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 can 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 the Main Street Electrical Parade will return April 22, 2022, for a limited time. Other longtime nighttime spectaculars such as Disneyland Forever and World of Color are also set to return April 22, as well as Fantasmic! on May 28, 2022. The returning entertainment will impact crowd levels these days.
Schedule of Events at Disneyland in 2022 and 2023
MARCH AND APRIL 2022
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 seminars, tastings and experiences on the weekends. Tad and Lily loved meeting Chef Goofy and decorating cupcakes at the new "Alice's Wonderland Bakery" Unbirthday Party.
Guests can visit Festival Marketplaces themed around different tastes and drinks of California and reserve their seats at a Winemaker's Reception. 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 returned!
Eggstravaganza — March 31 to April 17, 2022
Hop over to the Disneyland Resort for the biggest Easter egg hunt around! In 2022, it is hoppening in three locations. You can do it at Downtown Disney, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Eggstravaganza 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. The redemption locations are Plaza Point in Disneyland, Elias & Co. in California Adventure, and both Pin Traders and World of Disney at Downtown Disney. You can redeem it through April 30, 2022.
Guests can purchase a game board map and stickers ($9.99) 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. 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.
Disney Junior Fun Fest — April 29, 2022
The first-ever Disney Junior Fun Fest comes to Disney California Adventure but for one day only. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get a sneak peek at upcoming Disney Junior series, special announcements and surprise appearances. A "Doc McStuffins" stage show highlights 10 years of the series. The morning kicks off with a cavalcade of Disney Junior characters.
At a returning activity from the Food and Wine Festival, kids can decorate a cupcake at “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party.” It's inspired by the new Disney Junior series. You can take pics of your tadpoles at the “Spidey and His Amazing Friends” photo wall just around the corner at the Hollywood Backlot. (Psst ... it's already up now!)
New Orleans Square Mardi Gras — March 1, 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. In 2022, the real party hoppened at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, where guests enjoyed Mardi Gras decorations and a special menu that included 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 French Market or sometimes Cafe Orleans. This is not a big event at Disneyland.
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!
Disneyland After Dark: Villains Night — March 8 and 10, 2022
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
MAY AND JUNE
Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite — May 3, 4 and 27, 2022
The 2020 Disneyland After Dark event had to be rescheduled, but now it's set 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.
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 it's also virtual in May 2022, so it won't be a factor this year but could return in person in future years.
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
And speaking of Grad Nite ... if you've always wished you could go ...
Disneyland After Dark: Grad Nite Reunion—June 23, 28 and 30, 2022
An all-new Disneyland After Dark party kicks off in June at Disney California Adventure. Tickets are on sale as of April 28, 2022 (no sooner than 12 p.m.) Party attire and showing school spirit are encouraged. The party takes place from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. with early mix-in time as of 5 p.m. It costs $150 per person and parking is not included.
The party, which spans six decades of music and fun, includes:
- Sightings of beloved Disney characters throughout the evening with a few proudly wearing their cap and gown
- A march-along pep-rally style with some favorite Disney friends
- Dance through the decades to hits of today and yesterday
- Retro photo opportunities with unlimited PhotoPass downloads
- Unique, cafeteria-inspired food and beverage offerings
- Special after-hours access to most of the park’s attractions
Black Music Month — June 1 through July 4, 2022
June 1 through July 4, enjoy daily live entertainment and specialty food offerings, art and more at Disneyland Resort. At Disney California Adventure park, daily live music celebrates Black music genres from Doo-Wop to Motown. Get caught up in the nostalgia of Carthay Circle and enjoy Philly Phonics, an a cappella vocal group that performs snazzy, jazzy, tunes from the 1920s through today. Five & Dime will also sing 1920s and ‘30s tunes! In the evening, the Hollywood Backlot hosts a special block party, featuring nightly live musical acts.
At Downtown Disney, the art exhibit, “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” can be found adjacent to the Star Wars Trading Post. You can also enjoy nightly music and a DJ on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
At Disneyland, the Tale of the Lion King kicks off for summer on May 28. In the Fantasyland Theater, the Storytellers of the Pride Lands present Simba’s journey from cub to king in a unique story-theater style with live music, dialogue, dance and percussion. You can purchase special food items at Troubadour Tavern.
