23 Magical Reasons to Visit Disneyland in 2023

by | Sep 2, 2022 | California Adventure, Disneyland, Disneyland Parks, Disneyland Resorts, DLR News, Downtown Disney

2023 WDW Magazine Wall Calendar- Featuring Disney Castles of the World! On Sale Now!

Need an excuse to visit the West Coast’s best attraction next year? Check out these 23 reasons to visit Disneyland in 2023, and start getting excited!

Are you ready to book your next Disney vacation? (Hint: the answer is always yes!) Read on to feed your imagination and build your inspiration because next year the theme at Disneyland is innovation.

Here are 23 obvious reasons visit Disneyland in 2023.

1. Mickey’s Toontown

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Mickey’s Toontown is a great place to encounter Chip ‘n Dale. Photo by Ashlee Tan

‘Nothing Can Stop Us Now!’ Mickey’s Toontown is currently undergoing a magic makeover and is scheduled for reopening next year. The land will be updated with the park’s newest attraction: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

The concept art and information Disney has shared about the Toontown revamp have me very excited to go to Disneyland next year. From the design, Imagineers are inviting more opportunities for families to play and relax inside Disneyland Park.

2. Disneyland Exclusive Merchandise 

Disneyland Halloween Spirit Jersey

Photo by Kathleen Lee

Let’s face it. When you visit Disneyland Resort you’re going to want to check out, and probably buy, the newest merchandise collection that is exclusive to the parks.

The 2023 Disney Parks collection will release limited edition merchandise throughout the year. Select items will only be sold inside the parks. When will you snag your 2023 Disneyland swag? 

3. Nighttime Spectaculars

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We’ll have to wait until 2022 for an updated version. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

At Disneyland on the Rivers of America, join Mickey Mouse and his friends in Fantasmic! In this nighttime spectacular, you’ll see heroes, villains, princesses, and even a 45-foot-tall dragon that breathes fire. This is the spectacle to see if you’re coming to Disneyland. 

Over at Disney’s California Adventure, check out World Of Color to witness the wonder and whimsy of this incredible water show. Vivid colors dance on the water as it shoots into the sky as high as Pixar Pal-A-Round Ferris wheel.

Don’t forget about Disneyland fireworks; it’s the right way to end your Disney trip, so be sure to plan your 2023 trip around one of your favorite pyrotechnic shows! My personal favorite is the New Year’s Eve spectacular, where you’ll countdown to midnight with Mickey and the gang! Hello, core memory of 2023! 

4. Holiday Overlays 

Haunted Mansion Holiday. Photo by Tiffany Gonzales.

Festive holiday overlays continue to amaze guests each year. Many come to Disneyland for the holiday overlay where Christmas meets Halloween! Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas takes over the Haunted Mansion each holiday season. Other attraction overlays to check out: “it’s a small world” Holiday. In DCA you can check out Mater’s Jingle Jamboree, and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl for a holly jolly time. 

For spooky season thrills and chills, Space Mountain turns into Ghost Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy turns into Monsters After Dark! 

Cars Land has one of the best holiday overlays. At sunset, during Halloween time, the music for “Sh-boom” will start and slowly change into the spooky anthem “I Put a Spell on You”. This haunting music moment happens right when the sun goes down and all 16 neon signs turn on one after the other. 

5. DCA Festivals 

Frozen Guacamole 2022 California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Avocado Time booth DPB

Frozen Guacamole 2022 California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Avocado Time booth. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

Disney’s California Adventure has amazing festivals to choose from. Some guests decide to plan their trip around a festival just to experience the marketplace booths, seasonal offerings, live entertainment, and so much more. 

There are also themed crafts for free. Choose from the Festival of the Holidays (winter), Lunar New Year (spring), and California Food & Wine (late spring). My personal favorite is the Festival of the Holidays for Viva Navidad! You have to see it to believe it. 

