There are always too many treats to choose from at Disneyland, but during the holidays, there are some special editions worth putting on your wish list. These are a few of my favorite things to try at Disneyland during the most delicious time of the year.
Holiday Caramel Apples
Everyone knows my favorite treat of all is a caramel apple. These apples are all dolled up for the season with red and green Mickey and Minnie options, blue and white snowflakes, or snowman choices. They are all so cute and tasty! Would you have trouble deciding?
Cookies and Other Treats
At the Plaza Inn, you can pick up a souvenir elf Mickey Christmas stein that comes with a beverage and a bag of Mickey-shaped cookies inside it perfect for dipping. (You can also find this stein with an ice cream sundae in it at Gibson Girl or Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream Parlor.) At various bakeries and candy shops in the parks, you'll find more cookies from gingerbread Mickeys to snowmen, trees and even decorated Mickey-shaped holiday crisped rice treats on a stick.
You may have heard of Hidden Mickeys around the park, but there is a hidden menu item as well. You can get a holiday dessert of three scoops of peppermint ice cream with hot fudge and holiday sprinkles served over a warm brownie in a skillet at the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, but only for a limited time. They only make a limited quantity of this ice cream, so it is not advertised on the menu. It is your last chance ever to get this dessert because eating at the Big Thunder Ranch is one of our recommended 10 things to do at Disneyland before they close in January. Reservations are necessary even if you are just hopping in for dessert, which we recommend doing, because the skillet is so big that it is hard for even a couple of people to finish it with tummies full of all-you-can chicken and ribs. Another popular holiday dessert at Big Thunder ranch is the apple cranberry bake.
If peppermint ice cream is your favorite and you don’t have time to eat at Big Thunder Ranch then try the Gibson Girl ice cream parlor. They have the peppermint ice cream there too, but only during the holiday season. Here’s another peppermint option: At Café Orleans and the Mint Julep bar you can order candy cane beignets!
While they do not sell the limited-supply peppermint ice cream at California Adventure, at Clarabelle’s you can get your hand-scooped ice cream in a waffle cone dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed peppermint.
Yule Log and Other Christmasy Cakes
The Plaza Inn has a holiday Yule log. They actually have two. A pumpkin one and a chocolate one depending on your time of visit. Their red velvet cake has a peppermint and white chocolate decoration that looks very Christmas-y.
Traditional Mexican Specialties During Viva Navidad
At Disney California Adventure, there are some unique cultural Christmas treats in Viva Navidad! First, there’s corn on the cob—what the what?!? Yes, corn on the cob. It is not a common dessert but with Mexican chili powder and seasonings it is sweet and spicy. They are sold at the same cart as Mexican helados (ice cream).
The Paradise Garden Grill gets a holiday makeover and changes from serving Mediterranean food to traditional Mexican favorites for the season—and that includes the dessert menu. Try sweet pineapple and raisin tamales, bunuelos or champurrado. Champurrado is a traditional Christmas Mexican hot chocolate. And while you are in the area, you can listen to music, color an ornament, or meet a character—we saw Donald Duck in a sombrero!
If you are a Star wars fan, be aware that at the same time as holiday season in Disneyland there is the Season of the Force occurring in Tomorrowland, offering even more totally different kinds of limited-edition treats. You might want to save room for those as well—at least you are walking (or hopping) several miles each day as you make your way around the resort, so surely you’ll burn it off.
Whatever your favorite desserts are, you are sure to find a new one you love this holiday season at Disneyland! Hoppy eating!
Related: Guide to Holidays at Disneyland