Learn how Disney California Adventure Park celebrates Día de los Muertos with a vibrant, family-centered experience at Plaza de la Familia.
Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is always full of festive fun – but exciting new character costumes, Halloween-inspired treats, and thrilling events are only part of the transformation that takes place resort-wide. During the fall, Disney also celebrates another holiday: Día de los Muertos. When Halloween Time gets underway each year, you can find an entire experience centered around this day at Plaza de la Familia at Disney California Adventure Park.
What is Plaza de la Familia? You can discover this vibrant cultural celebration each year from September into the first days of November. For 2023, Plaza de la Familia runs from September 1 to November 2. Keep reading to find out what’s in store!
What is Plaza de la Familia?
Plaza de la Familia is a celebration that’s meant to honor the Mexican traditions surrounding Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead). It includes events and activities the reflect the traditional celebrations of families in Mexico and other cultures that celebrate this annual date, which typically falls the day after Halloween
However, at California Adventure Park, Día de los Muertos is more than just a day – it’s two whole months! Plaza de la Familia welcomes Guests starting in September, offering the opportunity to learn about Día de los Muertos and its traditions until November.
Inside Plaza de la Familia, you’ll find different ways Día de los Muertos comes to life, as well as celebrations of eternal love and the bonds of family.
Where is Plaza de la Familia Located?
Plaza de la Familia sits inside California Adventure, in the Paradise Gardens area of the theme park.
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Food, Entertainment, and Events in Plaza de la Familia
During the festivities at Plaza de la Familia, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious Mexican food, lively entertainment featuring some of your favorite Disney characters, and check out special limited-time offerings.
While Plaza de la Familia is open, you can head to Paradise Gardens to take part in some special traditions. You’ll find the area filled with brightly-colored marigold flower and the rainbow hues of papel picado, the traditional Mexican paper craft that’s traditionally hung around ofrendas for Día de los Muertos. Family crafts will be available so Guests of all ages can take part in the festivities, and you’ll experience the stories of the Academy Award-winning Disney and Pixar film Coco, all of which are brought to life to celebrate the bonds of family.
When it comes to food, you’ll definitely want to explore the Mexican-inspired menu available at Paradise Garden Grill during Plaza de la Familia. It’s your chance to try items like carnitas burritos and plant-based chorizo quesadillas.
Entertainment takes place several times throughout the day at Plaza de la Familia. “A Musical Celebration of Coco” brings Folklórico dancers, Mariachi singers, and other cultural musicians to Paradise Gardens to tell the tale of Miguel’s adventure into the Land of the Dead. Don’t miss this, as it’s your chance to see an incredible hand-carved Miguel inspired by traditional Mexican folk art (and you can even take a photo with this Miguel afterwards!).
Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to add remembrance notes to the Memory Wall. This tradition, which is connected to the ofrendas made for Día de los Muertos, will allow you to honor and remember those who’ve passed on.
And for 2023, Plaza de la Familia is expanding beyond Paradise Gardens! This year, you’ll be able to find more festivities over at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in the form of an incredible and detailed confectionary display, which pays tribute to the Día de los Muertos celebration. The confectionary display features Miguel and his dog Dante from Coco. Plus, you’ll also want to stop by Cars Land – here, Ramone’s Body Shop will feature an ofrenda that celebrates the life of Doc Hudson.
For more information about Plaza de la Familia at California Adventure and all of the frightfully fun festivities available at Disneyland Resort during Halloween Time, keep reading: