We may earn money or other compensation from the companies or products mentioned in this post.
Disneyland’s Paint the Night Parade concluded its Disneyland run in 2018.
Paint the Night Parade debuted in May 2015 and returns to Disneyland Resort in 2018. Read why it is now my favorite nighttime entertainment at the Disneyland Resort and see how you can get reserved seats.
Updated for Pixar Fest 2018. Paint the Night Parade is now at California Adventure until November 7, 2018. It ended its official run on September 5, 2016 and returns to Disneyland Resort, but this time at California Adventure on April 13, 2018.
I grew up watching the Main Street Electrical Parade. In my little mind it was the most dazzling, beautiful thing I had ever seen. Snuggled up in my dad’s lap along Main Street I had it all. It was Disneyland and growing up in Southern California that has spoiled me with the Rose Parade and so much more (see how Disneyland has ruined me here). Today little hometown parades with pick up trucks and a banner as floats pale in comparison when Disneyland is your norm.
Bonus Disneyland Tip: Get discount Disneyland tickets here from our trusted partner, Get Away Today.
Paint the Night Parade Review
The highlight of any Disneyland visit for me, is by far watching Paint the Night. Floats, costumes, music, makeup and more makes Paint the Night the best night time entertainment I have ever seen from Disneyland Resort.
Watching the parade brought me pure joy and that long missed carefree feeling straight from childhood. I was completely immersed in the experience and in awe of the more than 1.5 million LED lights on display. You will see familiar Disney and Pixar characters like Mickey, Minnie, Belle, Mike and Sulley, Lightening McQueen and more showcased on incredible floats. Another thing I loved about this parade is some characters, like the Disney Princesses, have microphones and interact with the audience on a whole new level. It is simply NOT to be missed.
The nighttime parade that once graced Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Park will now be featured at California Adventure Park during Pixar Fest (ends September 3, 2018).
For those of us familiar with the Main Street Electrical Parade, you’ll notice a bit of the catchy tune “remixed” into the opening song for Paint the Night as well as a makeover for the iconic Main Street Electrical Parade drum, now featured in Paint the Night.
Paint the Night has a fabulous soundtrack, with one of our family favorites— Owl City’s “When Can I See You Again?” The playful, upbeat song appropriately asks during the parade, “When can we do this again?” And by the end of the parade, you’ll be asking yourself the same thing.
Paint the Night Parade Seating
The parade route at California Adventure is much longer and wider than at neighboring Disneyland Park. My top tips for viewing Paint the Night at California adventure is to get reserved seats! Read all about reserved seating for Paint the Night Parade here.
If reserved seating isn’t in your budget, there are tons of seating options along the entire parade route, keep reading for my favorite options.
Your Paint the Night Parade Seating Plan
Paint the Night Dining with Reserved Seating
Don’t camp out for a minute longer than you need to! Beginning April 13, 2018, you can get a reserved seating area with a Paint the Night Parade Dining Package. Dine at various locations throughout California Adventure Park and return later to a premier viewing location with a fabulous view of the amazing floats. I recommend arriving at your reserved seating area at least 30 minutes before the parade begins for the best seating selection within that reserved space.
Hold a spot along the route at 7:00 pm.
Walk Up Spots at 8:00 pm
This option is great for a group of 2 or 3, especially an adults only group because it is highly unlikely you will be very close to the action. Be on the look out for any gaps along the parade route where you can stand. Keep an eye open for elevated background spots which will still allow you to see the large floats on display.
My Favorite Paint the Night Viewing Spots
- In front of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. One main reason I like this spot is because it’s close to the beginning of the parade route. You can sit in front of a wall to lean up against and the restrooms are pretty close by. Plus, this is the perfect spot if you want to try and hop back over to Disneyland Park to catch the fireworks. Just sneak out through Grizzly Peak and you should beat the parade as you walk by Carthay Circle on your way out.
- My second best spot is near the Animation Building in Hollywood Land. This is along the end of the parade route, so expect it to arrive about 30 minutes after the parade begins. There’s plenty of seating here, along with food and bathrooms nearby.
- My third pick is the middle star, near Carthay Circle. This is more of a last minute spot area for me, if I am just coming in from Disneyland and don’t have time to find another location. There’s a few options for standing room last minute here. It’s also very easy to exit California Adventure from this spot. Expect the parade to arrive about 15-20 minutes after the official start time.