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Disneyland After Dark Parties 2024

by Mommy Frog on February 6, 2024 28 Los Angeles

Inside This Post Inside This Post

Have you ever wished you could have Disneyland mostly to yourself, hopping from ride to ride with short attraction wait times and no crowds to worry about? Do you love dressing up as your favorite Disney character or creating an outfit based on a certain theme? Do you jump up and down at the chance to meet a rare character who never usually visits the parks (or even your favorite characters in new outfits)? Are dance parties your thing? Then, a Disneyland After Dark event may be just the event for you! The Disneyland After Dark events are separately ticketed parties that are held after the park closes to the public. The 2024 Disneyland After Dark Events have been announced — with more dates than ever before! There are four frogtastic 2024 After Dark events!

Disneyland After Dark - Cinderella

 

Overview of Disneyland After Dark Events

Disney After Dark - Mickey and Minnie

Each four-hour party has a different theme and offers unique entertainment. The parties can be a lot of fun with music, special character meet-and-greets, photo-ops, themed dance parties and sometimes even special fireworks shows or other themed entertainment. The special parties are toadally fun, but there are a few things you should be aware of before purchasing tickets.

In 2024 we have three returning Disneyland After Dark events and one all-new event! Keep in mind that we do not discuss the Disneyland Halloween Party — Oogie Boogie Bash — in this post. That huge and recurring Halloween Time event takes place on select nights for several weeks in the fall. It has its own post.

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - pride nite matterhorn

These parties are getting so big, with popular events recurring each year with more and more dates, so we now give each event its own page. That way we can share more details and photos of the events. Click on the links to find out more about an event. Check the Disneyland Special Events ticketing page for the most up-to-date information on upcoming After Dark events.

  • Sweethearts' Nite (sold out for 2024)
  • Disney Channel Nite (New! and on sale now — some dates sold out.)
  • Star Wars Nite on sale Feb. 23, 2024, to public no earlier than 9 a.m. PT. (On sale for Inspire Magic Key as of Feb. 20, then for other Magic Key holders on Feb. 21.)
  • Pride Nite (on sale soon)

Hop along as we share what to expect at one of these special events so you can determine if these separately ticketed events are right for you. Let's hop to it! We cover the Disneyland After Dark events for 2024 and take a look back at past events, as well, in case they return someday.

Demand is much higher for Disneyland events these days than in the past, so you should always plan to purchase early. No theme park reservation is required for party tickets.

"Notify Me" Feature When Purchasing

If you've bought tickets for Disneyland After Dark and other events, you may know that sometimes it takes a while to get into the site to purchase. A new "notify me" feature lets you leave your computer while you wait (but you'd better bring your phone with you). To participate, once in the queue, choose the “notify me” option and enter your email address. You’ll receive an email letting you know it’s your turn to return to the waiting room in order to enter the ticket store site. From the time your turn begins, you’ll have ten minutes to use the link to return to the site.

These events can sell out the day they go on sale. We always recommend buying as soon as they go on sale. Use multiple browsers and devices to increase your chances. Have your party and desired dates ready to go before you buy.

2024 Disneyland After Dark Events and Dates

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Elena at Princess Nite

There are four Disneyland After Dark events to look forward to in 2024. All of them take place at Disneyland Park. Here are the events and their on-sale dates:

  • Sweethearts' Nite on sale Dec. 14 (and Dec. 12 for Magic Key holders) and sold out by Dec. 18.
  • Disney Channel Nite (New!) on sale Dec. 14 not before 9 a.m. PT (and Dec. 12 for Magic Key holders)
  • Star Wars Nite Tickets on sale Feb. 23, 2024, to public no earlier than 9 a.m. PT. (A select amount of pre-sale tickets are available for Inspire Magic Key holders on Feb. 20, then for other Magic Key holders on Feb. 21.)
  • Pride Nite on sale TBD

All party guests gain access to the park as of 6 p.m. for this after-dark event. The party kicks off at 9 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m.

When buying tickets for Disneyland After Dark events. Go to Disneyland.com and go to "Parks & Tickets." Under Tickets & Passes," select "Special Event Tickets." Be sure to purchase early as tickets almost always sell out well in advance.

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2023 - Castle at Sweetheart's Nite

Sweethearts' Nite at Disneyland ParkJan. 23, 25, 30, Feb. 1, 6, 8, 12 & 14, 2024, at Disneyland Park 

Back by popular demand, Sweethearts Nite is the ultimate date night or just a great night out with friends. The popular Sweethearts' Nite has been going strong since 2019, adding more dates each year ... and selling them out! Sweethearts' Nite makes Disneyland the most romantic place on Earth for eight unfrogettable nights in 2024.

