We are quickly approaching leap day 2012, where Disneyland park in California and the Magic Kingdom park in Florida will remain open for 24 hours straight! Disney announced the promotion just a few months ago on New Years Eve where guests could obtain a free night at the resort hotels and win vacation package give aways. The entire promotion will culminate this Wednesday with 24 hour operation of the two parks on leap day.
Disneyland has announced a few special events during the 6am – 6am operating hours of the park and we have also heard quite a few rumors from various cast members about attraction operating hours.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks are both open on February 29, 2012, but Disneyland park hours will be from 6am on Feb 29th until 6am on March 1st. There are no special tickets needed for the “One More Disney Day” event, and there are also no blackout days for Annual Passports! If you have an Annual Passport or a park hopper ticket, you can go to both parks that day; think of it as extended hours for Disneyland. California Adventure’s operating hours will be 10a – 8p.
Official Disney Special Events
Disney has made a few announcements regarding special events and food for the 24 hour park marathon. The first 2,000 guests to enter Disneyland park when the gates open at 6am will receive a limited-edition ear hat commemorating the event. Disney is allowing guests to begin lining up for the event the night before starting at 10pm. Guests planning on lining up between 10pm Feb 28th and 6am Feb 29 are asked to park in the Pumba Lot. (There will be no shuttle service until 6am Feb 29th).
Disney is also holding a “Midnight Snack” event from 11:45p – 12:45a at the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue where there will be treats, beverages, character meet & greets, live music by Denny Mynahan and “other surprises” which have not been announced yet. If you want to attend this event it is probably in your best interest to begin lining up at 10p Feb 29, as Disney only has room for 200 guests! It will fill up very quickly. Also, the lucky guests able to get into the “Midnight Snack” will have reserved viewing for the 1am showing of Fantasmic!
Update 2/27: Disneyland has confirmed the following extra entertainment and character meet and greets.
- Dance party featuring KIIS DJs at Tomorrowland Terrace from 8:30 p.m. – 4 a.m.
- Second showing of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at 10 p.m.
- Performances by Billy Hill & the Hillbillies at The Golden Horseshoe from 11:15 p.m. – 4:45 a.m.
- Special showing of “Fantasmic!” at 1 a.m.
- Character meet & greets throughout the night (subject to change):
- Mickey Mouse and friends in pajamas at Carnation Plaza Gardens
- Darth Vader and Stormtroopers in Tomorrowland
- Country Bears in Frontierland
Special merchandise with the newly released “I pulled an all nighter at the Disneyland Resort” logo will also be available for purchase. Mickey Ears, sweaters, tee shirts and even artisan watches at New Century Jewelry on Main Street.
Read More on the Disney Parks Blog
What would be a special event at Disneyland be without special food!
From 11am to midnight, the French Market in New Orleans Square will offer shrimp pasta and red beans and rice. From 12a – 3:30a it changes over to chicken gumbo, corn chowder, French dip sandwich with N’Orleans chips, bananas foster cheesecake and more!
The Blue Bayou will serve fancy roasted bourbon shrimp stuffed with Dungenes crab mousse served with angel hair pasta and spinach in a smoked tomato-habanero-artichoke sauce from 4pm – 3am. Or you can opt for the prime eye of round with quail eggs, cauliflower, potatoes, brussel sprouts and cabernet sauce.
Cafe Orleans is going back to a breakfast menu for the first time in years (just for this event). Between 11p – 5a for scrambled eggs, Creole eggs benedict, 3 cheese Monte Cristo French toast, lump crab quiche, bananas foster French toast or fresh fruit with yogurt and granola!
Other spots to find late-night snacks from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.:
- Cherry pie at The Golden Horseshoe
- Chili cheese corn dog, fries and cherry pie at Stage Door Café
- Brownie and krispy skewers at Bengal Barbecue
- Green chili cheese blue corn tamales at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante
- All-beef mac ‘n cheese hot dog with bacon bits at Refreshment Corner
- Creamy lobster bisque at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
- Pot roast and chicken sampler at Plaza Inn
- Chorizo and egg breakfast pizza at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port
- Spicy chipotle chile turkey burger and onion rings at Tomorrowland Terrace
As mentioned above, Disney California Adventure park will be open from 10a – 8p and a full daily schedule of shows and attractions will be available there as well. Across the way at the 24 hour operation of Disneyland park, the entertainment schedule currently appears very anorexic. It’s odd that a firework show has not yet appeared on the schedule. Fantasmic! is currently dark for a refurbishment and is not scheduled to return until March 2nd. There will be one performance of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at 7pm and The Magic, The Memories and You at 7:45pm (still running the romantic version). Disney also told the OC Register earlier this week that certain attractions will close during the event. This will most likely happen during the early morning hours of March 1st. After all, Disneyland is scheduled to reopen at 10am on Thursday, only 4 hours after closing the 24 hour event!
Cast Member rumors has Splash Mountain closing at 2 am, Indiana Jones closing at 3 am and Pirates of the Caribbean closing at 4 am. Also if the Fantasmic! rehearsals go well, rumors have a special 1 am showing possible (the 1am showing has been confirmed by Disney). Again, all of these times are rumors as of now. The Matterhorn Bobsleds, Mark Twain Riverboat and the Monorail will be closed for scheduled refurbishments.
This section can get quite long if I’m not careful, so I’ll stick to a few of the most pertinent tips for this type of event.
- Rent a locker. There is no point in carrying all of your jackets, sweaters, changes of clothes ect. for 24 hours.
- Charging Lockers. Speaking of lockers, Disneyland recently installed charging lockers. You can keep your cellphones and other battery powered devices going during this extra long event for $2 per hour. Read More
- Shoes. Wear comfortable shoes!
- Take Breaks. Pace yourself, find a shaded bench and take a load off. You have 24 hours after all!
- Free Coffee Refills. Never has this been a better tip than for this event! If you get your coffee at the Market House on Main Street, you can get free refills all day, and night, by just showing your receipt!
- Snacks. Granola bars, dried fruit or trail mix are great snacks that will keep you going and if you bring them, you’ll save a small fortune.
Along with all this, quite a few Disney bloggers, photographers, twitter’ers and podcasters are planing their own “meet-ups” or will also be in the park. I encourage you to find them and say “hi”! One of the best parts of attending these Disney events can be meeting up with others from the Disneyuniverse and online communities!