For the first time, Disney is releasing its lineup of seasonal events and limited-time festivities for the coming year, with a full calendar of celebrations in 2024 at Disneyland and California Adventure. This shares a list of the special entertainment offerings, date ranges for each event, and our commentary about what’s coming.
With the release of these dates, it’s also worth noting that Disney has already announced a variety of discount Disneyland ticket options and special offers for the first half of 2024. For Winter & Spring 2024, families can get greater value with a special offer on theme park tickets for kids, which can be purchased for as low as $50 per day.
For winter through early summer visits, the 2024 Southern California Resident Disneyland Ticket Deal is also making a return. It’s likely that Californians will get another ticket promotion for the second half of summer and early fall, too. Anyway, here’s the calendar of events at Disneyland Resort in 2024…
Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure (January 23 to February 18, 2024):A tribute to Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean traditions, this multicultural celebration rings in the Year of the Dragon with Asian-inspired food and beverages, vibrant décor and Mushu leading the way in “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession.”
Celebrate Gospel at Disneyland (February 17 and 24, 2024): Performing at the Fantasyland Theatre, the 2024 “Celebrate Gospel” concerts will be headlined by Marvin Sapp (Feb. 17) and Tasha Cobbs Leonard (Feb. 24). “Celebrate Gospel” is an annual tribute to Gospel music that brings together award-winning music artists and community choirs from across Southern California.
Anaheim Ducks Days at Disney California Adventure (February 22-23, 2024): In celebration of the Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club’s 30th anniversary, theDisneyland Resort and the Anaheim Ducks team up for a two-day event in Hollywood Land, including a celebratory cavalcade, fan zone with themed activities and photo opportunities, plus appearances by select current and legacy team players.
Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival (March 1 to April 22, 2024): The gastronomic extravaganza serves up creative foods and beverages, cooking demonstrations and family-friendly entertainment inspired by the diverse cultures and cuisines of the Golden State. The popular attraction, Soarin’ Over California, also returns for a limited time.
Season of the Force at Disneyland (April 5 to June 2, 2024) – Season of the Force arrives at Disneyland with Hyperspace Mountain and specially themed food and beverage, merchandise and more for a limited time. Debuting during the celebration, guests can embark on new adventures aboard Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will provide fresh perspective on the fireworks above Disneyland, with galactic music sweeping through the spires.
Pixar Fest (April 26 to August 4, 2024) – The reimagined Pixar Fest returns to the Disneyland Resort from April 26 through Aug. 4, 2024, bringing guests together for a celebration of friendship and beyond. From colorful décor and themed menu items to commemorative merchandise, the Disneyland Resort theme parks, hotels and Downtown Disney District will have a Pixar twist of friendly fun for a limited time.
This festival of friendship is highlighted by heartwarming entertainment featuring Pixar stories. An all-new daytime parade, “Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration!”, will debut at Disney California Adventure. At Disneyland, the emotional “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” returns with some all-new scenes. During the celebration, guests may encounter new characters such as Ember and Wade from “Elemental,” Red Panda Mei from “Turning Red” and more.
“Fantasmic!” (May 24, 2024) – The fan-favorite Fantasmic will return in modified form and again illuminate the Rivers of America at Disneyland. Fantasmic will feature new special effects and a new battle scene between Sorcerer Mickey and Maleficent, in place of the dragon Audio Animatronics figure that caught fire.
Most notably is the return of the iconic Peter Pan scene. In this beloved nighttime spectacular, fantastic events and images from Disney stories come to life through soaring music, dozens of live performers, character appearances and state-of-the-art projections.
Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort (August 23 to October 31, 2024): Wicked fun for all ages, this spellbinding season transforms the resort with autumn décor, characters dressed in hauntingly haute Halloween outfits and uniquely themed attractions.
Plaza de la Familia at Disney California Adventure (August 23 to November 2, 2024): The everlasting bonds of family and Mexican traditions of Día de los Muertos are honored through a cultural experience featuring storytelling and music from Pixar’s “Coco.”
Holidays at the Disneyland Resort(Begins November 15, 2024): Family and friends can celebrate the season with the lively Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure, plus seasonal overlays on beloved attractions, cherished holiday spectaculars and dazzling wintry décor throughout the resort.