Disneyland After Dark Parties - Couple poses at Aladdin Photo-Op

2024 Sweethearts' Nite Dates and Ticket Prices range from $139 to $169 per guest (3 and up):

  • Jan. 23 for $139
  • Jan. 25 for $149
  • Jan. 30 for $139
  • Feb. 1 for $149
  • Feb. 6 for $139
  • Feb. 8 for $149
  • Feb. 12 for $169
  • Feb. 14 for $169

All nights are sold out for 2024.

Here's what is included:

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2023 - Mary and Bert

  • (New!) Sweethearts’ Nite Royal Cavalcade: Join in the fun as Cinderella, Prince Charming, Disney friends and Royal Fanfare dancers make their way through the park. It runs from Town Square to “it’s a small world” mall, where regal Disney couples will gather for the Royal Ball.
  • Projection effects on Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street, U.S.A. and "it's a small world"
  • Live music at The Tropical Hideaway
  • Disney couples
  • Fun photo opportunities featuring romantic scenes from iconic Disney films such as “Lady and the Tramp,” "Tangled," "Aladdin" and "Sleeping Beauty."
  • Food and beverage offerings for sale around the park
  • A Tomorrowland dance party with Stitch and Angel
  • Unlimited PhotoPass downloads

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2023 - Tiana and Naveen

Sweethearts' Nite included dancing, dining and double dating with Disney couples. You could swing your partner around the dance floors at a glitzy royal ball (near "it's a small world"), but it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes that don't slip off. (That's a tip from Cinderella!)

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2023 - Snow White and prince

You could meet darling Disney couples and pose for romantic photo-ops, themed after sweet scenes from iconic Disney films! Our Sweethearts' Nite post has all the locations

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2023 - Spaghetti photo op

Around the park, you can find Valentine's-inspired décor, food designed for two, beverages and merchandise offerings. Ticketed party guests can make advance reservations for table-service meals now. There are four Sweethearts Nite reserved dining options in 2024. You can view menus, prices and reserve online or in the Disneyland app. We recommend reserving for 8 p.m. so you can maximize your party time.

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2023 - spaghetti

A few attractions are not available for this event. That may include:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Critter Country (and Splash Mountain)
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Sailing Ship Columbia

Disney Channel Nite at Disneyland Park — Mar. 5 & 7, 2024

Disneyland After Dark Parties 2024 - disney channel nite art

Have you always dreamed of raising your own wand to “paint” a glowing Mickey in the air around you like the stars do on the Disney Channel? You are getting your chance! This all-new nostalgic celebration is themed after favorite Disney Channel shows that have taken place over the years.

The Disney Channel Nite Dates and Ticket Prices are:

  • March 5 for $139
  • March 7 for $139 (sold out)

You can also expect fantastic music, memorable characters, high-energy parties, unique photo opportunities, and more, including:

  • The “High School Musical” pep rally takes place through the streets of Disneyland Park celebrating the songs from the beloved “High School Musical” franchise.
  • The “Phineas and Ferb” DJ dance party takes the stage in Tomorrowland. This high-energy dance party has appearances by “Phineas and Ferb” characters!
  • “Camp Rock” Karaoke alternates with the Ultimate Disney Channel Trivia Challenge in the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Take turns singing your favorite songs as solos, duos and groups! The Ultimate Disney Channel Trivia Challenge will test your Disney Channel knowledge.
  • “Descendants” at the Rivers of America invites aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia to enjoy music from “Descendants” 1, 2 and 3 over the misty waters.
  • Step into imaginative photo backdrops representing favorite Disney Channel shows and movies, including "Camp Rock," “Lizzie McGuire,” “The Cheetah Girls,” “Teen Beach Movie,” "Halloweentown," Zenon," the Disney Channel Logo and more.
  • A "glowing wand" photo opportunity. Step behind the glass, raise your wand and appear to “paint” glowing colors in the air around you!
  • Enjoy specially themed foods and snacks all evening long, including mini banana burritos and tropical banana punch at Red Rose Taverne, plus chili cheese loaded nachos and s’mores donut skewer from Café Daisy.
  • Specialty dining packages are available, too.  More details are coming soon.
  • Character experiences that will transition your childhood nostalgia into new memories when you meet some iconic Disney characters.
  • PhotoPass downloads.

Rides and lands not available:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Critter Country (and Splash Mountain)
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Sailing Ship Columbia (but you can embark on the Sailing Ship Columbia for a Descendants Cruise)

Star Wars Nite at Disneyland — April 16, 18, 23, 25, 30, May 2, 7 & 9, 2024 

Wars Nite at Disneyland Park offers up a galactically good time! In 2024 there are eight nights! That's more dates than ever before. The parties fall during the extended park celebration, the Season of the Force.

