Planning a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth? You may want to consider picking your dates based on specific Disneyland events! While the parks are delights unto themselves and reasons enough to visit, the Disneyland Resort offers a ton of fun annual and one-time events that may just be the cherry on top. Our Frog Family gets an extra leap of excitement during these special events. It's also good to know what events are hoppening when you visit because they can influence Disneyland crowd levels. In this guide to Disneyland events, we've also included a few of the more popular "unofficial" events, since they impact crowd levels.
We have listed the confirmed events, as well as approximate dates for events that normally occur for your planning purposes. Use this guide to Disneyland events when you're checking out the best times to visit Disneyland and as a companion to planning your Los Angeles visit.
Keep in mind that Disneyland hinted the Main Street Electrical Parade will return soon. As soon as we hear an official return date, we will add it to our schedule of Disneyland events, as the parade only tends to stick around for a limited time. Other longtime nighttime spectaculars such as Fantasmic! and World of Color are set to return in 2022 as well, so keep an eye out for their comeback.
Schedule of Events at Disneyland in 2022
Three Kings' Day — Jan. 3-9, 2022
When the Christmas season has come to a close, there is still more to celebrate in the new year. The twelfth day of Christmas is celebrated in Mexico and South America. At Disney California Adventure, you can celebrate Three Kings' Day with decorations, coloring, creating a custom jeweled crown, listening to stories or trying traditional treats such as Rosca de Reyes cake.
Lunar New Year — Jan. 21 to Feb. 13, 2022
The Lunar New Year Celebration is a multi-cultural event that includes food, authentic performances and your favorite Disney characters. This event takes place at Paradise Gardens inside Disney California Adventure. Colorful lanterns and other décor welcome you, while hanging banners written in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese wish you a Happy Lunar New Year. You can join the time-honored tradition of writing wishes of good fortune and happiness for your friends and family, receive customized Chinese calligraphy and brush art, color, do free crafts and purchase some traditional Lunar New Year treats. You can find delectable Asian meals at Paradise Garden Grill, or try a sampling of Asian cuisine from the Lunar New Year festival marketplace kiosks and other participating restaurants.
Lunar New Year is a well-attended event. The lines to greet characters can get quite long, so hop in line early (by 11 a.m.) for the shortest wait to meet characters (such as Mickey, Minnie, The Three Little Pigs, Mulan or Mushu) dressed in their Lunar New Year’s best. In 2022, we'll be celebrating the Year of the Tiger, so for the first time, Tigger will join in the festivities. Raya from "Raya and the Last Dragon" will also appear for the first time at Disneyland Resort. She'll be at a themed setting in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail during the afternoon and evening.
Hosted by Mulan and Mushu, Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession will return, celebrating the Lunar New Year with colorfully costumed dancers, a dragon and drummers.
FEBRUARY, MARCH AND APRIL
Celebrate Gospel! — Select days in February 2022
This musical celebration takes place in Disneyland Park in February. Disneyland Resort celebrates the soulful spirit of Gospel music. This expanded event features live choir performances, each sharing its own distinctive style and inspiration. Celebrate Gospel moves to the Fantasyland Theater, where guests can enjoy uplifting choir performances on select days in February.
Super Bowl Surrounding Days — Feb. 9-14, 2022
New for 2022, ESPN is hosting a five-day Super Bowl Tailgate party at Disney California Adventure and in Downtown Disney. What can visitors expect? ESPN will be broadcasting news, analysis and commentary segments in front of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure in the days leading up to the game, which is on Feb. 13, 2022. ESPN will be broadcasting from California Adventure between 12 and 6 p.m. on Feb. 9-12 and 8-11 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. Guests need a theme park ticket and reservation to watch.
Guests can enjoy an outdoor Super Bowl fan experience at Downtown Disney from 1 to 7 p.m. Feb. 10-13, 2022. It's in the area between Tortilla Joe's and Splitsville Luxury Lanes. Join free games, activities and giveaways, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limited number of free giveaways. ESPN is giving away a “Postseasoning” spice blend that is made of salt, garlic, paprika, black pepper, cayenne and Korean red chili flakes. We love free stuff!
