Disneyland Special Events, Activities & Tours

LAST UPDATE: 9/15/14

Wondering what Disneyland special events may be happening during your visit to Disneyland Resort? Listed below are the major events and festivals taking place during the year.

On this page you will also find any deals and discounts available on special activities (spa treatments, movies and more) at Disneyland Resort, as well as how to save money on theme park tours.

This is an UNOFFICIAL listing of Disneyland special events, tours and activities, and while we make our best effort to keep it updated, complete and accurate, Disney changes things constantly. Be sure to call ahead before making any major plans based on the information below!

For recurring events (e.g., Mickey’s Halloween Party, Candlelight Processional) we update new information as it becomes available, but we do not remove the previous year’s information until the new year’s information becomes available. We do this so that you can get a general idea of what has been offered in the past, and the range of dates when it was offered.

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Special Events

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New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day

Disneyland stays open late on New Year’s Eve and offers extra entertainment, usually including live performances, an extra parade and fireworks. These festivities are included in regular park admission.

If you plan to visit one of the theme parks on New Year’s Eve (December 31) or New Year’s Day (January 1), be aware that these are two of the busiest days of the year. The parks (especially Disneyland) usually reach full capacity at some point during the day, and you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) to the parks after that point. (This is true even if you have a ticket, even if you’re staying at a Disney resort and even if you have dining reservations in the park. If the park is full, it’s full — Disney has to follow fire codes!) For that reason it’s best to arrive first thing in the morning and stay in the same park all day. Bring any sweaters or jackets you may need later and stow them in a locker when you arrive (the lockers will also sell out). Get FASTPASSes right away if you think you will want to ride anything, because the lines will be very long by noon.

Napa Rose restaurant at the Grand Californian hotel usually offers a special dinner event each New Year’s Eve.

Día de Reyes (Three Kings Day)

January 6, Día de Reyes (Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany or the Twelfth Day of Christmas), is a popular holiday in Mexico. The holiday celebrates the arrival of the Magi bearing gifts for baby Jesus, and Día de Reyes is the traditional day for Mexican children to receive Christmas gifts.

In 2014, Disneyland celebrated Día de Reyes from January 3-6. The celebration includes entertainment, Disney characters in festive attire, kids’ activities and specialty food items at Rancho del Zocalo and nearby food carts.

Star Wars Half Marathon

New for 2015, the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend will be held at Disneyland on January 15-18, 2015. Events include a 10K, 5K, Kids’ Races and a 13.1-mile run that takes you through Disney California Adventure, past Disneyland, and then on to the streets of surrounding areas. Complete the Star Wars 10K on Saturday and the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday to receive the Star Wars Rebel Challenge Finisher Medal in addition to the Half Marathon and 10K Finisher Medals.

Registration began June 10, 2014.

Mardi Gras

The New Orleans Square area of Disneyland celebrates Mardi Gras each year. The streets of New Orleans Square will be filled with music, Disney characters, street performers and delicious food at New Orleans Bayou Bash.

In 2014, Disneyland celebrated Mardi Gras on January 18-28 and 25-27, February 3-6.

Special entertainment includes performances by Princess Tiana, Louis and Naveen and meet & greet opportunities with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale – all dressed up in their Mardi Gras finest!

Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)

In 2014, Disneyland celebrated the Lunar New Year February 4-6 and 11-13.

The celebration includes entertainment, kids’ activities and specialty food items. Disney characters are there as well, including Mulan, Mushu, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Easter

For 2014, from March 28 – April 20, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland was decked out in flowers and other springtime décor. Disney characters stopped by, along with Mr. Easter Bunny and a carrot patch of famous Disney rabbits. Also, several times each day, an energetic country band took the stage, as a group of dancing cowboys and cowgirls came together for a lively hoedown and “bunny hop”.

For 2014, Easter Egg Hunts were held daily April 10-20 in Disney California Adventure and Disneyland parks, maps and stickers were available for $4.95 plus tax at the following locations:

Guests could return their map to Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park or Disney Showcase in Disneyland park to participate in an ‘egg-scramble’ and pick up a surprise.

In recent years there has been an enhanced buffet at Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian on Easter Sunday.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

For 2015, The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend will be held at Disneyland on May 7-10, 2015. Events included a 10K, Family 5K, Kids’ Races and a 13.1-mile run that takes you through the Disneyland Resort. Anyone who completes both the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February at Walt Disney World and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May at Disneyland in 2015 will earn a special pink version of the runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge Medal.