Disneyland After Dark Parties 2024 - Projections on Small World

Star Wars Nite 2024 Dates and Ticket Prices start at $159 per guest (3 and up):

  • April 16 for $159
  • April 18 for $169
  • April 23 for $159
  • April 25 for $169
  • April 30 for $159
  • May 2 for $169
  • May 7 for $159
  • May 9 for $169

Tickets go on sale Feb. 23, 2024, to the public no earlier than 9 a.m. PT. (A select amount of pre-sale tickets are available for Inspire Magic Key holders on Feb. 20, then for other Magic Key holders on Feb. 21 and 22.)

The 2024 details are out. You can expect:

  • Character encounters
  • "Star Wars"-themed attractions such as Star Tours, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (usually with shorter lines)
  • Enhanced decor and event collectible merchandise
  • Themed Photo opportunities
  • Unlimited PhotoPass downloads
  • March of the First Order in Tomorrowland with Captain Phasma and Strom Troopers
  • Lightsaber training at "it's a small world"
  • Lightsaber Resistance Show of Unity at Millennium Falcon
  • Projection on the castle, Main Street and "it's a small world"
  • Galactic Dance Party on Main Street U.S.A.
  • Guests in Star Wars-themed costumes may participate in a special cavalcade, with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, in a march down Main Street, U.S.A., followed by a group photo at Sleeping Beauty Castle, illuminated with galactic projections.
  • Yummy eats for purchase

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Darth Maul at Star Wars Nite

We visited Star Wars Nite in 2022 and 2023. The Force is strong on Star Wars Nite with many guests in costume and with their lightsabers.

Pride Nite at Disneyland — June 18 and 20, 2024

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Mickey and Friends on rainbow steps

During Pride Month in June, guests can partake in Pride Nite! Pride Nite specifically celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. Guests can enjoy this event for two nights, June 18 and 20, 2024. We attended the first Pride Nite in 2023. It was truly one of the sweetest After Dark Events we've attended. The crowd was polite and kind and full of love and Pride. It was a night of great music and good vibes all around. The cavalcade had a special song and characters in their Pride outfits.

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - pride nite fireworks

Star Wars Nite 2024 Dates and Ticket Prices start at $159 per guest (3 and up). The prices per date and the on-sale date are coming soon.

More details and on-sale dates are to come. Here's what guests can expect at Pride Nite based on the 2023 event:

  • Catch a Pride Nite cavalcade, featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Clarabelle, Donald, Daisy and Goofy dressed in special attire as they stroll through Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Receive a commemorative lanyard and credential keepsake (one of each per guest).
  • Join the Ohana Dance Party with Stitch at Tomorrowland Terrace. A DJ will be spinning great tunes and emitting positive vibes at this dance party that celebrates family!
  • Party at a Pride Nite Dance Club along the Rivers of America, which invites everyone to enjoy quality music under the stars.
  • Go country line dancing at the Golden Horseshoe.
  • Pose in front of fun photo backdrops with inspirational messages or Disney characters (includes unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads).
  • Have after-hours access to iconic Disneyland rides.
  • Taste some savory snacks and sweets, made especially for the pride party.

 

Past Disneyland After Dark Events

A few other past Disneyland After Dark themes have included these Disneyland Park events:  '90s Nite and '80s Nite, Princess Nite and Throwback Nite. Each of them offered unique types of entertainment, food and opportunities for fun. Past Disney California Adventure After Dark events include Grand Nite Reunion, Pixar Nite, Villains Nite and Heroes Assemble. One of our favorite recurring seasonal after-hours events at Disney California Adventure is the Oogie Boogie Bash during Halloween Time. We cover it separately from these parties.

Here's a look at some of the more recent events! Some of them have occurred more than one year, so you never know if one of them will return in the future.

Princess Nite at Disneyland — March 7 & 9, 2023

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2024 - Minnie and Daisy dress as princesses

This all-new celebration under the stars immersed guests into the adventurous and graceful world of the Disney princesses who ignite the world with kindness, courage, and a touch of magic. Experience shimmering décor, special photo opportunities, themed food and beverage offerings, commemorative keepsakes and characters galore.

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2024 - Vanellope at Dance party

Hop over to our guide to Princess Nite at Disneyland for more details. Party ticket holders can reserve a special prix fixe tea service at Cafe Orleans. The Tea Service includes a choice of Twinings London hot tea alongside a wide selection of exquisite eats.

