Disneyland Resort is celebrating a year since it reopened following an extended closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing back several nighttime “spectaculars,” delivering on nostalgia and providing some new surprises for guests.
Main Street Electrical Parade, World of Color, Fantasmic! and Disneyland Forever made their long-awaited return for the upcoming summer season at Disneyland Resort.
“We are thrilled to welcome back our beloved nighttime spectaculars and introduce all-new offerings that underscore our incredible momentum and set the stage for much more to come in the future,” said Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock in a statement.
Disneyland has also introduced new characters in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Boba Fett and Fennec Shand started making appearances on May 28.
Din Djarin, better known as the The Mandalorian, and Grogu, better known as Baby Yoda who found protection with Mando, also will appear in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at “a later date.”
Disneyland also announced last month Magic Key annual pass sales have been paused until further notice.
Disneyland launched the Magic Key program back in August 2021 after retiring the popular annual passports earlier during this year amid a yearlong shutdown of both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In November 2021, Disneyland stopped selling its Dream Key and Believe Key “in order to deliver a great guest experience for all guests,” a resort official said at the time.
After announcing annual pass sales have been paused, Disneyland announced a limited-time ticket offer for California residents that includes a special three-day ticket eligible from June 13 to Sept. 15.
Tickets valid Monday through Thursday start at $249 and tickets that include weekends will start at $299.
According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Monthly Travel Data Report, roughly six in 10 Americans are planning at least one summer trip in 2022. Even with higher gas prices, 35 percent of those planning vacations expect to travel more this summer than in 2021.
Main Street Electrical Parade
Disneyland’s Main Street is once again lit up with colorful floats, dancing characters, and Disney-style electro-synth music during its classic parade. The 2022 return features a new finale that also celebrates the parade’s 50th anniversary with a theme of togetherness.
Disney Live Entertainment Production Manager Michael Duncan said that the Main Street Electrical Parade’s new finale float features the most significant change of the returning nighttime shows.
“So this float is 118 feet long, seven sections, and it has characters from all kinds of our Disney classics, from ‘Jungle Book’ and ‘Aladdin’ to ‘Coco’ and ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ and ‘Encanto,'” he said.
“It’s inspired by Mary Blair’s iconic art style for “It’s a Small World,” and really aiming to help reinforce that we’re all in this together as one large family, and it helps bring the thought of togetherness at the end of the parade.”
Disneyland Forever Fireworks
Fireworks are again igniting the Disneyland sky with the Disneyland Forever show that includes themed music, projections, and a lot of pyrotechnics. Guests can watch the show from Main Street, U.S.A., by Sleeping Beauty Castle, by It’s a Small World, around Rivers of America, and near the Matterhorn for distinctly unique experiences.
This particular show debuted in 2015 for the theme park’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. It tells a visual fireworks-filled tale with themes including an Anaheim orange grove, as well as Disney and Pixar stories. As part of its soundtrack, Disneyland Forever includes two original songs: the theme “Live the Magic” and the closing song “Kiss Goodnight.”
The show runs Friday through Sunday now through late spring. The Mickey’s Mix Magic projections show is scheduled for Monday through Thursday through late spring. The fireworks will run every night during the summer.
World of Color
Disney California Adventure’s World of Color is also back at Paradise Gardens Park, using water fountains, laser effects, mist, music, and pyrotechnics for a 22-minute show.
The water fountains at Paradise Bay pair up with thick mist to create a unique screen for animated scenes from Disney and Pixar films.
Viewers can see characters from “Finding Nemo,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Toy Story,” and “Aladdin.” The water screen measures 380-feet wide by 50-feet high for a projection surface of 19,000 square feet. The water fountains can send water shooting to heights ranging from 30 feet to 200 feet.
Park-goers can use the Disneyland mobile app to reserve viewing areas for World of Color through a free virtual queue that can be accessed starting at noon every day. There are also walk-up viewing options.
Guests can check with a cast member at the Paradise Bay viewing area before the show starts.
Celebrating 30 years, Fantasmic! returned to light up the Rivers of America in Frontierland at Disneyland Park starting May 28.
The 27-minute show includes live performers, Disney character favorites, projections, and pyrotechnics to tell a story conjured up from Mickey Mouse’s dreams.
It features scenes from Disney classics like “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” fun characters, and some villains.
“Each show has a massive team behind them,” said Duncan of the returning nighttime shows. “Whether it is the technicians working at World of Color, the pyrotechnicians getting ready for Disneyland Forever, the performers learning the Main Street Electrical Parade, or the maintenance team preparing the floats, it is an absolutely incredible amount of people that are working behind-the-scenes to bring these to life.”
As more Americans brave the post-pandemic travel landscape for summer, the Disneyland Resort continues its phased reopening of fan favorites.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.