Disneyland Brings Back Its Nighttime Spectaculars

The wows are guaranteed with the return of Disney's nighttime spectaculars.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the "Main Street Electrical Parade," this nighttime spectacular returns to Disneyland Park for a limited time. Inspired by the original design of the parade, plus Disney Legend Mary Blair's iconic art style on "it's a small world," the new grand finale will bring together classic and contemporary favorites, led by the Blue Fairy from "Pinocchio." Seen here on one side of the parade route, guests may see moments from (l-r), "Hercules," "Coco," "Moana," "Pocahontas," "Raya and the Last Dragon," and "Aladdin." On the opposite side, (l-r), guests may enjoy sights of "Brave," "The Princess and the Frog," "Mulan," "Frozen," "The Jungle Book," and "Encanto." It will all come to a dazzling conclusion with a colorful, whimsical version of Sleeping Beauty Castle. These stories will be interpreted in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sound, with unique representations of beloved characters as animated dolls. Guests can visit Disneyland.com and the Disneyland app for the latest details.
(Photo: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort)

After more than a year of closure and a careful reopening, Disneyland is back in full swing with the return of its spectacles, plus a new show that presents a Disney classic in a new way. The return of Disneyland parades, shows, and its fireworks signals to fans that the parks are back, and judging by the crowds, Disney park goers are ready to welcome back these fan favorites. 

And bonus: Disney Imagineers made the most of the park downtime, adding extra sparkle and more wow to every show. Expect brighter brights, more highlights, and new additions–here’s what’s back and better than ever at Disneyland. 

Fantasmic! 

ÒFantasmic!Ó at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., is an emotional extravaganza of colorful Disney animated film images, choreographed to an exciting musical score. The waters of the Rivers of America come alive as Mickey MouseÕs power of imagination enables him to create fantastic events and images as seen in beloved Disney classic films like ÒFantasia,Ó ÒThe Jungle Book,Ó ÒThe Little MermaidÓ and more
(Photo: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort)

Back in time for its 30th anniversary, Fantasmic! draws the crowds to the shore of the Rivers of America for fire, water, and a 45-foot-tall dragon plus a soaring score and plenty of Disney movie scenes. There are plenty of performers in the mix too, including some ghost pirates and princesses.

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Main Street Electrical Parade

“Main Street Electrical Parade” once again lights up Disneyland Park for a limited time as it returns for its 50th anniversary. This spectacular pageant of nighttime magic and imagination will be led by the iconic train and drum unit featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy. The parade brings back many guest favorites including Elliott the Dragon and floats from "Alice in Wonderland," "Cinderella" and "Peter Pan." A new grand finale, featuring unique representations of beloved characters as animated dolls, brings to life moments from "Pinocchio," "Hercules," "Coco," "Moana," "Pocahontas," "Raya and the Last Dragon," "Aladdin," "Brave," "The Princess and the Frog," "Mulan," "Frozen," "The Jungle Book" and "Encanto." It all comes to a dazzling conclusion with a colorful, whimsical version of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Guests can visit Disneyland.com and the Disneyland app for the latest details.
(Photo: Sean Teegarden/Disneyland Resort)

In honor of its 50th year, the Main Street Electrical Parade has some new additions, including a new grand finale with a 118-foot-long Small World float. Whether you’re there because you’re bringing kids to witness the next generation of a Disney classic or because you’re embracing the nostalgia of childhood, you’ll find the 22 floats featuring 18 Disney tales (including The Princess and the Frog, Peter Pan, Encanto, and Coco) better than ever. 

Disneyland Forever Fireworks 

Disneyland fireworks over Cinderella's castle
(Photo: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Since 2015, Disneyland visitors have come to expect the pyrotechnic magic of the fireworks show. And after empty skies for too long, they’re back with nightly shows this summer. Whether you’re watching from Main Street, U.S.A, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, or near It’s a Small World, you’ll get solid views of the show. Music and fireworks combine to tell familiar stories including Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and Frozen. 

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World of Color

Lights, water, music, fire and animation come together like never before in ÒWorld of ColorÓ at Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim, Calif. The show combines nearly 1,200 powerful fountains with heights that range from 30 feet to 200 feet in the air, dazzling colors and a kaleidoscope of audio and visual effects, including both classic and new animation projected on one of the worldÕs largest projected water screens Ñ a wall of water 380 feet wide by 50 feet high for a projection surface of 19,000 square feet.
(Photo: Sean Teegarden/Disneyland)

Fan favorite World of Color is Disney California Adventure’s nighttime show. The dazzling spectacular is a blend of mist, fountains (1,200 of them!), lasers, music, and scene projections from Disney and Pixar movies. World of Color will give you all the feels you get from the most exciting and touching moments in movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, and more. Just note that if you get a front row spot (standing only), you’re likely to get misted. 

The Lion King

Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif. welcomes ÒTale of the Lion KingÓ to its new home at the Fantasyland Theatre where this original, story-theatre adaptation of DisneyÕs ÒThe Lion KingÓ is staged in an all-new presentation. From the scenic and costume designs to the new original musical arrangements and choreography, every aspect of ÒTale of the Lion KingÓ honors and is inspired by the cultural roots of this timeless story.
(Photo: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort)

Catch new staging of Tale of the Lion King at the Fantasyland Theatre. This retelling of The Lion King features a cast of 20 actors, singers, dancers, and drummers, and is told in the spirit of traditional storytelling with a narrator and an ensemble cast that plays all the parts. The backdrop is a cool screen that changes with each scene. The show runs Thursday through Monday and is short enough to keep even young audiences captivated.

As these shows ramp back up for Summer 2022, there will be plenty of chances to see them all. Check the Disneyland app during your visit for details on showtimes. 

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Christine Sarkis
Christine Sarkis is a traveling parent and longtime travel writer and editor. The former executive editor for TripAdvisor travel magazine SmarterTravel.com, Sarkis has spent nearly two decades finding and sharing the best places to go with an audience of enthusiastic travelers. Her stories have appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her expert advice has been quoted in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her stories have been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008, and she is working on a travel memoir.

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