Disneyland After Dark

Good morning!  Ready to hear all about the first ever Disneyland After Dark?  Let’s dive right in!

For the first ever Disneyland After Dark, and the theme was Throwback Night. Disney encouraged those coming to dress up in the their finest 50’s and 60’s inspired looks.  I can tell you that people came out dressed to the nines!  There were outfits from puddle skirts to hippies.   It was also fun to watch ladies in puffy skirts, and guys in full suits get into the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and screaming on Big Thunder.

After DarkGoing in, they had special entrances set up, and the lines for it got pretty long; according to the signs the tickets for the special event sold out.  There were more people there than I expected.  But it was still very empty in comparison to during the day.  When you checked in they gave you a lanyard, a map for the evening, a paper ticket, and one of those paper bracelets.  You had to wear the bracelet and the lanyard in order to get onto the rides.

There were special events through out the evening, these included a DJ playing oldies on Main Street, dancing demonstrations in front of it’s a small world, dance party on the Mark Twain River Boat, and live performances around the park.  There were also special food offerings around the park.  I got the Orange Cream Mickey Beignets, the leftovers of which I’m eating right now while I write.  In addition to the specialty foods they had some restaurants open around the park, as well as popcorn and churro carts.

According to the information on the Disney website there were going to be a few classic rides open.  In reality every ride that was open during the day was open in the evening as well. The longest line I saw was still Peter Pan at about a 40-minute wait, but that was not the norm.  A ten-minute wait for the bigger rides, like Matterhorn, was the norm.  And a lot of the rides were simply walk on.

Fantasyland After DarkMy first stop was Fantasyland where I went on Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Peter Pan in rapid succession.  Everyone looked so lovely riding the carousel in their finest!

FireworksI looped around to Big Thunder Mountain, for a little thrill before the fireworks.  The fireworks were actually the same show that premiered in 1956.  I thought I had gotten a good seat, with a pretty good view of the castle.  However, it turns out that the fireworks were right behind a tree.  When the fireworks started and everyone in my section realized we couldn’t see, we all just started laughing!  I was able to change location and catch the last minute (of a five-minute show), it was pretty great!

Onto Indiana Jones and Jungle Cruise.  I do enjoy Jungle Cruise at night, all the jokes plus spotlights!

Orange DreamcicleFrom there I joined the line for beignets, which was by far the longest line I waited in all night.  Actually, the food lines all around the park were huge!  The only other place with lines that long were for the special picture opportunities.  Turns out people love food and commemoration, who knew?

After getting beignets, I did a little walkthrough of the back alley of New Orleans Square and hopped onto Pirates.  When I came out I noticed that even thought The Blue Bayou wasn’t open the doors were slightly ajar.  I tell you, it took a lot out of me not go in!

OrnamentI stopped by the souvenir shop and bought a special commemorative ornament.  My final ride of the evening was the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Daper Dans (1)I spent a little more time in the park, just enjoying the atmosphere and shopping for a couple little gifts. My final event of the evening was a concert by the Dapper Dans.  Not a bad send off at all!

My final thoughts on Disneyland After Dark is that its worth it.  If you’re someone who likes the rides, like me, you could probably hit every ride in the park during that time.  Because it is a special event with a separate ticket you know that everyone there really wants to be there.If you like the food, there are special offerings that you wouldn’t be able to get at other times.  If you like the atmosphere, its like Disney on a sugar high!

Categories: Disney, Disneyland California, Travel Diary

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