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Disneyland Article
Expert Tips For Experiencing Fireworks Nighttime Shows

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Megan Dubois
March 20, 2023
April 1, 2023
Since 1956, the fireworks have been blasting off over Sleeping Beauty Castle to the delight of Disneyland guests. The first Disneyland fireworks show was called Fantasy in the Sky, and, much like today, the blasts were timed with music that was played throughout the park. Today, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park have their own nighttime spectaculars, Wondrous Journeys and World of Color One.

All these decades later, guests still wait around for the Disneyland fireworks as a way to end a long day of riding rides. Whether you’re looking for fireworks on Main Street, U.S.A. or a fantastical water pageant around Pixar Pier, each of Disneyland’s nighttime spectaculars are worth staking out a place to watch the explosions. However, they do require a bit of planning on your part. Here's what to know to have the best experience possible.

Does Disneyland have fireworks every night?

While Disneyland Resort does have nighttime spectaculars every night, the shows do not always include fireworks. At Disneyland Park, Wondrous Journeys can be seen with fireworks on select nights, and is notated on the Disneyland app as, "Wondrous Journeys with Fireworks." The version with fireworks can usually be seen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while it's presented only with projections every other night. Wondrous Journeys with fireworks is also dependent on the weather, so rain or strong winds can impact the fireworks display.

To get a double dose of nighttime shows at Disneyland Park, watch for when Fantasmic is running around the Rivers of America. This show combines water screens, beloved Disney characters and fireworks into one fantastical story where Mickey Mouse is the star. If you've seen the version of the show at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios, you should still make an effort to see it at Disneyland because this Fantasmic features different elements.

At Disney California Adventure, World of Color One has no fireworks. Instead, the show uses water screens and fountains to show the story of how one drop of water can make a change. The show features characters from Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel. Keep in mind the show can also be impacted by wind distorting the water screens.

Expert tips for seeing Wondrous Journeys at Disneyland

What time is Wondrous Journeys at Disneyland?

To find out what time Wondrous Journeys happens each night at Disneyland Park, you’re going to want to check the Disneyland Resort app. The time can change depending on the season and if the show has fireworks or not on the night you are visiting.

Where should you go to watch Wondrous Journeys?

Wondrous Journeys can be watched from multiple spots around Disneyland Park: near Sleeping Beauty Castle and around the hub, on Main Street, U.S.A., by It’s a Small World and at the Rivers of America. The best vantage point for you will depend on what you want to see and how long you’re willing to wait.

If you want the best view of the projections that happen every night, stake out a spot near Sleeping Beauty Castle, on Main Street, U.S.A. or in front of It’s a Small World. For the best view of the Disneyland fireworks on nights they are shown with Wondrous Journeys, grab a spot anywhere on Main Street, U.S.A., near the castle or around the hub. If you plan on watching both Wondrous Journeys and Fantasmic on the same night, head to Rivers of America, where you can stake out your spot for both shows at the same time.

What time should you set up to watch Wondrous Journeys?

If you want to watch the spectacular from the hub or near Sleeping Beauty Castle, plan to get a spot at least an hour before the show starts. If you’re watching from It's a Small World or Rivers of America, you can arrive about 30 to 45 minutes before the show starts and get a good spot.

Does Wondrous Journeys have Lightning Lane availability?

As of this writing, the show does not have a virtual queue or Lightning Lane availability.

Expert tips for seeing Fantasmic at Disneyland

What time does Fantasmic take place?

Fantasmic often only runs on the weekends and during very busy times of the year. Shows can take place once or twice each night and the times are dependent on when Wondrous Journeys happens. If Fantasmic is happening twice on one night, you can often expect one show to happen before Wondrous Journeys and one show to happen after. For the most up-to-date times, check the Disneyland app before your trip to the parks.

Where should you go to watch Fantasmic?

The only place to watch Fantasmic at Disneyland is on the Rivers of America.

What time should you set up to watch Fantasmic?

The viewing area for Fantasmic is large, but to get one of the prime seats, right in front of the stage, arrive at least an hour before the show is scheduled to start. If there are two showings of Fantasmic, try to see the later one since it will be less crowded around the viewing area. It’s still wise to show up about 45 minutes before the show if you’re going to the later presentation.

If Wondrous Journeys is happening on the same night as Fantasmic, plan to arrive at least an hour before the earlier show starts, and stay in your spot until both shows have wrapped.

Does Fantasmic have Lightning Lane availability?

No, Fantasmic does not have Lightning Lane availability or a virtual queue as of this writing.

Expert tips for seeing World of Color One at Disney California Adventure What time is World of Color One? World of Color One is usually shown twice per night at Disney California Adventure. Exact times vary based on the season, but you can find the times on the Disneyland app.

Where should you go to watch World of Color One?

The viewing area for World of Color One is around Paradise Gardens Park, which is near Pixar Pier and The Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The best view is from the front of Paradise Gardens Park, as close to the water as you can get, but know that you will get wet if you are in the first few rows. If you prefer to stay dry, watch the show from the mid-level of Paradise Gardens Park, though your view may be obstructed by light poles and sound equipment.

What time should you set up to watch World of Color One?

If you plan to watch the first showing of World of Color One, try to get to the viewing area about an hour before the show starts. This will give you the best chance to get a spot close to the front. If you are going to the second showing, arrive about 30 to 45 minutes before the show starts to get a good spot.

Does World of Color One have Lightning Lane availability?

World of Color One does not have Lightning Lane availability, but it does use a virtual queue, which is free to all guests. The virtual queue opens at 12 p.m. and acts as a reservation to see the show from a pre-reserved area. Guests will need to arrive at the viewing area 30 to 45 minutes before the show begins to check in and get their spots.
Attractions Referenced


It's A Small World

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Lands Referenced

Main Street U.S.A.

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