6. Seasonal Snacks and Drinks

Christmas Corn Dog at Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Spicy hot elote corn on the cob, banana split Mickey beignets, and crazy confetti cake shakes: the Disneyland Resort has some of the best seasonal snacks and drinks to choose from. In 2023, check out the seasonal snacks and plan your trip around that amazing churro you just can’t wait to try. 

Or come for the holidays for fresh hand-pulled candy canes made by Disneyland candy makers. The lines for these handmade canes are long but they’re oh so delicious and worth the wait.

7. Character Dining 

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Wear all your new Main Street Electrical Parade merch to Plaza Inn for a special dining package. Photo courtesy of Disney

Disney does dining right. And at Disneyland Resort, you can expect a magical experience from start to finish. Character Dining was limited for most of the pandemic. As everything continues to open up, more experiences are becoming available. This means this is the perfect time to visit Disneyland California. 

I love the character dining options currently available. I haven’t tried the Princess Breakfast Adventures, but I’ve heard amazing reviews. 

Disneyland Park

  • Minnie & Friends at Plaza Inn (breakfast only)

Disneyland Hotel

  • Goofy’s Kitchen (breakfast and dinner)

The Grand Californian Hotel 

  • Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet at Storytellers Cafe (breakfast, brunch, and dinner)
  • Princess Breakfast Adventures at Napa Rose (breakfast and brunch only)

The photo op at the Plaza Inn with Minnie Mouse is very sweet but my favorite experience for the food and atmosphere is Mickey’s Tales of Adventure and Brunch at Storytellers Cafe. And if you love dance moves, you’re in for a good time at Goofy’s kitchen, where the characters dance right up to you and keep you grooving as you gorge yourself on the grub! 

8. Plaza Point Holiday Shoppe

A Cast Member paints an ornament at Plaza Point Holiday Shoppe at Disneyland

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Celebrate the holiday season every day at Plaza Point, the Holiday Shop at Disneyland. This festive store replaced the Photo Pass and camera shop sitting right at the end of Main Street across from Refreshment Corner. The merchandise sold inside the shop will change throughout the seasons, so it’s always great to stop inside to check out the new additions.

9. Limited-Time Ticket Offer for California Residents

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Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. Photo by Brian Shih

There are always deals for California residents to visit Disney Parks. Before I became a Magic Key Holder, I would only visit the Disneyland Resort during a limited-time deal for SoCal residents.

Check the Disneyland website for more information. These special offers also happen with Disney partners. You have to do your research but if you plan it right you can save some serious money on your Disneyland dream vacation.

10. Disneyland After Dark Events

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Photo courtesy of Disneyland

Have you ever experienced Disneyland after dark? Imagine fewer crowds, rare character meet and greets, themed food and beverages, and dance parties in Tomorrowland… with DJ Buzz Lightyear! Sounds epic, right?

Plan your trip around one of the themed events offered next year for a jam-packed evening of entertainment fit for families and Disney Adults alike.

Recent Disneyland After Dark Events includes Sweethearts Nite, Star Wars Nite, Villains Nite, and Grad Nite Reunion. My personal favorite was Star Wars Nite on May the 4th. The Lightsaber meet-up and meeting the Ewoks were the highlight of my night! 

11. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

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Photo by Dom Tambon

Speaking of Star Wars… 

Look… The Star Wars fans get it. Galaxy’s Edge is a must if you’re coming to Disneyland Park. Enjoy lively libations at Oga’s Cantina, and see Boba Fett, Chewbacca, R2D2, and many more Resistance heroes and villains roaming Batuu. 

Rise of the Resistance is one of the newest Disney attractions, and in my opinion, one of the most immersive experiences at a theme park. There’s nothing quite like coming face to face with the First Order, and living to tell the tale.

12. Avengers Campus

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Photo by Dom Tambon

Peter Parker, Steven Strange, Tony Stark, Kamala Khan and so many more are waiting for you at Avengers Campus. Have you walked the campus yet? If not, add this to your must-do DCA list. 

I am obsessed with Pyms Test Kitchen’s breakfast menu. The Ever-expanding Cinna-Pym Toast is a literal chef’s kiss. 

13. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Returns

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Disneyland Kurdt Long

Photo by Kurdt Long

Hear ye, hear ye! Royal makeovers have returned to Fantasyland. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is back and better than ever. With a wave of a wand, turn your fairytale dreams into reality with a makeover at this beauty salon fit for little ones.

14. See Tale of the Lion King

Storytellers of the Pride Lands from the "Tale of the Lion King" at Disneyland.

The Storytellers of the Pride Lands return. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

You don’t have to travel to New York City to see the Lion King on stage. Come to Disneyland to see Tale of the Lion King performed live by the Disneyland Storytellers in a 24-minute long show. 

This heartwarming production is guaranteed to entertain the whole family. See the new staging at the Fantasyland Theatre with music and movement inspired by the Disney classic. Be sure to check out the Disneyland entertainment schedule for the most up-to-date information on showtimes and dates.

15. Character Meet & Greets

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Photo by Adrienne White

Have you ever seen the videos of children walking hand in hand around Fantasyland with Alice and the Mad Hatter? Yeah, that kind of character interaction happens at the Disneyland Resort, where the characters are right in front of you! 

Want that classic group shot with Mickey and friends, a bear hug from Winnie the Pooh, or a selfie with the Queen of Hearts? Visit Disneyland and make magical memories with the ones you love.

16. Changes to Downtown Disney 

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Photo by Ashlee Tan

Downtown Disney District started its transformation process ushering in a new age of innovation in shopping, dining, and live entertainment at Disneyland Resort. With bright color palettes and mid-century modern design aesthetics, the revitalized Downtown Disney will be something worth seeing.

There are big and small changes coming to Downtown Disney District. New restaurants will include Din Tai Fung traditional family-style Chinese food, and Paseo and Centrico Mexican fusion restaurant.  

And there have been some updates at these restaurants: Earl of Sandwich became a pop-up window. And Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is getting a menu revamp. 

Downtown Disney has always been such a vibrant and fun place to be. But in 2023 I am looking forward to these much-needed updates!

17. Paradise Pier Hotel Retheming 

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Concept art of the Disneyland Pixar-themed hotel. Photo courtesy of Disney

Since we are on the subject of revamps… Let’s talk about Paradise Pier Hotel! 

Paradise Pier Hotel is undergoing renovation and retheming. Everything will remain open as Disney reshapes the hotel into a contemporary Pixar paradise! The hotel will be filled with artwork and quotes from beloved Pixar characters.

As an added convenience, a new entrance into Disney California Adventure park will also be available for guests staying here. If you were ever considering booking a Disney hotel, now is the perfect time to do it.

Here’s a fun hotel perk not many know about…fireworks! On select nights, at the pool deck on the third floor, guests can catch the Disneyland fireworks with the live accompaniment of the current soundtrack playing for guests. 

I haven’t stayed here yet but it’s on my list, especially with the new Pixar theme. 

18. Dapper Day at the Parks 

A pair of Dapper Day attendees are wearing their Cinderella and Prince charming Disneybound outfits, looking at the camera and smiling

Courtesy of Kyra Wellborn, by Erick Paul Photo

Ever wanted to step out in style at Disneyland? There’s a fun community-organized event called Dapper Day, where styles from yesteryear take center stage. I will never miss Dapper Day because it is my favorite day to go to Disneyland. Everyone that dresses up makes the day memorable by wishing you a “happy Dapper Day,” even the Cast Members! 

Dapper Day events happen inside and outside of Disney Parks. There’s a fall and a spring park outing at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Paris. I’ve been to Walt Disney World but there’s just something about the charm that Disneyland holds that makes it extra special to me. Plan your 2023 trip now and step out in style!

19. Hey Disney 

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MagicBand+ and the “Hey Disney” voice assistant will come to Disneyland in 2022. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

“Hey, Disney!” is coming to the Disneyland Resort and an Alexa near you in (hopefully) 2023. The “Hey, Disney!” voice command software (working alongside the Amazon Echo) will be rolling out in guest rooms soon. 

