Debunking Disneyland

Will Disneyland make a comeback for OPHS’ Grad Night?


(Courtesy of Sebastian Garcia)

“Have you heard the rumor that Oak Park was banned from Disneyland?,” we asked.

“No I did not. The only thing I know is it costs, what, $220?” yard supervisor Jerry Frizell said. “Why, what happened at Disneyland?”

Grad Night at Disneyland seems to be the dream of every high school senior for the very secretly held post-graduation plans. Years of convoluted rumors, however, have transformed to one widely held idea: Oak Park is banned from Disneyland.

“Oh yeah, because we got drunk and tossed Mickey into a fountain — that’s actually what happened, yeah. It was passed down from my older sister and the older grades. I think it happened when my sister was a freshman, so seven years ago,” senior Dylan Bezonsky said.

“In terms of whether or not we’ve been banned from Disneyland, I have absolutely no idea. I know that we went there in 2012 for my Grad Night, and I don’t know if subsequent people have gone to Disneyland since that happened,” social sciences teacher Jackson Hall said.  “I don’t know if that’s because we were kicked out of Disneyland, or just because those places are closer and less expensive than places like Disneyland. But yeah, in terms of having the ‘tea’ about Disneyland, I do not have it.”

“I know that when I was in middle school, our eighth grade band trip was originally to Disneyland, but when we actually got to that year, it was changed to Knott’s Berry Farm,” senior Nick Ferrante said. “The rumor was that the previous year, kids had brought some not-so-legal substances in. I don’t know if we were temporarily banned or fully banned, but it was something like that. We weren’t allowed to go.”

There are various opinions and rumors spread through the generations of Oak Park students about whether or not our school was ever actually banned from the amusement park. OPHS Parent Faculty Association, however, does not share this opinion.

“To my knowledge, OPHS is not, nor has ever been banned from any amusement park.  Like you, I’ve heard the rumor that we’re banned from Disneyland. I don’t think it’s true,” PFA President Helen Tesoro said. “The reason OPHS has not gone to Disneyland for Grad Night in the past is because Disney only does Grad Night during a two week period that, until recently, was only in June. Since Oak Park graduates earlier, in May, it wasn’t an option for us.”

Luckily for the class of 2022, this two week period has shifted the first of the two week to May this year. The offered dates for Grad Night at Disneyland include eight days throughout the month of May, one being May 26th, the night of OPHS’ Grad Night plans.

After turning down an offer to interview with the Talon about Oak Park’s possible history with Disneyland’s Grad Night program, we were directed to the following information.

“The first ticket option is the Disneyland Grad Nite Private Party Experience at Disney California Adventure park. After 9 p.m., Grads get exclusive access to Disney California Adventure park as it transforms into an immersive, once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Grads will get to enjoy this evening event with other Grads. ($89 per person),” the Disneyland Resort Grad Nite page says.

This cost, added to the costs of food and transportation, would equal out to the requested donation amount for seniors planning on attending Oak Park’s Grad Night celebrations. The questions to be posed now are (1) was OPHS ever banned from Disneyland and (2) has this ban been now lifted for us to be able to attend this year?