In normal years, Super Bowl Sunday tends to be a significantly more crowded day. Depending on the location of the Super Bowl and the team that wins, there can be a Super Bowl Parade the day after the Super Bowl (sometimes they go to Disney World). With the game being played at SoFi Stadium in the Los Angeles area, it brings the game to nearly Disneyland's backyard. That means In 2022, the Super Bowl will likely bring in additional crowds as attendees hop over to the Happiest Place on Earth before or after the big game.
When Peyton Manning announced he was going to Disneyland to celebrate the Denver Broncos' victory in Super Bowl 50, thousands of fans flocked to the park to celebrate too. The day after the Super Bowl may affect crowd levels and park entertainment for the day … or not. There is no way to plan for this, but there is usually an announcement right after the big game. If you are in town the day after the Super Bowl, you might want to take these factors into consideration when planning your itinerary.
Valentine’s Celebrations — The weeks leading up to Valentine's Day
Love is definitely in the air at Disneyland! This year, you can expect special food and beverage offerings all around the resort, including the Downtown Disney district.
Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts' Nite — Feb. 1, 3, 8, 10 and 14, 2022
The popular Sweethearts' Nite will return in 2022 to make Disneyland the most romantic place on earth! Grab your sweetheart and plan a date night at Disneyland. This separately ticketed event inside Disneyland Park takes place after the park closes, with access to the park starting at 5 p.m. (no park reservation required). You can expect:
- A special themed fireworks show
- Projection effects on Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street, U.S.A.
- A jazz ensemble aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat and more live entertainment
- Selfies with some of your favorite Disney couples
- Opportunities to meet darling Disney couples, including Cinderella and Prince Charming, Aladdin and Jasmine, and, of course, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
- Romantic photo-ops themed after sweet scenes from iconic Disney films, plus unlimited digital PhotoPass downloads
- Valentine's-inspired décor, food and beverage offerings
Villains Day: Stalk Around the Park — Feb. 6, 2022
This unofficial fashion theme day is one in which fans of villains show off their villain-themed attire (all following the Disneyland guidelines for costumes and attire, of course). So polish your apple and sharpen your horns to join their flock for group photos, rides and other dark fun. This is not put on by Disney but by other parkgoers.
Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival — March 4 to April 26, 2022
This is a California foodie's paradise, and one of the top Disneyland events! Taking place each year during March and April, Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival offers guests the chance to partake in delicious food and wine offerings every day, plus special workshops, classes and experiences on the weekends. Tad and Lily love participating in Jr. Chef with Goofy, and we all love the free treat that comes with the free experience. Guests can visit Festival Marketplaces themed around different tastes and drinks of California and reserve their seats at premium experiences with famous chefs. You’ll also encounter musical entertainment and special character meet-and-greets, including opportunities to meet some rarely seen characters. You can do some shopping, with a new line of festival-themed headwear, apparel, décor and cooking gadgets. The Sip and Savor Pass will return!
If you have Sip and Savor tags still attached to your lanyard from the canceled 2020 event, you can get them refunded. Call (888) 231-7639 for assistance or email the Help Center. Use the pull-down subject menu and select "2020 Food & Wine Festival Sip and Savor Pass Refunds."
New Orleans Square Mardi Gras — TBD for 2022 (date varies each year)
While it's always festive inside New Orleans Square at Disneyland Park, the area gets decorated even more for Mardi Gras. New Orleans Square gets festooned with beads and masks, and the restaurants offer themed foods and free beads for guests to wear. The real party is happening at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, where you can enjoy Mardi Gras decorations and a special menu that includes Fat Tuesday specials, colorful Mardi Gras Bread Pudding and some discounted drinks.
You can always put on your Mardi Gras Minnie Mouse ear headband and celebrate Mardi Gras year-round by eating the New Orleans-inspired foods inside Disneyland and trying to catch beads when the bands play in New Orleans Square. You can also hop aboard the Mark Twain and maybe even meet or dance with characters from "The Princess and the Frog!" Look for special menu items at Cafe Orleans. This is not a big event at Disneyland. In 2022, Mardi Gras falls on March 1.
Mini Gay Day — March 5, 2022
Gay Days at Disneyland are traditionally held in the fall (now around mid-September), but there is a mini Gay Day casual meet-up in March. This is not an official Disney event, but it can affect crowds, and you’ll see a number of rainbow-colored Disneyland treats. Expect to see folks wearing red shirts in celebration!
