Scroll through social media in the weeks before any school break, and you’re guaranteed to find dozens of heartwarming videos with a familiar theme: An adorable assortment of children sit on a bed, or a couch, or in an airport terminal or row of car seats. Their parents, off screen, try to contain their glee as they say, “We’ve got a surprise for you…” The kids’ eyes light up; it’s like they know already. After all, there’s only one iconic theme park brand so magical that it has its own category of surprise video. We’re going to… Disneyland, baby (cue excited screams), and it’s got something to delight and inspire everyone in the family.
1. 2023 Marks 100 Years of Disney, With Brand-New Attractions to Celebrate!
The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923, and Disneyland Resort is marking this centennial anniversary with a dazzling celebration perfect for a school break, summer trip, birthday surprise, or just because! Witness not one, but two brand new nighttime spectaculars debuted this year: “Wondrous Journeys,” an epic adventure through a hundred years of Disney animation with thrilling projection technology, stirring music, and jaw-dropping fireworks (on select nights); and “World of Color – ONE,” which uses dancing water and cutting-edge special effects to inspire kids of all ages to dare to change the world, using stories and characters from beloved Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Avengers movies to show them the way. There is also special centennial decor throughout the resort, and new merchandise to commemorate the milestone, so you can keep the memories alive long after you get home.
2. Three Words: More. Mickey. Mouse!
OK, obviously Mickey is OG Disney royalty (even if he doesn’t wear a crown like Elsa or Cinderella) and his name is synonymous with the magic of Disneyland. But this year you’ll get more Mickey than ever before! His fans will be thrilled to visit the reimagined Mickey’s ToonTown — look out for new elements such as CenTOONial Park (with lots of space for kids to play, and an interactive fountain!) and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a zany ride for all ages that takes you inside the El CapiTOON theater for the “Prem-EAR” of a Mickey Mouse cartoon short, only to hitch a ride on Engineer Goofy’s train for some animated hijinks. And don’t miss the return of the “Magic Happens” Parade, in which Mickey leads a procession of fantastic floats featuring beloved Disney and Pixar pals and costumed performers through the park, set to an awe-inspiring musical score.
3. There’s No Kid Too Little for the Magic of Disneyland Resort…
Vacations with kids under 5 can be daunting, because some destinations aren’t designed with little ones in mind. But Disneyland Resort knows its audience, and there’s no shortage of fantastical fun activities for the smallest of your crew, with over 50 attractions and entertainment experiences that have no height requirement! At Disney California Adventure Park, take the whole family for a musical “shell-abration” on The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure or put on 3D glasses and take a spin around Andy’s Room in a spinning carnival car in Toy Story Midway Mania! Got kiddos who balk at rides? No problem — in addition to the many non-moving attractions and play spaces throughout the resort, Disneyland offers pitch-perfect performances like Tale of the Lion King in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park, which brings Simba’s journey to life through music, storytelling, and dance.
4. … And There’s No Kid (or Grown-up) Too Big!
Kids, tweens, and teens who have sprouted well past the height requirements will find no shortage of thrilling rides and spectacles at Disneyland Resort. Head to Cars Land where anyone over 40 inches can speed through a familiar Pixar desert on the Radiator Springs Racers, or hop on a train hurtling through a haunted gold mine on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40” and up). And whether you were born in the era of R2D2 or BB8, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lets every wannabe Jedi live out their galactic fantasies, whether it’s flying the Millennium Falcon on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (38” and up) or battling Kylo Ren and the First Order on Star Wars: Rise of The Resistance (40” and up) — one of the most ambitious and immersive rides ever made! And no worries if you’re eager to ride but have young Jedis who don’t quite meet the height requirement — Rider Switch makes it easy for adult guests to take turns waiting with kids or adults unable to ride.
With its trademark magic, family-focused fun, and once-in-a-lifetime centennial celebration, there has never been a more perfect time to visit Disneyland Resort. Social media surprise video not required.
Both a theme park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same day are required for park entry. Park reservations are limited, subject to availability and not guaranteed. Entertainment, experiences and offerings may be modified, limited in availability or unavailable, and are subject to restrictions, change or cancellation without notice. Park admission and offerings are not guaranteed. Visit Disneyland.com/updates for important information to know before visiting the Disneyland Resort.