Former Detroit Lion Matthew Stafford, plus Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams celebrated their Super Bowl LVI victory over the Cincinnati Bengals with a parade and photo ops at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. This post will share photos and thoughts from the festivities.
If you missed the Big Game…you probably don’t care what happened. And if you caught it, you probably don’t need a recap. But I’ll offer one anyway. Super Bowl LVI was held at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California near Los Angeles (you fly over it while landing at LAX) making it a home game for the LA Rams.
Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp had the drive of his life, as the triple crown-winning wide receiver caught several clutch passes from quarterback Matthew Stafford during the Rams’ game winning possession. This is Stafford’s calling card–Detroit didn’t have much success in the decade-plus with him at the helm, but he did orchestrate an impressive number of come from behind wins in the fourth quarter.
Immediately after Super Bowl 56 ended, amid the celebrations at SoFi Stadium, Kupp, Donald and Stafford along with their spouses and kids, turned to the TV cameras and shouted those words that NFL players dream of saying after winning the Super Bowl: “We’re all going to Disneyland!’’
As a lifelong fan of the lowly Lions, I’ve gotta admit that it was a pretty magical moment for me, too. Don’t get me wrong–it’s absolutely not the same as if the Lions won–but it was nice to see a truly good guy who gave it his all for Detroit finally find success.
Anyway, we headed out to Disneyland today to see Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald in the Super Bowl victory parade at Disneyland.
Upon stepping foot on Main Street, we had a strong sense of deja vu all over again.
The last time we did this was February 2020 at Magic Kingdom, when the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV and MVP Patrick Mahomes headlined the celebratory parade, which was attended by a ton of Chief fans.
I remember that being crowded, but I had forgotten just how bad it was. (Remember, the parks closed about a month later, and a lot of what happened in the lead-up to that is a blur.)
In our post about the Chiefs Super Bowl parade, I wrote that attending was “one of my 5 worst ideas of the year. I know it’s only February, but I churn out some colossally bad ideas with regularity. It’s a talent, really. This being among the top/bottom five is really saying something.”
“Suffice to say, I won’t be doing this again until the Detroit Lions win the Super Bowl. The upside is that by the year 2085, I’ll have a hoverboard to get above the crowds.”
This is the first public Super Bowl parade since that one (last year’s photo ops for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Walt Disney World weren’t held in guest view), so I guess I didn’t learn from my mistake. Even knowing that the Super Bowl parade always causes a spike in crowds and that the Los Angeles Rams were playing a home game, I didn’t expect it to be that bad.
For one thing, the Rams aren’t nearly as popular in Southern California as the Dodgers or Lakers. For another, there’s Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite this evening, so the park closes at 7 pm. I figured that would keep some of the crowds down. Wrong on both counts.
I’ve never seen anything like this. The parade route was among the most packed I’ve ever seen it–worse than peak season holiday dates, and busier than the debut of Paint the Night or the return of Main Street Electrical Parade.
Last time we did this two years ago, I called it unpleasantly uncrowded. (Ah, if I only knew then what I know now–and how the world would change only a few weeks later.)
The crowds at Disneyland were even worse and, honestly, I didn’t mind it one bit.
After the last couple of years, it was fun to be part of the communal energy of so many excited fans. After a couple false starts, it’s nice to see things getting back to normal.
I missed the focus pretty badly on the above photo (conditions were far from ideal for photography), but I love Aaron Donald’s pose here. Same way he finished out the game.
Here are a few more photos of the festivities, fun, and aftermath:
Ultimately, even though I’m not a fan of the team, seeing Stafford and the other two Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl victory parade at Disneyland was a really fun experience. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this again (until the Detroit Lions win in 2085, as mentioned above), but I wouldn’t actively avoid it, either.
Aside from congestion in the front half of the park, gridlock on Main Street, and crowds in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the rest of Disneyland hasn’t been that bad. Headliners are predictably posting long wait times, but Fantasyland dark rides are relatively short, and the park is more than manageable–that’s the big difference as compared to Magic Kingdom two years ago–or even this winter.
Did you attend the Super Bowl parade or watch the live stream? What’d you think of the Big Game? Any other Detroit Lions fans enjoy Stafford’s bittersweet victory? Heartbroken Bengals diehards? Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts here? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!