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Disneyland puts on a first-class firework show. The fireworks by Disney, on both coasts, put most 4th of July Fireworks to shame. But just because it is a great show, doesn’t mean you want to spend hours camping out for a spot.
It also doesn’t mean you want to watch the show with thousands of other people. Today we are talking all about Disneyland’s Fireworks and the best places to watch the fireworks from.
Disneyland Fireworks – When Are They?
One thing people love about Disneyland is the fireworks. Disneyland knows how to put on a great show, and they have a fireworks show on the schedule year-round.
While the show will change with the seasons, weather permitting, they will have a show at least on the weekends for the entire year.
Disneyland Fireworks Shows by Season
During January (post-holidays) and February, Disney usually shows Mickey’s Mix Magic as the firework special.
Spring break will either be a continuation of Mickey’s Mix Magic, or Disneyland will bring in the fireworks show that will run through the summer. In 2022, that show is the Disneyland Forever Fireworks.
Summer will have the “featured” fireworks show for that year. Again, in 2022, this is the Disneyland Forever Fireworks, which first were shown for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary.
During Halloween Time at Disneyland, guests will be treated (and tricked?) to the Hallowscreams firework show. This show used to be reserved for guests of the Halloween Party until 2019, when Oogie Boogie Bash kicked off, when the show opened to all guests of Disneyland Park.
The holidays at Disneyland bring the amazing “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks show to Disneyland, complete with snow on Main Street USA and other select locations.
Are The Disneyland Fireworks Shows Nightly?
During busy seasons, such as the holidays, summer break, and sometimes spring break, Disneyland will show the fireworks nightly.
During the off-season, fireworks are only shown Friday – Sunday. Sometimes during the off-season, a projection only version of the current fireworks OR Mickey’s Mix Magic will be shown Monday – Thursday.
What Time Are The Disneyland Fireworks?
The time for the fireworks varies by the season and park hours. During the holidays, fireworks tend to happen earlier in the evening, as the shorter daylight hours allow this.
In the summer, the fireworks often take place around 9:30 or 10:00 pm.
The most accurate way to find the Disneyland Firework schedule is by visiting the Disneyland App, or via the entertainment schedule on the Website. The schedule is usually available 4-6 weeks in advance.
How Early Do I Need To Arrive For The Fireworks Show?
Depending on where you want to watch the fireworks, and how close to the front of that viewing area you hope to sit, you may need to arrive several hours before the fireworks begin to grab a spot.
This is especially true on holidays and when a new show debuts at Disneyland. To help you decide when to arrive, I will give tips for each viewing section below.
Where To Watch The Disneyland Fireworks
There is no shortage of places to watch the fireworks at Disneyland. From designated viewing areas to little gems, we will cover several of them below to help you find the viewing location that works for your group and park plans.
Disneyland puts out amazing photos of the fireworks for press to use, and there are some other amazing photographers out there with photos that combine shots. However, I am using shots from my phone in this section to help you get a better understanding of the view you will get from each area.
The video clip below gives a look at each of the viewing locations within the parks that I will cover below. Video courtesy Disneyland Resort.
Watching Disneyland Fireworks In Front of The Castle and On Main Street USA
When most people think of Disneyland fireworks, they definitely think of viewing them in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
What many don’t realize is that because Sleeping Beauty Castle is much shorter than other Disney castles, having a good view of the castle means getting there hours in advance to get a good spot.
Alternatively, if you are willing to watch from farther back on Main Street USA, you can most likely find a spot in by ducking under the rope just 20-45 minutes before the show starts.
For most fireworks shows, Disney also puts projections on the buildings on Main Street USA so you will be able to enjoy those as well, but you will probably not see any projections on the castle or Matterhorn.
Quick Guide On When To Arrive To View Fireworks On Main Street
Because this area has so many viewing locations, here is a quick guide to suggested arrival times, and also a tip about trying to watch from Plaza Inn or another restaurant on Main Street.
- If you want a spot directly in front of the castle, you will need to arrive 3.5-5 hours before the fireworks begin for front row seats. You can usually find spots up to 2 hours before they begin, as long as you also are not hoping to be on the parade route.
- For a bench seat along Main Street USA, you will need to arrive at least 2.3-4 hours prior to the show beginning, closer to 5-6 hours prior on holidays (4th of July, etc) or on opening week of a new show.
- While fireworks in the sky may be visible from Plaza Inn or other seating areas, you likely will have blocked views by trees, bushes, etc.
- If you don’t mind standing farther back on Main Street, you can usually hop in 20-30 minutes before the show starts.
- Farther back by the Train Depot, you can arrive right as the fireworks start but you will have obstructed views.
Watching The Fireworks From Fantasyland
A lot of people love to watch Disneyland fireworks from Fantasyland. While you can view them from several areas in Fantasyland, the designated Fantasyland viewing area is near “it’s a small world”
One reason I love this area is that you get the projections on the front of the ride facade, and can still see the fireworks at the same time depending on your location. This makes it similar to viewing from in front of the Castle.
Another reason I love this area is that there are benches and steps so more people have the option of sitting.
