The entertainment at Disneyland is simply spectacular. There are big shows and little shows, all of which will dazzle and amuse you. tip: Pick up a show times guide at the main gate when you enter the Park to know when and where each show plays.
Here are my favorites:
I love a Parade! Catch the parades in both Disneyland and California Adventure, be sure to check the daily schedule for times. The best place to stake out a spot in Disneyland is across from the Matterhorn on the bricks in front of the restrooms next to Alice in Wonderland ride. In California Adventure, my favorite is the Pixar Parade, which is energetic and interactive, and thanks to the wide walkways in DCA, parades are much less crowded than in Disneyland.
Fantasmic!: [on hiatus until at least 2017 while the new Star Wars Land is developed] This is my favorite show at Disneyland. This nighttime entertainment and light show in New Orleans Square is simply incredible with a combination of characters, projections and fireworks accompanied by a memorable soundtrack. tips: the show might be too scary for young kids. In late 2014 Disneyland introduced Fastpass dining and seating for Fantasmic! similar to what is offered for World of Color. I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet, but here’s the scoop from the Disney Parks Blog. Check it out in advance if this is on your “must see” list!
Oh, no wait, maybe THIS is my favorite show at Disneyland! I’m talking about the “Jedi Training Academy” in Tomorrowland. Miss it not I tell you! Go to this show and your kids may have a chance to get their Padawan on and learn from a Jedi Knight in preparation for a showdown with Darth Vader! tip: If your kids are super enthusiastic when they are asking for participants for this show, and if they wear Star Wars gear, they may have a better chance at being chosen. If your kids really want to do this, be prepared to sit through this show a few times, it may take a while for them to get picked! (Disneyland has been testing advanced sign ups for this show in 2016, so be sure to ask when you get to the park.)
Fireworks – Disneyland’s fireworks are second to none. They’ve spoiled me for any other fireworks show on Earth. They are simply an awesome display and worth staking out a spot an hour or so in advance to watch. tip: Try to be on/near Main Street so you can see the light show that they project onto the Castle. tip: I have also experienced this show from the It’s A Small World corner of the Park – wow – the display on It’s a Small World is visually engaging and nostalgic (bring a Kleenex!), you’ve still got a great fireworks view, and the crowds are much smaller – we walked up as the show started and were able to find a seat!
World of Color: The spectacular nighttime light and water show at California Adventure (admittedly, I still love Fantasmic! more than WOC, but this show is really growing on me….) If you want to see World Of Color, consider getting a meal/Fastpass package to get a good seat. Fastpasses are also available at no cost at the Grizzly River Rapids attraction. Hop on over to Disneyland.com for more info on dining reservations.
Captain EO located in Tomorrowland. Michael Jackson. 80s-Tastic. 3-D. Need I say more? (Sadly, Captain EO has now gone to Yesterland)
The Enchanted Tiki Room: A classic, original Disneyland show full of animatronic masterpieces. Grab a Dole Whip, take a seat and sing along with the birdies. You’ll be glad you did!