by D’land Hubby
Fortunately, for most of the time D’land Diva and I dated, we were able to go down to Disneyland on Friday nights for date night. After work we would catch a quick nap and head down for dinner, a few attractions, and the fireworks. Even now, every time we see a fireworks display, either in the park or outside, we make some kind of joke that tonight’s display is brought to you by HP! Traditionally, people only think about watching the fireworks from one location, Main Street USA, but we’ve found a few hidden gems over the years.
#1: Main Street USA/Sleeping Beauty Castle
This is the traditional favorite. You get to see all of the fireworks in its designated location. You can see the castle fireworks, the hub fireworks, the castle projects, Tinkerbell flying overhead, and the big fireworks in the back. The downside is that you are going to be standing around for a while and might need to stake out your place instead of getting dinner. People will start lining up 3 or more hours prior to the show for the best spots.
This is the favorite of my family. We like to find a spot right by It’s a Small World and have a seat. On most nights we can slide into our spots with 5-15 minutes to spare and still have a great view. The only time we’ve had issues with finding a spot at this location is on the Fourth of July. They have started to project images onto the facade of It’s a Small World so you get a taste of what its like at the castle. The downside is that you will probably miss most of the castle fireworks and Tinkerbell might have finished her flight before you ever knew she took off.
#3: Rivers of America
Rivers of America is a great location to view the fireworks. They go off shortly after the first performance of Fantasmic! This is another place where you’ll have to get there early to see the show (plan at least 2 hours) and longer for the preferred front and center locations. After Fantasmic! finishes the crowds stay put and the fireworks start shortly after. Make sure you are on the side of Big Thunder because the trees on Tom Sawyer’s Islands can block the view.
#4: Innoventions/Red Rockets Pizza Port
One night not long ago on a date with my beautiful wife, we started to get a little hungry. We stopped for dessert at Pizza Port and sat outside at the tables next to Innoventions. We were shocked that the music to the fireworks started up and we were able to get impressive views of the big fireworks. The downside is you will not see much from the castle nor will you get to see Tinkerbelle. The upside is that no one comes to Tomorrowland to watch the fireworks. Enjoy watching in peace.
People start lining up in the section between Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure about an hour early. This is a great location if you have just gotten into town or you didn’t use your tickets for the day. You will not hear the music but the sights are pretty spectacular as the big fireworks boom directly over Main Street’s Railroad Station. You’ll also get to visit with a few hundred people but you shouldn’t feel too claustrophobic. The advantage is that you can make a quick getaway to the trams or buses before the mass of people exit the park.
#6: Mickey and Friends Parking Structure
This was one of the locations we were most shocked about. The big fireworks launch just on the other side of Disney Way from the parking structure. You kind of feel like you could reach out and actually touch one of them. The walkways in the parking structure are long so getting a front row seat isn’t too difficult. The top row (Minnie) is usually the prime location because it is the farthest up. You can also catch some pretty good views by the escalators. This spot makes getting into your car a snap and you’ll be on your way home and/or hotel in no time.
I know what your thinking, really? If your still thinking about the right hotel for your next Disneyland Vacation, please consider the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel. After a long day in the park, head back to the hotel and head down to the pool. The pirate themed pool! Grab a spot and wait till the fireworks go off. You’ll find a great location to kick back with your fellow hotel guests. When finished, you should be able to make it to your room within 5 minutes. This is a great way to still see the fireworks and still get your kids into bed by 10 pm!
Hopefully this will help you plan for some firework viewing in the future. Do you think I missed a spot? Leave a comment below to share your location?