There is so much to look forward to this summer at the Disneyland resort, including new rides, new themed lands, food, and entertainment options! This summer at Disneyland has much in store, from the debut of a new musical at the Hyperion to various shows celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. Here are the top 10 things to see this summer at Disneyland!
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Disneyland in Summer 2023
Disneyland kicked off the Disney100 celebration of the 100 years of the Walt Disney Company back in January. Many of those celebrations continue into the summer and are detailed below. Summer at Disneyland is actually no longer the busiest season because many Disneyland Magic Key annual pass holders are blocked out during the summer months.
San Fransokyo Square at Disney California Adventure
Pacific Wharf has been reimagined into San Fransokyo Square, inspired by the “vibrant, multicultural district” that melds San Francisco and Tokyo together in the Big Hero 6 movie. The area features new foods and a character meet-and-greet with Baymax!
Tale of the Lion King at Disneyland
This summer at Disneyland Park, you can see the Tale of the Lion King in Fantasyland. This “traveling troupe of storytellers” features its own new musical scores, dangers, singers, drummers, and a group of performers to tell the story of the Lion King. The performance is told in a contemporary story-theater style that retells the Lion King through language, song, and dance. I try to never miss the entertainment offered like this at Disneyland, as they always find such talented performers!
Pixar Pier at California Adventure
Pixar Pier is the epitome of summer at Disneyland! You can enjoy a cold treat from the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats or take in the view of the Pixar Pal-A-Round and Incredicoaster reflecting over the water from the Lamplight Lounge. Pixar Pier is truly picturesque, and even more so on a sunny summer day, making for some perfect photo opportunities.
Mickey's Philharmagic at California Adventure
In this fan-favorite experience, guests can enjoy a 3D movie featuring Mickey, Donald, and other popular Disney characters. As Donald sets up the orchestra for Mickey, he finds a conductor's baton along with Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat. Expect to see scenes from popular Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Aladdin. I always love having a nice, air conditioned place to relax at during the afternoons, and this definitely makes my list.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is a land that seeks to immerse guests in the world of Star Wars, allowing you to explore a remote outpost on the planet of Batuu. Guests can build lightsabers and become one with the Force at Savi's Workshop, enjoy a drink inside Oga's Cantina, adopt a creature or build a droid, and so much more. Galaxy's Edge has two rides, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance, which are both incredibly immersive rides. This land, still relatively new to Disneyland, is the perfect place to explore for summer. When the weather gets toasty, you can sip on a refreshing Blue Milk or step into a chilling First Order Star Destroyer in Rise of the Resistance!
Magic Happens Parade
Also part of the Disney100 celebration at Disneyland, the “Magic Happens” parade features beloved characters such as Moana, Miguel, and the Frozen characters, with more than 90 performers and nine floats. The parade features a musical score by Todrick Hall, with the music and choreography heavily inspired by today's pop culture. The grand finale features several classic Disney characters with floats that highlight the “moment of magic that changed their lives.”
This Disneyland parade typically takes place at 3:30 and 6:30pm, presenting the perfect opportunity to take a rest after a long summer day and enjoy the magic floating by.
World of Color — ONE at California Adventure
World of Color — One celebrates Disney100 through projections on water screens, dancing fountains, and music. It is based around the idea that just one ripple can cause a wave of change, and it takes us through some of Disney's most iconic films, including Moana, The Lion King, Avengers: Endgame, Encanto, and more. A highlight of the performance is the Star Wars sequence, and crowds cheer at hearing the iconic main theme.
The show features an original song, “Start a Wave,” composed by Cody Fry and with lead vocals by Loren Allred. World of Color — One is the first Disneyland nighttime spectacular to feature Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, the Avengers, and Star Wars all in the same show!
Plus, if you get seating near the front, you'll likely feel a light mist as the show occurs, which is a perfect cool-down after a warm summer day.
Grizzly River Run
If a light mist is not enough for you, you can get completely soaked on a hot day on Grizzly River Run at Disney California Adventure. As the weather gets hot at Disneyland, this is the perfect way to cool down. Make sure to stow phones, cameras, and other items that might be damaged by water in the lockers provided!
Radiator Springs Racers
There's nothing quite like riding Radiator Springs Racers on a beautiful, warm day in the summer! The waterfall at the start of the ride and the final racing scene is extra spectacular with blue skies overhead.
Avoid These 15 Common Disneyland Mistakes
It’s easy to make a few mistakes during your Disneyland trip that can turn the day sour, and we’re here to help you avoid these. In our top 15 Disneyland mistakes, we walk you through what to avoid so that you can plan ahead for a problem-free day at the happiest place on earth.
Disneyland Photos That Will Make You Regret Skipping a Trip This Summer
Summer is a magical time to visit Disneyland, and there are a few experiences and rides that a summer trip to the happiest place on earth would not be complete without. Take a look at our Disneyland photos that are guaranteed to inspire you to schedule a trip this summer!
We Go to Disney 20+ Times Per Year-Here’s How I Keep My Kids Happy in Line
Long lines are sometimes an unavoidable part of the Disneyland experience, especially when the park is crowded. Read about some ideas for how to pass the time in Disney lines—from games to planning ahead for food and rides, there is no shortage of activities that will make a long standby time feel shorter.