Egg-stravaganza — March to April 2022
Hop over to the Disneyland Resort for the biggest Easter egg hunt around! In 2021, it hoppened at Downtown Disney. Egg-stravaganza is a fun (but low-key) scavenger hunt that sends guests scurrying around the Disneyland Resort to find hidden eggs during April. The location may vary per year — it could be Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park or Downtown Disney.
Guests can purchase a game board map and stickers and record their finds by placing the corresponding egg sticker on their map to represent that location. Returning your map to a redemption location is a rewarding experience. (You can actually claim your collectible egg award before you finish because you are bound to be successful in your hunt.) In normal years, keep your eye out for Easter Bunny meet and greets in the park during this season, as well as springtime balloons and treats!
Dapper Day — April 24, 2022
Some of the "unofficial" Disneyland events are the best. There are two Dapper Days each year at Disneyland. Guests dress up in their vintage “DisneyBound” to pay homage to the way guests used to dress when Disneyland first opened in the 1950s. These events are unofficial and independently organized, but they do affect crowds. The Dapper Day Expo is at the Disneyland Hotel April 23-24, 2022, and you'll likely see people dressed up both days in the parks that weekend.
Disneyland After Dark: Villains Night — March 8 and 10, 2022
This Disneyland After Dark event was supposed to take place in April 2020 but has been rescheduled for March 2022 (a ticket purchased in 2020 will automatically be eligible for the rescheduled event). This wicked party will unleash your inner villain! This sinister soiree takes place at Disney California Adventure after the park closes, but you can enter the park as early as 5 p.m. (no theme park reservation required). It's time to start scaring up that perfect DisneyBound outfit or costume inspired by your favorite Disney Villain.
Here's what you can expect:
- The Cauldron, a cabaret with a cast of outlaws singing and dancing their way through a riff-raff-lovin’ revue
- Spellbinding DJ-hosted dance parties and singalongs throughout the park
- Encounters with Disney’s famous fiends or their henchmen
- Photo-ops themed to popular villain lairs and thrones, plus unlimited digital PhotoPass downloads
- Dastardly décor, food and beverage offerings
If you previously purchased a ticket for the 2020 event and do not wish to exchange your ticket or missed the exchange window (which ended Jan. 8, 2022), you may call 714-300-7807 for your options.
MAY AND JUNE
Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite — May 3, 4 and 27, 2022
This Disneyland After Dark event had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19, but now it's been rescheduled for May 2022! This party allows you to use the Force after Disneyland Park closes. Fans may access the park beginning at 6 p.m. Entertainment includes a special Star Wars–themed fireworks spectacular, March of the First Order featuring Captain Phasma and Stormtroopers, a galactic dance party, character encounters and more. Guests can enjoy the enhanced decor, event merchandise, and inspired food and beverages. Grab your lightsaber and prepare to pose for Star Wars–themed photo opportunities (unlimited PhotoPass photo downloads are included).
If you previously purchased a ticket for the 2020 event and you do not wish to exchange your ticket or missed the exchange window (which ended Jan. 8, 2022), you may call 714-300-7807 for your options. If you wish to go May 27, you can exchange your old ticket for a new one, but with an additional fee equal to the difference in price of the 2020 and 2022 tickets.
Bats Day Fun in the Fun Park — May 8, 2022
You can expect to see guests dressed in goth, steampunk, Halloween, rockabilly and more for Bats Day. Bats Day, like Dapper Day, is independently organized and usually takes place in May. This event always makes me long for my frog goth phase. There have been rumors that Bats Day organizers may be ending Bats Day, but it's still hoppening in the park. (The events that occur outside the park are canceled). You bet this frog squad will show up all in black!
Disney Channel Fan Fest — TBD (the previous event May 9, 2020, was canceled)
Come meet and mingle with your favorite Disney Channel stars. Events include:
- Disney's "QUIZney" trivia challenge
- Learn-to-draw sessions with creators from Disney Television Animation
- Sneak peek at upcoming "Upside-Down Magic" movie
- Dance parties themed after "Descendants" and "ZOMBIES"
- Photo-ops with Disney Channel stars*
- Cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A. featuring celebrities and characters
*Be sure to arrive early and collect a wristband at park opening on a first-come, first-served basis.
Grad Nites — May and June
Throughout May and June, you may see daytime crowds surge with high school seniors in both parks for local high school Grad Nite celebrations. After 9 p.m., the parties move to a location in Disney California Adventure Park, but Grad Nite celebrators may be in either park during the morning and throughout the day. You can check the Disneyland Calendar up to six weeks in advance to confirm which days host Grad Nites in 2022.
Grad Nite dates for 2022 are:
- May 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 25, 26 and 31
- June 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 17
Fourth of July
Disneyland Park celebrates America's independence on July 4th with red, white and blue decorations, special eats and drinks and "Disney's Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky." This can be one of the busiest days of the year. Disney California Adventure also usually has some fireworks in a patriotic salute before World of Color.
Well, 2021 was no ordinary year. For last year's Fourth of July, we had something extra special to celebrate. The Mickey's Mix Magic show returned nightly to Disneyland Park. This show has lasers, projection, pyrotechnics and a soundtrack that will have you dancing in the streets. "C'mon ev'rybody get your ears on! It's a good, good, good, good time!"
Disneyland’s Birthday — July 17, 2022
"To all who come to this happy place; welcome." Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955. Every year on this anniversary, the park celebrates Disneyland’s birthday. We'll be celebrating 67 years of Disneyland in 2022! There are usually special souvenirs available on that day, and some people choose to dress dapper for the occasion. You may expect a birthday cavalcade or other form of entertainment with many Disney characters at points throughout the day. You may be able to take pictures holding birthday signs. Some people try to attend every year despite the crowds. Even though Disneyland does not actively promote this day (except on large anniversary years), everyone seems to be hopping in droves to the park to join this birthday party. If you plan to attend this day, arrive early and expect typical summer crowds.
Hop over to our post on the Disneyland birthday celebration for tips on celebrating and to see the birthday merchandise.
SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER
Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort — September to October 2022
Halloween is a big-time affair at Disneyland Park, with plenty of decorations, entertainment and other goodies that typically take place early September through Oct. 31. Main Street, U.S.A. is turned into a pumpkin festival, with hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins on display. You can gather with some of Disney's biggest villains, along with other favorite Disney characters, for meet-and-greets — in costumes, of course! Jack Skellington and Sally are popular in New Orleans Square. After they leave for the day, you can meet characters from the Haunted Mansion. Cruella de Vil and the Queen of Hearts stalk about Main Street and near the park entrance. We've spotted Maleficent and the Evil Queen near the castle too.
Guests can enjoy seasonal entertainment, plus special eats and drinks. There are also seasonal overlays to some of the resort's very best rides, including the Haunted Mansion Holiday hosted by Jack Skellington. The Halloween Screams show is now a projection and special effects show that will light up Disneyland Park most nights of the Halloween season. The show is enhanced with fireworks on select nights.
Disney California Adventure Park gets into the spirit too. Haul-O-Ween in Cars Land has the residents of Radiator Springs dressing in silly costumes and decorating their homes and shops. Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree are two ride overlays in Cars Land. Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission Breakout! also gets a Halloween overlay, becoming Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark after 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on party days).
Disneyland Halloween Time festivities are included with regular park admission! We've got a full guide to Halloween Time, so be sure to check it out!
Oogie Boogie Bash — Select nights in September and October 2022
On select nights during Halloween Time, Disney California Adventure plays host to the new Halloween Party — Oogie Boogie Bash. The whole family is invited to dress up in costumes and trick or treat throughout the park. Some of the treat trails are themed after villains and have a live villain to entertain you as you gather candy. The magical Villains Grove is a delight. The party takes place on select nights in September and October. You'll enjoy character encounters with Disney Villains and photo-ops with rare Disney characters and Pixar pals. Catch the Frightfully Fun Parade as it passes through the park with Jack Skellington, Mickey, Minnie and a gang of villains. Hop over to our post on Oogie Boogie Bash for more screaming details.
