Each year in May, darkness falls over the Magic Kingdom in Southern California for one glorious day. Bats Day at the Fun Park has become a required pilgrimage for many goths, punks, emo kids, rockabillies, and other counter-culture Disney lovers. If you want to explore the diabolical side of the Happiest Place on Earth, there are a few things you should know first.
What Is Bats Day in the Fun Park?
Beginning in 1999, Bats Day at Disneyland Resort—also known as Goth Day at Disneyland—attracted a unique crowd by partnering with local death rock and goth clubs and opening the mouse’s house to a bevy of subcultures. Parkgoers will see the traditional and iconic Mickey ears and character swag, but it’s all complemented by a veritable parade of underworld fashion and fantasy.
Bats Day 2023 is set for Sunday, May 7. Though the park will be open for regular patrons, it is expected that upwards of 7,000 people who pass through the main gates will be channeling the Haunted Mansion more than the Mickey Mouse Club. Bats Day puts a dark and spooky spin on the magic of the park, allowing those who can’t wait for All Hallow’s Eve to spend a summer’s day reveling in an animatronic wonderland complemented by unique merch and special attractions like a group gala and an event photo at Sleeping Beauty Castle.
All styles and expressions are welcome at Bats Day—for the most part. While skulls, bats, and ghouls are perfect for the occasion, the park reminds guests that little eyes may not want to spy too much gore and “adult” content. Other than that, prepare to have a hauntingly amazing feast for the eyes as you gaze upon the creative and creepy apparel of everything from would-be Count Draculas to an entire family of the seemingly undead.
The Dark History of Bats Day
On the surface, the vision of Korda’s dream may have seemed like a weird infusion of leather and lace into the happy brightness of the Magic Kingdom. But isn’t the whole idea of Disney based on the somewhat feverish dreams of Walt Disney himself? Only a person with a lurid and romantic imagination could have made a world with monsters, ghosts, talking puppet boys, and a smoking caterpillar fun for the whole family.
Goth style relies heavily on the imagination and the freedom to mix designs, eras, and fantasy. Disney literally created a world in which adventure and fantasy get their own lands. It’s a marriage made in fanciful heaven.
Image Credits: disneyellaa
How to Experience Disney in a Whole New Way
The other great thing about Bats Day, besides the ghoulishly obvious, is that it’s for everyone young and old. Why not experience the park in a whole new way by adding the date to your calendar? Since the Haunted Mansion won’t be decked out for Halloween quite yet, you’ll have thousands of other sights to get you in the spooky spirit. Bats Day invites everyone to dress up, come out, and play in the world that Walt Built. You can follow @batsday on Instagram to get all the latest updates and plan your trip accordingly.
As for finding the perfect fashion for the occasion, look no further than Midnight Hour. We have everything from the literal to the traditional when it comes to being bat-ready. A Purple Xray Bats Babydoll Dress is the perfect way to embrace the spirit and theme of the day, as is this Embroidered Bats Dress and this Velvet Bats Kimono.
If you’re bringing someone special along, you can roll up in matching Snake Bat T-Shirts and really get the party started. There is something for everyone at Midnight Hour, so check out an assortment of women’s and men’s goth clothing and accessories to build your perfectly chilling ensemble.
And don’t forget the kids. Bats Day is fun for the whole family, so dress up those little gothlings in their best duds and pay homage to the wickedest villains in the Disney-verse while riding rides and watching the daily parades. Outside organizers even set up group “baby bats” photos just for the little ghouls and goblins. Refer to the Bats Day website for more information on meetups and special events.
Image Credits: spooky.stardust
Explore the Wicked Side of the Magic Kingdom
Back in ‘99, there were some questionable glares and even a few freaked out soccer moms, but times have changed. The Happiest Place on Earth wants everyone to be happy, regardless of how they look on the outside. Bats Day opens a portal, if you will, for those who find happiness in the darkest of places. It’s a spooky trip you won’t soon forget.
Image Credits: josyness