Disneyland After Dark parties have been announced for Spring 2023! Star Wars, Throwback, and Princess Nites will occur as part of these popular after-hours events. This post shares details and offers commentary about these hard ticket events in California.
In case you’re unfamiliar with it, Disneyland After Dark parties are limited-time parties that take place after regular park hours and feature unique themes, festivities, character meet & greets, special nighttime entertainment, access to attractions with reduced wait times, and more.
With each separately ticketed Disneyland After Dark event, you get 4 hours of party time after the parks close to day guests. Plus, there’s a 3-hour pre-party mix-in at the same park as the event. That amounts to a total of 7 hours park time, minus however long it takes to check into the event.
Additionally, at each of these events, you’ll receive unlimited digital downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos taken during the party, plus commemorative keepsakes including a souvenir credential and event guide map. Parking fees are not included in the ticket price.
Here are the details for each of the upcoming Disneyland After Dark Nites in March through May 2023…
Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite – March 7 & 9, 2023 at Disneyland
Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite is an all-new event where adventurous heroines and aspirational hearts unite. Immerse yourself in this night at Disneyland with characters who light the world with kindness, courage, etc. With shimmering décor, special photo opportunities, themed food and beverage offerings, commemorative keepsakes and characters galore, you’ll be ready to step into your own adventure of bravery and grace.
Here are event details for Disneyland After Dark: Princess Nite
- Receive a royal welcome at the Disneyland Train Station featuring Princess Minnie Mouse and Princess Daisy Duck with fanfare trumpeters
- Enjoy an inspiring musical concert celebrating heartwarming, adventurous heroines including Moana, Merida and more accompanied by live vocalists
- Raise the royal roof and dance the night away at the high-energy, candy-themed dance party at Tomorrowland stage with Vanellope Von Schweetz
- Revel in Tiana’s Southern hospitality and dance along to jazz music in New Orleans Square
- Savor specialty menu items befitting royalty throughout Disneyland park, available for purchase
- Picture yourself in photo backdrops inspired by Disney films like “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Princess Diaries” including unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads from the party
- Have a ball with pre-party mix-in admission to Disneyland park starting at 6 p.m., no theme park reservation required
Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite – April 18 & 20, 2023 at Disneyland
Don your favorite flashback fashions for Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite, an after-hours soiree inspired by the debonair days of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Take a trip down memory lane to relive Disney’s classic past with music and entertainment that pay tribute to the first decade of Disneyland park. Mickey Mouse and his friends will sport retro outfits, along with visits from some nostalgic characters, which will make for great photo moments!
Here are some additional highlights of what you’ll enjoy during Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite:
- Gaze upon “Fantasy in the Sky,” a nighttime spectacular giving a nod to the same-named fireworks display that first illuminated the night at Disneyland in 1957!
- Do the twist, the mashed potato and bunny hop your way to dance parties around Disneyland park with bands and deejays inspired by the era.
- Snack like it’s 1955 with treats that are inspired by the park’s early days, made once again just for this event!
- Picture yourself in vintage photo backdrops of attractions and posters from yesteryear like Skyway or Autopia, and from timeless Disney films captured by Disney PhotoPass photographers at the party.
- Enjoy after-hours access to iconic Disneyland attractions such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise.
- Enjoy pre-party mix-in admission to Disneyland park starting at 6 p.m., no theme park reservation required.
Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite should be right up our alley. We love retro events, and when the parks pay tribute to their past. We aren’t alone–there are a ton of nostalgic Disneyland fans, and I’d hazard a guess that this party will be popular with them.
However, I can’t say anything about this gets me excited. I enjoy Fantasy in the Sky, but at this point, it feels very much like ‘interim fireworks’ between permanent nighttime spectaculars. I’ve seen it many times before and–unless presented with a special holiday tag–it really doesn’t hold a candle to modern nighttime spectaculars. That’s especially true when contrast against the exceptional Wondrous Journeys.
As for everything else, it just strikes me as stuff that Disneyland used to do all the time or during milestone anniversaries. I understand it’s not possible to resurrect extinct attractions for a party, but there’s gotta be something more than photo ops and fireworks.
Star Wars Nite – May 2, 4, 8 & 11, 2023 at Disneyland
Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite will be the ultimate Star Wars extravaganza, packed with galactic fun on four separate nights at Disneyland in May 2023.
Highlights of Star Wars Nite include:
- An amazing pyrotechnical spectacle that will illuminate the skies with the “Star Wars: Celebrate the Nite” fireworks show illuminating the skies above Disneyland. This pyrotechnic spectacle is set to the powerful music of Star Wars films.
- Prepare for Captain Phasma and her Stormtroopers during the March of the First Order in Tomorrowland, as they search for a Resistance spy.
- You may encounter travelers across the galaxy like Tusken Raiders and Jawas.
- Get ready to master a lightsaber! Attend the Lightsaber Instructional demonstration, where you will learn to handle a lightsaber through a series of elite moves, sure to bring out your inner Jedi!
- Picture yourself in dynamic photo backdrops featuring some of the galaxy’s favorite heroes and villains, captured by Disney PhotoPass photographers at the party.
- Explore themed snacks such as galactic churros and other out-of-this-world sweets!
- Begin your adventure with pre-party mix-in admission to Disneyland park starting at 6 p.m., no theme park reservation required.
A limited number of these Disneyland After Dark tickets will go on presale for Magic Key holders beginning February 21, 2023 (no earlier than 9 a.m. PT) on Disneyland.com.
On February 23, 2023 (no earlier than 9 a.m. PT), tickets will go on sale to the general public and are subject to availability. Those “no earlier than” times really are accurate–the virtual queue seldom starts on time, and instead opens when Disneyland gets around to it.
Star Wars Nite has a lot of potential, especially if it adds something special or unique to Galaxy’s Edge, or brings rare and unique meet & greets. The idea of a Star Wars fireworks show is also attractive, and that was always a big hit at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Of course, it’ll come down to execution–the previous Star Wars Nite struck me as a cash grab to take advantage of Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center.
In any case, I’m not enough of a Star Wars fan to plop down $150+ to attend a Star Wars party. So from that perspective, it really does not matter what I think of this event–I’m not the target audience.
To me, what’s most remarkable about Disneyland After Dark is that it sounds like an inferior paid replacement for the free Annual Passholder nights that used to occur prior to the Diamond Celebration. We attended several of those, and always had a blast.
That’s probably a big reason why even Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite doesn’t sound particularly appealing to me. I’ve attended the free version of that event, and it offered more than what’s advertised for the $129+ party. Of course, times have changed considerably since then.
The demand for all things Disney is exponentially higher than it was ~8 years ago. I understand that, and don’t begrudge the company monetizing these events and charging whatever the market will bear. As I’ve written repeatedly, I’d be willing to overpay for tickets to a 90s Nite that leans heavily into nostalgia for the Disney Afternoon and offers substantive entertainment from that era.
I just want something that delivers a satisfying amount of bang for buck, and none of these strike me as fitting the bill. To each their own, though. I’m sure the 2023 Disneyland After Dark events will be fun for those who opt to attend.
Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!
Are you excited for the return of Disneyland After Dark in 2023? Disappointed about another special event, or think it’ll be a worthwhile “value add” of entertainment? Which of these “Nites” do you think looks like it has the best lineup? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!