For many people the idea of “celebrating” death might seem gory and even disrespectful, but for those in Mexico and other countries in Latin America remembering those that have passed before us is filled with joy and a festive atmosphere. Much of the symbolism associated with the traditional Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday celebrated in Latin America on November 1st and 2nd, has crossed over to the United States and is starting to fuse with Halloween due to its proximity in days and its seemingly related themes dealing with the after life.
Disneyland Parks has embraced the Día de los Muertos celebration since 2007 by including a space at Rancho del Zócalo Restaurante in Frontierland during Halloween Time, happening right now through Sunday, November 3rd. In this small, but colorful area, families can check out a display of traditional calacas (skeletons), altars, patterns made with marigolds and get their picture taken…like we did!
Even though I wish the area was bigger and included more interaction for the kids, I love making this our stop when we go during Halloween Time and especially during Mickey’s Halloween Party at night when the whole park transforms into a pumping party. Just having the space there helps me remind my daughter about why this celebration is important to us and to so many that observe Día de los Muertos as an integral part of our heritage.