Disney After Dark


It’s easy to feel wiped out after a solid 10 hours in the park, but hang in there! Some of the best attractions take place after sunset.

Paint the Night Parade
If you skip Disney parades assuming they’re geared toward kids, we recommend making an exception for this one. Premiering last year as part of the 60th anniversary celebration, this 21st-century nod to the beloved Electrical Parade (which ran from 1972 to 1996) truly is a wonder. More than 1.5 million LED lights dazzle on characters and floats, including a 30-foot tall “Frozen” fortress, above.

Disneyland Forever Fireworks
Another Diamond Celebration special, the newest iteration of the nightly fireworks show includes bonus special effects and a heap of nostalgia in the form of archival Walt Disney voiceovers. Watch for video projections on Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn, and elsewhere, as well as lasers, searchlights, fake snow, and a zip-lining Nemo puppet.

World of Color—Celebrate!
The water-and-lights show at Disney California Adventure got a reboot last year, with new hosts Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris. The show includes video clips of Walt Disney, various park attractions such as “It’s a Small World,” classic Mickey cartoons, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Frozen,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Cars Land Neon Lighting
This less well-known ceremony takes place each evening just after sunset. In a nod to a scene in the film, the doo-wop song “Sh-Boom” by The Chords begins to play as the neon signs on Route 66 are turned on, one by one. It’s subtle, but “Cars” fans definitely will enjoy the spectacle.

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