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Special Events at Disneyland 2024: Complete Guide for Every Season

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While a Disneyland vacation is special any time, the resort is known for multiple special events, festivals, and holiday celebrations that happen at different times every year. These celebrations often feature unique decorations, special foods, and one-time only entertainment. Naturally, many Disneyland guests want to time their vacation for when one of these special offerings are happening.

Disneyland Castle with Balloons

I’ve been to Disneyland in every season many times and can compare and contrast all of these choices. If you are trying to pick just the right time to visit Disneyland, here is an overview of all the events, food festivals, and holiday celebrations that happen each year to plan for your next trip.

Usually, Disneyland doesn’t announce the exact dates for special events and holiday festivals until maybe 3-6 months before they start. This makes things a bit challenging for guests who want to plan much farther in advance. Luckily, for the first time, Disneyland just released the full 2024 event schedule on December 4, 2023! This will make it much easier for those of you who prefer long-term planning.

Disneyland 2024 Calendar

If it’s been a few years since you’ve been to the Disneyland Resort, remember that not everything at Disneyland is entirely as it was in previous years. Be sure to check out these posts for even more of the most current Disneyland vacation planning details:

The ultimate guide to Disneyland's many special events, seasonal celebrations, and holiday festivals. Find out what is offered in Anaheim, California each season of the year to help pick the best time for a visit!

(Trips With Tykes uses affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through links in this post. See our full disclosure policy linked in the menu at the bottom of this site.)

Disneyland Special Events Happening Every Season of the Year

Here are all the special events and celebrations that happen each year at the Disneyland Resort, as well as all the offerings that have been announced for 2024.

Lunar New Year at Disneyland (January & February)

Disneyland Lunar New Year Decor in Disney California Adventure

Dates in 2024: January 23-February 18, 2024.

The first special event of each new year at Disneyland is Lunar New Year. The event is held at Disney California Adventure park and includes lots of special entertainment as well as multiple food marketplaces featuring a wide variety of Asian dishes. My guide to Disneyland’s Lunar New Year has all the details.

This celebration is smaller in scope but has really grown from even a few years ago. The holiday used to be commemorated only on a single weekend with just a couple of special offerings that mostly catered to locals. It’s now a full-fledged festival running for several weeks worthy of planning a vacation around.

The Lunar New Year event usually runs for about 3 weeks in late January and early February. Traditionally, Disneyland usually only announces dates for the festival a few months in advance in either late fall or early winter. (For example, the dates for the 2020 event which was held January 17 through February 9, 2020 were announced on October 29, 2019. The dates for the 2023 event from January 20 through February 15, 2023 were announced on November 21, 2022.)

Since the date of Lunar New Year is variable and the festival is shorter than many other Disneyland festivals, predicting the timing of this event is a bit harder than with most other Disneyland events. The date of actual Lunar New Year can fall anywhere between the third week of January and mid-February.

This means Disneyland adjusts the dates of the festival a bit each year. Sometimes the event falls over the Presidents Day weekend holiday (as it did in 2019 and will again in 2024), but it often does not run that long when Lunar New Year falls in January. So consult the lunar calendar carefully while planning and aim for the 2 weeks or so prior to the actual holiday.

Bonus in February: Valentine’s Day!

Although Valentine’s Day isn’t a major celebration, the holiday isn’t overlooked at the Disneyland Resort either. Blink and you’ll miss it most years. But if you happen to be able to go to the parks in the couple of days leading up to February 14, you’ll see some decorations, special food, and photos opps. (The Happiest Blog on Earth keeps an updated guide to Valentine’s Day at Disneyland to bookmark.)

Food & Wine Festival & Spring Break at Disneyland (March & April)

Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival 2020

Dates in 2024: March 1-April 22, 2024.

Disneyland’s largest annual festival, the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, happens every spring. Spring at Disneyland is one of my favorite times to visit, and I’ve been lucky enough to attend the festival regularly for many years to really see it evolve.

The festival usually starts right around the beginning of March and runs about 6-7 weeks well into April. It’s timed to encompass almost all the spring breaks for school districts in California and neighboring states, and always includes Easter weekend as well.