This new convenience feature will provide wake-up calls by fan-favorite characters, help you request towels, tell you dad jokes, and so much more. I know I’m looking forward to trying this out on my next stay at the Disneyland Resort; goofy “dad jokes” sound like such a great time.

20. MagicBand + 

Be Happy MagicBand Plus Chiu

Photo by Tina Chiu

Disney MagicBands are popular among Walt Disney World guests. These hands-free bracelets are convenient for easy access to your Park tickets, room keys, Disney Genie+, and PhotoPass. Plus, MagicBands can also be used as a form of payment when linked to a valid card and Disney account. 

MagicBands are currently only available at Walt Disney World Resort; however, Disneyland has started making progress on the infrastructure to make MagicBands a reality on the West Coast. There’s no set date announced for its official launch, but we are wishing on evening stars for this to happen in 2023!

MagicBand+ is the newest feature, which has the same technology as the MagicBand but with so much more. The technology used on the new MagicBand+ is taking guests’ experiences to a whole new level. 

In Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, you can become a bounty hunter using your MagicBand+ to guide you on quests hidden around Black Spire Outpost. The Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunter Experience uses vibrations and lights with the MagicBand+.This immersive experience is coming to Disneyland so be sure to keep up on your Disneyland news to plan your next adventure.

21. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure 

Tianas Bayou Adventure Princess and the Frog Ride DPB

The new Princess and the Frog ride name.

While Tiana will be going down the Bayou sometime in 2024, visiting Disneyland in 2023 will be important for anyone who would like to ride the original attraction, Splash Mountain, for the last time before the Princess and the Frog retheming takes place.

There are already subtle PATF hints showing up around Disneyland, like a hidden Tiana and Naveen window display near Blue Bayou. 

I am so excited to see what Tiana is cooking up next for New Orleans Square. Witness the slow transformation on your next trip.

22. Celebrate the Seasons

Disney Viva Navidad street party at California Adventure

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

No matter what time of the year you decide to come to Disneyland, there’s something to celebrate.

  • Valentine’s Day: Enjoy themed decorations around the parks and Downtown Disney as well as tasty treats and sweets inside the Disneyland candy shops.
  • Lunar New Year Celebration: This festival is held every year inside Disney’s California Adventure. The Lunar New Year procession is a must-see! 
  • Downtown Disney’s Easter Egg Hunt: Take part in an eggstravaganza across Disneyland Resort (inside both parks and Downtown Disney District). 
  • Dia de los Muertos: On Day of the Dead , you’ll see traditional ofrendas at El Zócalo Park inside Disneyland’s Frontierland. Also, check out Plaza de la Familia in Disney’s California Adventure where you can meet Miguel and see A Musical Celebration of Coco performed by Disney storytellers. 

23. Nostalgia

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Photo by Dom Tambon

The moment of nostalgia hits me when I look at the little light glowing inside Walt’s Apartment on Main Street U.S.A. Disneyland will always be changing and evolving to keep up with the next generation. Innovation is necessary for growth. All of the new editions coming to the Parks in 2023 and beyond are exciting!  

It is comforting to know that Disneyland will always hold on to the special quality of a quaint family park thriving with magic. Walt’s dream and spirit live on inside Disneyland. 

2023 is going to be here before you know it. Now you know the main reasons to visit Disneyland in 2023, you can start planning your dream vacation and create magical memories of where it all started! 

Written by Kathleen Lee

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Kat Lee is a frequent window shopper and candy connoisseur on Main Street, U.S.A. You can catch her Disneybounding in Fantasyland while sharing stories and making memories as a media reporter for DLR Magazine. Check out her Instagram to see where she’s headed next or what the latest park trend is.
Kathleen Lee

Written by Kathleen Lee

Kat Lee is a frequent window shopper and candy connoisseur on Main Street, U.S.A. You can catch her Disneybounding in Fantasyland while sharing stories and making memories as a media reporter for DLR Magazine. Check out her Instagram to see where she’s headed next or what the latest park trend is.
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