Visiting Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration

11247602_10153441527502488_5631637638908697500_oDisneyland Resort is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an amazing Diamond Celebration, featuring plenty of special entertainment. Here are a few tips for enjoying all that the Diamond Celebration has to offer.

At Disney California Adventure, World of Color – Celebrate! is a special version of the park’s beautiful nighttime show, featuring water and light effects that tell the story of Walt’s journey through animation and creating Disneyland. The show takes place on the water in front of Paradise Pier, and the viewing area is standing only.

To see World of Color – Celebrate!, you’ll want a FastPass – most of the viewing areas are only accessible if you have a FastPass. The FastPasses for World of Color are distributed from the machines also used for Grizzly River Run’s FastPasses, until they run out (and they likely will early in the day). If you’re planning to see the show, grab a FastPass early. The FastPasses are not “connected” to the others in the parks, so you can hold a FastPass for World of Color while obtaining other FastPasses.

If you’d like a guaranteed FastPass for World of Color, consider reserving a World of Color Dining Package. You can book these for either lunch or dinner, and after your meal, you’ll receive FastPasses for the show. These are available at Carthay Circle Restaurant, Ariel’s Grotto, and Wine Country Trattoria. The dining packages have a set price per person and include an appetizer, entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic drink. Be sure that you reserve the dining package – a regular reservation at one of these restaurants is not the same.

For the Diamond Celebration, Disneyland offers the most special entertainment with two brand new experiences: the Paint the Night Parade and Disneyland Forever fireworks. The Paint the Night Parade is similar in concept to the Main Street Electrical Parade (a nighttime parade with floats blanketed in lights), but this parade brings new vibrancy, more advanced effects, and a new soundtrack with it. Disneyland Forever has more than just fireworks – you’ll see projections on Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn, and the buildings on Main Street.

The Paint the Night Parade typically has two performances. During the fall, it will only have two performances on the weekends. The first parade will run from it’s a small world to Town Square, and the second will run in the opposite direction. The second parade will be much less crowded than the first. If you are seeing the first parade, or if there is only one showing, try to find a spot on Main Street or in the hub near Sleeping Beauty Castle, so that you can get in position for the fireworks immediately following it. Note that Fantasmic! is still showing, as well – if you want to see this in addition to the Diamond Celebration entertainment, you can visit all three in one night by seeing the first Paint the Night Parade, Disneyland Forever, and then Fantasmic, but I would recommend splitting it into two nights.

The Disneyland Forever fireworks only have one performance each night, and directly follow the first Paint the Night Parade. Because there are so many effects happening in different places, there are a lot of great viewing spots for this show. If you position yourself just at the end of Main Street, you’ll be able to see the projections on the Matterhorn, castle, and Main Street. If you get the chance to see the show more than once, do so from different places – once in the middle of Main Street, and again closer to Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Be sure to take time to enjoy other parts of the Diamond Celebration, as well. Many characters are dressed in their Diamond best. Sleeping Beauty Castle and Carthay Circle Restaurant are decked out in blue and diamonds. You can also find many diamond-themed snacks and drinks at dining locations throughout the parks.

While Disneyland has not officially announced an end date for the Diamond Celebration, because it did not start until late May 2015, I am expecting it to continue into next spring. There’s already so much to enjoy at Disneyland, and it’s made even more special with all the 60th Anniversary entertainment and decorations.

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful family. Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong – but she also realized how good planning can make such a difference for having a fun, relaxing vacation! Elizabeth became her family’s go-to resource for Disney planning. Now she is dedicating her planning skills to helping other families create vacation memories as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. She will plan your trip as if it were her own. Her blog, planningformagic.com, has tons of advice on how to plan your next Disney trip, including trip planning instructions, sample itineraries, dining tips, and more. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter for more planning tips and theme park news. Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@theaffordablemouse.com.

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