With three new dazzling nighttime shows created just for its 60th Anniversary, the Disneyland Resort is the place to be for Disney fans. The “Paint the Night” parade, “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show, and the new “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” headline a special year of fun for guests.
Actually, it will last a bit longer than a year, Disneyland recently announced the celebration will continue through Labor Day of 2016. Some of the shows or parades may continue beyond that, but the decor, themed food, and special character meet and greets will end then.
Here’s what you need to know to see all three shows on your trip to the park.
In Disneyland Park:
- “Paint the Night – All-New Electrical Parade” – This luminescent parade creates a river of color flowing down Main Street, U.S.A., with an array of Disney characters and more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights that flash and glow as Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to “Paint the Night.” With dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances, fun surprises and spectacular floats, “Paint the Night” is more vibrant than any parade in 60 years at the Disneyland Resort. Even the choreography glows, as parade performers light up with their props and costumes. Tinker Bell leads the procession in a magical, musical overture, closely followed by a float reminiscent of the giant bass drum that led the classic “Main Street Electrical Parade.” Lightning McQueen races in with his buddy Mack Truck, who makes a hefty impression at 54-feet long, covered from headlights to tail pipe in gleaming light. Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” glide through the night in a shimmering palace of ice and snow, and beloved characters from “Monsters, Inc.,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Toy Story” appear, with Mickey and his pals creating a breathtaking grand finale.
- “Disneyland Forever” – The dazzling fireworks spectacular “Disneyland Forever” is a street-to-sky, immersive experience like nothing seen before at the Disneyland Resort. Guests will be surrounded by the worlds of timeless Disney tales, from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, thanks to the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects. One minute they will be standing on Main Street, U.S.A., and the next they could be stampeding across Simba’s Pride Lands, dancing with King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” traveling “Under the Sea” with the Little Mermaid, flying over London with Peter Pan, dripping in honey with Pooh in a whimsical dream of heffalumps and woozles, or shivering as Queen Elsa brings a glimmering blanket of snow over Disneyland.
Oh wow! I can't even begin to describe the awesomeness that is Paint the Night electrical parade at #Disneyland. From the first glimpse to the finale float, it was one eye-popping moment after another. Fantastic job by the creators, cast, & crew. If you've see the parade, what is your favorite unit?
For the first time in Disneyland fireworks history, Nemo from the Disney/Pixar animated film “Finding Nemo,” “just keeps swimming” in the skies above Sleeping Beauty Castle, as the Matterhorn is transformed into the fiery peak of Mt. Wannahockaloogie, a special monument from that film. Two original songs enrich the show: the “Disneyland Forever” theme “Live the Magic,” and the inspiring closing song “A Kiss Goodnight,” written by another Disney Legend, Richard M. Sherman, and sung by Ashley Brown, star of the Broadway production of “Mary Poppins.” The “stage” for “Disneyland Forever” fireworks extends from the sky above to the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A., the façade of “it’s a small world,” the Matterhorn and mist screens along the Rivers of America, with specially designed digital projections offering guests different experiences at each location.
In Disney California Adventure Park:
- “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” – Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris joins Mickey Mouse on a magical water canvas to entertain guests in this fun-filled new presentation of the popular, nighttime “World of Color” spectacular in Disney California Adventure. Both epic and intimate in scope, “World of Color – Celebrate!” brings to life the remarkable story of Walt and The Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers, special effects and a stirring musical score. Guests take an inspirational journey through the unparalleled imagination of Walt Disney, exploring his decades-long legacy of memorable animated moments around the world and the dream of Disneyland. “World of Color – Celebrate!” reminds guests that, if they always hold onto their dreams, anything is possible.
All three shows are very popular. With “World of Color” in DCA, you’ll have to get a Fastpass early to get the best viewing areas. For “Paint the Night,” folks start lining up on Main Street about 3-4 hours early. We snagged a second row standing spot about 2 hours before the parade which was fine. The fireworks show has good viewing spots throughout most of the resort. If you’re able to see it only once, I’d recommend seeing it from Main Street near the Photopass store. You have about 1 minute after the parade passes to run into the street and grab a spot. So be lined up nearby if you can manage it. If you’re going to see it more than once, a second viewing in front of “it’s a small world” facade will be less panic inducing.
Generally crowds were cordial and even jolly. The shows are worth waiting for, even if you don’t know when you’ll be back to the parks next. Just do everyone a favor, please don’t put your child on your shoulders. It’s rude and ruins the view for everyone behind you. Hold your child so their head is the same level as yours.