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Disneyland’s Paint The Night Parade Review

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How does Paint the Night stack up? Find out in this review from the upcoming Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2016 (Photos by Seth Kubersky).

It’s been nearly a month since Disneyland debuted its new Diamond Celebration nighttime entertainment, and by now several members of the Touring Plans team — including Seth Kubersky and Guy Selga — have had a chance to experience the new productions from multiple angles. Over the coming days, we’ll be sharing a preview of the new 60th Anniversary updates that we’re including in the upcoming Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2016. To start off, here is our newly released Paint The Night parade review:

Paint The Night

Author’s rating: 5 stars

Paint The Night Description and Comments

Disneyland’s newest nightly parade, Paint The Night (Author’s rating 5 stars) is patterned after the processional that debuted at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2014, and was duplicated (with a few new additions) as part Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary entertainment additions. Inspired in part by the original Main Street Electrical Parade, these brand-new floats are covered in 1.5 million LEDs. Each float represents a classic Disney or Pixar film, as scenes from from Monsters Inc., Cars, Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and (wait for it…) Frozen are brought to life by a cast of over 75 performers, who bounce down the route to the upbeat soundtrack of Wreck-It Ralph’s “When Can I See You Again?” by pop artist Owl City (your kids will know who that is). Keep an ear out for musical nods to “Baroque Hoedown,” the old Electrical Parade’s synth-tastic theme song.


These super-bright displays go far beyond earlier nighttime pageants, and include character puppets with digitally animated faces, a tractor trailer full of floating 3-D designs, and a kinetic Sorcerer’s Apprentice sculpture whose twisting motion defies description.

In our opinion, Paint the Night is one of Disney’s best nighttime parades ever, and is not to be missed.

Paint The Night Viewing Tips

On nights with two scheduled Paint the Night parades, the first performance will start at ‘it’s a small world,’ travel past the west side of the Matterhorn, go clockwise around the Tomorrowland side of Central Plaza, head down Main Street, and then circle Town Square counter-clockwise. The second performance will begin at Town Square and run the route in the opposite direction. Most guests watch from the Central Plaza or from Main Street. The viewing area in front of ‘it’s a small world’ will fill up last so we recommend checking there if you need a spot. Keep in mind this is a new parade for the 60th Anniversary Celebration and has already proven very popular with guests. On busy days you may need to devote over 1 hour of time to make sure you secure a good spot for the parade.


The parade route will fill up will fill up a couple of hours early for the first showing, so we recommend grabbing a spot for the fireworks, and then immediately taking a spot for the second performance of Paint the Night. Any spot along the parade route will offer the same experience so you shouldn’t worry if you can’t see the parade on Main Street. And since all the floats and many of the puppets are exceedingly tall, you shouldn’t have to be seated right up front to have an excellent view.


Once the parade has started, count on gridlock all along the route, especially on Main Street. And since all the floats and many of the puppets are exceedingly tall, you shouldn’t have to be seated right up front to have an excellent view. Due to aggressive crowd control restrictions on the sidewalks, you’re best off entering or exiting the park via the backstage breezeways (if open) or Emporium shops.


If you can’t make it to see Paint The Night in person, enjoy this video of the complete show shot by Guy Selga:



What do you think of Paint The Night? Share your own review in the comments below!


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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

7 thoughts on “Disneyland’s Paint The Night Parade Review

  • We are at Disneyland right now and have LOVED the parade. We didn’t think we’d get anywhere near it, but there is a decent amount of room, especially around Small World or at the entrance. The benefit of watching it from the front is that the fireworks directly follow the 8:50 show and they are absolutely incredible to watch from Main Street.

    The 11:00 is a lot less crowded, so wait for that if you’re going to stay in the park anyway. Sadly, I was not as thrilled with the new World of Color…

  • Is Paint the Night likely to end/get taken to another park after the 60th anniversary festivities end, or is it a permanent addition? Thanks for the tips and video!

  • We were lucky enough to see this last weekend – amazing! We sat on a concrete wall opposite Small World and it worked well – we were able to stand on the wall when the actual parade came along and had a perfect view. Caution, though — the fireworks that started right after the parade were not nearly as good from this location as they were from Main Street. So if you watch the parade here, be prepared for a slightly less fabulous fireworks experience. I’m guessing you’ll review the fireworks next, but — spoiler alert — they were mind blowing!

  • Disneyland gets all the cool stuff! Wouldn’t it be cool to have something like this, internationally themed for Epcot? Or maybe add this to Hollywood Studios so there can be something more to do there? (Blasphemy, I know, but it wouldn’t hurt to retire MSEP, either. I really think that’s a relic that isn’t ageing very well…)

  • I would add that for the first showing, if you don’t get a seat in advance, you may well not have a choice in getting shunted past Main Street. Last time I was there, they had the sidewalks completely blocked off and weren’t letting any more people along the route, at least in that area. Seating was FAR easier to get for the 11:00.

    I would be interested in finding out if PtN has had any noticeable affect on Fantasmic attendance, since they occur at approximately the same times. The last couple of times I’ve been, I’ve still been able to get Fantasmic FPs even after arriving at five or six in the evening, and on what seemed like fairly busy days.

    • Yes, as I’ll mention in our Fantasmic review, the new 60th events have definitely siphoned off guests from F!, you can now usually get a FP late in the afternoon even on busy days.


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