What is Grad Nite and how will it affect your Disneyland trip in May or June? Let me share some helpful tips! I’m very familiar with this event as I’ve attended it as a chaperone for many years. I’ve compiled all the grad nite information and frequently asked questions in one spot. Plus I’ve got some tips to help you navigate the parks on Grad days and nights. Read the whole post there’s lot of information. Also I’ve written a separate article with everything you need to know if you’re a student or chaperone attending Grad Nite.
What is Grad Nite?
Grad Nite is a special ticketed event that takes place in Disney California Adventure Park on certain nights every year in May and June. It’s a special ticket that school groups can purchase for graduating seniors. Groups have the option to purchase different ticket types. Some tickets allow them to visit BOTH parks on a specified date and then head over to DCA for a special extended hours party. And some tickets only allow students into DCA for the day or just for the event, it just depends on what ticket they choose.On Grad nites, DCA will close early to the public at 9 pm. World of Color is shown at 9 pm and you can stay until it’s over and then you must leave the park. You can hop over to Disneyland if you have park hopper tickets. And if you’re already in Disneyland you may see the parks get more crowded as the night goes on due to guests being forced to leave DCA.
When is Grad Nite?
The following dates are Grad Nites in 2023
- May 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25, 30, 31
- June 2, 4, 7, 9, 14, 16
Grad Nite dates normally are announced in August/Sept for the following year. I will update this post each year to reflect the new dates.
If you have a trip planned in May or June keep these dates in mind. Even though the party is after hours in Disney California Adventure as mentioned above some schools have tickets to both parks all day long. And because of this both parks could be crowded these dates with high school students. So if you can avoid these dates that would be my recommendation! But I realize some plans can’t be altered so let me help you!
Tips if have a trip during Grad Nite
If you have a trip planned look at the dates and know which days are Grad Nites during your trip. Plan to go to Disneyland on Grad Nite dates. Some grads won’t have park hoppers and only be allowed into DCA. If you have park hoppers and want to do DCA at all that day then start at DCA. But if you don’t have a park hopper avoid DCA and just go to Disneyland.Arrive early because most school groups don’t get there at rope drop. Take advantage of those early morning hours. Find all my rope drop tips here.
As the day goes on it will get crowded. So see my crowd tips for some suggestions in both parks.
Purchase Disney Genie+ for that day to get the most out of the busy parks. Find helpful Genie+ tips here. And don’t forget to use my park strategies in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure to maximize your day.
Utilize single rider lines. Single rider lines are available in Disneyland at the following attractions.
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Splash Mountain
- Space Mountain
And over in Disney California Adventure at the following attractions.
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Radiator Springs Racers
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Lastly use mobile ordering for food. This is the best way to avoid long lines for food. Think ahead and place orders in the app early in the day. You can always change the times. I have more mobile ordering tips over here.
FAQ’s about Grad Nite
If I don’t have a Grad Nite ticket will they kick me out of Disney California Adventure? YES, guests with tickets get a wristband. Anyone without one will not be allowed on rides, to eat or make purchases and be asked to leave the park. They have cast members lined up around the park to check for wristbands.
Can any graduating senior go to Grad Nite? No, you can’t purchase these tickets anywhere online or for individuals this is only for group purchase. Tickets aren’t sold at the ticket booths either. If you’re interested in how to get Grad Nite tickets for your group you can visit the group events page over here.
Don’t be afraid or disappointed if your trip falls on a Grad Nite. If you arrive early and use my park strategies you’ll be fine. This is more of a just so you know article to keep you informed.
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