Lonely Planet Writer

Disney is planning a huge celebration for Dia de los Muertos this year

With incredible Christmas and Halloween seasons, Disney loves an excuse for an holiday in its theme parks. Now this year, they are planning an immersive celebration for Dia de los Muertos, Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

Artist concept of the Tree of Life at the park. Image by Disney

The celebration of spirituality and remembrance has long captured the public’s imagination with its distinctive skull masks and colourful altars and Disney is no exception. The celebration will be featured in their upcoming film, Coco, which will focus on a young aspiring musician in Mexico who journeys to the Land of the Dead.

The new seasonal experience will run at the Disney California Adventure park from 15 September to 2 November and will feature musicians and dancers, a celebration of Mexican folk art, decor inspired by the festival and the movie and, of course, Mexican food.

Afterwards, some elements will move to the park’s ‘A Bug’s Land’ where visitors can enjoy and even get a sneak peak of the film until 7 January, which marks the end of Disney’s incredibly popular holiday season.

Disneyland Resort promises it will be an “opportunity to celebrate the everlasting bonds of family and the spirit of the Mexican tradition”. While the holiday does feature in some of their Halloween celebrations, apart from the teaser trailer released some months back, this will be the first test as to whether the film studio can give an accurate and appropriate portrayal to the treasured cultural celebration in their upcoming film.

It’s not the only place where you can see some film-inspired celebrations of the day. Last year Mexico City hosted their first Day of the Dead parade after a fictional version was shot in the James Bond film Spectre. It proved a huge success with more than 100,000 people attending and there are plans to host another one this year.