For 2014, Walt Disney World Annual & Season Passholders were able to register ahead of the general public.

Registration begins August 12, 2014.

Mother’s Day

The only special events for Mother’s Day are usually buffet meals.

A special buffet is usually available at the Grand Ballroom in the Disneyland Hotel with Cinderella and her princess friends and live musical entertainment on Mother’s Day. Generally Premium and Premier Annual Passholders get a 15% discount; all other Annual Passholders get a 10% discount.

Blue Bayou and Plaza Inn at Disneyland, and Storytellers Cafe at Grand Californian also offer special meals on Mother’s Day.

Independence Day (July 4)

Disneyland offers a special fireworks show every year for Independence Day. “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” combines patriotic music with bursts of red, white and blue to celebrate the land of the free and the home of the brave. In 2014, the special show will be offered July 1 – 4 at 9:25 pm.

In 2014 on July 4 an Independence Day World of Color pre-show will run prior to the 9:00 pm and 10:15pm showings of World of Color at Disney California Adventure. The pre-show combines video, water effects, lighting and fireworks to create a spectacular celebration of American independence.

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, a military band from Miramar, California, will be performing several times throughout the day in Disneyland on Friday, July 4, 2014.

These festivities are included in regular park admission.

If you plan to visit Disneyland on Independence Day (July 4), be aware that it is one of the busiest days of the year. The park may reach full capacity at some point during the day, and you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) after that point. (This is true even if you have a ticket, even if you’re staying at a Disney resort and even if you have dining reservations in the park. If the park is full, it’s full — Disney has to follow fire codes!) For that reason it’s best to arrive first thing in the morning and stay in the same park all day. Bring any sweaters or jackets you may need later and stow them in a locker when you arrive (the lockers will also sell out). Get FASTPASSes right away if you think you will want to ride anything, because the lines will be very long by noon.

Taste of Downtown Disney

Taste of Downtown Disney District is an annual evening event offering fine cuisine, wine and spirits to benefit CHOC Children’s Hospital.

Enjoy a reception, tray passed appetizers and select wine/spirits/beer pairings at Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar, ESPN Zone, House of Blues, Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, WonderGround Gallery, Tortilla Jo’s. The evening ends with savory treats from La Brea Bakery Café, smoothies from Jamba Juice. Live entertainment will be offered throughout the evening.

For 2014, the event will be held on August 14 starting at 5:30 pm. General Admission is $75 per person. There are also various packages that include additional experiences/tastings at higher cost.

Disneyland Half Marathon

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend has been affectionately dubbed The Happiest Race on Earth. Participants run, jog or walk a course unlike any other half-marathon on the West Coast. The 13.1-mile route takes runners through the two Disneyland Resort theme parks while colorful Disney characters and festive music inspire them along the way.

For 2014, the Half Marathon Weekend was August 28 – 31.

Mahaloween Luau at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

“Mahalo” is a Hawaiian word meaning thanks, praise or regards, and the Mahaloween Luau gives fans of the Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar trademark humor an insider’s hour of fun at the legendary watering hole. This kooky seasonal party that includes beverages and eats, live music and insider info with Imagineers and Disney cast members.

In 2014, the Mahaloween Luau will be on September 29.

Seating are 3:00-4:00 pm, 4:30-5:30 pm, 6:00-7:00 pm or 7:30-8:30 pm, with 100 guests per seating.

The event starts on the patio with appetizers and two drink tickets (beer, wine, Zombie Drink or Polynesian Punch). Once inside Trader Sam’s you will find live entertainment and a Disney tiki presentation by Walt Disney Imagineering. You will also have a chance to meet some of Disney’s concept artists and other special guests. Guests attending Mahaloween Luau will receive a special edition glass available only at the event. The second edition of the Zombie souvenir glass will also be available for purchase at the event, before it is available to the public the next day.

At the end of your luau, you will receive a Jungle River Cruise Expedition Bag that includes a Trader Sam panama hat, a boxed special-edition “Mahaloween Luau” glass (with a dated stamp), a Trader Sam print on canvas, and a coupon good for 20% off at the adjacent Tangaroa Terrace. Guests also can purchase up to two additional second-edition Zombie souvenir glasses.

Cost is $125 per person, including tax and tip.

Disney’s Halloween Time

Disney’s Halloween Time is offered at the Disneyland Resort in 2014 from September 12 – October 31. This period of time offers a lively mix of Disney characters in seasonal costumes, whimsical décor, decked-out attractions and tasty treats designed with the whole family in mind. Halloween Time experiences include special meet-and-greets with Disneyland characters in their Halloween costumes and spooky-silly holiday themed decorations.

