Disneyland 101 – Disneyland After Dark

| June 1, 2013 | 1 Reply

One of the most special times at any of the Disney parks occurs each evening when the sun goes down and lights come on.  The Disneyland Resort takes on a whole new look at night, and many agree that it’s the best, the most magical, time.  And it’s much more than twinkle lights on the buildings or a walkway light.  At night, it’s like looking at a whole new area with a whole new feel.  In fact, some of the areas look even better at night.  For me, my favorite time is Disneyland after dark!

You can also listen to the full “Disneyland 101 – Disneyland after dark” segment on our recent episode of the DIS Unplugged Podcast: Disneyland Edition.

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Main Street USA at dusk

Back in 1962 when Walt Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color” TV series was running, there was an entire episode dedicated to Disneyland after dark.  There was also reference to this back in Walt’s original “Disneyland” TV series.  Most theme parks decorate and landscape for daytime, but when it comes to the night time there isn’t much more than some street lights or some colored floodlights in the trees.  Disney on the other hand, designs a whole nighttime look.  They design a complete scene for nighttime and it is perfectly integrated into the daytime architecture so that at night, something wonderful and new appears.

There are many ways to present Disneyland after dark.  But for this story, I thought I’d let my pictures do all the talking.  Come with me; walk with me; see the sights, take in the sounds, and watch the magic unfold.

So let’s take a trip through the Disneyland Resort after dark.

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Mickey in Town Square

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Main Street shops

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Mickey balloons

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Light up roses

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Tiki Torches just outside the Enchanted Tiki Room

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Rivers of America

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Haunted Mansion

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King Arthur Carrousel

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Mad Tea Party

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Snow White fountain

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Nemo Submarine lagoon

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Space Mountain

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Soundsational Parade at night

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Sleeping Beauty Castle

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Disney California Adventure

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Oswald’s gifts

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Carthay Circle

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Carthay Circle fountain

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Hollywood Land

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ElecTRONica opening pre-show

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ElecTRONica dance area

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ElecTRONica Laserman

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Mad T Party

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Alice and the Mad Hatter

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House of Cards stage

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Tower of Terror

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Cars Land

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Flo’s V8 Cafe

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Cozy Cone Motel

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Luigi’s Flying Tires

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Neon signs in Cars Land

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Cadillac Range Mountains

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Paradise Pier with Mickey’s Fun Wheel

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Paradise Pier with California Screamin’

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World of Color

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World of Color

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World of Color

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Christmas on Main Street

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Haunted Mansion Holiday

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Small World Holiday

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Sleeping Beauty Castle from Fantasyland

But no matter what your favorite nighttime activity is, at some point the end of the evening will come and it’s time to say goodbye.  Most of us will come back to the hub and take another long look at Sleeping Beauty Castle and its classic lighting.

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Sleeping Beauty Castle at Christmas

We’ll stop by the Partners statue and say goodnight to Walt and Mickey, and then make our way down Main Street.

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Partners statue

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Main Street from the hub

Maybe we’ll buy one last lighted Mickey balloon, or even a late night ice cream.  And of course there’s the last minute souvenir hunt which seems to still be almost a tradition.  But after all that, you make your way to Town Square.  Stop in the middle, turn around and take one last look at the Castle and remember the day you’ve had.  Remember the great moments and adventures.

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Heading home after a magical day

And lastly, turn toward the Firehouse, and look up to Walt’s apartment and his lighted lamp.  Remember that Walt Disney brought all this to you and as long as the lamp is lit, he’s still with us.  I always say, “Goodnight Walt, thanks for a great day.”

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Walt Disney is always with us.

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See ya real soon!


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Category: Disneyland, Photos

  • Kristina

    I almost cried when I read this – I have a similar “goodbye” ritual when I leave Disneyland Park. I look towards the Fire Engine, blow a kiss at the lamp in the second story window, and say, “Thanks, Walt.”