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This is last year of Disney World's Grad Nite celebration

It's the end of era. This year will see the last Grad Nite celebrations at the Magic Kingdom, according to an announcement on the Disney Parks blog.

The larger springtime crowds at the park have made it too difficult to schedule this separate event, where the kids get the park to themselves all night.

"It's become a rite of passage for seniors," wrote Disney social media director Thomas Smith. "With more leisure guests visiting in the springtime, it's become challenging to schedule special events during April and May. Instead, graduates will have new opportunities to celebrate with us in the parks at more flexible and convenient times."

Disneyland launched Grad Nite in 1961, and the California park will continue to stage them. Disney World has held them since 1972 and since then has brought in acts ranging from New Kids on the Block to Katy Perry.

Universal and Busch Gardens have similar parties for high school seniors. Disney will offer Florida school groups a special one-day, one-park ticket for $55 that's valid any time during the year.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

Grad Nite through the years

Here are some of the music acts that have played Disney's

Grad Nite since 1972.

1972: Duck, Saltwater Express, Crickett, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Stampeders, the Staple Singers

1975: Kool & the Gang, Liberation, Sister Sledge, Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids, Hues Corporation

1984: Night Ranger, Dazz Band, Exile, Dwight Twilley, Weird Al Yankovic

1989: Samantha Fox, Information Society, Will to Power, Midnight Star, New Kids on the Block, Pasanda's, Surface

1999: Britney Spears, Reel Big Fish, Sister Hazel

2006: Fall Out Boy, Omarion, Teddy Geiger, Simple Plan, Farnkie J, Fefe Dobson

2009: Metro Station, Katy Perry, Lloyd, Mishon, Lesley Roy, Wynter

2011: Taio Cruz, 3OH!3, Pete Wentz and Ryan Star

This is last year of Disney World's Grad Nite celebration 03/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 7:58pm]
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