Have you ever imagined a world where all Disney characters from Mickey Mouse, Rapunzel to the contemporary Buzz Lightyear, come alive and have some fun? A night at the Disneyland Park, California, as I experienced, promises all this and more along with a touch of magic.
And top it by ending your night on a glittery note with dazzling fireworks illuminating the dark blue canvas of night sky.
The setting sun is not a signal for the fun to end at the theme park, which has been charged up with three new sparkling attractions — Paint the Night Parade, Disneyland Forever fireworks and World of Color – Celebrate!.
The additions were made last year as a part of Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, which marked the 60th anniversary of Walt Disney’s original theme park in Southern California.
The 20-minute night-time parade breathes life into the stories from the house of Disney and Disney Pixar, backed by a custom version of the song “When can we do this again” by musical group Owl City.
Apt lyrics “Put your hands up ’cause the night is young” set the ball rolling as a green ray of sparkle fills the road with Tinker Bell’s float making an appearance.
Using more than a million LED lights, foot-tapping music and dazzling special effects, several floats weave in the journey of the brand with the help of characters from films like “Cars”, “Toy Story”, “Monsters, Inc.”,”Beauty and the Beast”, “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen”.
Mickey Mouse, dressed a wizard, brings an end to all the “shining moments” given by the illuminated floats along with his friends like Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. And this leaves you bewitched!
But the best part of the parade is not only the technological advanced characters but the individuals walking — rather prancing — with the floats with their lighting gears. With smiling faces, they get the audience into an ebullient spirit.
As the enchanting and flashy procession walks towards its closure, you can’t help but sway at the peppy beats of the song, reciting the lyrics: “I never want this to end. When can we do this again?”
Word of caution: Keep in mind to grab a spot on time as visitors start hoarding around the venue hours before the parade starts.
Don’t just head back home after the parade, or you will miss the canvas of night sky with twinkling stars getting splashed with a hint of pink, red, gold and green — the time for Disneyland Forever fireworks.
In the 14-minute show, small stories from the mischiefs of “Winnie the Pooh”, Simba of “The Lion King”, the close rapport of Aladdin and genie; or the world of Nemo from “Finding Nemo”, come alive on the “Sleeping Beauty” castle through lights.
The sky-high fun ends with a song “Kiss goodnight”, by songwriter Richard Sherman, which seems like a lullaby putting you to sleep.
The firework is synchronised with the lyrics and its beats. Your mood swings like a pendulum from adventurous, jovial, romantic to peaceful – and this, with all the sparklers in the air. For the end, the sky lights up with a barrage of fireworks looking like shooting stars.
If you reach before time, don’t wander around aimlessly, but head to Soarin’ Over California for some “high sky entertainment”.
The flight simulator attraction takes you on a journey over the landscapes of California — be it the Golden Gate Bridge, its beaches, ski slopes, forests, and orange groves. But a word of caution: If you are scared of heights, steer away from the ride.
The attraction will soon expand its ambit by turning into a “Soarin Around the World” — giving something to look out (or fly out) for.
You can also enter the world of “Cars” by steering your way into Cars Land. If you are looking for something adventurous, climb on to Space Mountain.
The roller-coaster ride in a dark space with occasional glimpse of satellites and rockets or a faint twinkle of stars, with its high twists and turns, will leave you breathless.
The good things must come to an end, but the night out to the whimsical Disneyland will leave you with memories to cherish for ever. And it’s a must visit for those who have loved the magic of Disney over the years.