Disneyland Grad Nite has been a tradition for local graduates since Disneyland opened its gates in 1955. Today, Disneyland Resort offers an official Grad Nite on select nights in May and June. But what about regular guests who find themselves in the mix of the Grad Nite celebration during their family vacation?
Don’t worry—this article will walk you through the Disneyland Grad Nite for grads, chaperones and those who prefer to avoid the teen influx on Disneyland Resort.
Keep reading for Disneyland Grad Nite tips on:
- Which park to choose and which park to avoid if you’re just a regular vacationing family
- Grad Nite registration process for class of 2024
- DIY Grad Nite celebrations to do on your own but with a lot of Disney magic
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Disneyland Grad Nite 2024 Dates
Official Disneyland Grad Nites are handled by Disney Imagination Campus. On select nights in May and June, local graduates can attend Disneyland and California Adventure Parks on for one day and night of an epic graduation celebration.
2024 Disneyland Grad Nite dates are:
May: 10, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 28 & 31
June: 2, 5, 7, 9, 12 & 14
Registration for these events typically opens in the fall of the previous year. For class of 2024, you’ll want to be booking in fall 2023. For more information on how your group can participate in an official Disneyland Grad Nite, contact Group Travel Operations 1-800-232-7980 or email [email protected].
We’ll get into more planning for graduates and group coordinators below, but first let me give a hand to the families who just found out their vacation is booked during a Grad Nite.
My Disneyland Vacation is During Grad Nite — Now What?
You’ve been planning a Disneyland vacation for months and you just found out you’ll be there on a Grad Nite. And you’re not excited. You’re worried those well planned Disneyland days might be ruined.
First, let me calm your fears. Grad Nite does bring an abundance of young adults, along with their language. I’ve attended at least one Grad Nite every year since I began this website in 2013, and it is never as bad as people imagine it will be.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry (too much) About Grad Nite
Are there more teens? Yes. Can they be obnoxious? Yes. But are they super excited to graduate? Yes!
Do you remember high school? It seemed like in the last few weeks of school any infraction would lead to the threat of “not graduating.” The teens at Grad Nite know this. Their ability to “walk” at graduation and receive their diploma hangs over their heads during this trip.
On top of that, most students must meet specific behavior and GPA status to even be eligible (as per school rules, not Disney) to attend.
Keep reading for more tips for families during Grad Nite and why I think you don’t need to freak out about it. Have fun with your family and remember you were once that cool too.
Grad Nite FAQs for Families at Disneyland
Most Grad Nite fears for families visiting on the same nights can be cured with a little information. I hope these Grad Nite questions and answers help you plan and reroute when needed during your trip.
Does Disneyland close early on Grad Nites?
No, Disneyland Park is open on a regular schedule during Grad Nites, typically as late as 11:00 pm or midnight. Over at California Adventure Park, specific Grad Nite events happen after normal California Adventure closing. On Grad Nite days, California Adventure typically closes at 9:00 or 10:00 pm which is standard for summer operating hours.
Which Disney Park should I visit on Grad Nites?
I recommend starting your day at Disney California Adventure on Grad Nites and here’s why. Since there are various ticket types for Grad Nite attendees, it’s not possible to completely avoid the teens but we can ditch them a bit with these tips.
- Start your day early—this tried and true Disneyland tip won’t fail you now! Begin at California Adventure Park 30 minutes before official opening to maximize your ride plan.
- Speaking of plans, print out my Disneyland Plan specifically made for California Adventure families. My Pixar Favorites Disneyland Plan gives you a step-by-step ride list to maximize fun and minimize waits (and grads).
- Utilize Disney Genie Plus and get all the most popular rides done before grads even arrive, my Disneyland Plan works with or without Genie+ as well.
Should I get a Park Hopper Ticket if I’m going during Grad Nites?
Park Hopper tickets are your best bet and value. During any Disneyland vacation, you only pay one flat fee for a park hopper. It’s the rare upgrade that’s not charged on a per-day fee. If you buy a hopper for your trip, it’s one fee no matter how many days you go.
Park hopping also allows you to switch back to Disneyland Park once official Grad Nite festivities begin or when more Grads arrive at California Adventure Park.
When Do Graduates arrive at Disneyland on Grad Nites?
Grads have several ticket and arrival options. Some grads will arrive shortly after park opening and most grads choose to hang out at Disneyland Park if their ticket allows it because they know they’ll be spending exclusive grad time at California Adventure later on. Other grads have partial day tickets and arrive in the afternoon.
Will Disneyland be busy on Grad Nite?
Yes, Disneyland is almost always busy, regardless of what’s happening on the calendar. Your best bet it to plan for crowds but use my tips to work with the crowds, not against it. Having a Disneyland Plan in place is a super smart move.
