One of the most magical parts of a Disneyland day in 2023 is watching a spectacular Disneyland fireworks show at the end of the night! Here’s everything you need to know about watching fireworks and projections at Disneyland, including times, best viewing locations, themed shows, and more.
A new Disneyland fireworks show is coming in 2023 to honor the 100th Anniversary of The Walt Disney Company with tributes to every Disney Animation film.
In this article:
Disneyland Fireworks Times and Info
To start, while you are planning your upcoming visit to Disneyland, visit the Disneyland website to check which fireworks show will run and fireworks show times as the Disneyland performance schedule can change because of special events or other park happenings.
Unlike Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, fireworks at Disneyland do not happen every night. Fireworks are seasonal throughout the year and typically are only shown daily during peak seasons due to the proximity of the Disneyland Resort to the neighbors/businesses in Anaheim. During off-peak days, fireworks are Friday through Sunday. For the rest of the week, projections and music are only shown. All fireworks at Disneyland depend on weather and may be canceled if this happens, only the projections and music will run.
Currently, the fireworks show at Disneyland is the fan-favorite, Mickey’s Mix Magic which will run until Disneyland Forever returns. This is my favorite show, with or without fireworks! It’s a fun and thrilling show celebrating Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and features amazing projection technology with upbeat, classic Disney tunes!
Starting April 22nd, the fireworks show Disneyland Forever will be returning! Disneyland Forever debuted as part of the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. Disneyland Forever is a beautiful firework show that may just bring a few happy tears to your eyes as you watch the sky light up above Sleeping Beauty Castle!
Fireworks at Disneyland usually begin at 9:00 pm or 9:30 pm but are subject to change and most shows typically run approximately 16 minutes long.
Disneyland typically shares the fireworks schedule about 6 weeks out. When looking at the entertainment schedule on the Disneyland app, or the link posted above, you will see this:
The schedule will display which show will be run that evening, with fireworks or with projections.
Best Disneyland Fireworks Viewing Locations
There are many spots throughout Disneyland to view the fireworks: on Main Street, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Rivers of America and in front of the “it’s a small world” ride. Each of these locations is a great viewing spot for the show, with fireworks or just with projections.
Let’s go over each location and what time is best to wait for a good view:
Watching Fireworks on Main Street
Main Street is where we usually watch a Disneyland fireworks show for many reasons. It is a prime location because you can catch a great view of the fireworks above the iconic castle, the projections on the castle and also a great view of the projections up and down the buildings on Main Street.
Main Street is my number one choice for watching Disneyland fireworks. This is also the best location for making a quick exit after the show. Main Street also has easy accessibility to bathrooms and spots to grab some refreshments while you wait! Plus, it snows there for some of the Disneyland fireworks shows.
Arrive 60 minutes to 30 minutes before the show starts and around 30 minutes before showtime, Cast Members will allow you to wait while standing in the middle of Main Street. My favorite spot is directly across from the Penny Arcade.
Watching Fireworks in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
The best fireworks view with the most Disney magic is right in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Many people love this spot for a clear view and a close-up look at the different characters that may fly over the castle. However, in order to snag a good spot here, you’ll have to wait for 2 to 3 hours, or more, before the show.
If you choose this area to watch fireworks, make sure your view is not obstructed by trees or the Partners statue.
Watching Fireworks in front of “it’s a small world”
If you don’t want to wait a long time for a fireworks spot, your best bet is in the Small World area. You can see the projections on the facade of the ride and also see fireworks to the left in the sky.
Arriving 30 minutes before the show begins, or less should still guarantee you a nice spot to view the show! For the best view, find a spot with the least obstructed view of the entire front of the “it's a small world” facade. I prefer standing more to the right at this location.
Rivers of America
The best time to enjoy the fireworks along Rivers of America is right after Fantasmic! ends as the fireworks will begin shortly after. The fireworks projections will be shown on water screens and the fireworks music will play. This isn't our top recommendation unless you're already there to watch Fantasmic! The good news is that if you're already planning on Fantasmic! then you can expect to have a viewing spot for the fireworks too which can check two things off your list.
Fantasmic! will return to Disneyland on May 28th!
Watching Fireworks in other areas in Disneyland
A super awesome area to catch the fireworks show is from Galaxy’s Edge. While you won’t see projections or hear music, you will see a unique fireworks view in the sky above Batuu! For the best view, try to stand in front of Docking Bay 7, on the raised area in front of the Millennium Falcon.
Another great spot is from the train station on Main Street. You can clearly see the fireworks above the castle and the projections on Main Street.
I have also seen some amazing fireworks while riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Storybook Land Canal Boats. If you can time it right, it’s amazing to see the bright lights shine while on a Disneyland ride!
Can you watch the fireworks outside of Disneyland?
If you are park hopping from Disney California Adventure or don’t have a park ticket, a fabulous spot to catch the fireworks show is from the Esplanade, the open area between Disneyland and DCA.
You can sit down on the ground to watch the show, but you won’t be able to hear any music.
Another spot to catch the show is from Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure, the balcony from Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney, select hotel rooms at the Disneyland Resort, and numerous rooftop restaurants in Anaheim such as The Fifth above the Grand Legacy hotel, the Parkestry on top of the JW Marriot, or the Blue Sky Bar on top of the Radisson Blu.
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Waiting for Fireworks Tips
Before you start your Disney day, check the entertainment schedule to see when, or if, fireworks will be showing. Since you will be waiting for your firework spot, it’s best to decide early if this will be part of your day and helpful in planning dinner, snacks, and selecting Lighting Lanes ride times.
Bring a Blanket
It’s a good idea to bring a blanket or picnic blanket with you on park days to sit on and also mark your space when waiting for Disneyland fireworks (or parades!)
