Disneyland Grad Nite – New Twists on a 50-Year Tradition Coming in 2012 and 2013

Betsy Villalobos

by , Senior Manager, External Communications, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products

As our 50th Grad Nite season comes to an end, we are excited to announce new twists and enhancements coming in 2012 and 2013 to this traditional rite of passage so many of us experienced as high school graduates.

In 2012, Grads will have more time, more flexibility and more room for their celebration at the Disneyland Resort including the opportunity to enter Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park at any time during their Grad Nite visit. Students will receive a park hopper ticket allowing them a full day to experience both parks!

In addition, 2012 Grads will now receive a special FASTPASS option to use during their visit and a private showing of “Fantasmic!” to kick off the exclusive private party that begins when Disneyland park closes.

Beginning in 2013, the private party will move to Disney California Adventure park where Grads will enjoy all the newest offerings including an exclusive “World of Color” viewing and the new Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Grad Nite, 1966 Disneyland Resort Grad Nite

As these pictures show, our Grad Nites have become an important milestone for millions of graduating seniors in the last five decades, and we are excited to share new experiences as Grad Nites evolve just like the Disneyland Resort continues to evolve each year. We look forward to celebrating many future classes to come!

For more details, please visit www.disneylandgradnite.com.


  • This is a wonderful perk for you local graduates, but seniors from all over the United States wish they could participate! Love WDW and Disneyland – wish locals from both places could have Grad Night!!
    I also wish my own kids could go!

  • 🙂

  • This sounds awesome! I wish there was an opportunity to go June 20th, as that’s when my class graduates, and we’re a week late to do Disney’s Grad Night 🙁

  • I am very disappointed that Grad Night is moving to DCA in 2013. Grad Night has always been in Disneyland and it should stay there, especially because DCA is significantly smaller, has less attractions, and no fireworks. By the way, brilliant idea about fastpass and Fantasmic! in 2012, although I will probably never get to experience it, being in the class of 2014 myself. Looks like I’m just going to have to find a ride with a Senior.

  • I was there at Gradnite at Disneyland in June 1973. Great memories!! Been going to Disneyland since 1955.

  • Jealous! Now i’m going to have to find a way to get 16 years younger and graduate again :). At least I still have memories of my own Disney grad night.

  • Such a shame they are no longer doing this in Florida. I also went in 1985. I still remember rockin out to some sweet tunes from Animotion! LOL!

  • I went in 09. they asked us to wear something respectable so I wore a suit I think it enhanced the experience in a great way. And michael I was totally rocking buddy holly frames haha it was my first trip there and I’ve been an AP ever since I love that place I’m from the central valley but I still try and go every six weeks haha.


  • I’M JEALOUS OF CLASS OF 2012. I graduated this year 2011 and I WISH I FLUNKED A YEAR or was born a year later just for this 😛 haha but at least I have an Annual Pass and can do all of these things whenever I want!

  • I graduate in 2013!! 🙂 So excited to go to Cali and especially Disneyland!! 🙂

  • So are the ticket prices projected to go up?

  • Any chance Grad Night will be returning to Walt Disney World? My boy is a special needs student and his class was going to go next year….. he was kind of excited about it after I shared with him how awesome it was for me back during Grad Night ’85!!! A lot of kids here in Florida and throughout the nation will sure be missing a Magical Memory if not. 🙁

  • Just to be clear, as we were there this year during the last Grad Night, the park will be open all day to the Grads? And 2012 Grads will be armed with fast passes? And how far in advance will Disneyland announce the Grad night dates?

  • Forget leisure suits… 1969, we had to wear dresses and heels… go figure that one out. As far as it being too hot… we didnt go until after 9:00 PM and it was over at 6:00AM. Lines, they were so long that you were lucky to get on a few rides… but it was fun. I went my Jr. year also with a date and had a great time.

  • My daughter will be graduating in 2012 and is super excited. These improvements are great. I do have a question though – does the grad have to be apart of a group or can you goes as an individual? I went in 1990 as part of a group from school so I didn’t know anything about all the planning involved. I have such great memories from that night.

  • “Beginning in 2013, the Grad Nite Private Party will move to Disney California Adventure® Park where Seniors will enjoy all the newest offerings including an exclusive World of Color viewing and the new Cars Land.”

    Does that mean in 2013 the graduates will be limited to California Adventure????

  • Wish they had that back in 1988 when I went and only got on 2 rides the whole night because the lines were so long. Glad to see the tradition still going.

  • I went in 1980 – in a leisure suit with collars you could spear fish with. It may have been warm but it was a requirement. and you know what? it did make it feel special. I still have my photo with Goofy. Glad to see the focus on multiple activities – but we miss the big music groups on the stages

  • AUGH! A year too late…my daughter was hoping for all these amenities when she went earlier this month. She had a blast. Thanks for the new and improved offering for the years coming!

  • How the heck did people go to Theme Parks in suits back then? The lines gets fairly warm already with all the crowds, and rides can’t be that comfortable in a blazer and horn rimmed glasses.

  • The FASTPASS option is an awesome idea! i remember when i went to Grad Nite a couple of years ago and we waited hours to ride the rides. These new things sound like some awesome additions! 🙂

  • Awesome!! Can’t wait~ Class of 2012, WarHawks, You Know!

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