Finally, you can arrive at this location only 1.5-2 hours in advance and often get a great seat. However, during the run of the Main Street Electrical Parade, this is also a popular viewing area for the parade, so seats are filling up around 5 pm. YIKES!
During the holidays, this location also has snow at the end of the show, just like Main Street USA.
Watching The Fireworks at Disneyland From Rivers of America
I have not watched fireworks from this location since 2018, and for good reason.
While this location is great if you have just finished watching Fantasmic (returning May 28, 2022), it is not an ideal viewing location.
While they will use water screens to show the projections and the music will play, the view of the actual fireworks is EXTREMELY limited due to the trees in the area.
This location does have snow after the holiday fireworks.
Note: Until Fantasmic returns on May 28, this area will not be showing projections but will have the music according to Cast Members.
I do not have a photo of fireworks from this location because we really couldn’t see them well. I will try to grab one sometime over the summer. You can see a short clip in the video above with the Lion King clip on the Rivers of America.
Watching The Fireworks at Disneyland from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
This is a hidden gem when it comes to watching Disneyland Fireworks.
While there is no music played and no projections, this area undoubtedly has one of the best views of the fireworks. Not necessarily for getting the entire storyline of the fireworks but because they look huge from this location.
Plus, there is something magical about watching the fireworks over the Millennium Falcon… and that is coming from someone who isn’t a big Star Wars fan.
On top of that, this location is rarely crowded at night. You can watch from multiple areas, and not feel crowded.
Watching The Fireworks While On An Attraction
If you time it correctly, you might be able to watch the fireworks at Disneyland while riding an attraction.
Several of my Instagram followers have mentioned being able to catch a view while on Thunder Mountain. Others while on the TeaCups or Matterhorn Bobsleds.
During Spring Break 2022, I lucked out and was able to hop on the Disneyland Railroad during the fireworks. I am not sure if the Disneyland Railroad always runs during fireworks, or if the Mickey’s Mix Magic show is just short enough that they could, but it was magical.
No matter the attraction, it is a different view, and you most likely will not see the projections or hear the music, but it is an amazing experience.
Watch the Disneyland Fireworks from Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience
If you want a special treat, you can book the Skyline Lounge experience in Tomorrowland. I have done it a few times before the closure, and am excited that this experience is making a comeback, but updated to include Dinner, not just dessert.
Located in Tomorrowland on the top level of Star Wars Launch Bay, you will enjoy a reserved dining area, games, and viewing of the Fireworks (weather permitting) including the music.
Above photo: Our view of the fireworks from Skyline Lounge in 2019
I have done this experience when Fireworks have been canceled and when the show has taken place and loved it both times.
While you won’t see most of the projections, this exclusive area gives you an experience that makes you feel like a VIP.
Watching the Fireworks From Outside Disneyland Park
If you do not have a park ticket, you may still be able to catch the Disneyland Fireworks. Here is a list of places where you may be able to view the Fireworks from outside of the park gates.
- The esplanade between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
- Top-level of the Mickey & Friends or Pixar Pals parking structure
- Many of the area hotels have firework views
Disneyland Fireworks Cancelled For Weather
Disneyland Fireworks often go on as scheduled, but there is one thing that can change that… weather. Here is what to expect if the Disneyland Fireworks are canceled due to weather.
What Happens When The Fireworks Are Cancelled Due To Weather?
Disneyland Fireworks are always on the schedule with “weather permitting” being the fine print. Rain and heavy winds are usually the cause of cancellations of Disneyland Fireworks, but sometimes they may also be canceled if there is a fire concern during extremely hot and dry months.
If the Disneyland Fireworks are canceled, you will hear an announcement made over the speakers. The announcement will let you know if the entire show is canceled, or if they will do the music and projections without the fireworks.
If you have purchased a seat at Tomorrowland’s Skyline Lounge, you will not receive a refund. The experience notes that Fireworks are not guaranteed.
As I mentioned before, my first time doing Skyline Lounge the fireworks were canceled, but I still thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The family next to us, however, had booked it specifically for the view of the fireworks.
Do not book Skyline Lounge just for watching the Disneyland Fireworks.
In that case, you still had access to the lounge, games, and a character experience, as was listed on the description at that time.
If you are a general park guest, it can be a real bummer if the fireworks are canceled during your planned viewing night. I always suggest you plan to catch the fireworks towards the beginning of your visit if possible so that if they are canceled you may have the chance to view them again.
The last scenario you may encounter is the Disneyland Fireworks may be cut short.
This happened on the opening weekend of the Disneyland Forever Fireworks. I was watching from my hotel at Courtyard Anaheim, and was telling a family, “the show isn’t over, you will know when it is. The finale will be epic.”
The joke was on us when after only 9 minutes there were no more fireworks. The next night, I was at California Adventure when the fireworks went on. They lasted for 30 minutes. Talking to the people next to us, they had watched the night before, and the fireworks were cut short due to the wind.
Obviously, safety is a valid reason for shortening the show, but it can be disappointing. If you are not able to catch the full show later in your trip, and really want to see it, you can find youtube videos of the show.
So are Disneyland Fireworks a must for your vacation?
Book Your Disneyland Vacation
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