Does World of Color show on Grad Nites for regular guests?
Yes, World of Color shows every night at California Adventure Park and regular guests can view this beautiful night show before Grad Nite officially begins.
Most graduates won’t want to spend their time at this particular World of Color because they get their very own viewing party later that night. Don’t miss World of Color, even on Grad Nites!
What do Disneyland with Kids Members say about Grad Nite?
As co-founder of the popular Disneyland with Kids Facebook group, I can give you an inside look at what our members have to say about these events. Here are a few direct quotes from DwK members:
- When I was a chaperone a few years ago we went to Disneyland during the day and DCA at night.
- I was accidentally kicked hard last year by a teen on a grad night day he was messing around. It was an accident but you can totally see the difference on grad night days then a regular day.
I’ve been during Grad Nite many times. Never been an issue.
We were there last year during a Grad Night day and didn’t have any issues with crowds or behavior. We wouldn’t have even noticed until I was talking to some grads in line!
- We went on a Grad Night day last year and had a great time! No kids causing problems that we could tell.
- I’ve been a few times during Grad Nites and you might notice the demographic is slightly different but I don’t think they were busier or ever an issue. We would usually rope drop these days and have an earlier night back to the hotel.
- My kid is doing DCA for grad night, but because we aren’t local, the school charters a bus, but the bus won’t get there until the evening event— so for their school they will not be there during the day.
- Didn’t even notice groups of teens until about 5 pm and everyone was behaving.
Do you have more questions about visiting Disneyland during the Grad Nite season in May and June? I’m happy to help—feel free to add your questions to the comments below.
What does Grad Nite Admission Include?
If your group is going to an official Disneyland Grad Nite event, choose from one of the following options:
- Admission to California Adventure Park from 8:00pm to 2:00am (closing to regular park guests at 9:00pm).
- Admission to California Adventure Park from opening to 2:00am (closing to regular park guests at 9:00pm).
- Full One-day park hopper ticket, arrive anytime during normal park hours, plus access to after hour events.
Grad Nite FAQs for Grads at Disneyland
From check in to the events planned just for graduates, you need this information for a successful Grad Nite at Disneyland Resort.
What’s included in a Disneyland Grad Nite ticket?
There are various ticket types for Grad Nites at Disneyland allowing you entrance to both parks or one, for the entire day or just the evening events. Regardless of which ticket your group purchases your Grads have access to:
- Private California Adventure Park experience
- Dance parties from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am
- Grad Nite GOODNITE, an exclusive showing of World of Color just for Seniors
- Private after-hours access with fellow graduates
How do I get tickets for Grad Nite?
Grad Nite reservations for Disneyland Resort’s official Grad Nites open in the fall of the previous yea. Registration closes in February or when the event is sold out, whichever comes first (PSA it’s usually sold out well before February).
Registration must be made by a high school teacher, school administrator, parent of the PTSA board, third party travel planner, or other high school appointed adult representative. All registrations are subject to review and can be declined.
What Grad Nite ticket types are available?
There are 3 ticket types available for Grad Nite groups. During the registration process, you will choose from one of the following options:
- Admission to California Adventure Park from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am (closing to regular park guests at 9:00 pm).
- Admission to California Adventure Park from opening to 2:00 am (closing to regular park guests at 9:00 pm).
- Full One-day park hopper ticket, arrive anytime during normal park hours, plus access to after hour events.
Be sure to arrive as a group and check in at the designated Grad Nite security entrance.
Disneyland Grad Nite Tickets
Prices for 2024 official Grad Nite start at $109 per student with a minimum group of 20 high school seniors and two chaperones over age 25. Additional chaperone tickets may be purchased, but may not be used by children or other family members.
If your high school missed the official Disneyland Grad Nite ticket window, I suggest purchasing discount tickets through our partner at Get Away Today which will save you a considerable amount off of regular park admission.
Bonus Tip: If you’re booking hotels for your group, get my promo code delivered to your inbox now for extra savings on hotel and ticket packages when staying two nights or more. I am also happy to share some of my favorite hotel options for large groups including:
- Cambria with large suites, water park and free breakfast
- Residence Inn sleeps up to 6, free breakfast, walk to Disneyland
Disneyland DIY Grad Nite Options
Taking your graduate or a small group to Disneyland to celebrate? Check my Disneyland calendar section for help choosing the best dates possible. Get discount tickets through our partner at Get Away Today and save on hotel booking packages with promo code. Get my promo code delivered to your inbox now.
Don’t forget to pick out some awesome Disney graduate merchandise to surprise your graduate with a trip to Disneyland. Did you attend a Grad Nite as a non-graduate at Disneyland? Tell us about it and let me know if you agree with my assessment.