Paint the Night is Disneyland’s newest parade. It is a reimagining of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade that has been thrilling Disney fans old and new since it premiered May 22 to park guests.
The parade took three years to develop and requires more smart technology than World of Color Celebrate–with more than 200 “universes of control to operate everything from the video presentations on the floats to the lights on the individual performer costumes. It contains more than 1.5 million sources of light, which include 500 strobes ussed in the parade that are a custom lighting product designed by Disney.
Where to Sit
That’s what you really want to know, right? The parade is very, very popular. At the time of publishing this article, the parade route is approximately ten people deep from “it’s a small world” to Main Street’s Town Square–even during the week. If you want to get a decent seat, you will need to stake it out at least two hours ahead of time (for the first show of the night). It doesn’t matter where you are on the parade route, so long as you aren’t blocked by a light pole, etc. Because the parade doesn’t make show stops like other parades have done, where you sit may be more about where you want to watch the parade afterward (if you are going to the first show). Click here for more information on Disneyland Forever Fireworks.
If you are going to stake out your spot ahead of time, be sure to bring a large blanket to sit on and activities to keep those waiting entertained. I recommend dividing up the duty so that you aren’t all sitting there the entire time–some of your party can enjoy attractions, shop, etc. while others wait. I would also recommend getting food “to go” from one of the restaurants and making the most of the time by eating dinner along the route. You can ask for food “to go” from a lot of restaurants–including Plaza Inn. You don’t have to settle for a corndog just because you are curbside. (Not that a corndog is “settling” because they are so crazy delicious.)
If you are trying to enjoy other parts of the park after the parade or you want to leave as soon as it is over, here is where you need to watch the parade:
- If you want to leave the park at the end of the parade, you should definitely sit in Town Square near City Hall. If you sit in this area with the intention of heading back into the park to ride the attractions, you will be a fish swimming up stream. Town Square is THE place to be if you want to leave right after parade.
- If you want to enjoy the attractions after the parade, I suggest sitting close to Tomorrowland during the parade. If you sit near the west side of the park (along the route near Frontierland or Adventureland) it will difficult for you to head to the attractions in those areas because of guests leaving from and going to Fantasmic!. If you watch near Fantasyland, you CAN access the attractions afterward, but these walkways are relatively narrow compared to other areas of the park and can be pretty tight. Tomorrowland isn’t going to be great either, but perhaps your best bet for getting away from the crowds quickly and back to the rides.
The parade consists of eight themed units featuring beloved Disney stories.
Tinker Bell Unit
To kick off the parade, this beautiful section of the parade includes a tribute to the “drum unit” that led the classic Main Street Electrical Parade
Monsters, Inc. Unit
The float is 11 feet wide, 21 feet long, and has nearly 17,000 points of light.
The Little Mermaid Unit
This color float is a show stopper. riton stands over 12 feet tall. The float is 32 feet long, 11 feet wide and 18 feet tall. There are nine fish, eight flowers and more than 250 blades of grass.
Disney Princesses Unit
Toy Story Unit
No! Disneyland can’t “let it go!” There IS a Frozen float and it is 35 feet long and 30 feet tall. The central chandelier is made up of 72 individual “ice shards,” each lit by its own LED. There are 56 over-scale scenic snowflakes and 11 individual water jet cut swirls on the float. Eight snow-covered trees surround Olaf, enhanced with 3,000 tear drop crystals. There are six unique etched window art panels on the float. Three depict happy memories of Anna and Elsa in childhood. The other three feature Kristoff, the Trolls and Sven.
Mickey Mouse and Friends Finale
Of course the parade wouldn’t be complete without our favorite friends in the finale.
The new “Glow With The Show” ears interact in time with the parade and the paint brushes allow kiddos to change the colors on the ears around them. The paint brushes sync up with the parade too!
Want to learn more about the Disneyland Diamond Celebration? I have put together a planning guide featuring everything you need to know and then some! Click here to go to our very special guide for families!