We were given a tiny area for 30+ people to be in and there was no help from Disney cast members on ensuring proper parade etiquette.  

We had quite a few older people who refused to sit down in the front row or move back so young kids could actually see the parade.  

Even after being requested my numerous people, myself included, to please sit or move behind the front row and complaining to our holiday time tour guide about it, nothing was done.  This was the "icing on the cake" which made an average tour turn very bad and not worth the money you are paying.  

It pains me to write all of this since we are big Disney fans, but I do not recommend the Holiday Time Guided Tour at Disneyland - it is not worth the price you are paying.  The value from receiving a holiday mug with hot chocolate, gingerbread cake and holiday pin is likely around $30-$35, so the rest of the price you're paying is for the guided tour and reserved parade seating, which just doesn't add up in value, in my opinion, and based on our holiday time tour experience.