Snack to the Rescue
Disney snacks always make waiting for fireworks more fun! Mobile ordering snacks is key. Order your snacks on the Disneyland app early for prime fireworks waiting time and send a friend or family member to pick up the snacks while you wait in your fireworks spot. When waiting on Main Street or in front of the castle, I like to mobile order from Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, or the Refreshment Corner. When waiting near the “it’s a small world” ride area, I like to mobile order from Edelweiss Snacks!
Waiting in a crowd can be tiresome for kids, especially after a long park day. I like to bring some toys for my kids to play with while we wait, like pop-it fidgits, LEGOs, magic eraser pads, bubble wands, blankets to snuggle with in the stroller, and glow sticks!
A Long Disney Day
Sometimes waiting for the fireworks show to begin can be challenging with tired little ones. On Main Street, you may to wait with your stroller in your spot, and many times our kids have fallen asleep in the stroller before the show begins and sleep right through it!
Stay After or Leave Early
Once the fireworks show is over, many Disneyland guests leave the park. With so many people leaving at one time, there is often a long wait to exit the park, get on the tram (or bus) back to your parking structure, and so on. You can either position yourself close to the park exit (at the beginning of Main Street or near the Disneyland Railroad) to leave as soon as the show ends, or you can wait it out. We prefer to wait it out and, after the fireworks show, walk around an almost empty park instead of standing in a crowded line. Huge bonus: you can get some amazing Disneyland night photos!
Disneyland Fireworks Cancellation
Checking Disneyland’s website or the Disneyland app is the best way to stay informed about cancellations or performance time changes. On windy and rainy days, the fireworks more than likely will be canceled. Disneyland fireworks are often canceled due to high winds so if seeing fireworks is a priority, make sure you don't leave it for your last night to watch. While you are at the park, if you notice a change in the weather, ask the nearest Cast Member for a fireworks show update.
If you're near Main Street around 7 PM, you might catch the ‘balloon test' where they release one balloon up into the air to see if it flies to the left or right to gauge the strength of the winds.
Disneyland Firework Shows Throughout the Year
There is almost always a scheduled fireworks show at Disneyland. Depending on what time of the year you visit Disneyland determines what fireworks show you will see. In previous years, the fireworks schedule has resembled something like this:
- Beginning January 27, 2022: NEW Wondrous Journeys Fireworks show
- July 4th holiday: a special one-night fireworks show.
- September through October 31: Halloween Screams with fireworks on the weekend.
- November through December 30th: “Believe…In Holiday Magic” fireworks with snowfall.
- December 31st: a special one-night fireworks show.
Here is what to expect from each show:
Wondrous Journeys Fireworks Show 2023
New in 2023 the Wondrous Journeys fireworks show pays tribute to all 62 of the Walt Disney Animation Studios feature films. The show includes Baymax from Big Hero 6 flying across the sky at Disneyland for the first time and also includes the Blue Fairy. This show includes dazzling projections on Main Street, the Rivers of America, and the Small World facade. We have already seen this new show and were blown away by the majesty and power of the score, projections, and fireworks presentation. There are so many details on the projections it was literally hard to know where to look and what to film when capturing it to share with you. Where other Disneyland firework shows have been fun and a nice end to your day, this show has just jumped Disneyland fireworks to must-see. I can't wait to return again and again to see Wondrous Journeys at Disneyland.
Mickey's Mix Magic Fireworks
This is a high-energy fireworks show featuring projections and remixes of your favorite Disney songs featuring music from Coco, the Haunted Mansion, Frozen, and the Jungle Book. This experience is both a fireworks show and a dance party! Mickey's Mix Magic is a ton of fun and will have you dancing to the beat. This show has two versions, one with fireworks and one with just the projections. Typically, the projection-only version of the show is reserved for slower weekday nights or nights when it is too windy for fireworks. This show is typically run in-between seasonal transitions at Disneyland but at times has been the main event as the summer show.
Disneyland Forever Fireworks
The Disneyland Forever fireworks first debuted with the Disneyland 60th anniversary and feature musical numbers from popular Disney films with projections throughout the park and special props on Main Street. The show features music from Mary Poppins, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Lion King, Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen. With a touching opening and closing song, this is a fireworks show that will pull at your heart strings!
Disneyland 4th of July Fireworks
Expect a one-of-a-kind display honoring America the Beautiful! Watch as reds, whites, and blues explode in the blackened night sky along with some patriot tunes as Stars and Stripes flash across the majestic Castle.
All guests visiting Disneyland can experience the Halloween Screams projection and special effects show. Halloween Screams is a wicked display and is hosted by Jack Skellington and his ghostly dog Zero, spirits from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. There is Halloween-inspired songs, soaring flames, projections of classic Disney villains like Oogie Boogie and Ursula the Sea Witch. This is a thrilling show for guests of all ages.
“Believe… in Holiday Magic”
The holiday season comes alive with this fireworks show! More than 80,000 twinkling lights illuminate Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle with sparking icicles as this show begins. Spectacular fireworks are choreographed to a medley of holiday music and after the fireworks finale snow softly falls on Main Street, near “it’s a small world Holiday” and New Orleans Square.
Fireworks on New Year’s Eve at Disneyland
Ring in an unforgettable New Year with festive fireworks at midnight! Join in on the countdown and welcome the New Year at the Happiest Place on Earth!
Plan Your Disneyland Vacation!
Start planning your Disney Vacation today to see these amazing fireworks in person! Our FREE Deals newsletter provides helpful planning information, access to low-price tickets and more exclusive Disney deals. Check out our guides for planning your Disney trip here:
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