¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure: Why You Can’t Miss This Cultural Holiday Celebration

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Parks

Discover the magic of Disney ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure Park and learn more about the cultural celebrations it represents.

When the Festival of Holidays comes to Disney California Adventure Park each year from November through January, there’s a whole lot of celebrating taking place! However, beyond the Festive Food Marketplaces dotted throughout the theme park and inside Paradise Gardens Park, you’ll find one particularly special holiday celebration: Disney’s ¡Viva Navidad!

Disney’s ¡Viva Navidad! transforms Paradise Gardens Park into a vibrant corner filled with festivities, all centered around the traditions of Mexico and Brazil. This exciting event features familiar Disney characters, incredible cuisine, and some special entertainment you can’t find anywhere else. It’s a true can’t-miss during the holidays at Disneyland Resort!

Wondering what’s in store for the ¡Viva Navidad! festivities at California Adventure? We’re sharing a look into what cultures and traditions are reflected, as well as what kinds of food, entertainment, and activities you can explore.

What is ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure Park?

Simply put, ¡Viva Navidad! is a seasonal celebration of the cultural traditions of Latin American countries like Mexico and Brazil. It highlights the decorations, food and beverages, music, and holidays of these destinations and cultures, giving guests a look at how others around the world celebrate during the holiday season.

While ¡Viva Navidad! does include some Christmas traditions, it also features some holidays that may be less familiar to all guests, like Three Kings Day, which takes place in January. No matter what day you visit California Adventure to experience ¡Viva Navidad!, you’ll find it’s a high-energy party with traditions you’ll want to experience again and again. And don’t forget to take in the special decor – with touches like the traditional papel picado banners, piñatas, and more dotting the spaces within Paradise Gardens Park, it’s a colorful and exciting area to explore.

disney viva navidad

Photo by Danny Shuster

Surprisingly, ¡Viva Navidad! is a bit of a lesser-known holiday celebration within the Disneyland Resort. It’s a more recent addition, as it first began back in 2013, but it’s quickly become a guest favorite for those who’ve experienced it previously. If you’ve yet to see ¡Viva Navidad! firsthand, don’t miss out when you have the chance!

¡Viva Navidad! Activities and Entertainment

There are a few different entertainment offerings and activities during ¡Viva Navidad!, including the chance to visit seasonal character meet and greets, check out a limited-time parade, and catch special performances.

Meet Mirabel and Other Disney Characters

Who doesn’t love the chance to catch Disney characters all dressed up for the seasons and special holiday celebrations? For ¡Viva Navidad!, you’ll be able to meet and greet with a few of your favorites all decked out in colorful, festive costumes. You can catch Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse here throughout the day meeting guests.

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Photo by Heather Adams

There’s also a more recent addition to the meet and greet opportunities for ¡Viva Navidad!: Mirabel. The Encanto character will make special appearances throughout the season, giving you a rare opportunity to catch her for photos and autographs!

Live Musical Performances

Throughout the day and evening, ¡Viva Navidad! features captivating live performances from an exciting lineup of musical groups. These groups feature a variety of different sounds and musical stylings, so you’ll want to check the daily entertainment schedule in the Disneyland app for the latest on which acts you might want to see during your visit.  

¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party brings the fun and the festivities! This entertainment offering lights up the streets of California Adventure, featuring an exciting lineup of authentic folklórico dancers, mariachis, Brazilian samba dancers, drummers, and 12-foot-tall mojiganga puppets of Santa and Mrs. Claus – plus Mickey, Minnie, and the Three Caballeros: Donald Duck, José Carioca, and Panchito Pistoles. You don’t want to miss a performance of this street party!

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Photo by Danny Shuster

¡Viva Navidad! Food and Drink Offerings

During the Festival of Holidays and ¡Viva Navidad! celebrations at California Adventure, Paradise Gardens Grill offers a special menu. The restaurant serves a selection of authentic Mexican-inspired dishes that would be served during traditional holiday celebrations. For the 2023 ¡Viva Navidad! Festivities, you’ll find the following on the menu:

  • Tacos Gobernador
  • Achiote-marinated Half Chicken
  • Shareable Loaded Torta
  • Impossible™ Albondigas Soup
  • Chocolate Cake Flan
  • Street-style Watermelon

You’ll also find some special alcoholic beverage options on the menu, like:

  • Mango Candy Cocktail
  • Dos Equis Ambar
  • Modelo Especial

For more information about all that’s involved in Disney California Adventure’s Festival of Holidays, or celebrating the holiday season at the Disneyland Resort, keep reading:

Holidays at Disneyland: A Complete Guide to the Most Magical Time of Year

Thanks to Disney for hosting us on the opening day of The Holidays Begin Here in Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park, where we were able to experience food, beverage, and entertainment options including the Disney Festival of the Holidays Sip & Savor pass. #Disneyland #FestivalOfHolidays #VivaNavidad

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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