Based upon past years’ festivities, here’s what you can expect:

Space Mountain offers a Halloween overlay (the “Ghost Galaxy” overlay first introduced at Hong Kong Disneyland).

And no Halloween celebration at Disneyland would be complete without the return of Jack Skellington and his friends to transform the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square into the popular seasonal Haunted Mansion Holiday. Inspired by the animated film Nightmare Before Christmas, Haunted Mansion Holiday depicts the holiday mayhem that occurs when Halloween and Christmas traditions collide.

Also offered is Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separately ticketed night time event which gives kids and their families the opportunity to dress in their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat throughout Disneyland after it has closed to day guests.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

For the 2014 season, “Haunted Mansion Holiday” will be offered from September 12, 2014 through January 6, 2015.

The holiday-enhanced version of the attraction is a Disney California Adventure celebration where the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide. The ghoulish but well-meaning Jack Skellington from the film Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” comes to the Haunted Mansion to transform it with his skewed vision of the holidays.

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

The popular Mickey’s Halloween Party is a bewitching after-hours event at Disneyland!

Enjoy all kinds of frightful fun, such as:

About Costumes:

All event attendees – including adults – may dress in their favorite Halloween costume but must follow strict guidelines. See Disneyland.com/party for full details. Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into the event unless their costume can be modified to meet the standards.

2014 Event Dates:

2014 Ticket Prices and On-Sale Dates:

Tickets may be purchased online or on mobile devices at Disneyland.com/party, by calling 714-781-4400, or at the Disneyland main gate. Online purchase is not available on the day of the event.

Limit 8 tickets per guest, per event date. Each ticket is valid for admission to the event and parking for one vehicle (larger vehicles may require an additional fee) on the specified event date. Tickets are not valid for theme park admission prior to the hours of the event, except as noted above.

CHOC Walk

This annual charity walk at Disneyland is a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC). The walk passes through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, followed by festivities in Downtown Disney.

The 2014 CHOC Walk is on October 12.

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

A new Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will debut Disneyland on November 14-16, 2014. The three-day race weekend will involve kids races, a 5K and a half marathon, plus several family-friendly events such as a Health & Fitness Expo and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party.

The Avengers Half Marathon course will be a new 13.1-mile route through the Disneyland and surrounding areas that will differ from the Tinker Bell and Disneyland half marathon courses. Runners who successfully brave the new Avengers Half Marathon course will receive a commemorative Avengers-themed finishers’ medal.

Registration began March 25, 2014.

Thanksgiving

Disney does not offer a Thanksgiving parade or decorations in the parks. However, the Christmas decorations are in place in the parks by Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas Holiday events are well underway by that weekend.

A Disney Family Thanksgiving Feast is usually offered in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel on Thanksgiving Day. Many other restaurants on property also offer Thanksgiving menus.

Disneyland Celebrates the Holiday Season (Overview)

Each year Disneyland Resort undergoes a Christmas holiday transformation.

For 2013 the holidays were celebrated from November 12 through January 6.

The park decorations will start going up gradually right after Halloween and will be complete by the beginning of the official holiday period. The ABC-TV Disney Christmas Parade special (which is broadcast on Christmas Day) is filmed in part at Disneyland, usually on the first or second weekend of November, so the decorations on Main Street, U.S.A. have to be in place by then.

Once the holiday period officially begins, Disneyland guests can enjoy a nightly holiday fireworks spectacular. During the holidays, the fireworks show concludes with a magical snowfall down Main Street, U.S.A., Small World Mall and New Orleans Square. Disneyland’s annual holiday parade begins around the same time, and “it’s a small world Holiday” opens around that time.

Disney California Adventure celebrates the season with enhanced park-wide decorations and expanded entertainment offerings:

Decorations in the resort hotels and Downtown Disney usually go up right after Thanksgiving (substantially later than the park decorations).

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Guests can enjoy this festive holiday presentation November 15, 2013 through January 6, 2014 in Disney California Adventure.

“Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” is inspired by the warmth and joyous spirit of Latino cultures, filled with holiday traditions, jubilant dancing and exciting music. Based in and around the Paradise Garden area of Disney California Adventure, the special activities include crafts and face-painting for children, live Latino music, dance lessons, holiday foods, a “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party” and, of course, appearances by some popular Disney characters.

