Return Dates for Disneyland Spectaculars & New Finale for Main Street Electrical Parade

Disney has announced return and debut dates for fireworks, parades, and other nighttime spectaculars coming to Disneyland and California Adventure in Spring 2022. Here are dates, details on the new additions and returning fan favorites.

This update builds upon recent news of festivals coming back to Disney California Adventure early in 2022, with Lunar New Year just having concluded and DCA’s Food & Wine Festival starting in a couple weeks. Disneyland Resort has also recently introduced experiences like encountering Raya in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail to the Celebrate Soulfully entertainment throughout the month of February.

In addition to that, Disneyland Resort has already brought some fan-favorite entertainment, including the Disneyland Band, Citizens of Buena Vista Street, Dapper Dans, the Bootstrappers, Five & Dime, Guardians of the Galaxy Dance Off, and more. Plus, lots of holiday entertainment included with regular admission, like A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe…In Holiday Magic fireworks at Disneyland or the superlative “¡Viva Navidad!” street party and Mickey’s Happy Holidays over at Disney California Adventure.

The latest additions announced today will further strengthen that, leaving pretty much only Magic Happens Parade, Mickey and the Magical Map, and Frozen – Live at the Hyperion as the big question marks. Magic Happens was brand new–literally only a couple weeks old–when the parks closed, so we’re assuming it’ll come back for Summer 2022. Sadly, the latter two are probably gone for good–but we’re hoping for announcements about their successors at the D23 Expo this fall.

Anyway, here’s a look at what’s next on the horizon for entertainment at Disneyland and DCA in 2022…

World of Color – Guests will be able to gather around Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure to enjoy World of Color. This unique combination of music, fire, fog and laser effects, with Disney animation projected on an immense screen of water is one of Disney’s best nighttime spectaculars anywhere.

The unforgettable kaleidoscope of color has enthralled millions of guests at Disney California Adventure as it brings the magic and fun of Disney and Pixar films to life— all set to a soaring soundtrack. Audiences are immersed in some favorite Disney stories with memorable sequences of animation and music, including scenes like WALL-E and Eve zipping through the cosmos and Pocahontas exploring just around the riverbend.

World of Color returns to Disney California Adventure on April 22, 2022.

Disneyland Forever Fireworks – Originally debuting for the Diamond Celebration, Disneyland Forever is a sky-high celebration filled with sparkling pyrotechnics and immersive projections that envelop guests in a breathtaking journey with surprising special effects.

Main Street, U.S.A., and a few other spots in Disneyland become a magical canvas as guests are swept into a world of dreams. Two original songs, “Live the Magic” and the inspiring closing song “Kiss Goodnight,” were written by Disney Legend Richard Sherman. This is a really solid fireworks show–the type Magic Kingdom should have received for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.

Disneyland Forever fireworks return to the skies above Disneyland on April 22, 2022. When Disneyland Forever comes back, it will run weekends only (Friday through Sunday). “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will continue presenting its high-energy, projections-only show during the week (Monday through Thursday) until late Spring 2022. At that time, Disneyland Forever fireworks will then run nightly in Summer 2022.

Fantasmic! – A must-see show for guests for nearly 30 years at Disneyland, Fantasmic is Disney’s longest-running nighttime spectacular. It’s an emotional, energy-filled extravaganza of colorful Disney animated film images, choreographed to an exciting musical score.

The waters of the Rivers of America come alive as Mickey Mouse’s power of imagination enables him to create fantastic events and images as seen in some of our most beloved Disney classic films such as Fantasia, Jungle Book, Little Mermaid, and more. The original fanfare and theme song make this show a Disneyland classic.

Fantasmic will return to the Rivers of America in Disneyland just in time for the start of summer, on May 28, 2022.

Main Street Electrical Parade – Main Street Electrical Parade will make its grand return to Disneyland. This spectacular pageant of nighttime magic and imagination will be led by the iconic train and drum unit featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy, and proclaiming in lights: “Disneyland Presents — Main Street Electrical Parade.” The parade brings back many guest favorites including Elliot the Dragon and floats from Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and Peter Pan.

Main Street Electrical Parade will roll down Disneyland’s entertainment corridor beginning on April 22, 2022. Both Disneyland Forever and Main Street Electrical Parade will be available for a “limited time” at Disneyland. This type of limited engagement is pretty typical–Disneyland rotates fireworks shows regularly and MSEP has had tons of farewell runs.

