Spending the night at Disneyland

Story by Morgan Yuvienco

There are two types of Disneyland guests: non-believers who don’t realize the magic of the park or how many miles they would have to walk all day, and Disney lovers who happily skip around, marveling at it all, tirelessly taking in all the gimmicks.

A mere four years ago, Disney Parks introduced a tradition that appeals to the hardcore Disney fan in all of us: a 24-Hour Party. It’s not for the grumpy guests, but it’s definitely for the enthusiastic ones.

“My favorite thing about 24 hour Disney is probably the atmosphere,” said Taryn Wong, a seasoned Disneyland goer. “It's a very cool vibe of so many people together just having a good time and spreading the magic around.”

It’s exactly what it sounds like – a full 24 hours at Disneyland, from 6 a.m. on May 22 to 6 on May 23. In years past, 24 hours at Disneyland celebrated Leap Year, the first day of summer, and the park’s annual campaigns. This year, the event is kicking off Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Celebration – and park folks are making it a pretty big deal.

Want to know the best ways to endure the full 24 hours? Read on for some tips and tricks, as well as some unique Diamond Celebration events being offered.

Photo Ops

Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland and the Carthay Circle restaurant at Disney California Adventure are donned with diamonds, to commemorate Disneyland’s 60th birthday. Additionally, character photo opportunities will be even more special, because Mickey and friends are set to debut new costumes specifically for the Diamond Celebration. A camera is a must have – if your preferred camera is your cell phone, be sure to bring a portable charger so your phone can last you the full 24 hours.

Chow Down

Disneyland allows snacks, so take advantage of that and take enough food fuel to keep you going throughout the day. Granola bar and fruits provide natural sugars to energize you, and energy drinks and caffeine give a fast wake-up call. Disneyland is also sprucing up their food options for their Diamond Celebration, offering special “Disneyland Diamond” cupcakes and fruity lemonades in both parks.

Pack Right
When planning to stay an entire 24 hours at a theme park, it is best to be well equipped. “Because I stay overnight, I like to dress comfortable,” said Wong. “I usually pack another jacket too because you never know the weather change, snacks, money, water, and a portable phone charger.” Determined guests that want to stay for the full event may even bring toothbrushes, contact cases, or hairbrushes – be prepared to see anything.

Plan Ahead

It’s always good to go into Disneyland with a game plan.

For senior psychology and sociology major Leah Hunter, her tactics remain the same for any regular Disney day.
“I usually check the wait times as I’m walking down Main Street to see which ride has the shortest lines so I know where to head first,” she said. Specifically for special events like 24 Hour Disney, she suggests checking out the park’s limited edition opportunities. “Take advantage of the special things such as shows, parades, characters, and more that they have for the event because some things are for that day only.”

It’s good to plan in times to ride attractions or sit down for the new shows, but it’s also good just to go with the flow and “experience the un-experienced.” Enjoy your all-nighter at Disney, because it’s not often that people can say, “I went on Indiana Jones at 3 a.m.!”

Beat the Crowds

Locals and annual passholders like to come to the event in the nighttime – when the real overnighting happens. But there are benefits to visiting at all times of the day. Arriving before 6 a.m. gives you the opportunity to see all the other dedicated Disney fans waiting in line to get in, as well as the special opening ceremony they have. Coming early in the morning also presents the shortest wait times for rides.

The crowds start trickling in around 4 p.m., as locals get out of school and work to prepare for a night at Disneyland. When it’s past kids’ bedtimes, the crowds die down even more. “It’s the least crowded after midnight until 6am, when it normally ends,” said Hunter. “People with kids seem to be gone around that time because at that point, they’ve probably been there for quite a while.”

New Nighttime Shows  

To celebrate 60 years of magic at Disneyland, the park is launching a special version of World of Color, a new fireworks show, and introducing the Paint the Night parade, which originated in Hong Kong.

World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney

World of Color is being reworked to celebrate Walt Disney and his dream of Disneyland, to show that anything is possible if we don’t give up on our dreams. Hosted by Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris, the water show at Disney California Adventure will tell the story of Walt and how he brought Disneyland to life, through animation, live-action footage, special effects, lasers, and a musical score.

Disneyland Forever

The new fireworks show at Disneyland has a theme of “Live the Magic.” Guests will be able to experience it not just from Main Street, but also from other iconic locations such as the Matterhorn mountain, Rivers of America, and the “it’s a small world” stage, making the park itself one of the main characters of the show. “Disneyland Forever” aims to “prove just how magical The Happiest Place on Earth can be,” by transporting you to the worlds of Peter Pan, Simba, and Elsa. The soundtrack will feature two original songs: “Live the Magic” and “Kiss Goodnight.”

Paint the Night

For years, Hong Kong Disneyland has been the only home of the “Paint the Night” parade. The original Disneyland will be debuting its own version of it during the Diamond Celebration 24 Hour Kickoff. The “Paint the Night” parade is an interactive nighttime parade that is known as the “spiritual successor” of the Main Street Electrical Parade. The fully LED nighttime parade will feature 1.5 million lights, special effects, and 76 performers. 

+ posts