 

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2024 - Crispy treat

Throwback Nite at Disneyland

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Throwback lanyard

Ready to hop back in time to the '50s and '60s? Let's go, daddy-o! On April 18 and 20, 2023, Throwback Nite paid tribute to the first decade at Disneyland Park. Guests could enjoy Mickey and pals in retro 'fits, plus:

  • Fantasy in the Sky fireworks, honoring the first show that illuminated the night in Disneyland Park in 1957!
  • Live bands and DJs around the park, hosting dance parties where you can do the twist, the mashed potato and more.
  • Snacks from the bygone eras
  • Vintage photo backdrops of attractions and posters from yesteryear, near Skyway and Autopia
  • After-hours access to iconic Disneyland attractions such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise

Grad Nite Reunion at Disney California Adventure 

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Mickey and Minnie wear a red cap and gown

What fun it was to attend a summer After Dark party in 2022. It was so nice to have a warm summer night in the park with no crowds, short lines and music you cannot help but sing and dance to.

Leap and I enjoyed our date night at the first Grad Nite Reunion. We had so much fun reliving a time when we were young and launching off into adulthood. The hoppin' playlist that spanned the past six decades had us singing and dancing all night!

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Mater rolls through Cars Land in a graduation cap

Undercover Tourist sold discount tickets to this event, which was super exciting.

Villains Night at Disney California Adventure 

You could unleash your inner scoundrel at this sinister soiree. This party included:

  • Live music where Villains crooned the night away in a live performance with villainous virtuosos, malevolent musicians and a few spellbinding surprises!
  • Ursula’s Seaside Sing-a-long, where you could channel your inner Ariel ("now sing!") at Pacific Wharf
  • The Underworld Dance Party, hosted by Hades
  • Special photo backdrops inspired by favorite villains
  • Encounters with Disney’s famously nefarious fiends — or their henchmen
  • Delightfully decadent food and beverage offerings
  • Dastardly décor and merchandise

Disney Merriest Nites

This was the first and only Disneyland Holiday Time after-hours event. Disney Merriest Nites occurred on five nights in November and December 2021.

Disneyland After Dark Parties - Goofy and Scrooge greet guests from afarWhat we love about after-hours parties is seeing rare characters and new entertainment while getting to dress up in costumes. This party did not disappoint with Mickey's Christmas Carol characters played by Mickey, Minnie, Scrooge McDuck and Goofy (as the Ghost of Jacob Marley). Character interactions were still somewhat distanced, but the most unique experience of them all was seeing the Muppets travel down Main Street, U.S.A. singing carols. Guests received a light-up Christmas light lanyard, which helped light up the night.

Disney Merriest Nites had six different themed holiday parties hoppening across different lands. The parties included live bands or DJ dance parties. A Disney or Pixar character hosted each party:

  • Mickey Mouse was the host of a Victorian party on Main Street, U.S.A. He was joined by the Muppets singing Christmas carols from a special traveling coach. Seeing the Muppets at Disneyland was enough for me! I heard that news and did not hesitate to buy a ticket to see this sight.
  • Lilo and Stitch hosted a tropical party in Adventureland.
  • On the other end of the thermometer, Queen Elsa from "Frozen" took over Fantasyland with an icy cheer that warmed our hearts.
  • Buzz Lightyear from "Toy Story" hosted an out-of-this-world party with a DJ in Tomorrowland.
  • Princess Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog" took us down to the Bayou for beads, beignets and more jazzy fun in New Orleans Square. We embarked on a holiday jazz cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat.
  • Miguel Rivera from "Coco" hosted a fiesta that had us all singing "Feliz Navidad" in Frontierland.

Disneyland After Dark Parties - The Muppet singing Christmas carols

Party guests were treated to A Christmas Fantasy Parade, though it was the same parade that usually takes place during normal days of Holiday Time and was not unique to the event.

'80s Nite at Disneyland 

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2024 - Minnie at 80s nite

This event celebrated the toadally awesome '80s! As a tadpole of the '80s, I toadally wish every year that Disneyland would bring back this After Dark party. I had my day-glow colors, stone-washed jeans, vintage jean jacket and frosty makeup ready to go, and Leap put on his neon tracksuit!

Does anyone remember Videopolis in the '80s? Teens could dance to hits of the day with state-of-the-art videos and lighting. Well, we went old school with a "Flashback to Videopolis" takeover of Fantasyland Theatre. There was a live DJ, music videos and dancing to hits of the '80s. Videopolis was hoppin'! All of the dance parties were full of people singing and dancing all night long. We did not hear a song we didn't love!

