See All Disneyland’s Nighttime Shows!

The best way to see ALL Disneyland’s nighttime shows during your Disneyland vacation. Spring and Summer 2022 represents a full circle moment for many Disney fans.

We’ve waited for our favorite pieces of Disneyland Resort to return to us after the long closure and are so excited to welcome back all the nighttime spectaculars.Disneylands Nighttime Shows

Here’s a timeline of our journey up until now:

 

New float for Main Street Electrical Parade
New float for Main Street Electrical Parade.

And now here we are in 2022 with a full schedule of events like Lunar New Year, Food & Wine Festival and finally our nighttime spectaculars! Here’s how to see them all during your visit. 

Disneyland’s Nighttime Shows

The complete nighttime line-up at Disneyland Resort includes:

  1. Disneyland Forever Fireworks returns for select nights at Disneyland Park.
  2. Encanto Projection Show nightly, several times at night on the façade of “it’s a small world.”
  3. Fantasmic! returns May 28, 2022 for nightly shows over Rivers of America at Disneyland Park.
  4. Main Street Electrical Parade is back to honor the 50th anniversary of the parade at Disneyland Park.
  5. Mickey’s Mix Magic Projections will show in late spring on M, T, W Th nights.
  6. World of Color now runs nightly shows over Paradise Bay at California Adventure Park.

Clearly, the summer of 2022 is not to be missed! You’ll definitely want a multi-day park hopper ticket to enjoy these iconic nighttime shows.Discount Tickets

In this article I share an overview of each night time event and how you should schedule your days to make the most of every night time magical moment. 

Disneyland Forever Fireworks

I cover every fireworks show at Disneyland in this all-inclusive article. During spring and into early summer, Disneyland Forever fireworks will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights (weather permitting). During the summer months, Disneyland Forever will run nightly at Disneyland Park.

 

Disneyland Forever

 

Here are some quick details on Disneyland Forever Fireworks:

  • Located at Disneyland Park, see best viewing spots here.
  • Starts at 9:30 PM on select nights, weather permitting check the official calendar here.
  • This fireworks show is 14 minutes long.
  • I recommend viewing after the first run of Main Street Electrical Parade, near it’s a small world. See my full nighttime itinerary at the end of this article.

Encanto Projections Show

We all know Encanto is Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest hit. It tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia.

Ever since the nation couldn’t stop talking about Bruno, Disney looked for ways to incorporate Encanto into the theme park experience. 

First, we could meet Mirabel Madrigal at California Adventure. It was a stunning set up and I loved meeting her there even before Encanto debuted in theaters. 

 

mirabel encanto dca

 

Currently, you can meet Mirabel in Frontierland, just outside Rancho del Zocalo, in “Zocalo Park.”

In addition to that meeting spot, you’ll want to schedule time to see the latest addition toDisneyland’s Nighttime Shows: Encanto Projection Show.

Here are some quick details on the Encanto Projection Show:

  • Located at Disneyland Park in front of “it’s a small world.”
  • Runs at 9:15 PM, 10:15 PM and 10:45 PM on most nights, check the official calendar here.
  • This projection and musical show is 2 minutes long.
  • I recommend viewing after the first run of Main Street Electrical Parade, near it’s a small world. See my full nighttime itinerary at the end of this article.

Fantasmic! Nighttime Show

I cover Fantasmic in detail in this article. Beginning Summer 2022, Fantasmic is a Disneyland staple that runs most nights of the year.

 

Fantasmic!
(Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

 

Here are some quick details on Fantasmic:

  • Located at Disneyland Park, see best viewing spots coming soon.
  • Runs at 9:00 PM 10:30 PM on most nights, check the official calendar here.
  • This nighttime show is 27 minutes long.
  • More recommendations coming soon. 

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Main Street Electrical Parade

I cover every parade at Disneyland in this all-inclusive article. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic, Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade will run twice nightly. Disneyland’s nighttime shows certainly wouldn’t be complete without this dazzling parade!

 

Dragon MSEP

 

Here are some quick details on Main Street Electrical Parades:

  • Located at Disneyland Park, see best viewing spots here.
  • Start at 8:45 PM and 10:45 PM, check the official calendar here.
  • This parade is 20 minutes long.
  • I recommend the first run of Main Street Electrical Parade, near it’s a small world. See my full nighttime itinerary at the end of this article.

Mickey’s Mix Magic Projections

I cover every fireworks show at Disneyland in this all-inclusive article. During spring and into early summer, Mickey’s Mix Magic will run on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. If  the weather prohibits Disneyland Forever fireworks, Mickey’s Mix Magic might be used as back up entertainment but will not feature fireworks.