Guests can play the night away during fan-favorite after-hours events scheduled in 2024. These themed, separately ticketed events include pre-party park mix-in, shorter wait times for select attractions, unlimited select Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads from the event, and more.
Disneyland After Dark (select nights from January through June): Disneyland will host four themed soirées packed with unique entertainment, rare character encounters and distinctive menus of sweet treats and savory snacks.
Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party (Returning in 2024): Disney California Adventure will throw family-friendly Halloween parties including immersive treat trails, rare character sightings and unique entertainment. For this spirited occasion, guests are invited to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes.
That’s not all that’s on the horizon at Disneyland Resort in 2024. The reimagined Pixar Place Hotel opens January 30, 2024, marking the official transformation of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel into the first Pixar hotel in the United States. The 15-story hotel overlooking Disney California Adventure will offer Pixar-themed guest rooms, new dining featuring Great Maple restaurant, a rooftop pool area, play court and more.
When the new attraction Tiana’s Bayou Adventure debuts at Disneyland later in 2024, guests will embark on a musical journey inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Princess and the Frog.” The stories of Princess Tiana also extend to Tiana’s Palace quick-service restaurant and Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets retail shop in New Orleans Square.
The evolution of the Downtown Disney District continues to take shape with the openings of Paseo and Céntrico, serving Mexican cuisine by Michelin-starred Chef Carlos Gaytán, and Din Tai Fung, a world-renowned Chinese restaurant known for its soup dumplings and noodles, in 2024.
Restaurants and boutiques in the area will also continue to offer new must-have merchandise and menu items to discover. Musical entertainment, activities and events make the newly opened Downtown Disney LIVE! stage and lawn on the district’s west end an ideal location for gathering and relaxation.
In terms of commentary, there are only a couple things I want to discuss and draw your attention to with this calendar news–the rest we’ll cover in separate posts.
First, Season of the Force sounds like it’ll be very different than when that event debuted at Disneyland back in 2015. Noteworthy here is that Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will get its new destinations and Hyperspace Mountain will return.
Also, don’t sleep on Star Wars music playing during the Disneyland fireworks in Galaxy’s Edge. Outside Docking Bay 7 is actually a great spot for fireworks viewing (see my photo above), but it has always felt kinda lifeless due to a lack of music. It’s completely understandable that Disneyland wouldn’t pipe-in the normal music given the level of immersion and thematic integrity on Batuu.
This is a brilliant compromise, and one that should be awesome. Honestly, I hope this leads to more music being played in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I know some diehard Keepers of the Sacred Timeline (or whatever) will disagree, but the land would feel like more of an epic adventure with a cinematic score.
Second, the Peter Pan scene is returning to Fantasmic.
The replacement of Peter Pan with Pirates of the Caribbean on the Sailing Ship Columbia (which occurred in Summer 2017 with Fantasmic 2.0) has long been a sore subject with diehard Disneyland fans, who felt Jack Sparrow and co. didn’t fit Fantasmic. (There are actually a lot of little quibbles that its more fervent fans have with music and other changes.)
I don’t have a particularly strong opinion on this. There’s always a divide on this between fans and casual guests, with the latter loving all things Jack Sparrow. It’s not just a Fantasmic thing–Pirates of the Caribbean has been injected into a bunch of nighttime entertainment that was otherwise animated movies. If you think about it, I suppose it is a bit jarring. But Pirates of the Caribbean is larger than life, and its scenes usually feature fire. Everyone loves fire, it’s human nature.
Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing the Peter Pan scene again. I just wonder if this will be a permanent change, or done to placate fans who will otherwise realize the modified Fantasmic is a ‘b-mode’ version of the show. I’ll be interesting to see what other updates are made.
Finally, we’ve received several reader questions about when Disneyland After Dark dates and themes would be announced. Honestly, I thought that’s what this was going to be. Based on past precedent, those should be released any day now. I’d expect them really soon if Disneyland is worried about pent-up demand fizzling out, as they’ll want as much lead-time to sell out the events.
Ultimately, we’re really looking forward to 2024 at Disneyland. We plan on spending a lot of time in the parks, attending every single one of the major celebrations multiple times. We’re also very curious about the date changes for Halloween and the Holidays, but that’s another topic for another post (or two).
What are you looking forward to at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure in 2024? Excited about this slate of special events, or were you hoping for something more or different? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!