Disneyland Park has several special events throughout the year, many of which make this already charming park even more festive (and lovely!).
Some of the events require payment, whereas many others are free.
Take a look and see if any of the events interest you.
Disneyland Park’s original proposed reopening date of July 17 has been delayed.
On June 24, Disney announced, “The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4,” meaning the reopening must be delayed.
When the park does reopen, there will be many changes, including the temporary suspension of select entertainment, experiences, and separately ticketed events.
When Disneyland does reopen, parades, nighttime spectaculars, and character meet and greets will be temporarily suspended. Characters will continue to make appearances, but in a new way that promises to entertain guests.
As for ticketed events, Star Wars Nite and others have either been canceled or postponed. Scroll for more details.
Regarding seasonal events like Halloween and holiday celebrations, it’s unclear at this time if these special experiences will be continue as normal. Though, Disney officials confirmed to the Orange County Register on Sept. 10 that the 2020 Candlelight Processional is canceled.
Be sure to keep checking our Disneyland reopening page for the latest updates.
Sept. 6-Oct. 31, 2019 (2020 Dates TBD)
Starting in early September through the entire month of October, Disneyland Park celebrates Halloween.
There isn’t a special after-hours party, but there are still plenty of other ways to enjoy the holiday, including:
- Costumed Characters: Meet classic Disney characters in their Halloween costumes, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. Guests can also meet Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas near the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.
- Haunted Mansion Holiday (Sept. 6, 2019 through Jan. 6, 2020): The Haunted Mansion transforms into the Haunted Mansion Holiday with decorations and a story inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas.
- Main Street Pumpkin Festival: Encounter a variety of Disney-themed pumpkins on Main Street, U.S.A., including the giant Mickey pumpkin that is smiling on one side and winking on the other.
- Halloween Screams: A fireworks and projection show featuring Jack Skellington, Zero, and Disney villains. You can watch the show at Sleeping Beauty Castle on Main Street (highly recommended), “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland, and Rivers of America in Frontierland. Fireworks only happen on select nights, so be sure to check the entertainment schedule.
- Halloween Time Food & Beverage: There are many Halloween-themed food and beverage items across the park.
Día de los Muertos
Sept. 6-Nov. 3, 2019 (2020 Dates TBD)
Also known as the Day of the Dead, this Mexican celebration happens daily in Frontierland in El Zócalo Park.
Experience bright decorations and flowers, a musical trio of skeleton figurines (aka “calacas”), and traditional Mexican cuisine at Rancho del Zócalo Restaurante.
Nov. 8, 2019-Jan. 6, 2020 (2020/2021 Dates TBD)
The holidays begin in early November and last through early January at Disneyland.
There isn’t an after-hours party like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, but guests can enjoy a variety of festive events, like the previously mentioned Haunted Holiday Mansion plus:
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade: A parade featuring favorite Disney characters and Santa Claus.
- “Believe…In Holiday Magic” Fireworks: Held nightly and lasts for 15 minutes over Sleeping Beauty Castle.
- “it’s a small world” Holiday: The classic attraction is transformed with holiday decorations and traditional holiday tunes, in addition to “It’s A Small World (After All)”.
- “it’s a small world” Holiday Lighting: Every night, the attraction’s façade lights up for the holidays and throughout the night a projection show occurs every 30 minutes on the exterior with holiday colors and images.
- Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle: The castle is covered in icicles, wreaths, and other décor for the duration of the holidays. Every night, the castle lights up accompanied with falling snow and music.
- Christmas Tree: Located on Main Street, U.S.A., the tree lights up daily around 4:55 p.m.
2021 Dates TBD
Valentine’s Month (usually starts in late January and runs through most of February) originated in 2018 and celebrates love across the park with special photo spots, food and beverage items, and Minnie’s Valentine’s Surprise scavenger hunt, in which Minnie has hidden secret valentines for Mickey throughout the park.
The scavenger hunt requires guests to purchase a commemorative map and stickers.
Once complete with stickers, participants can redeem the map at the listed location to receive a special Valentine’s surprise.
2021 Dates TBD
This is an egg-themed scavenger hunt that takes places across Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney District. It usually lasts for about two weeks with the final day on Easter Sunday.
All you have to do is purchase a map and stickers at select merchandise locations.
You’ll search for themed-Disney and Pixar character “eggs” and return your map (completed or not) to a redemption location for a surprise.
New Year’s Eve
Dec. 31, 2021
Disneyland usually has New Year’s Eve “Fantasy in the Sky” Fireworks at 9 p.m. and at midnight. Main Street makes for the best view.
Paid Special Events
Disneyland After Dark
Disneyland After Dark is a specially-ticketed event. A future After Dark event includes Star Wars Nite. Events usually include special themed-entertainment, food, beverages, merchandise, character meet and greets, photo opportunities, and more.
Star Wars Nite typically takes place on opening night of Star Wars Celebration, aka the Star Wars fan convention hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center. However, Star Wars Celebration has been cancelled for 2020 and will return on Aug. 18-21, 2022.
As for Star Wars Nite in Disneyland, the event has been postponed. Current ticket holders will automatically be eligible for the rescheduled event option (the new date hasn’t been announced). If you don’t want to keep your tickets, call (714) 781-4636 for assistance.
2022 Dates TBD
Grad Nights are a special event for high school seniors celebrating graduates at both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland.
This event has been canceled for 2021.
CHOC Walk In the Park
CHOC Walk in the Park benefits Children’s Hospital of Orange County and is presented by Disneyland Resort. Participants form teams to walk a 5K through Disneyland and DCA.
With every step, funds are raised for CHOC Children’s programs and services in need, including health care programs, education, and research. In order to register, each participant must pay a fee.
Those who raise the fundraising minimum also receive discounts, including specially priced park tickets. 2020 marks CHOC Walk in the Park’s 30th anniversary.
The 2021 event will be virtual this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Register and learn more here.
Free Special Events
Nov. 8, 2020
Bats Day used to be an entire weekend, but this unofficial event now it occurs one day a year at Disneyland.
Participants do not need to purchase separate tickets in order to attend, but they do need a park ticket to enter Disneyland.
Bats Day is a special day for the Dark Subculture community, including Deathrock, Goth, Industrial, Steampunk, Rockabilly, Psychobilly, and Halloween.
The community gathers to celebrate each other and have fun at the happiest place on earth.
4th of July
July 4, 2020
Disneyland celebrates the Fourth of July with “Disney’s Celebrate America! — A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” featuring fireworks and patriotic songs.
Oct. 2-4, 2020
Gay Days celebrates the LGBTQ community annually around the first weekend of October with several days of events. This is an unofficial Disneyland event and the park remains open to the general public.
A special ticket doesn’t need to be purchased to attend, but participants will need a ticket to enter the park.
Gay Days participants are also encouraged to wear red shirts. Disneyland sometimes even releases limited-time Rainbow treats and merchandise around Gay Days as well.
March 7, 2020
In the spring, there is Mini-Gay Day, another unofficial Disneyland event that lasts only one day compared to an entire weekend and once again serves as a meet-up for the LGBTQ community.
Dapper Day Fall Outing
Nov. 15, 2020
Organized by the Dapper Day organization, individuals attend the unofficial Disneyland event in their best vintage “DisneyBound” and Sunday best to honor the way guests used to dress when Disneyland opened in 1955.
All participants need is a park ticket to enter, and possibly a theme park reservation, depending on when Disneyland Resort reopens and what their health and safety guidelines are.
Instead of the usual Dapper Day Expo held at the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall, the plan is to have a Dapper Day Pop-Up Boutique on Nov. 14, but only if the hotels are reopened by then. There will possibly be Dapper Day merchandise, along with select Expo exhibitors joining the pop-up.
Dapper Day Spring Outing
April 11, 2021
Currently, the Dapper Day Spring Outing is planned for Sunday, April 11, 2021.
As for the Dapper Day Expo at the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall, plans are currently on hold due to both Disneyland Resort and the three hotels on property not having reopening dates yet.
There’s a chance there could be a Dapper Day Pop-Up Boutique like the one mentioned above or another modified event, but stay tuned for more details by the end of Jan. 2021.
July 17, 2020
Disneyland will turn 65 on July 17, 2020 (the park opened in 1955). The park is known for celebrating with the “Happiest March on Earth” down Main Street featuring a slew of characters and the Dapper Dans singing “Happy Birthday.”
Plus, as a special treat, part of Walt Disney’s opening day speech will be played.