Plaza de la Familia — September to early November 2022
Plaza de la Familia celebrates the Disney-Pixar film “Coco” and the bonds of family at Disney California Adventure. Taking place at Paradise Gardens, this celebration features Mariachi music, delicious Mexican foods, a Tree of Life interactive photo exhibit, wing photo walls, free coloring and crafts and the chance to meet Miguel. The highlight is “A Musical Celebration of Coco” — a show that features dancing, storytellers and original songs from “Coco,” along with an amazing puppet performance from Miguel and some dancing skeletons.
Gay Days — September 2022
Gay Days is an independently organized, three-day event that typically takes place in the fall. There are off-site events and parties associated with Gay Days Anaheim, but there are also days when attendees hit the parks. Participants wear red shirts. In 2021, the official Gay Days were Saturday, Sept. 18 at Disneyland Park and Sunday, Sept. 19 at Disney California Adventure Park. This event can affect crowd levels. You can read all about Gay Days here.
CHOC Walk in the Park — May 22, 2022 (virtual)
The CHOC Walk is a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. When it takes place at Disneyland (usually toward the end of summer), it greatly affects crowds, especially for morning arrivals. The event can even switch up the early entry park order for the weekend. It includes free parking for participants, plus the ability to buy discount park tickets (five tickets per wristband). Due to COVID-19, the 2020 event at Disneyland was canceled. The walk moved to a virtual event on March 20, 2021, and is also virtual in May 2022, so it won't be a factor this year but could return in person in future years.
NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
Dapper Day Fall Outing — Nov. 5-6, 2022
The second Dapper Day event of the year usually takes place early to mid-November. In 2022, the weekend-long event will fall on Nov. 5 and 6. The Saturday event includes an Expo at the Disneyland Hotel, where you can find all your dapper duds. The actual Dapper Day in the park is usually on Sunday.
Mickey's and Minnie's Birthday — Nov. 18, 2022
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse have the same birthday. While this is not a planned event that you'll find on any schedule, if you hoppen to visit Disneyland this day, you might get treated to some birthday surprises to celebrate these special characters. Disneyland has been known to hand out free special birthday buttons. In 2021, there was also a special birthday cavalcade. Mickey and Minnie might even put on their birthday celebration outfits.
Holidays at the Disneyland Resort — November 2022 to early January 2023
Like Halloween, Disneyland goes all out during Christmas. The parks transform into a winter wonderland from mid-November until early January. This is one of the biggest Disneyland events! Sleeping Beauty Castle is alight in sparkling icicles and thousands of shimmering lights. Snow falls nightly. Beautiful Main Street, U.S.A. is decked out in fabulous holiday décor. Jack Skellington's takeover continues at Haunted Mansion Holiday. The "it's a small world" overlay is the merriest cruise that ever set sail. Once the sun goes down, the façade turns into one of the most beautiful holiday lights displays you'll ever see … be sure to catch the ceremonial lighting and projection show each evening! You'll definitely want to stay for A Christmas Fantasy Parade and the Believe … in Holiday Magic fireworks show too! Santa Claus greets guests in both parks. You can find more details in our guide to Holidays at Disneyland.
Across the way at Disney California Adventure Park, Buena Vista Street and Cars Land are decorated for Disney's Festival of Holidays, which offers many festival booths with tasty treats and musical selections representing several cultures.
There is a nightly Christmas tree lighting on Buena Vista Street, as well as a special holiday World of Color. You’ll want to join Mickey, Minnie and the Three Caballeros at the Disney Viva Navidad! Street Party. Two Cars Land rides receive holiday overlays: Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl both have exciting holiday songs. The celebration wraps up with Three Kings' Day in early January.
Disney Merriest Nites — Select nights in November and December
The first after-hours Christmas event debuted at Disneyland Park in 2021, and we'll eagerly wait to see if it returns in 2022. The separately ticketed party took place from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. and ticket holders were able to enter the park as early as 5 p.m. Different themed parties, each hosted by a Disney or Pixar character, hoppened in six different lands each night. The parties included live bands and dance parties. Hop over to our festive guide to Disney Merriest Nites post for more details.
Thanks for reading our guide to events at Disneyland! It's always a great time to visit the parks, but especially with so many terrific Disneyland events. Have you visited during any of these events? Share your memories in the comments below. Have a question about any of the events? Ask away!
Related: Best Time To Visit Disneyland