This list is part of our Insider’s Guide to Disneyland, from the November 2017 issue of the magazine.
One of the most fun, fan-created traditions at Disneyland is the organizing of unofficial theme days. Groups of like-minded Disney-lovers wear special outfits and gather for theme park fun—and tons of photo ops. Here are five of the best annual outings.
1. Dapper Days
April & November
Frustrated by the frumpy attire at the park, designer Justin Jorgensen took inspiration from early conceptual illustrations of Disneyland that showed guests wearing suits and gowns. In 2011, he organized his first outing there for the elegantly dressed. Now thousands participate.
2. Bats Day
Each spring since 1999, armies of Goths have piled on the hair spray, pale makeup, and black garb before dragging their bodies to the park. Naturally the Haunted Mansion holds an honored place. The gloomy fun continues with a vendors’ hall and evening concert at a nearby hotel outside the park.
Whatever the reason, Dr. Who fans have adopted Disneyland as the site of their cosplay day. For onlookers that means paying witness to costumed fans (the fedoras and the long scarves are a giveaway) hopping on rides en masse, wielding Tardis toys, and going on scavenger hunts.
4. Gay Days
Celebrants wear red shirts on the park’s longest-running unofficial day, which started two decades ago in Florida. This year’s festivities included a chat with one of Walt’s most legendary Imagineers, Bob Gurr, and a dance party with performances by stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
5. Tiki Day
Don some aloha wear and you’ll fit right in as participants gather at the Jungle Cruise, pay homage to the Enchanted Tiki Room, and explore the other tropical realms of Adventureland. Or at least be around for the nightcap: cocktails at Trader Sam’s.
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