Disneyland Resort and Southern California LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disneyland LIVE! Guidebook
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Special Events and Holidays

Special Events and Holidays

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Disney really knows how to celebrate. Nearly every holiday seems to have at least one event, and Easter, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve spark extended festivities. Disney also is a master at battling periods of slow attendance with specially themed events throughout the year. Call Disneyland’s main information line at 714-781-4000 for more details.

Grad Nites

Party down at Disneyland Park from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am during the high school graduation season—for details, visit the Disney Youth website and click on "Grad Nite". For 2018, Grad Nites are heldonMay 4, 5, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29 and 30, and June 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9.


Disneyland has hosted four RunDisney events each year, however all 2018 events have been canceled due to construction in and surrounding Disneyland. Past runDisney events included the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend in early May, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in early September, the Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend in November, and the Star Wars Half Marathon in January. All of these race weekends are chock full of fun, and also include 10k races, 5k races, kids' races, and other special combination races, along with race expos and other special events.  Go to the RunDisney website for more information.  

Lunar New Year

From January 26 through February 18, 2018, enjoy live performances, fun-filled activities, Disney characters in their Lunar New Year costumes, and foods inspired by Asian cultures. Lunar New Year will kick off the "Year of the Dog" in style at Disney California Adventure. The Lunar New Year Festival will feature a nighttime water show, "Hurry Home" on Paradise Bay, a processional with Mulan, character meets with characters in their New Years best, specialty Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese foods at Paradise Gardens Grill, and commemorative merchandise.

Egg-stravaganza is an annual hunt for eggs from March 16 to April 1 all over Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney. Maps are available for each park for $5.99, and each map comes with a set of stickers -- return your completed map to get a replica of one of the Disney character eggs.
 Spring crowds reach a peak during Easter week, and some Disney park and hotel restaurants offer special Easter dinners (see page 244). If you are staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels during Easter Saturday night, there's usually an Easter Egg hunt on the lawn of the Disneyland Hotel (it's limited to hotel guests, and subject to availability—inquire at Guest Services). 

Mother’s Day
In addition to special Mother’s Day menus at some Disneyland restaurants, adult females have been known to receive carnations upon entering the park on Mother's Day.  

Independence Day
Disneyland Park traditionally puts on a spectacular fireworks show for park guests.

Disneyland has really increased its seasonal offerings with the arrival of Halloween Time in September and October. The Halloween Time brings several different overlays and themed areas, including a takeover of Buena Vista Street by Oogie Boogie and "Haul-O-Ween" at Cars Land. The Haunted Mansion get its “Haunted Mansion Holiday” facelift with Jack Skellington and other characters and decor from movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” This holiday makeover is very detailed and very well done. Recent years have also offered a spooky Halloween overlay at Space Mountain called "Ghost Galaxy," but be warned: this version may be too scary for young children. The most popular Halloween event at Disneyland is Mickey's Halloween Party, which is offered for 15 nights in 2018 on September 19, 21, 24, 26, 28; October 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 29, and 31. Note that all of 2018's dates are already sold out by a few weeks in advance; if you missed out on it this year, plan to purchase tickets well ahead of time next year. (Tip: Disney may reserve some tickets for in-person sales, so check at the ticket booth on the day of the event if you don't have a ticket but really want to go. Another idea is to call Disney at 714-781-4636 as a limited number of tickets may be available by phone.)
 This event requires a separate ticket for admission and is held in Disneyland Park only (not DCA). Party hours are typically either 6:00 pm–11:00 pm or 7:00 pm–12:00 am, but guests with party tickets may arrive in the park as early as three hours ahead of the party start time. Be aware that only guests under the age of 14 are permitting to dress in costume. Mickey's Halloween party is a kid-friendly, festive event featuring trick-or-treating, special character greetings, Halloween Screams fireworks show, and the Cadaver Dans (a spooky version of the Dapper Dans). Candy bags are provided for trick-or-treating and make a fun souvenir. Tickets prices for Mickey's Halloween Party range from $95–$120, which includes parking. Go to the Disneyland website for more information.  

Along with Halloween Time, a Dia de los Muertos-themed event (Day of the Dead) called Plaza de la Familia takes place in the Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure again in 2018. The Mariachi Divas are performing five times daily, with songs from the popular movie "Coco." There's also a Tree of Life photo opportunity.

Tip: Knott’s Berry Farm becomes Knott’s Scary Farm around Halloween (see page 158).

Dapper Days

The annual Dapper Day Fall Outing is Sunday, November 4, 2018. There's also a Dapper Days Expo November 3-4—get details at DapperDay.com and get tickets here.

Disneyland After Dark (Star Wars Nite)

This after-hours event offers special access to Disneyland park, including entertainment, food and beverage offerings, limited merchandise offerings, Star Wars-themed photo opportunities, and more. Includes a commemorative lanyard, event credential, and unlimited downloads of Disney PhotoPass taken during the event. The next Disneyland After Dark will be May 9th (tickets go on sale May 1).


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Top Photo Slice: (℗ 51454) Photo contributed by © GingerJ


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