Nighttime Entertainment at the Disneyland Resort
Nighttime Entertainment at the Disneyland Resort
Nighttime entertainment at Disneyland is a true highlight for a magical vacation. Disneyland is home to Fantasmic!, and a number of other nighttime shows, including projections, fireworks and more. Disney California Adventure Park is home to World of Color. Out of all of the nighttime entertainment offered at the Disneyland Resort, Fantasmic! and World of Color are considered a “permanent” part of the line-up.
Other nighttime shows, parades and even after hours events can and do change somewhat often. There are many ways to experience each of the nighttime entertainment options at Disneyland, which we’ll break down for you on a show-by-show basis below.
World of Color - California Adventure Park
If you’ve seen World of Color, then you know how special this nighttime show is. World of Color is located in Paradise Gardens Park at Disney California Adventure Park and takes place on the lake that’s adjacent to Pixar Pier. However, if you’ve never seen it, you’ll be able to watch in wonder as jets of water shoot into the air, along with lasers, music and projections of beloved Disney and Pixar films on a grand fountain of 19,000 square feet of water. It’s truly a sight to be seen!
Additionally, World of Color typically has seasonal overlays. In the past, World of Color has had an overlay for the holiday season called World of Color - Season of Light. In 2023 Disney introduced an all new World of Color show, “World of Color – One” over Paradise Bay.
For the best viewing experience, we recommend getting access to the virtual queue in the Disneyland app at no additional cost. he Virtual QueueT can be accessed beginning at 12:00 p.m. in the Disneyland app and is subject to availability.
In order to enter the Virtual Queue, you must have entered either Disney California Adventure Park or Disneyland Park with a Park Hopper ticket. If you’re able to make a Virtual Queue selection, you’ll need to enter your designated viewing area approximately 45 minutes before the show begins. The designated areas are separated by yellow or blue, so make sure you go to the correct one. If the Virtual Queue is full, you can always visit the Paradise Bay viewing area before World of Color begins to ask a Cast Member about walk-up viewing options.
World of Color has Dessert Party packages available which we highly recommend. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion, or just want to treat yourself, we think it’s worth every penny. To read more about the World of Color Dessert Party, check out our blog post here..
If you’re looking to get access to preferred viewing areas, one of the easiest ways to do that is with a World of Color dining package. While you’re not able to reserve dining packages online or in the Disneyland app right now, you can make a reservation to dine at either restaurant and let your host or server know that you’d like the World of Color dining package. There are two options for World of Color dining packages that you can choose from:
- Wine Country Trattoria lunch or dinner with voucher for preferred viewing area
- Storytellers Cafe buffet dinner with voucher for preferred viewing area
The Heartbeat of New Orleans
Fantasmic! - Disneyland Park
Note: Fantasmic returns to Disneyland Park May 24, 2024.
Another one of our all-time favorite nighttime shows at the Disneyland Resort is Fantasmic! Viewing areas are located in Frontierland in Disneyland Park and take place around Tom Sawyer’s Island. Here, you’ll be able to watch as Mickey Mouse dreams he’s the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and faces some of Disney’s most infamous villains and showcases the power of imagination. This show includes live performers, beloved Disney Characters, special effects, pyrotechnics and more!
Dining packages are available for Fantasmic! at the River Belle Terrace inside Disneyland Park. Guests can choose between the premium package or the standard package. With the premium package, you’ll be able to enjoy your dinner while watching the first performance of Fantasmic! From the outdoor patio at River Belle Terrace.
With the standard package, guests will be able to choose between lunch or dinner and receive a voucher for a separate reserved viewing location for one of the two Fantasmic! performances that evening. Guests will still be able to choose from either the regular menu or from special items offered only to Fantasmic! dining package guests. However, it’s important to note that the standard package does not offer advanced reservations and it will need to be requested from their server or host.
Parades at the Disneyland Resort
If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you know that it's known for some of the most spectacular nighttime parades. Unlike World of Color or Fantasmic!, nighttime parades at the Disneyland Resort are switched up fairly often. Throughout the year we’ve seen these parades rotating at Disneyland Park:
- The Main Street Electrical Parade (ended September 2022)
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade (runs during the holiday season)
- Magic Happens Parade (now showing in 2024)
The Plaza Inn often offers a parade dining package that comes with reserved viewing for the current parade. When available, we highly recommend doing this for the best viewing experience. You really can’t beat having reserved viewing for entertainment offerings!
If you aren’t interested in the dining package, we suggest heading over to “it’s a small world” about 30 minutes before the show starts. Because most people go to Main Street U.S.A. to view parades, we find that it can sometimes get a little crowded. For a more relaxed experience, we suggest watching it near “it’s a small world”.
Fireworks at the Disneyland Resort
Last, but certainly not least, are the Disneyland Resort projections and fireworks shows. Whether you’re watching Mickey’s Mix Magic, Halloween Screams, or “Believe … in Holiday Magic”, each firework spectacular is something to behold.
Throughout the year we’ve seen these firework shows rotating at Disneyland Park:
- Mickey’s Mix Magic
- Halloween Screams
- Believe … in Holiday Magic”
Over at Sleeping Beauty Castle, you’ll be taken on a journey through timeless Disney stories and more recent Disney and Pixar films.The street-to-sky celebration includes pyrotechnics, immersive projections and other effects that transform the Park.
Our best recommendation to view the Disneyland firework show is to head over to Main Street U.S.A. about 30 - 45 minutes before the show starts. As a tip, we suggest Mobile Ordering dinner and eating it while you wait for the nighttime spectacular to start. It’s a great way to save time for other attractions and activities throughout the park.
Typically, music and projections are shown nightly and fireworks are added on weekend nights and select holiday weeks.
Tips for Nighttime Entertainment at Disneyland
With nighttime entertainment lighting up the sky at the Disneyland Resort, our biggest recommendation is to purchase a Park Hopper ticket. Due to weather, special ticketed events or other conditions, you never know when a show might get canceled, sometimes at the last minute. We always recommend having a Disneyland Park Hopper ticket for this exact reason. If Disneyland Park isn’t able to do fireworks one night because of the wind, you can always hop over to Disney California Adventure Park and watch World of Color instead. Or, let’s say World of Color has a technical issue, but you only have a 1-Park per Day Ticket and your next day is scheduled for Disneyland - you’d miss it! We don’t want that to happen to our guests. Disneyland Park Hopper tickets provide the most flexibility while you’re on your trip - which is exactly what you need!
Along with this, we always suggest getting a longer length of stay ticket. Not only will you want to be able to watch all of the nighttime shows, but with so many new things to experience (Avengers Campus, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, limited-time celebrations), you won’t want to miss out on any of the fun. We recommend at least having a 3-Day ticket, but our #1 pick is the 5-Day ticket. Plus, you can take advantage of our Extra Day Free offer and get five days for the price of four!