The festival features around a dozen food kiosks set up along the walkways of Disney California Adventure park. Home-grown California ingredients like garlic and berries take center stage in every dish. It’s a huge highlight for foodies but definitely has enough to offer families with kids as well. See my complete guide to the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival for all the specifics.

Bonus in March/April: Easter!

Easter Disneyland Eggstravaganza

Easter isn’t overlooked in the spring at Disneyland either, but you have to more closely to find the offerings. The major thing to do is Easter Egg-stravaganza where guests can purchase a map and go hunt for eggs displayed in hidden spots through the parks and in Downtown Disney. There are a few unique Easter foods as well as dining experiences on Easter Sunday itself at some restaurants. My friends Tom and Sarah over at Disney Tourist Blog keep an updated guide to Easter at Disneyland with all the specifics.

Spring & Summer Festivals at Disneyland (April, May, June, July, & August)

Summer of Heroes Disneyland DCA

There is no recurring festival during the summer at Disneyland, but Disneyland usually does something special each and every summer to bring something new to the parks.

On years when Disney is celebrating a major milestone birthday, the celebration usually is themed around that anniversary. Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration actually lasted from the beginning of summer 2015 until the end of summer 2016. You may just get two summers out of one anniversary! In fact, I’d mark your calendars now for Summer 2025 and 2026 for a big 70th celebration….

Summer is also traditionally when new attractions and lands launch. Often, Disney gives the summer a theme that is in keeping with the new opening. For example, Disney named 2017 the Summer of Heroes and launched a celebration for all things Marvel after Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opened earlier that spring.

The bottom line is that if you go in summer, there will be something fun to celebrate, even if you don’t always know the exact theme.

In 2024, there is no anniversary and no new attractions or lands debuting. But there will be a celebration! Two, in fact. These two offerings will span the spring and summer seasons and include:

Season of the Force

Hyperspace Mountain during Disneyland Season of the Force

Dates in 2024: April 5-June 2, 2024.

Disneyland first held a Season of the Force celebration way back in 2015 and 2016 to promote the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s coming back again, nearly a decade later.

Offerings will include the Star Wars themed ride overlay Hyperspace Mountain as well as new adventures on the Star Tours attraction in Tomorrowland. Evening fireworks over Disneyland park (including now above the spires of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) will be set to themed Star Wars music. Of course, the event is timed to include Star Wars Day – May the 4th – as well.

Pixar Fest

Pixar Fest at Disneyland - Disneyland Entrance Sign

Dates in 2024: April 26-August 4, 2024.

You may remember Pixar Fest from the summer of 2018. The celebration coincided with the first part of the new Pixar Pier expansion with the opening of the Incredicoaster. Disney is bringing back this Pixar-themed celebration in 2024 with lots of changes and additions to reflect new Pixar characters.

The event launches just after the Food & Wine Festival closes and lasts nearly all summer long. It will take place in both parks as well as Downtown Disney. Look for a brand new parade in DCA, “Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration!” and the return of “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” in Disneyland with new scenes.

Disney has announced that new Pixar characters from movies made the last few years (such as Ember and Wade from “Elemental” and Red Panda Mei from “Turning Red”) will join the special event as well.

Bonus on July 17: Disneyland’s Birthday!

Even if you aren’t visiting Disneyland on a major anniversary year, there is always something special done every July 17 to commemorate Disneyland’s opening day.

Halloween Time (September & October)

New at Disneyland Fall Winter 2018 - Disneyland Halloween Time

Dates in 2024: August 23-October 31, 2024.

The fall brings one of the most beloved holiday celebrations to Disneyland. In September and October, both parks celebrate Halloween Time. The pumpkin and villains decor is over-the-top all over the resort, making it one of my favorite times to head to Anaheim.

When do the Halloween decorations go up? The official launch used to be right around Labor Day weekend – either before or right after depending on how early the holiday itself fell. (In 2019, Labor Day fell on September 2 and Halloween Time officially launched on September 6, 2019. With Labor Day falling a bit later in 2022 on September 5, the festivities actually started in time for the holiday weekend.)

