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ORLANDO (CBS4) – A forty-year tradition, a rite of passage for millions of Florida high school seniors, will come to an end this year.

Walt Disney World is pulling the plug of Grad Nite after 2011.

According to Thomas Smith, the Social Media Director for Disney Parks, with more and more people visiting the park during the spring, it has become a challenge to schedule special night time events in April and May.

“We’ve recently seen more and more students visiting Walt Disney World as part of a broader senior class trip. And activities such as youth sports competitions, performing arts programs, including performances, workshops and festivals, and educational programs now give teens chances to experience Walt Disney World virtually any time of the year,” said Smith on a Disney Parks blog.

Disney officials say Florida school groups who still wish to include a trip to their parks as part of the school will be able to buy a special one-day, one-park ticket for $55 which will be valid anytime of the year.

Grad Nite at Disneyland Resort will continue as normal.

The event began in 1972, the first spring the Magic Kingdom was open. It continued at the park every year after except in 2009 when it was held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


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