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Tips and Tricks for Watching Parades and Fireworks at the Disneyland Resort

tips and tricks to view parades and fireworks at disneyland and california adventure

If there are any events you must plan for when visiting the Disneyland Resort is the parades and the firework spectacles. And I do mean you must “plan” for them because your experience will really depend on how close you are to the action and how much your little ones can view, while still being comfortable.

The parades in particular bring so much joy to young kids and babies as they see one after another of their favorite characters swing pass them. Some will be lucky enough to get a touch of a hand, a high-five, a wave or even a blown kiss, but you must be strategically seated to make the most of this.

For the fireworks shows it really depends on the age of your kids and how receptive they are to the loud noise. I say this because my daughter, 5, is still scared of fireworks — or as she calls them: “Booms” — and prefers to watch them from afar. Of course, we don’t get the full experience, but she’s happy with that.

The beauty of the Disneyland Resort is that if you plan well enough and arrive early, you can visit the main highlights in both parks, in one day. To do that, plan to have Verizon’s Disney Mobile Magic app on your smartphone or tablet so you can check out the times for parades and fireworks at both parks (they vary depending on the season) and put together a plan of action to make sure you visit the parades and spectacles at Disneyland, as well as the ones at California Adventure Park.

Tip #1. Check your Disney Mobile Magic app and make sure you have the updated times for all the parades and shows you want to do and mark them as favorites for easy on-the-go access. For parades, make sure you check out the route and try to find a spot either next to the beginning or the end of the parade.

Tip #2. Give yourself at least 30-45 minutes to arrive to your spot so you can sit curbside — for parades — where you’re most likely to get special moments with the characters. For shows like World of Color, you definitely want to make sure you’ve got a spot in the center of the action and with a clear, unobstructed view.

Tip #3. Location does matter. At Disneyland, the best spot to view Mickey’s SoundSational Parade is the terraced area in front of “It’s a Small World,” right next to the beginning of the parade. (Note that when there are two shows on the same day, the route will be reversed for the second one.)

For the Pixar Play Parade at California Adventure, the best spots are towards the end of the parade in the Paradise Pier area.

Fantasmic! in Disneyland is a very popular show that can only be seen during the peak seasons and weekends. The best tip is to try to wait until the second show to get a good spot, since the first one can get really crowded and people wait for hours. If you have very young children, this show can be a bit intense for them.

Tip #4. If you plan in advance and your budget can manage it, the best place to view California Adventure’s “World of Color” is from the terrace at Ariel’s Grotto and the Wine Country Trattoria. You should make reservations in advance by calling (714) 781-DINE or, even easier, by dialing on your smartphone via the Disney Mobile Magic app. Another more affordable option is to order a picnic meal from the Sonoma Terrace for $14.99 per person. This will guarantee you a Reserved Viewing spot, plus delicious food all in one.

Share in the comments, what’s your best tip and trick to view shows at Disneyland or Disney World?

A big thanks to Verizon for sponsoring this campaign. Data rates may apply for app download/use. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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