In 2024, however, Halloween Time is starting earlier than it ever has. Like its Florida counterpart has done for many years, you can now celebrate Halloween in Disneyland starting in August – yikes! While Halloween Time officially ends on the October 31 holiday, there are two additional days in early November when the Dia de los Muertos offerings continue (most notably in DCA at Plaza de la Familia).

You are usually able to count on the seasonal ride overlay Haunted Mansion Holiday to be ready to go on the official Halloween Time opening day.

Disneyland also has a special Halloween party during the fall multiple nights a week. Called Oogie Boogie Bash and held in Disney California Adventure park, the parties historically haven’t started until a bit later into the fall season after the decor appears.

Oogie Boogie Bash Disneyland - Oogie Boogie Close Up

However, the early start to Halloween Time in 2024 may bring changes to the Oogie Boogie Bash schedule as well. Given how popular the party has been the last few years with all tickets selling out in under 24 hours, it would not surprise me if there will be more parties starting earlier than ever in 2024. Whether it will rival Walt Disney World (which starts its own Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in August every year) is TBD. Be sure to watch for dates when tickets will be released (usually in early summer) because they will go fast.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort (November, December, & early January)

Disneyland Holidays - Viva Navidad

Dates in 2024: November 15, 2024 – early January TBD 2025.

Last but certainly not least is the winter holiday celebrations at Disneyland. The holiday decorations and treats have usually been up by the Veterans Day holiday in early November the last few years, but 2024 is bringing another change. The season will not start until several days later (perhaps to better distribute crowds around that busy holiday weekend?) and will stretch into early January. The celebration usually ends right around the time most kids return to school.

The offerings are too many to list, from ride overlays like it’s a small world Holiday to Mater’s Jingle Jamboree to special holiday parades and evening fireworks. The holiday season also features a food festival of its own in Disney California Adventure. See all the details in my guide to the holidays at Disneyland.

One thing to watch out for: the holidays definitely do bring out crowds. The two busiest times to visit the Disneyland Resort are Thanksgiving week and the week between Christmas and New Year’s. If you can go other times in the season, you can experience more of the magic without the crowds. I particularly love going during the early December lull.

Do you have a favorite season to visit Disneyland? What event are you planning to attend on your next trip?

Where to Book Your Disneyland Vacation & Save Money!

Get Away Today Graphic Disneyland Halfway Halloween 2024 Sale

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For park tickets, don’t purchase direct from Disney and pay more! Book discounted Disneyland park tickets from Get Away Today here. Tickets purchased now are valid through December 31, 2025. Both park hopper and single park per day tickets are available, as well as tickets that include Genie+.

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Current Get Away Today Specials & Deals:

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  • Southern California Resident Spring Offer: SoCal residents can get three day tickets for as low as $75 per day for visits on weekdays from January 2 -June 2, 2024. Can be used on non-consecutive days.
  • Extra Day Free Tickets: Get 5 days at Disneyland for the price of 4 with this extra day free special for longer vacations.
  • 3rd or 4th Night Free: available at select Anaheim area hotels exclusively through Get Away Today bookings (can be combined with all ticket discounts).
  • Coming Soon! Summer 2024 3 Day Ticket Deal: This three day ticket will be valid for visits June 10 through September 26, 2024 (including on non-consecutive days). Choose weekday only or all days of the week as well as a 1 park-per-day or park hopper ticket. Normally this kind of a deal is available only to SoCal or California residents in summer, but this year it’s open to all.

Need Help Planning Your Ideal Disneyland Day?

Visiting Disneyland but don’t know what rides to do in what order to minimize waits and walking? Jessica at the Happiest Blog on Earth has step-by-step itineraries to guide you and take the guesswork out of your Disneyland vacation. There is a plan for every type of traveler from tiny tots to thrill-seeking teens.

Disneyland Plans Thrill Seekers

Check out the plans available here!

What season is best to visit Disneyland in Anaheim, California? Pick the best time for a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth by consulting this guide to all the seasonal festivals, celebrations, and holidays events each year. With historical date information to help you plan even before Disney releases dates!

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