Disneyland’s Nighttime Extravaganzas

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Disneyland

Fireworks at Disneyland Park, as seen from Tomorrowland

I still remember the look on my daughter’s face the first time she saw Disneyland at night. Until that evening, she was too little to stay up late enough to witness all the twinkling lights on Main Street, U.S.A. and the colorful glow around Sleeping Beauty Castle. Her face lit up almost as brightly as those lights.

The highlights of Disneyland after dark are three mind blowing nighttime spectaculars. Here is a brief description of each:

FANTASMIC!

This extremely popular nighttime extravaganza at Disneyland Park just returned after a lengthy hiatus due to construction on this park’s planned Star Wars section. Performed on the Rivers of America in Frontierland, this show features music, fireworks, water screens, and beloved Disney characters. The story revolves around Mickey Mouse learning to use his imagination to conquer fearsome Disney villians.

Unlike its Walt Disney World counterpart, there is no stadium in which to watch this show. Fans have been known to park on the pavement in late afternoon to secure a good viewing point. Since its reopening, Disneyland began offering Fast Passes for this show. Another way to secure a good viewing spot is to book a Fantasmic! Dining Package at Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, or Café Orleans. Another option is to order a to-go meal that comes with a space in a reserved viewing area.

“REMEMBER…DREAMS COME TRUE”

Disneyland Park’s current fireworks extravaganza features fireworks bursting over Sleeping Beauty Castle. If you can’t jostle for a good viewing spot on Main Street, U.S.A., the fireworks are also visible from other parts of the park, but you won’t get the same head-on effect of seeing them over the Castle.

The show is narrated by Julie Andrews, the legendary Mary Poppins, and begins and ends with a flight by everyone’s favorite fairy, Tinker Bell. At one point, Walt Disney’s own voice describes Disneyland Park, and through music and fireworks, guests are taken on a tour of Disneyland’s most cherished attractions, land by land.

WORLD OF COLOR

California Adventure has its own extravaganza, one that is equally popular as Disneyland Park’s. World of Color uses massive water screens, dancing fountains, bursts of flame, incredible lighting, and classic music to bring the waters of Paradie Pier to life.

As can be expected, the areas surrounding World of Color get mobbed as showtime approaches. One way to alleviate this is to grab a FastPass. Another is to book a World of Color Dining Package at either Ariel’s Grotto (note that the World of Color meal here does NOT include visits from Princesses), Carthay Circle Restaurant (a very pricey but outstanding place to eat), and Wine Country Trattoria (good Italian food for less money than Carthay).

Which is your favorite nighttime spectacular at Disneyland Resort? Share it and why in the comments!

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