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Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Disneyland Resort

Now through November 2, 2021, Guests can join the celebration of Día de los Muertos at the Disneyland Resort with both Disneyland park and Disney’s California Adventure honoring this festive Mexican tradition.

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Día de los Muertos celebrates the importance of family, in terms of family members currently with us and those who have passed on, and it seems like every year Disneyland really ramps up the celebration bringing out the best in Mexican cultural traditions and family fun.

Plaza de la Familia at Disney’s California Adventure is a hub for this year’s Día de los Muertos celebrations. In the plaza, Guests can find live music with Mariachi musicians and folklórico dancers, plus storytellers, authentic Mexican fare and more. To get to the plaza, symbolically walk through the marigold filled archways inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Coco, where characters must cross the bridge that connects us to the Land of the Dead.

Zócalo Park in Frontierland at Disneyland Park features a colorful display in honor of Día de los Muertos through Nov. 2. This immersive setting features beautiful marigolds and papel picado, along with a traditional ofrenda, calaveras (sugar skulls), an iconic figure of La Catrina and delicious food at the nearby Rancho del Zócalo. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland)

Speaking of Coco, be sure to make time to catch “A Musical Celebration of Coco.” This high energy show takes place multiple times throughout the day and features music and artistry from the film performed live, under the leadership of singer and storyteller, Mateo and a talented group of dancers and musicians.

For authentic Mexican cuisine this Día de los Muertos, head to Paradise Garden Grill and try traditional favorites including the Traditional Tamale Plate and Tortitas de Papa. Mariachi Espectacular and Mariachi Divas will also be offering live music nearby on the restaurant’s bandstand.

Before leaving Plaza de la Familia, post for a photo in front of the brightly colored “Arbol de la Vida” or Tree of Life. In Mexican traditional fashion, the tree is adorned with memorable images and symboles and its branches carry flowers, animals and “calacas” or skeletons, to show that we are all connected through the importance of family.

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Nearby, the Memory Wall is a place to leave written remembrances of loved ones. You can also pose with a beautifully crafted backdrop titled, “Recuérdame” (“Remember Me”).

Don’t leave before designing your own paper “alebrije” (spirit guide) mask of Pepita or Dante! Alebrijes, as you may have seen in Coco or in EPCOT’s Mexico pavilion, are small figures of fantastical creatures, drawing inspiration from physical characteristics of real-life animals. 4

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In Cars Land, a tribute to Día de los Muertos is tucked away in Ramone’s House of Body Art, and at Disneyland, you’ll find a Día de los Muertos  display at El Zocalo Park in Frontierland. This display is mroe of a traditional ofrenda, and it’s the spot in the park where you may just encounter Miguel from Coco. Lastly, you can cap off your celebrations with dinner at Rancho del Zócalo Restaurante, known for their tasty Creamy Horchata!

Keep an eye out for more festivities coming your way this fall at Disneyland, and be sure to plan your next visit before November 2, 2021 if you plan to take part in any of the Día de los Muertos  events!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."