We got into the groove with live bands and DJs around the park. Projections decorated the castle, Main Street U.S.A. buildings and what we fondly referred to as "Radderhorn Mountain." But the cutest dance party — Totally Minnie! — took place in Tomorrowland with Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto!

What to Expect at a Disneyland After Dark Event

Now, onto the general details of what you might generally expect at a Disneyland After Dark event! You may also be interested in our tips for deciding whether a Disneyland After Dark event is right for your family, which we'll share a little later.

Disneyland After Dark is more likely to occur in the winter or spring months and not at peak times because they may cause the parks to close earlier than usual. The exceptions have been the Halloween Time Oogie Boogie Bash, plus the Grad Nite Reunion in June 2022 and Pride Nite in June 2023 and 2024. And we must say that we especially love having a warm summer night with low capacity at the June events!

You can purchase tickets on the event's page. Children ages 2 and under do not need a ticket, but they may need a nap first and may prefer to stay with a babysitter or family member than stay out that late. (We leave Lily with Grandma when we attend.) Tickets sell out in advance, and parking is not included in the ticket price. The parking shuttles and buses for the structures and Toy Story lots are extended until one hour after party end time on party nights.

Arriving at a Disneyland After Dark Event

Disneyland After Dark Parties - Entrance

If you have been to a Disneyland Halloween Party such as the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure, then you’ll find that the Disneyland After Dark events work similarly. The party hours can vary per event, but they generally run from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., and the park closes to the public at 8 p.m. (each party time may vary slightly).

Party guests can usually enter the park three hours early and start mixing in with the daytime guests beginning at 6 p.m. For some parties, a popular meet and greet line might open early. That's what hoppened with the Ewok meet at '80s Nite, so be sure to ask about those when you arrive. All times may vary based on the specific party. There are separate entrances for Special Event tickets up until the event starts.

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Pride Nite lanyard

The Special Event Tickets turnstiles lead into a roped area to pick up a wristband and credentials. The wristband may be color-coded and include the event name and date. The credentials are essential for staying in the park after the park closes. You'll want to pick up a program with a park map. If you're already in the park during the day, ask about in-park check-in so you don't have to exit and reenter.

The program points you in the right direction to find characters around the park (who might be in very different areas than they normally are during regular park hours). It also highlights themed foods, entertainment and any can’t-miss moments. It's very helpful, so don’t froget to read it, especially since there are not always many specific details released before you arrive.

If you arrive before the party gets underway, you can go on rides, take pictures while the lighting (and maybe hair and makeup) may be better, and jump in line early to meet your favorite character. (FYI: At '80s Nite, nobody's hair was better! It was fun to see the big bangs, crimped hair and colorful bows, though.) You can scout out the lines to purchase limited-edition merchandise you must have in your life and must-try foods, but none of the special menu items will be available until the party officially starts.

Plan your meals and shopping into your party itinerary. On normal nights, the shops on Buena Vista Street or Main Street, U.S.A. are still open after the parks close so you can get some souvenirs or a caramel apple and other yummy treats. But at Disneyland After Dark events, the shops close up as soon as the event ends. We have learned this the hard way.

Be aware that the mix-in time will be more crowded than the actual party until the daytime guests leave the park. Cast members will do sweeps and have checkpoints to look for bracelets and credentials throughout the night to make sure only party guests are partaking in the fun. Guests without wristbands will be escorted to the exit and not allowed to participate or purchase event foods.

Food, Drink and Merchandise at Disneyland After Dark Events

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Food at Pride Nite

During the event, you can enjoy specially-themed food, drinks and special merchandise. These special items become available an hour before the party starts. Be sure to allow time to go shopping or dining during the actual event hours. You don’t want to miss those limited-edition beverages and treats! Use mobile order to skip the lines.

Disneyland After Dark Parties 2024 - Special Yoda beignets for Star Wars Nite

If you know of any limited must-have merchandise, hop on that and purchase ASAP. Do your research ahead of time and identify any must-have items to purchase right away.

Some events offer special meals that ticket holders can reserve in advance. These dining packages are usually available at Plaza Inn and Cafe Orleans. You can reserve online or in the Disneyland app.

Costume Guidelines for Disneyland After Dark

Disneyland After Dark Parties - Guardians of the Galaxy Costumes and Photo-Ops

Capes? Or no capes? One of the reasons many guests love the Disneyland After Dark events is that adults can wear costumes or dress in themed outfits. At Throwback Nite, many folks were dressed all dapper. You’ll see many people dressing in themed outfits and DisneyBounding as their favorite characters at these events. The costume guidelines are similar to the Halloween Party guidelines. Be creative, but use good common sense.

