Disney parks are a great place to celebrate special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays and more, but they’re also a great place to make up an excuse to celebrate some of your favorite things. Whether it’s a subculture, a fashion, a British TV show, an epic wizarding tale or your sexual orientation, there are tons of great excuses to celebrate and meet people with similar interests and here are a few such organized meet ups.
Billing itself as the “largest dark subcultural event on the West Coast,” Bats Day is an annual event where goths, lolitas, rockabilies, steampunks and other subcultures with an interest in the darker things in life meet up at the park. There are three officially sanctioned photo events, one in front of the castle, one in front of the Haunted Mansion (with smaller groups) and one for the goth kiddos in front of the Sword in the Stone.
While originally just a meet up for goths, the event has gained a lot of steam over the years and now includes all number of subcultures and a number of events outside the park during that weekend, including a special dinner, a goth club night, a Black Market and an art show. Bats Day typically takes place in May, so if you want to visit the next one, check in on their website as it gets closer to that time of year.
For Lolita purists who don’t want to deal with all the goths and other subculture folk there on Bats Day, Lolita Day is a dedicated day for those obsessed with the Japanese harajuku fashion. Scheduled to take place sometime in October, it’s also set during a month that’s much more suitable to wearing elaborate, layered dresses all day in Anaheim.
It’s A Ska World After All
Do you think of dancing when someone yells “skank?” If so, be sure to dress up in your best two-tone gear and hit the Disneyland Park on September 21 and meet up with fellow rudies in the happiest place on Earth for It's A Ska World After All.
If you love looking at early Disney photos to admire the guest’s exquisite outfits, you might find yourself right at home at Rock Around the Park, the unofficial rockabilly meet up at Disneyland. The next event is scheduled for November 9, and if you love the music and burlesque styles of the rockabilly scene, don’t miss the pre-event on November 8.
There was a time where you put on your Sunday best to take the family to Disneyland. For those who miss the good ol’ days filled with fanciful styles of the past, Dapper Day is the perfect excuse to visit the park. Dress up in your fineries (modern or vintage are all A-OK although vintage looks tend to be more prevalent) and say hello to all the other glammed up gals and gents.
Dapper Day is a twice yearly event at Orlando and Anaheim and occurs once a year at the Paris park. The next events are all in September, so if you’re interested in visiting, mark your calendar accordingly.
There are a few unofficial steampunk days at Disneyland, but the largest and best organized seems to be Steam Day. If your favorite takes on Disney characters involve bronze, clockdials and other such enhancements, you’ll love following their Facebook page and don’t miss the next event on October 13.
Here’s one many of you Neatonauts will love –a special Disney day with a Doctor Who theme. Participate in the photo scavenger hunt to see who can get the most points, take over the carousel with fellow Whovians and don’t miss the giant photo op in front of the castle with Daleks, Doctors and companions galore!
The next Galliday takes place on September 21st, so get your bow ties, fezzes, Jelly Babies and other accessories ready!
If the name didn’t give it away, Gay Days is dedicated to celebrating sexuality in all forms –in a family-friendly manner. To show their pride and their numbers, celebrants are asked to wear red shirts to the park. Activities include private dinners, scavenger hunts, tons of group photos and more.
Gay Days takes place in Anaheim on October 3-5 and the one at Disney World recently took place on June 3-9. The Anaheim event attracts around 30,000 attendees, while the Orlando celebration brings in over 100,000 visitors (which is part of the reason Disney supports the unofficial event despite repeated boycott threats from conservative groups).
Harry Potter Day
Sure, getting to dress up like your favorite wizard and run around one of the most magical places on earth is fun, but what really makes Harry Potter Days at Disneyland special are the mysteries you get to solve. Unlike most other special days at Disneyland, Harry Potter days are social events where you meet up with the group and essentially solve a Potter-themed puzzle while enjoying your day dressed up and geeking out at the park.
The upcoming Harry Potter Day on November 2 is set to be the last, so if you want to experience the magical mysteries for yourself, you’d better make it out that day.
There are, of course, other unofficial days that are smaller and a few official days like Star Wars Weekends as well. So have any of you attended any special events at Disneyland? If so, share your experiences in the comments.