Disney celebrates special events and holidays all year long. When you’re planning a trip knowing this information is helpful. A trip to Disneyland for some is a once in a lifetime event or only happens every few years. So it’s nice to be able to plan your trip knowing what events take place so you can decide on the best time for you. Below are the major events and holidays that take place each year. I won’t share all the events cause sometimes we don’t know them all. I will update this post as dates are announced for the current year. Plus Disney has After Hours events periodically which I mention near the end of this post with current event dates.
Events and Holidays at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
Lunar New Year is usually the 3rd week in January to the 2nd week in February. Dates for 2024 are January 23 through February 18, 2024. More information on this celebration is found on this post.
Easter is celebrated in the spring with a fun Easter Egg scavenger hunt.
March and most of April brings the Food and Wine Festival to Disney California Adventure. Dates for 2024 are March 1 through April 22, 2024. More details about this great event is found here.
May and June bring lots of teenagers to celebrate Grad Nites. This affects both parks as grads have the choice to purchase park hopper tickets or just event tickets inside Disney California Adventure. Grad nite dates for 2024 are May 10, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 28 and 31. And June 2, 5, 7, 9, 12 and 14, 2024. Find tips to help you navigate the parks on Grad Nites.
Summertime is always crowded. Kids are off school and people take time off work for summer vacations.
Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort important information
September brings Halloween time in the parks and here’s what to expect. The opening weekend has been as early as the first full weekend in September. A few things to know about the preparation for this holiday. The Haunted Mansion changes to the Haunted Mansion holiday with Jack Skellington and other Nightmare Before Christmas guests. The ride is closed for about 2 weeks in preparation. Usually the last week of August and 1st week of September. Halloween time in 2024 officially starts August 23rd to October 31, 2024. The Haunted Mansion closed August 14th and reopened on September 1st with the holiday overlay in 2024 that lasts through first part of January.
In September and October Disney offers a Halloween party called Oogie Boogie Bash in Disney California Adventure. It’s only on select nights. Read more about Oogie Boogie dates and more here.
Christmas holidays at the Disneyland Resort important information
The last big celebration is the Christmas holidays in the parks my personal favorite, read more here on what to see, do and eat. The opening weekend has been as early as the first full weekend in November. For this holiday another ride makes a big transformation, It’s a Small World becomes It’s a Small World Holiday. This transformation requires the ride to be closed as well. Normally it’s closed about 3 weeks, the last 2 weeks of October and the first week of November. Disney announced the 2024 holiday dates starting November 15, 2024.
Then we start is all over again in January. But keep in mind the 2 rides mentioned about have to change back and so they are typically closed in January. They are not closed at the same time. Typically the Haunted Mansion closes right after the end of the Christmas season (end of 1st week in January) for about 10 days. And then after it reopens It’s a Small World closes around the 3rd week of January to change back and reopens around the first week in February.
After Hours events at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
Disney has some very fun after hours events planned. Some of my favorite times to be in the parks with fewer people, low lines, specialty event food and entertainment. Many ask if these events are worth the added ticket cost? For more about that topic read my complete After Dark guide and helpful tips!
Here’s a list of the After Dark events that we know of in 2024…
- Sweetheart’s Nite on January 23, 25, 30 and February 1, 6, 8, 12 and 14. All of these event tickets are sold out.
- Disney Channel Nite on March 5 and 7. Tickets still available.
- Star Wars Nite on April 16, 18, 23, 25, 30 and May 2, 7 and 9. Tickets go on sale for Inspire Magic Key holders on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 (no earlier than 9 a.m. PT) Then, on Wednesday, Feb. 21 and Thursday, Feb. 22, all Magic Key holders will have the opportunity to purchase from a select amount of pre-sale tickets. On Friday, Feb. 23 (no earlier than 9 a.m. PT), tickets will go on sale to the general public. Tickets are limited and subject to availability.
- Pride Nite on June 18 and 20.
Make sure you know when these events take place. If the dates are during your trip then you will have to leave Disneyland early on the above dates.
Something else to keep in mind when planning a trip is park hours. January and February tend to have shorter park hours. Same with September and some days in October and November. You can’t see park hours for your visit until 6 weeks out. You will find them on the Disneyland website.
Also keep in mind with months like January, February and March you will find more attraction refurbishments because they are typically slower times of the year. But not so much anymore are they really slow, just less crowded is a better term. It’s just nice to keep that in mind when planning a trip. I keep a list of refurbishments updated on this post.
I hope knowing these events will help you plan your visit to the Happiest Place on Earth. For more tips and information check out my crowd calendar.
I also share when new or special events are coming up in my newsletter. So make sure you’re signed up so you don’t miss out on important information for planning your trip! Sign up for the newsletter on the home page. I only send emails when I need to share news or updates about Disneyland.
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