A new parade, resurrected shows and a revamped attraction: Disneyland has laid out its 2024 calendar, and it’s heavy on entertainment and festivals.
If you’re planning a trip to the Anaheim parks in the next 12 months, here’s what to expect.
One parade and two magical shows return
Theme parks are an ever-evolving mix of the old and new, and plenty of highlights from recent years are on the docket for 2024. The dance-heavy parade Magic Happens took a pause for the holiday season but will again traverse Disneyland paths starting on Feb. 2. Parades typically run twice daily, but make sure to check the park’s entertainment schedule.
In the evening, 2022’s nighttime fireworks and projection show Wondrous Journeys will be revived for a run from March 22 to April 14. The performance celebrates 100 years of Walt Disney animation.
Earlier in the year, Disneyland will resurrect the pop-focused nighttime celebration Mickey’s Mix Magic, a projection-focused show that takes over Main Street, U.S.A. and other sections of the park. A projection-only rendition will run Jan. 8 through March 21, and the show will add fireworks on select nights from April 15 to April 25.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure makes a splash
Arguably the biggest thing on the docket for 2024 — albeit one that does not yet have an opening date window — is the revamp of Splash Mountain into “The Princess and the Frog”-themed Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
The updated attraction is one that’s expected to focus on the mysticism of New Orleans and the 2009 animated film, building to a large, food-focused, Mardi Gras celebration. Like Splash Mountain, expect more than a dozen animatronics. One was seemingly shown in 2022 at Disney’s fan convention, the D23 Expo: an otter that’s fashioned a musical instrument out of found objects like typewriter keys and a fishing line.
It’s likely Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will premiere in late 2024.
Pixar Fest arrives in the spring
Returning in 2024 is a reimagined Pixar Fest, with offerings that will span Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. The latter will host a brand-new daytime parade titled Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration!. Disney has staged a Pixar parade in the past, as the Pixar Play Parade once ran regularly in California Adventure. The latter was retired in 2018, the last time the resort held a Pixar Fest.
As part of Pixar Fest, which is slated to run from April 26 through Aug. 4, Disney will resurrect the fireworks and projection show Together Forever — A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular for Disneyland . Disney is promising new scenes for the evening production. For character fans, Disney will be bringing into the parks Ember and Wade from this year’s “Elemental,” as well as the red panda Mei from “Turning Red.”
Disneyland’s long-running nighttime production Fantasmic! has been on an extended hiatus since a fire-breathing dragon figure used in the show’s finale went up in flames earlier in 2023.
Fantasmic! returns on May 24 with a revamped ending. It’s also coming back with some nostalgic touches, as a scene featuring Peter Pan will once again be inserted into the show (earlier in its run, Peter Pan was replaced by Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean”).
Space Mountain transforms into Hyperspace Mountain (for a limited time)
Running from April 5 to June 2 the “Star Wars”-themed event Season of the Force will bring with it the debut of previously announced new scenes for Star Tours. While Disney has not offered many specifics about the added segments, at a fan event earlier this year in Florida it was revealed that the character of Ahsoka Tano would be included.
Also as part of Season of the Force, Disneyland will cement Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as a fireworks viewing destination with the debut of what it describes as “galactic music” during the evening illuminations. The audio of Galaxy’s Edge is largely peripheral — sounds designed to mimic a working, livable city. The fireworks soundtrack will give the land some more traditional theme park-like trappings.
Finally, Season of the Force will see Space Mountain remade into Hyperspace Mountain for the duration of the event.
Downtown Disney gets a Din Tai Fung
New restaurants are coming to Downtown Disney in 2024, including dumpling palace Din Tai Fung and Mexican-focused Paseo and its companion outdoor bar/restaurant area, Céntrico, the latter two from Michelin-starred chef Carlos Gaytán. Opening dates for the eateries have not yet been set.
Downtown Disney is in the midst of a multiyear renovation project. Still to come, although no opening windows have been provided, is an outpost for Southern California institution Porto’s Bakery and Cafe and a marketplace concept that eventually will include three new fast-casual dining options and a bar. Expect these offerings down the road.
Holiday events and festivals are set
Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park will run Jan. 23 through Feb. 18; the concert-focused Celebrate Gospel will be staged Feb. 17 and Feb. 24 at Disneyland; and the Disney California Food & Wine Festival is set for March 1 through April 22.
Meanwhile, the resort-wide Halloween Time begins earlier than ever in 2024, launching Aug. 23 and ending on Halloween. The popular Halloween event Oogie Boogie Bash, which typically sells out Disney California Adventure, also is coming back, although dates have not yet been announced. The Día de los Muertos celebration Plaza de la Familia at California Adventure is planned for Aug. 23 through Nov. 2, and finally, holidays at the resort will begin on Nov. 15.
The party continues after dark with Pride Nite, Star Wars Nite and more
Disneyland After Dark is set to return in early 2024. The specially ticketed event features unique entertainment offerings and access to attractions after park closure. Bad news for lovers, though, as Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite, which launches in late January and runs select nights through Valentine’s Day, is already sold out. Tickets are still available for Disneyland After Dark: Disney Channel Nite!, which is set for March 5 and March 7.
Later in the year Disney will host Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite (eight nights in April and May) and Disneyland After Dark: Pride Nite on June 18 and June 20. Tickets for those events have not yet gone on sale.
A Haunted Mansion pause
Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, which is currently in its “The Nightmare Before Christmas” mode, will be open through the end of the day on Jan. 21. After that point, it’s expected to remain closed for an extended refurbishment, which will expand the outdoor queue area and add a gift shop at the exit of the attraction.
The remodeled Haunted Mansion grounds are expected to be heavily themed, as the line will soon wind guests through a stately garden area inspired by Mansion characters such as Master Gracey, Madame Leota and the one-eyed cat. Teased is a new fountain, a gazebo and a greenhouse.
And near the exit of the attraction will be a carriage house that will serve as a gift shop, with a storyline also featuring Madame Leota. It’s Madame Leota’s disembodied head that floats in a crystal ball in the Haunted Mansion’s seance room, and it’s she who sends visitors on their way with an eerie “hurrrry baaaack” as they exit the attraction.
A reopening date for the Haunted Mansion has not yet been set.