Our guess here is that Disneyland Forever runs until early September, when Halloween Screams replaces it. As for Main Street Electrical Parade, it’ll probably have a long run due to the big news below–but it’s possible MSEP moves over to DCA for the summer once the parade route there is cleared of festival booths. (I doubt that, but it’s possible.)

But wait, there’s more! Upon its return to Disneyland, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, the Disney Live Entertainment team is introducing exciting new elements to the “Main Street Electrical Parade” that will continue to evolve this beloved spectacular.

Over the past five decades, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” has brought families together to delight in its many whimsical stories and featured characters. And soon, that will continue for a whole new generation of dreamers. In honor of the parade’s 50th anniversary, this nighttime spectacular will return with an all-new, enchanted grand finale that celebrates the theme of togetherness.

This universal theme is reflected in the creative concept of the grand finale sequence. Inspired by both the original design of classic Main Street Electrical Parade floats and Disney Legend Mary Blair’s iconic art style on “it’s a small world,” the new grand finale brings to life more than a dozen Disney Animation and Pixar stories.

These stories will be interpreted in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sound, with unique representations of beloved characters as animated dolls.

As the new grand finale passes by, guests along each side of the parade route will see a different set of stylized scenes from classic and contemporary favorite stories such as “Encanto,” “The Jungle Book,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Aladdin,” “Coco,” “Mulan,” “Brave,” “The Princess and the Frog” and more.

Check out one of the early pieces of concept art (below), featuring Mirabel and Antonio from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-nominated film, “Encanto.”

From the Blue Fairy to a colorful, unique representation of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the grand finale of the “Main Street Electrical Parade” comprises seven segments stretching 118 feet in length, making it one of the longest and grandest units in the parade’s 50-year history.

This will breathe new life into the aging Main Street Electrical Parade, and is a surprising–and exciting addition.

As some of you might know, Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights is far and away our favorite night parade in any worldwide Disney Park. It’s not even a close call, and we’ve constantly hoped that Walt Disney World or Disneyland would do something comparable.

This finale is something comparable.

In fact, it is directly inspired by Dreamlights, which has its own 4-float Small World unit to end the parade (see above). It’s different than this, but the idea is similar.

The Small World unit is our favorite part of Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights. From their visual style to characters to the float design to the crescendo of the music, it feels like the whole of the parade builds to this. The payoff Dreamlights delivers with the Small World finale is really satisfying.

We’ve been critical of Main Street Electrical Parade in the past. Our perspective a few years ago was that it should be permanently retired to allow for the more modern Paint the Night or other spiritual successors to carry on its legacy. That has softened over time, in large part because we’ve been starved of a night parade at Walt Disney World.

No equivocation is necessary here: we are downright excited for the return of Main Street Electrical Parade with this new finale. This is a huge addition, bridging past and present. If Disneyland is going to keep running Main Street Electrical Parade, this is exactly the way to do it. The approach of melding old and new is “very Disneyland” and this is absolutely perfect for the more intimate castle park.

The scale is definitely smaller on Disneyland’s new Main Street Electrical Parade ‘Small World’ finale, but that’s true of the respective parades as a whole. Dreamlights is bigger and bolder, and is a parade that is constantly modernized.

This is not a knock–this finale looks like a perfect visual fit for Main Street Electrical Parade. If they simply replicated the Dreamlights floats, it would’ve been totally off. While we’ll reserve final judgment until actually seeing it in person, the concept art looks spot-on. Kudos to the Disney Live Entertainment team.

Ultimately, it’s exciting to see Disney actually doing something to celebrate one 50th Anniversary with a thoughtful addition that’s actually relevant to the thing being celebrated. The new finale to Main Street Electrical Parade draws inspiration from the past and present, modernizing the parade in a way that respects its own history while also injecting characters who are beloved by new generations.

What a perfect way for Disney to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of something. Really makes you think about what could’ve been. Count this as another “check” on the Disneyland side of the scale in our Disneyland v. Disney World: Is West Best in 2022? comparison!

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

Your Thoughts

Are you excited about this entertainment news for Disneyland Resort? Happy to see nighttime spectaculars returning? Excited for April 22, 2022 to roll around? What do you think of the new “it’s a small world” inspired finale to Main Street Electrical Parade? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? 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!

34 Responses to “Return Dates for Disneyland Spectaculars & New Finale for Main Street Electrical Parade”
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