 

Mickeys Mix Magic small world

 

Here are some quick details on Mickey’s Mix Magic:

  • Located at Disneyland Park, see best viewing spots here.
  • Starts at 9:30 PM on select nights, check the official calendar here.
  • This projection show is 1o minutes long.
  • I recommend viewing after the first run of Main Street Electrical Parade, near it’s a small world. See my full nighttime itinerary at the end of this article.

World of Color Nighttime Show

I cover World of Color in detail in this article.  During the year, World of Color runs nightly at Disney California Adventure Park.

 

World of Color spot

 

Here are some quick details on World of Color:

Your Plan: Disneyland’s Nighttime Shows  

Disneyland Plans are the name of my step-by-step itineraries. I’ve been sharing my strategies for the best Disneyland Vacation since 2013. Over the years, I have perfected and modified these Disneyland Plans on a regular basis. 

You can see all of my Disneyland Plan selections to print at home here

While many of them include times for nighttime entertainment, the outline below offers suggestions based on both family and night-owl modes. Add this step-by-step to your printable Disneyland Plan for the most magic yet!

Family Friendly Disneyland Plan Nighttime Shows 

Families with young children will likely not make it from rope drop to night shows without taking a midday break or starting late on one of your Disneyland days. 

 

Disney California World of Color
Disney California World of Color

 

Even with a late start and a nap midday, this strategy will likely work best for families in the park.

Disneyland Day ONE

  1. 8:45 PM Main Street Electrical Parade near “it’s a small world”. Arrive by 7:30. Bring a late dinner to the area to sit and enjoy while you wait. Sit as close to facing “it’s a small world” as possible. Bathrooms and snacks are both nearby. The parade will start near “it’s a small world” so you’ll be one of the first to see it tonight. 
  2. 9:15 PM Encanto Projection Show on the front of “it’s a small world.”
  3. 9:30 PM Stay in your same spot from the parade and Encanto show for Disneyland Forever Fireworks OR Mickey’s Mix Magic, whichever is showing that evening. 
  4. 9:45 PM Hop in line for “it’s a small world” as soon as fireworks finish. This last ride of the night will give time for the fireworks crowd to clear out and provide an easier exit down Main Street.

 

Moana MSEP
This is my view from the elevated terrace area in front of it’s a small world.”

 

Disneyland Day TWO

  1. 9:00 PM Fantasmic night time show along Rivers of America. 
  2. 9:30 PM Stay in your same spot from Fanasmic for Disneyland Forever Fireworks OR Mickey’s Mix Magic, whichever is showing that evening. 

California Adventure Day

  1. 12:00 PM Join the virtual queue for your World of Color viewing spot.
  2. 9:00 PM Enjoy World of Color from Paradise Bay viewing area. 
  3. 9:30 PM Catch a glimpse of Disneyland Forever Fireworks as you leave the parks and the esplanade for the night.

Night Owl Disneyland Plan Nighttime Shows 

Night Owls who like to close down the parks will likely enjoy better seating with less time commitment holding spots. If you can make it to the later shows of the night and like staying out late, this Disneyland Plan is a great option for your visit. 

Disneyland Day ONE

  1. 9:30 PM Disneyland Forever Fireworks OR Mickey’s Mix Magic, whichever is showing that evening. Some spots for viewing include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge by the Millennium Falcon, over Rivers of America or on Main Street, U.S.A. You can also catch glimpses while you’re on the go. Good rides to see them on include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Mad Tea Party and Matterhorn.
  2. 10:45 PM Encanto Projection Show on the front of “it’s a small world.”
  3. 11:00 PM Main Street Electrical Parade near “it’s a small world”. Yes, the schedule says 10:45 PM but during the second show, the parade starts at Main Street. It actually won’t arrive in this area until closer to 11:00 PM. 
  4. 11:20 PM Hop in line for “it’s a small world” as soon as the parade concludes. After the ride, power walk to your last ride of the night. As long as you get in line before park closing, you should still be admitted. Try Haunted Mansion, a great attraction to exit once most people have already left the park.

Disneyland Day TWO

  1. 10:30 PM Fantasmic night time show along Rivers of America. 

California Adventure Day

  1. 9:00 PM If you have a park hopper you might watch Fantasmic’s earlier show.
  2. 9:30 PM Then watch Disneyland Forever Fireworks as you leave Disneyland for the night. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to scan into California Adventure before closing at 10:00 PM. 
  3. 10:15 PM Enjoy World of Color from Paradise Bay viewing area, walk up viewing.

