Día de los Muertos at Disneyland Resort: Celebrating the Everlasting Bonds of Family
by Donna Fisk, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort
From now through Nov. 2, there are numerous ways to enjoy the cultural experience of Día de los Muertos at the Disneyland Resort. Both theme parks honor this festive Mexican tradition that celebrates the everlasting bonds of family and our loved ones who have been – and will forever be – part of our lives.
In Disney California Adventure park, Plaza de la Familia is an immersive homage to the celebration. Here you will enjoy live entertainment with storytelling, folklórico dancers, Mariachi musicians, and delicious Mexican fare. The experience begins as you walk through the marigold arch which draws its inspiration from the bridge that connects the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead in Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.”
Not to be missed is “A Musical Celebration of Coco” presented several times a day. This spirited show brings to life the story, songs and themes that are at the heart of the beloved film. Led by the charming singer/storyteller Mateo, his troupe of singers, dancers and musicians recount the adventures of young Miguel on his journey to the fantastical Land of the Dead.
Paradise Garden Grill serves up flavors of authentic Mexican cuisine, including favorites like the Traditional Tamale Plate and Tortitas de Papa. While enjoying your meal, enjoy the musical accompaniments of Mariachi Espectacular and Mariachi Divas at Paradise Garden’s colorful bandstand.
Also in Plaza de la Familia, you’ll see the colorful “Arbol de la Vida” or Tree of Life, a Mexican icon which is a perfect backdrop for your photos. The Tree of Life is decorated with images, colors and symbols. Its branches hold flowers, animals and evocative “calacas” or skeletons – all connected to each other through the theme of family.
Make a stop at the Memory Wall to leave a written remembrance of your loved ones. Nearby, another photo moment awaits, when you pose with Miguel, who appears in the form of a hand-carved dimensional figure inspired by Mexican folk art. Miguel and his performer appear before a beautiful artistic mural entitled, “Recuérdame” (“Remember Me”).
You can also design your own paper “alebrije” (spirit guide) mask of Pepita or Dante as part of a craft activity. Alebrijes are small figurines of fantastical creatures, which feature a whimsical mix of the physical elements of many different animals.
And don’t forget to cruise over to Cars Land, where you’ll find a tribute to Día de los Muertos at Ramone’s House of Body Art.
In Disneyland park, be sure to visit the traditional Día de los Muertos display at El Zócalo Park in Frontierland. This colorful display features marigolds and banners of papel picado, along with two traditional “ofrendas,” sugar skulls known as “cavaleras” and an iconic figure of La Catrina. Zócalo Park is another spot where you may encounter Miguel from “Coco.”
Top off your celebration with a stop at the nearby Rancho del Zócalo Restaurante for delicious Mexican cuisine. Be sure to try a Creamy Horchata, sweet creamy cinnamon rice and milk beverage served over ice!
Don’t wait! Make plans to enjoy all the Día de los Muertos happenings at the Disneyland Resort now through Nov. 2!