Hey Everyone, I’m Kimberly, with Get Away Today, and I am so excited to be here on the Crafting Chicks! I regularly contribute to Packed with Fun, the official blog for Get Away Today where we share our best travel tips and all sorts of fun ways to extend vacation magic at home with vacation countdowns, games, crafts and more. There is so much to love about Disneyland, and it seems like there is always something new and exciting happening. This year is no different, so for my first article, I thought it would be fun to do a quick year-at-a-glance for everything you need to know about going to Disneyland in 2016.
The Diamond Celebration is still going strong with sparkly decor, upgraded attractions, limited time merchandise and food items, and three incredible nighttime spectaculars; World of Color – Celebrate, the Disneyland Forever fireworks, and Paint the Night Parade.
For the first time ever, Disneyland is offering a dining package that includes premier viewing for the Paint the Night Parade. You can get a grab-and-go picnic from Aladdin’s Oasis for reserved viewing by “it’s a small world,” or enjoy a three-course meal at the Blue Bayou with reserved viewing on Main Street U.S.A. Reservations can be made online or over the phone 60 days in advance.
Star Wars is all the rage and Season of the Force is a limited time Star Wars overlay that has temporarily taken over Tomorrowland. If you have a Star Wars Fan at your house, go you must. Space Mountain has become Hyperspace Mountain complete with Rebel Wing Fighters and the Tomorrowland Theater is showing Path of the Jedi, a 10 minute 4-D compilation of the entire film series. Kids ages 4-12 can register to be a part of the new Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show. There are normally six showings each day and the spots are filled on a first come, first served basis, so you’ll want to get there early. The Star Wars Launch Bay has actual props and costumes from the films, and you can meet Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Special merchandise and food options are available. It’s unclear how long Season of the Force will be available, but we have been told at least through Spring 2016.
Along these lines, Disneyland is beginning construction on the new Star Wars Land that was recently announced. To make way for this 14-acre expansion, some attractions, like the Disneyland Railroad, Fantasmic, and Tom Sawyer’s Island will close indefinitely. Also closing, but this one is permanent, is Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular at the Hyperion Theater. Its final performance will be on January 10, 2016 to make way for an all-new musical coming this summer.
Summer is always a fun time at Disneyland! With extended hours, there is so much more time to see and do everything. In addition to being the last few months of the Diamond Celebration, a new Frozen Musical is coming to Disney California Adventure Park in the Hyperion Theatre. This will replace Aladdin, and we’ve been told that it will also replace the current Frozen Celebration Sing-a-Long that is held in the Royal Theater, formerly the Muppet-Vision Theater. There’s no word on what will replace the Royal Theater, but we’re sure it will be fantastic. And I just have to say, summer nights are even better at Disneyland. Try to make sure that you are in Cars Land when dusk hits at least one of the nights of your vacation. There is an informal neon lighting ceremony each night set to music. You may want to consider dining packages for World of Color – Celebrate! and the Paint the Night Parade. Make sure you make time to experience the Tim Burton inspired Diamond Mad T Party and the Disneyland Forever fireworks as well.
Halloween Time is one of the most festive and popular times of year to visit Disneyland. Halloween Time officially begins mid-September and continues through Halloween. If you want to beat the crowds, September is a great time to go to still get the Halloween experience. Or, if you don’t want the kids to miss school, make your plans over their fall break. Halloween Time includes the annual Main Street U.S.A. Pumpkin Festival, Haunted Mansion Holiday, extra spooky overlays to the Tower of Terror, costumed characters and so much more. Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place on select nights during Halloween Time. This is a private event that requires a separate ticket. On party nights, Disneyland closes a little early to regular guests and is only open for party guests who get access to most attractions, trick-or-treating, a special Halloween parade, fireworks, and other fun treats.
The holiday season kicks off in mid-November and continues through early January. The holidays bring festive overlays to classic attractions like “it’s a small world” holiday, the Jingle Cruise, and other fun surprises. A Christmas Fantasy Parade and the Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks are guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. Plus, the entire Disneyland Resort is completely decked out for the season.
Also, although it’s not Disneyland related, it is definitely worth mentioning that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, 2016. The new land will include incredible rides, shops, entertainment, and of course, Butterbeer. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you’ll definitely want to make it part of your Disneyland vacation.
Here are some dates to keep in mind when planning your 2016 Disneyland vacation including school breaks:
- February 15, Presidents Day
- March 27, Easter
- April 7, Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood
- May 4, Unofficial Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You)
- Season of the Force – limited time experiences
- May 30, Memorial Day
- September 5, Labor Day and Final Day of the Diamond Celebration
If you would like help planning your Disneyland vacation, our agents at Get Away Today would LOVE to help! They’ve toured all of the area hotels and visit the parks at least once a year so that they can pass on their expert advice. Give them a call at 855-GET-AWAY or check out our Disneyland packages at getawaytoday.com. Be sure to mention promo code: CraftingChicks when booking online or over the phone and you’ll save an extra $10 off your package.
Once you have your Disneyland vacation plans, make the countdown even better with our free Star Wars vacation countdown printables featuring your favorite Star Wars characters. Everyone in your family can have their own and choose from Han Solo, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2, Yoda, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. Download your favorite one here, and May the Force Be With You!
And for more Disneyland fun and entertainment check out:
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