More Disneyland Nighttime Tips

Rest assured, my Disneyland articles are updated and refreshed on a regular basis. If you notice something that isn’t quite right, let me know so I can make the adjustments. 

 

Tink Main Street Electrical Parade

 

I’ll be adding more tips and tricks as we navigate the return of these nighttime classics throughout the summer. 

But before we go, let’s take a look back in time to the original purpose of this article. Especially important for those Disney fans who love Paint the Night Parade and often use #bringbackpaintthenight.

This next section is for historical purposes only as Paint the Night is NOT currently running at Disneyland Resort.

Who wants to see Paint the Night, Disneyland fireworks and Fantasmic in ONE night?!

There are many people who visit Disneyland Resort over one day, hopping back and forth between Disneyland Park and California Adventure Park. People will say you’re crazy. I love crazy ;).

And while I recommend a minimum of 3 days (you can get discount tickets here for multiple days that are just a teeny bit more than a one day hopper, so why not?), it can be done. Let’s dive into how it’s done.

See Paint the Night, Disneyland fireworks and Fantasmic in ONE Night: Order of Events

During this one crazy night, you will see the following entertainment in this order:

  1. Paint the night Parade at California Adventure Park
  2. Disneyland fireworks at Disneyland Park
  3. Fantasmic at Disneyland Park

Note that the schedule comes out 6 weeks in advance and you must make sure ALL events are scheduled that night AND be sure Fantasmic has TWO showings, because you’re going to the later one. This plan is obviously impossible if all 3 are not on the entertainment calendar. Also, if it’s 4th of July or some other busy night, this might be a little harder to accomplish.

See Paint the Night, Disneyland fireworks and Fantasmic in ONE Night: Parade Seats

Paint the Night Parade Monsters Inc doors

You have two options for watching Paint the Night Parade including:

See Paint the Night, Disneyland fireworks and Fantasmic in ONE night: Exit Strategy

As soon as Paint the Night is over- actually even before it’s over, you’re going to make your exit to Disneyland park. Here’s how it works. Enjoy Paint the Night from your seat and as soon as you see Mickey Mouse in the distance, that’s the end of the parade.

When he’s in your sight, head out of California Adventure through Grizzly Peak. The walkway to Grizzly Peak is right by your seats, which is why I suggest sitting by The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure as outlined above. You’ll beat the parade, it will still be going and about half way through by the time you get to Buena Vista Street.

See Paint the Night, Disneyland fireworks and Fantasmic in ONE night: Fireworks

Fireworks is standing room only free-for-all. Make your way into Disneyland Park and find a spot, any spot within the ropes will do, on Main Street, U.S.A.

If you can get closer to the entrance of Adventureland, that’s even better. Fireworks viewing on Main Street, U.S.A. is one of my favorite places to watch. You’ll see projections on the buildings, Sleeping Beauty castle and the fireworks above.

See Paint the Night, Disneyland fireworks and Fantasmic in ONE night: Fantasmic Seating

Fantasmic view of Disneyland's Nighttime Shows
Fantasmic view

You have a few options for watching Fantasmic including:

  • Reserved seating with a Fantasmic dining option. Read all about reserved seating for shows, parades and more here.
  • I recommend only one reserved seating dining option for tonight. Sure, you could do a reserved dining for Fantasmic about lunch time at Blue Bayou or from Hungry Bear and then do Paint the Night dining reception, but your wallet will be hurting. And it’s totally possible to do without any dining reservations at all.
  • If you’re in the area of Fantasmic before noon, check the FASTPASS kiosk and see if they are distributing for the second show. If they are, grab a FASTPASS. This is nice to have but not at all essential. Return to this area after the fireworks.
  • If you choose a walk-up spot to view Fantasmic, here’s what you do right after the fireworks. This is actually the option I recommend, because you’re not tied to any reservation or FASTPASS. Get a last minute spot on the bridge just in front of Pirates of the Caribbean and enjoy the show!

I tried out this strategy myself while prepping my Disneyland Plans for a client. It worked flawlessly on both my night and my client’s night. Both of us were solo, so it is definitely harder to do with a large group but not impossible. Would you try seeing Paint the Night, Disneyland fireworks and Fantasmic in ONE night.

Are you ready for Disneyland’s Nighttime Shows, tell us what you’re most looking forward to!

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2 thoughts on “See All Disneyland’s Nighttime Shows!

    • It’s much easier without children, but if you’re going to do it with kids, having them in a stroller is much better than not. I say go for it! I would love to hear your report back after. I just had one reader return with teens and this still worked like a charm for them.

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