A five decade rite of passage for millions of high school seniors will come to an end early Saturday when Disneyland finishes hosting its final, private Grad Nite party.
Starting next year, the overnight, private parties will move to Disney California Adventure for 2013 high school graduates.
Seniors are able to visit both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park during regular park hours. But the most prominent part of the grad Nite experience -the late -night parties- will move across the esplanade.
Disneyland's last Grad Nite party is scheduled to start last Friday. Disney has hosted more than 5 million graduates from thousands of high schools,mostly in Southern California, since the tradition began in 1961. That year, Disneyland held grad Nite on just one night, but the event grew to about seven or eight times a year. At first, seniors had to follow a strict dress code, including ties for boys. The after-hours parties, when the attractions are open, lasted until the sun came up. Some big-name bands of the eras have played at Grad Nite, including No Doubt, Berlin and Dazz Band.
Under a new format this year, there were 20 Grad Nites for 1,100 schools. the private parties have been running from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Seniors dress down, sometimes making their own T-shirts for the night.some Disney fans on Twitter and other outlets have said the event should stay at Disneyland because of the tradition. Others, however, said the revamped Disnet California Adventure Park is more suited for a party atmosphere.
In 1970, as a senior from Riverside Poly High, I still remember my Grad Nite Party...Dr Lee