Disneyland Resort Viewing Tips: ‘Paint the Night’ Parade and ‘Disneyland Forever’ Fireworks

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Two amazing new nighttime experiences have debuted at Disneyland park for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration: “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks. Both have become exceedingly popular with our guests, so I worked with my friend Amy from our Guest Show Operations team here at Disneyland park to bring you these tips for watching our incredible new parade and fireworks spectacular.

‘Paint the Night’ Parade at Disneyland Park

  • “Paint the Night” parade – Viewing areas can fill up quickly for the first “Paint the Night” parade, so it can be much easier to find viewing for the second parade of the night.
  • “Disneyland Forever” fireworks – There are viewing areas for “Disneyland Forever” fireworks along the Rivers of America and near “it’s a small world,” in addition to Main Street, U.S.A. and Sleeping Beauty Castle. Each area lends a different feel to the show, so consider trying them all!
  • Finding help – Need help finding a viewing area? Just ask a cast member, especially those holding orange wands or flashlights. They can direct you to the best place for viewing, and can also help you locate wheelchair-accessible viewing areas for “Paint the Night” parade.

What are your tips for watching “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks? Share them in the comments.


  • We saw both shows twice a bit earlier this month. The first time we were in the Hub with a centered view of the castle and a partial of the Matterhorn. The parade view from here was great; but Disneyland Forever felt overwhelming with so much to try and look at.

    The second time we watched both from right in front of It’s A Small World; and had a much better experience. The view of the fireworks was actually really good – and the projections on IASM were pretty much just as good as the ones on the castle; and with just a few less things going on, it was easier to watch.

  • My buddy and I were advised by the concierge at Paradise Pier to view “Disneyland Forever” on Main Street adjacent to the Penny Arcade and it was WONDERFUL. You have a fairly direct view of the projections on Sleeping Beauty Castle while still being immersed (and I mean IMMERSED) in all of the activity on Main Street. It’s a gorgeous show.

    For those less concerned about late evenings and children, I’d recommend shopping or grabbing an apple on Main Street during the first parade (Go to Frontierland to eat and save the surprises of the parade during its first showing, the esplanade by the shooting gallery is practically deserted because of all of the other activity in the park). Around 9:20, work your way back to Main Street and immediately emerge from the Penny Arcade after the last psychedelic float and catch the Fireworks from there just a few minutes after the parade ends. Revel in that show, do a ride, and then catch the second showing of “Paint the Night,” which is delightful.

    Side note: Though there has been some debate and controversy and I understand and even agree with the more thoughtful critiques, “World of Color-Celebrate!” is also a delightful show, especially for the long-time Disney enthusiast. Aside from some extended appearances by dominant franchises (or franchises Walt had nothing to do with), the show is, at its core, really quite honorific of Walt and Disneyland. I mean, where else are you going to see “Plane Crazy” given the full-treatment on the length and breadth of a football field? Nowhere. Don’t miss it.

    Be advised, the further back, the better. As the crowd was leaving my performance of WOC, those standing in the front were SOAKED. Not sure if the increased intensity of the projections or effects has changed the ratio of the audience to the water or if it was wind, but bring a poncho if you’re set on front-row-viewing.

    Enjoy! Thanks to the whole crew at Disneyland for truly pulling out all the stops for this celebration. It’s an event I’m still reveling in ten days later.

  • It sounds like there are multiple places with projections to watch, so there’s no way to see it all in one viewing.
    How many different places have projections? Are any of them redundant?

    • You’re right, Nicholas – there are many places to watch “Disneyland Forever” fireworks. Projections can be seen on Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn, “it’s a small world” and Rivers of America. Each experience is unique, so we recommend trying to see the show from a different vantage point each time.

  • On our last visit on June 6, we were not allowed to watch fireworks in the It’s a Small world area due to it being a “firework fallout zone”. We were made to leave our parade viewing spot from that area and directed else where. Has this changed recently? The viewing area at It’s a small world has always been my families favorite, we’ve been watching the projections on its a small world there during the fireworks for the last 2 years.

  • We watched these for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We got spots in Small World Mall on the raised area behind the churro cart and out kids stood right behind the railing so they had a perfect view. We didn’t move for the fireworks and had a great view of the projections on It’s a Small World and tinkerbell’s take off from the Matterhorn. I would definitely watch from there again!

  • My family & I have only viewed the parade & fireworks from Main St thus far. This past weekend we were able to watch the Fantasmic! show, stay near the Rivers of America to view the fireworks (projections are shown on screens of water) and then made our way towards Main St & got a spot on the sidewalk in front of Coke Corner to view the parade. Main St. did empty out after the fireworks show, which opened up alot of sidewalk seating for the second showing of the parade.

  • My goodness Colin you’re an expert! You should apply for a position at the parks blog as a Disneyland Strategist!

  • The parade and fireworks shows are wonderful. I have a word of warning, though. The fireworks were cancelled twice the week that we were there, so be prepared to be flexible. If you will only be in Disneyland for 1 day, be sure to have a back-up plan ready.

  • My husband and I have been to Disney World many times with our children, and are getting ready for our first visit to Disneyland (this time as empty-nesters without our kids). We will be arriving mid-day on a Monday, and staying through Wednesday. We have made reservations for the Blue Bayou preferred seating dinner package (7:30 seating) for the Tuesday we are there and are planning on seeing Fantasmic that night. We plan on seeing the fireworks and night time parade at Disneyland on Monday evening, and leaving Wednesday for California Adventures, including World of Color. I see here that some people have managed to see Fantasmic and the parade and fireworks all on the same night. I am considering changing my dining reservation to an earlier time to try to do the same.

    Wondering if that might be too much?

  • It looks like they’ll have the paint the night parade through October, but any word about the holiday parade replacing it in November, or in May when park hours may change?

  • Ive seen this parade many times I think any where is great because my nephew is in it

  • Can anyone tell me if Paint the Night will be available to watch on October 6th, 2015? Everywhere I have looked for the performance times says schedule unavailable.

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