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.
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.
CHOC Adventure in the Park (New!) — Aug. 27, 2022
A new event is hoppin' up this year. The CHOC Walk celebrates 30 years of walking for kids with an extra magical Saturday evening event in Disney California Adventure park. More details to come.
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.
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.
JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH 2023
Three Kings' Day — January 2023
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 — January to February 2023
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. You can meet characters (such as Mickey, Minnie, The Three Little Pigs, Mulan or Mushu) dressed in their Lunar New Year’s best. In 2022, we celebrated the Year of the Tiger, so for the first time, Tigger joined in the festivities. Raya from "Raya and the Last Dragon" also appeared for the first time at Disneyland Resort. (2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit!) Hosted by Mulan and Mushu, Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession celebrates the Lunar New Year with colorfully costumed dancers, a dragon and drummers.
Super Bowl Surrounding Days — Feb. 9-13, 2023
Most 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 Cavalcade the day after the Super Bowl (sometimes it hoppens at Disney World). 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.
With the 2022 game being played at SoFi Stadium in the Los Angeles area, it brought the game to nearly Disneyland's backyard. That meant, in 2022, the Super Bowl Championship cavalcade hoppened at Disneyland the very next day. There were so many guests in Rams jerseys. Many fans flocked to the park to celebrate too; although being a local team, many people came just for the cavalcade and left after, so it did not seem to affect ride wait times. It was frogciting to see the players with Mickey on a float and all the confetti flying down Main Street U.S.A.
The 2023 Super Bowl will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12. Maybe Disneyland will get to host another cavalcade (our froggy fingers are crossed), but this is not usually announced until after the game.
New in 2022, ESPN hosted a five-day Super Bowl Tailgate party at Disney California Adventure and in Downtown Disney. ESPN broadcasted news, analysis and commentary segments in front of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure in the days leading up to the game on Feb. 13, 2022. ESPN broadcasted from California Adventure between 12 and 6 p.m. on Feb. 9-12 and 8-11 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. Guests needed a theme park ticket and reservation to watch.
Guests also enjoyed an outdoor Super Bowl fan experience at Downtown Disney from 1 to 7 p.m. Feb. 10-13, 2022. There were free games, activities and giveaways, which were available on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as a limited number of free giveaways.
Valentine’s Day Celebrations — The weeks leading up to Valentine's Day
Love is definitely in the air at Disneyland! You can expect special food and beverage offerings all around the resort, including the Downtown Disney district, in the first half of February.
Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts' Nite — Usually February
The popular Sweethearts' Nite returned in 2022 to make Disneyland the most romantic place on earth — and we hope it comes back in 2023! Plan a date night with your sweetheart 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
Celebrate Soulfully for Black History Month — February 2023
Disneyland celebrates Black History Month with musical acts, art and more. In 2022, festivities included:
- Celebrate Gospel! at the Fantasyland Theater in Disneyland Park: Award-winning Gospel singer, Kierra Sheard performed with a capella Gospel group Sacred Groove. And the Grammy award winners, Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music, along with The Singers of Soul, took the stage.
- Troubadour Tavern opened up to sell snacks, including an apple hand pie. Families did crafts and shared their thoughts on a gratitude wall at the back of the theater.
- At Downtown Disney, nightly outdoor concerts featured R&B, Gospel, reggae, funk and jazz music throughout February. The groups included Island Reggae, Del Atkins and the LYFE Band, Midnight Hour, Philly Phonics, Forward Motion, StandardMel & Friends, Urban Music Society and LALA Brass.
- Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen offered nightly live jazz piano music.
- Chalk muralist Marcella Swett created a new chalk mural each week.
- The Post 21 cart offered a collection of modern merchandise from Black-owned businesses, curated by a Los Angeles-based mother and daughter duo. On Feb. 27, Post 21 had a book signing with Channing and Chelsea Moreland, authors of “B is for Black Girl.”
- At Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, The Mood Indigo Group played live jazz in the lobby each evening, and guests enjoyed a special menu of wine, beers and spirits from a Black-owned business at the Hearthstone Lounge.
Villains Day: Stalk Around the Park — Early February
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.
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