PTSA to hold Grad Nite at Disneyland for the first time since 2019


Image used with permission from Joshua Sudock (Disneyland Resort)

For the first time in two years, seniors will be able to have their annual Grad Nite at Disneyland and California Adventure on June 1. Tickets went on sale Nov. 29 and will be available until March 1.

Chloe Chun, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

After Disney Resorts had canceled Grad Nite at Anaheim’s Disneyland and California Adventure for the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials at the Happiest Place on Earth have decided to bring it back for the Class of 2022.

“I am expecting for it to be one of the best Grad Nites. … I think everyone is going to appreciate it a lot more because they know that last year, other senior students did not get to have it,” said senior class president Jasmine Lee, who plans to buy a ticket.

The June 1 event, which will begin with check-in at the Performing Arts Center parking lot at 1 p.m. and end at 2 the next morning, will take place on the day before graduation, and Disney resorts will only allow 400 seniors there, said Sharon Desai, a Parent Teacher Student Association [PTSA] Grad Nite committee member.

“Honestly, I was so relieved when I got that email from Disney that we were in,” Desai said. “I was just super excited that Disneyland was open.”

Because Grad Nite at Disneyland was canceled for the Class of 2021, the PTSA offered an alternative location for seniors to celebrate at Anaheim’s Camelot Golfland, but that event ended up getting canceled for lack of ticket sales.

Principal Allen Whitten doubts that the same result will happen for the Class of 2022.

“I’m sure kids will come. … I can’t imagine [the seniors not wanting to go],” Whitten said. 

The PTSA first announced Grad Nite at Disneyland on Nov. 5 in a Whitten digital newsletter emailed to all students, parents and staff.

It also mentioned that seniors can purchase tickets on the PTSA website or on-campus in the quad during break and lunch Dec. 10, Jan. 28 and March 4, according to the PTSA website. If paying for Grad Nite online, seniors or their parents can only use a credit card.

For those who prefer to pay in person, the PTSA will accept cash, check or credit card payments.

Grad Nite will include all-day Park Hopper passes, which allow guests to visit both Disneyland and California Adventure Park.

Ticket prices are $200 until Dec. 31, after which the price goes up to $215 and then to $225 on March 1, according to the PTSA’s digital Grad Nite flyer. 

While students are allowed to go from park to park throughout the afternoon and late afternoon, starting from 9 p.m., they will need to stay only in California Adventure, where resort officials will have music, DJ stations and dance parties for the seniors.

Because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, seniors are now also required to fill out two waivers – one from Disney regarding safety regulations and the other from the school, Desai said. They will have to abide by all coronavirus-related regulations like masking. 

As of November, all Disneyland and California Adventure park-goers are required to wear masks only indoors.

Senior Mykena Morley, who is not vaccinated, said she doesn’t have many COVID-19 concerns because of Disneyland’s indoor mask policy.

“I feel super lucky to get to go and feel so bad for the [other senior] classes who weren’t able to have theirs,” Morley said. “I wasn’t sure if we would get a Grad Nite so finding out that we got one made me so happy.”

Other students shared the same sentiment, all equally excited and grateful for the celebration.

“I will definitely be going to Grad Nite. It’s one of the defining moments of senior year,” senior Maximillian Lopez said. “No one can deny it has been a rough couple of years, so to go out with a bang is essential.”

The ASB’s PTSA committee member, senior Tara Kim, said she plans to get her ticket soon. 

“I am actually really excited and also really thankful that this year we actually get to go,” Kim said. “It’s such a big event and such a big part of senior year.”