Here are the costume guidelines for Disneyland After Dark:

Disneyland After Dark Parties - Tron Couple

  • Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
  • All guests may dress as their favorite character, but they may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other guests.
  • Costumes may not contain any items that resemble (or could easily be mistaken for) an actual weapon.
  • Costumes may not contain sharp/pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another guest.
  • Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
  • Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground (e.g., full-length princess dresses).

For Guests Ages 13 and Under

  • Costumes may be worn, as well as some masks, as long as the entire face isn’t covered and the eyes are visible.

For Guests Ages 14 and Older

  • Capes cannot go below the waist.
  • Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts and hats are permitted.
  • Acceptable accessories include transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus.
  • Headwear may not cover the face.
  • No masks of any kind, except for medical purposes.

The above rules apply only during event hours (and mix-in time when you're allowed to enter the park a little early for the event) — standard theme park attire rules apply during all other times. All rules, regulations and guidelines are subject to change without notice. If you don't adhere to the guidelines, Disney may remove you from the event, unless you can modify the costume to meet the above standards.

Some of the classic Disney characters may also wear special costumes or outfits for the event. Be sure to hop by to compliment them on their party clothes! Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy were all decked out in the '80s attire at '80s Nite!

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - People in costume pose with Mulan and Mushu

Character Meet-Ups at Disneyland After Dark

Disneyland After Dark Parties - Sebastian One of the most exciting aspects of Disneyland After Dark is getting to rub elbows with very rare or never-before-seen characters. The hardest part about meeting these rare characters is that the lines can get prohibitively long. We advise staking out a couple must-see characters and hopping in their line before the party starts.

If you are in line to meet a character when the event ends, you can remain in line to meet them. But don't necessarily wait until the very end to jump in line as some lines may close early. Ask a cast member if you aren't sure.

Rides at Disneyland After Dark Parties

Most rides are open during the After Dark events. Be aware that Toontown, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Critter Country sometimes close during Disneyland Park events — it just depends on the event's theme. You can access these areas during mix-in time if it's on your must-do list but don't waste valuable party time in line for a ride that will still be there the next day. The party waits for no one.

Disneyland After Dark Parties - No wait for Matterhorn

Ride wait times are usually short. When else can you hop on the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Dumbo or Space Mountain without a wait? This is a major plus for people who want to ride a lot of rides without any kind of wait. In fact, even Disney Genie+ isn't available. Keep in mind that Hyperspace Mountain, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run had the longest lines during Star Wars Nite. The rest of the rides had very short lines.

PhotoPass and Photo-Ops at Disneyland After Dark Events

Disneyland After Dark Parties - Yeti Photo-ops

Free PhotoPass downloads are included in the After Dark events. You'll have 45 days to download the images. With PhotoPass, you have great professional photos of special moments when meeting those favorite characters and posing for photo ops. Capture that perfect costume or outfit! Each Disneyland After Dark event presents uniquely themed photo-ops in line with the event. Scout out your favorites and prioritize because lines can get long. Disneyland After Dark events have many themed props and backdrops for striking your favorite pose.

PhotoPass photographers are available at character meet-ups, as well. Link your PhotoPass code in your bracelet to the app or wear a MagicBand+. You can have the photographer scan your wrist. The cast members are so helpful at holding your stuff and using your camera and phone to take pics while you focus on not going all fangirl or fanboy on your favorite character. As Tad would tell us, “Stay cool!”

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Girls in Teacup Photo Op

Is a Disneyland After Dark Event Right for You?

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties - Lightsabers at Star Wars Nite

This is always a hard question to answer. The tickets are only good for four hours (plus three hours of mix-in time). The parties do offer some unique experiences, but the hours fly by so quickly that it's challenging to do it all. It may be a good choice for you if any of the following apply:

  • You really love dressing up in costume, themed outfits or DisneyBound attire.
  • You're toadally excited about the party theme.
  • Seeing one particular rare character would make your night.
  • You love all things Disney and just want to be part of the magic.
  • The main reason to go is to experience rides without wait times.
  • You want a new or different experience in a Disney park.
  • You like meeting others who share the same interests.
  • Exclusive party merchandise really excites you.
  • You're OK with long lines for photo-ops and character greetings.
  • You love dancing in a Disney park.
  • You like staying up late.

Disneyland After Dark Parties - A couple dressed up as the Beast and Belle

Even if you don’t care about the theme and really just want to focus on riding all of the rides without a wait, then the Disneyland After Dark events may be well worth it.

You need realistic expectations to tackle these events. If you want to do it all (characters, food, photo-ops, rides and other entertainment), you may get a little frustrated when time flies (did someone say flies? Yum!) while you’re having fun and you miss out on experiences before the party ends. We feel a little like Cinderella at the ball, getting caught up in the fun and frogetting to watch the clock. (Thank goodness we leave the park with both of our shoes!)

What to Expect at Disneyland After Dark Parties in 2023 - Aristocats

If you have a favorite rare character you’d love to meet, then expect long waits. Use pre-party time as eating or wait time so you can enjoy more of the party when it starts. The experiences will vary per theme, so it’s hard to predict the must-see attraction or merchandise of the night.

You can skip the long lines and look for shorter lines (or roaming characters), but all of the characters have lines. set priorities. You might be disappointed to miss a favorite character, but you would be more disappointed if a three-hour wait to meet them took up three out of four hours of your actual party time. So, if the line is too long, be flexible. Wave or snap a pic from afar and hop on to a different experience instead. You’ll best enjoy the event if you can be flexible and set realistic expectations. And remember, the rides will always be there for another visit. The rare characters, photo-ops and exclusive party merchandise will not.

Are you ready to experience Disneyland After Dark? Let us know which one is your favorite theme in the comments below. 

Related: Full Schedule of Disneyland Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Feb 5, 2024 at 11:08 a.m. Sarah Crowe Says...

Hi - we're coming from the UK to California for season of the force. I'm in poor health and this is likely to be our only trip - do you, or can you recommend anyone who can try and get tickets for star Wars After Dark which i can sign up to? It will be our only chance to go and i'll be gutted if we miss out. I know there are companies like Mouse watcher who can help snag dining reservations so just wondered if you knew of anything similar for After Dark parties. Or even if you have any advice regarding how to get tickets/when they were released last year. Thanks guys!

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Feb 5, 2024 at 8:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah!

We do not sell Disneyland After Dark event tickets, but we will update our blog once we know when tickets go on sale so keep hopping back. Last year, they went on sale Feb. 23, so we'd expect to hear more details about ticket sales in the coming weeks. We'd recommend purchasing tickets on the day they go on sale.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 1, 2024 at 12:39 a.m. Lydia Says...

Is there a way to find sold out tickets for March 7? I need one more ????????

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Feb 1, 2024 at 8:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lydia!

Once a Disneyland After Dark event sells out, it's rare that additional tickets will be released online since it's meant to be a limited-capacity event. While it's not guaranteed, it definitely wouldn't hurt to stop by Guest Relations the day of to see if any last-minute tickets are available. You could get lucky with some Disney pixie dust, but again, having last-minute availability is not a guarantee.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 27, 2023 at 12:16 a.m. Marie DelRio [email protected] Says...

I need to purchase these tix.

Reply
Nov 28, 2023 at 9:22 p.m. KAL Says...

Any idea why some rides aren't available during the special events? We went to Throw Back Nite, and were disappointed Rise of the Resistance was closed, among a few others.

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Mar 14, 2023 at 9:09 p.m. Madi Says...

Will there be a Christmas after-hours event in December? I'm travelling from Australia and likely going 21st or 22nd of December, but worried that there will be an after-hours event and I won't get much time at Disneyland. Do you also know how far in advance the tickets are for sale for after-dark events?

Reply
Mar 15, 2023 at 11:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Madi!

We don't know for sure yet. There was a Disney Merriest Nites event in 2021 but it did not return in 2022, so unless Disney announces a new event for the 2023 holiday season, we are not expecting one. We would most likely hear any holiday news sometime in September.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 19, 2023 at 1:34 a.m. jessica Says...

Any intel on when the 2023 dates for Star Wars Nite will drop? Or when park hours for April/May be posted? We are wondering if the after dark party will affect the dates we will be visiting. Last year, we inadvertently went to Disneyland on May 4th haha! It was cool to be there that day and we were so sad to learn it was closing at 8p as we were visiting from out-of-state, it was out last day, and we didn't have a park hopper pass.

It looks like last year the Star Wars nite tickets went on sale January 11. With no mention of the Star Wars nite yet, does that mean they may skip this year? Perhaps it would be all speculation at this point. But I consider you can offer a highly educated/experienced guess... :)

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Jan 19, 2023 at 9:27 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica!

We toadally wish we had more insight, but we can only guess the same as you unless Disney announces its return. However, we can say that park hours and the entertainment schedule are typically posted six weeks in advance.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 13, 2022 at 12:48 a.m. Shannon Says...

Our Disneyland trip, Feb 6th & 7th, now falls on one of the newly announced Sweetheart nights, which we will not be purchasing tickets for. As far as possible crowds, would you recommend DP on that Monday with most likely longer hours, with DCA on Tues? Or the other way around with DP on the Sweetheart nite?

Reply
Dec 14, 2022 at 12:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon!

If you're park hopping, you can start at Disneyland Park on the Sweethearts' Nite as the parks are often less crowded on After Dark days because people avoid that day. But if you're not park hopping, then it would still be best to choose Monday for the longer day at Disneyland to maximize your time.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 4, 2022 at 4:46 p.m. Gabriel Says...

You forgot to mention that the lines for characters and photo ops can get cut early before the event ends. I’ve learned this when I was at Disney’s Merriest Nites which ran from 8 PM to midnight, around 11:15 I tried to get in line to see Belle and the Beast but the cast member operating the line said they needed to make sure Belle and the Beast go to bed on time. So therefore one more tip you should put is do not wait too late to get in line for a character or photo op at the event because they close the lines early.

Reply
May 4, 2022 at 12:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gabriel!

Thanks for sharing your hop tip! In our froggy experience, we have been able to jump in line near the end of the night, but we know that may not always be the case as character sightings and greetings can be subject to change. For that reason, if you have a high-priority character greeting you don't want to miss, we'd recommend hopping in line earlier than later in case something like this hoppens.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 2, 2022 at 9 p.m. Michelle Says...

Thanks for all this great info! I'm heading to Star Wars night this Wed for May the 4th! How early would you say people start lining up for the After Hours event? An hour before? 2 hours?

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May 3, 2022 at 8:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle!

Have so much fun! People generally start lining up about an hour ahead of time.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 9, 2022 at 9:48 p.m. Marlisa Says...

Can pass holders attend the event if they have a reservation for that day? If not, would a separate event ticket have to be purchased?

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Mar 10, 2022 at 8:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marlisa!

Since it is a separately ticketed event, you would need to purchase an After Dark ticket to stay. (Villains Nite and Star Wars Nite for this year are already sold out, unfrogtunately.)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 28, 2022 at 3:21 a.m. Jodi Says...

So is there any idea what merchandise or food will be available before the event? We are going for Star Wars Nite May 3rd (the first night) and want to plan for food allergies and "must have" merchandise.

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Feb 28, 2022 at 1:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jodi!

Sometimes details can be leaked ahead of time — on the day of the party, you can usually see special menu items in the Disneyland app.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 8, 2021 at 7:19 p.m. Cecilia Says...

I just wanted to be clear and make sure I have this right, So we do not have to buy park tickets if we only plan to go to the Disney nites events, right?

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Dec 8, 2021 at 2:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cecilia!

Correct! If you're only attending the party, then you do not need daytime admission or a park reservation (and you can also enter the park as early as 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., depending on the event).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Caylin Says...

Hi! I wanted to know if they offer Sweethearts Nite at Disney World Fl?

Reply
Apr 27, 2020 at 8:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Caylin!

Unfortunately we haven't heard of Sweethearts' Nite at Disney World - Disney World does host some very fun After Hours events that you can read about here, but none with the Sweetheart theming :) Hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 19, 2020 at 6:45 p.m. Cat Says...

I feel the need to post about our experience at Pixar Nite at California Adventure on March 5th, 2020. It could not have been worse and was totally not worth the money. The lines were so much worse than during the day -- and that includes the lines for food. It was the biggest waste of money ever. I feel like the After Dark events at Disneyland might be better because there are more rides, but we were just so disappointed with this, we will not do it again. We rode 2 rides in 2 hours, tried waiting in line for food but the line didn't move after 10 minutes so we got out. We finally left and went over to Disneyland Park so we could actually ride some rides and we were able to do a ton. We were not interested in any of the characters, but the lines for those were crazy, too. So much longer than I have seen during park hours. Just not worth the money at all!

Reply
Mar 23, 2020 at 1:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cat!

We are so sorry to hear that. We did not attend that event and had good luck with short ride waits at the other events in both parks once the party officially got started. Unfortunately those character lines are always so long! Your opinion will be valuable in helping other readers decide if After Dark Parties are worth it to them. Thank you for sharing!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 10, 2020 at 1:01 p.m. Dee Says...

Will these be the only four coming this year for Disneyland After Dark? I really enjoyed Hero's Assemble but don't know if it will be returning...

Reply
Mar 16, 2020 at 4:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dee!

There are actually five events that we know of this year, the fifth being the Star Wars Nite in August. We do not know if Heroes Assemble will return as a theme, but we are hopping excited about Avengers Campus opening in July 2020!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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