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Disneyland Article
Disneyland Cancels Grad Nite Parties Due To Coronavirus

ID:
TMS-4628
Source:
Orange County Register
Author:
Marla Jo Fisher
Dateline:
April 17, 2020
Posted:
June 08, 2020
Status:
Current
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One of the popular teenage traditions of Southern California – Grad Nite at Disneyland – has been canceled this year due to COVID-19, the park has announced on its Disneyyouth.com website.

“In light of recommendations by school and government officials to limit gatherings for the remainder of the academic year, we are making the difficult decision to cancel Disneyland Resort Grad Nite 2020,” the announcement reads.

The decision to cancel was expected, but still a blow to high school seniors who already lost their proms and commencement ceremonies due to the medical crisis and mandatory closures this spring. Disneyland closed indefinitely on March 14.

“Because Grad Nite events require a substantial amount of planning, coordination and travel, we felt that this was the right decision to make at this time,” the announcement, which was posted April 16, continues. “We know how disappointing this news will be to the many students who were planning to join us this year.”

On the Class of 2020 Parents Support Group on Facebook, parents were describing their children as being in shock and grieving over all the cancellations.

Stacy Molloy Linn wrote on Facebook that her daughter “is devastated over all of this”….”and every time I open my email it’s something new being cancelled. Yesterday was senior breakfast, prom, and grad night. I feel like I have a permanent lump in my throat.”

Disneyland officials said they had already started reaching out to high schools earlier this week.

Grad Nite began in the early 1960s and promoted as a clean, safe way for high school seniors to celebrate their graduations. It originally lasted all night, until 6 a.m.

Typically, about 1,000 schools or more participate in the after-hours party with special discount tickets. Students typically arrive in late afternoon by the busload, with chaperones, and are able to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and then stay after closing for a special party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Disney California Adventure. The party was moved from Disneyland to Disney California Adventure in 2013.

The events are so large that some Disneyland visitors choose to avoid those dates, to avoid being surrounded by teenagers. Other theme parks such as Six Flags Magic Mountain also host their own Grad Night events.

This year, the events were scheduled on 16 different nights from May 8 to June 13.

Despite the cancellation, Disneyland said in its announcement that it will return.

“We look forward to hosting Disneyland Resort Grad Nite next year and for years to come. Information about future events will be shared as soon as it becomes available.”
 
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