Paradise Garden will be decorated with holly, banners and Latino cultural icons, including traditional “papel picado” hand-cut paper art decorations. At the bandstand, guests can enjoy performances by traditional mariachi, Norteño, and other regional music groups. Community music and folklorico troupes will perform throughout the day. “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” guests will find opportunities to enjoy fun arts and crafts, storytelling and face-painting, and they may also discover a selection of unique merchandise in the area.

The exciting “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party” takes over Paradise Garden several times daily, featuring the Three Caballeros on a festive holiday float, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse transported on colorfully decorated street tricycles, flag-bearers carrying papel picado banners, Mexican folklorico dancers, samba dancers and drummers, plus giant “Mojiganga” puppets, including representations of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

The grand finale of “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” will be the special celebration of Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) January 3 through 6, 2014 in Paradise Garden.

Dining locations in Paradise Garden will add an array of popular Mexican food options for “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” Menus will feature Mexican dishes that are often served for the holidays, such as pozole (hearty stew), chicken mole drumettes, pescado (fish) Veracruzano, champurrado (Mexican-style hot chocolate), sweet tamales, torta al pastor (pork sandwich), buñuelos (deep-fried sweet treat), choco flan and, for the Three Kings Day celebration, Rosca de Reyes bread.

Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional is an annual event on Main Street that includes a celebrity narrator presenting the Biblical Christmas story, plus a large choir and an orchestra performing traditional carols.

In 2013 the Candlelight Processional is offered on December 7 and 8, with two performances each night, at 5:30 and 8:00 pm. Narrators are rumored to be Kurt Russell and Blair Underwood.

Tips and tricks based on previous years:

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

In addition to the special parade, “snow” experience and fireworks at Disneyland, there are usually special buffet meals available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Information and reservations usually become available about 60 days in advance. Call (714) 781-DINE (3463) for information and reservations.

If you plan to visit one of the theme parks on Christmas Day, be aware that it is one of the busiest days of the year. The parks (especially Disneyland) usually reach full capacity at some point during the day, and you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) to the parks after that point. (This is true even if you have a ticket, even if you’re staying at a Disney resort and even if you have dining reservations in the park. If the park is full, it’s full — Disney has to follow fire codes!) For that reason it’s best to arrive first thing in the morning and stay in the same park all day. Bring any sweaters or jackets you may need later and stow them in a locker when you arrive (the lockers will also sell out). Get FASTPASSes right away if you think you will want to ride anything, because the lines will be very long by noon.

Special Activities

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Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, located in Sleeping Beauty Courtyard at Disneyland, is an enchanting place where little royals can create their own wands, fill their own jewelry boxes, and explore a stunning array of storybook delights. The salon is owned by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother herself and operated by her wand-toting Godmothers-in-Training. They’re wondrous whizzes with faux hair, accessories, jewels, beads, nail paints and other niceties. They’ve conjured up three royal hair styles: fairy tale princess, pop princess or Disney diva. The boutique is open to princesses ages 3-12.

You can book sessions up to 60 days in advance at (714) 781-STYLE (7895).

Mandara Spa

A touch of Bali comes to the Disneyland Resort at the Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. With its rustic stonework and finely crafted wood accents, the spa’s natural look and feel beautifully complement the hotel’s classic Arts & Crafts theme. Select one of the specialty massages and, after a restful stop in the Tea Pavilion, you’ll be led to one of the private treatment rooms for a Swedish, Sports or Deep Tissue massage. The spa can even accommodate couples wishing to enjoy a massage together. Other offerings include a variety of facial and full-body treatments, as well as manicures and pedicures. For reservations call (714) 300-7350.

ESPN Zone

ESPN Zone, located in Downtown Disney, is a sports dining and entertainment location offering more than 150 monitors, including a high-definition big screen. The restaurant offers American grill food, plus there is more than 10,000 square feet of interactive games and attractions.

BEFORE you sign up, be sure to read all of the redemption procedures in order to maximize the membership. You should not sign up more than 30 days in advance, for instance, because you will receive your “perks” by printing out an email they will send you and presenting it at ESPN Zone. That email is only good for 30 days.

Movies

There is an AMC 12-plex movie theater, the AMC Downtown Disney 12.

Theme Park Tours

From time to time, Disneyland offers special discounts to Annual Passholders, Disney’s Visa cardholders and AAA members on various park tours. Reserve a tour up to 30 days in advance by calling (714) 781-4400, or stop by City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. Note: There are, as of now, no AAA discounts available for 2015 at Disneyland. The information above is valid through the end of 2014.

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Welcome to Disneyland Tour

This two-and-a-half-hour journey is ideal for first-timers to the Disneyland Resort. It provides tips and suggestions to make the most of your visit, plus you’ll learn fun facts and trivia. The tour includes both Disneyland and Disney?s California Adventure. Participants receive priority seating at a stage show or a parade and a reservation at one dining location for any day of your stay (selected locations). You’ll also receive two FASTPASSes to use after the tour, and a sweet treat. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tour is limited to 20 people. Park admission is required.

Regular price for this tour is $25 per person (all ages).

A Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour

Experience Disneyland from its founder’s perspective. Highlights of the three hour tour include an exclusive look into Walt Disney’s private apartment, a private lunch on Main Street U.S.A., two classic attraction experiences and a collectible pin.

The Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour is not recommended for young children. (Most kids and young teens would find it boring.) Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tour is limited to 15 people. Park admission is required.

Regular price for this tour is $109 per person (all ages).

Discover the Magic Tour

During this three-hour tour, guests follow musical clues on a scavenger hunt to solve mysteries, hunt for hidden treasure, learn how to outsmart Disney villains and save the day by helping out everyone’s pal, Mickey Mouse. The “Discover the Magic” tour breaks the mold of conventional tours where guests follow a guide who shares information. With this new experience, kids and their parents are put right in the action. The tour includes lunch and a special gift. You’ll have quick visits with a couple of Disney characters along the way.

The Discover the Magic Tour is recommended for families with children ages 5-9. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tour is limited to 20 people. Park admission is required.

Regular price for the first two guests is $59 per person (two person minimum). Regular price for any additional guests in the same party is $49 per person.

Cultivating the Magic Tour

During this two-hour tour, guests learn about the landscapes and gardens that have transformed 260 acres of orange groves into Disneyland park. Discover how horticulture is used to tell a story and how it helped achieve Walt Disney’s vision for his original Magic Kingdom. On your tour, you will also experience select Disneyland park attractions in a whole new way and learn about the historical significance of trees that you may have walked past dozens of times in past visits to the park. Participants receive a collectable souvenir pin and exclusive seed packet.

The Cultivating the Magic Tour is offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:00 am and Mondays at 10:00 am. Park admission is required.

Regular price for this tour is $49 per person (all ages).

Happiest Haunts Tour

For 2014, this seasonal Halloween-themed 2 1/2-hour walking tour sets its focus on Disneyland park, where you will learn about Halloween traditions through history and trick-or-treat for special goodies along Main Street, U.S.A. Throughout the park, the tour will stops to experience popular Disneyland park attractions and the special Halloween Time attractions: Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. You will also receive a souvenir keepsake and Halloween treat. Available for all ages, but guests must meet height requirements to experience the included attractions.

The tour is offered nightly from mid-September – October 31. Park admission is required.

On nights when Mickey’s Trick-or-Treat Party is offered you must purchase the “Ultimate Experience” ticket that combines the Happiest Haunts Tour and admission to the party. No discounts apply to the “Ultimate Experience” ticket.

Discounts below applied to the Happiest Haunts Tour, not the “Ultimate Experience” ticket:

Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour

This seasonal Holiday-themed tour usually includes information about Disneyland holiday traditions and decorations, VIP seating at the Christmas Fantasy Parade, a sweet treat and warm beverage, a collectible pin and a visit to Haunted Mansion Holiday and “it’s a small world holiday”.

In 2013 the Holiday Time tour is offered November 12 – January 6. Park admission is required.

2013 regular price is $75 per person.

VIP Tour

Disneyland VIP Tours are private tours just for your group. You’ll be led around by a Host or Hostess who will tailor the tour to your interests. They can usually assist you in experiencing the attractions with minimal waits (you don’t skip the lines, but they know which rides will have the shortest lines at which times). When you set up a VIP Tour, you can also request restaurant reservations, special viewing areas for certain shows and parades, etc. The cost is $175-$195 per hour for up to 10 guests (varies seasonally and higher rate applies if booked less than 48 hours in advance). There is a 6-hour minimum.

For an additional charge, you can upgrade to a Premium VIP Tour. Premium Tours include complimentary valet parking at Grand Californian Hotel, where a Host or Hostess will meet your group and take you to the Theme Park of your choice. It includes expedited entry into the theme parks, special viewing areas for shows and parades, and may possibly allow you to experience your favorite attractions again and again.

There are no discounts on the VIP Tours. You can arrange a VIP Tour by calling Disney Special Activities at (714) 300-7710. Unlike the other tours, VIP Tours can be booked 90 days in advance.