Hong Kong Disneyland PAINT THE NIGHT PARADE – The Ultimate Light Show

There are many reasons to go to Hong Kong Disneyland, but their newest attraction, the Paint the Night Parade, is the most compelling yet. I don’t generally watch the parades when I’m in the parks, except an initial viewing, just to make sure I’m not missing anything. The only parade I make an effort to watch every time I can is the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which is my favorite. Or was, that is, until my Thanksgiving visit to Hong Kong Disneyland.

HKDL Sleeping Beauty Castle at Night

Hong Kong Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle at Night with Tinker Bell flying by

 

I’d heard about the parade a few months ago (it had been in development for over two years) and it was a big part of the reason for my Thanksgiving trip. I’d heard there was going to be a new night parade at Hong Kong Disneyland and that it would be interactive. Paint the Night was everything I’d heard about and more. The first night, I was jet-lagged, but there was no way I wasn’t going to stay up to see the parade, with just two nights available. I had dinner at the Explorers Club, because there was a Paint the Night dinner set that included dinner for 2, a Mickey Magic Paint Brush and either a Mickey Glow Mitt or Minnie Glow Bow (I opted for the Glow Bow). As with the Glow with the Show Mickey Ears at Disneyland, the Glow Mitt and Glow Bow respond to signals in the parade, making viewers a part of the show.

Mickey Magic Paint Brushes

Mickey Magic Paint Brushes at Hong Kong Disneyland

 

Children Paint the Night with their Mickey Magic Paint Brushes waiting for HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Children Paint the Night with their Mickey Magic Paint Brushes while waiting for the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

 

On the advice of my friend, Derrick, I waited in front of the Plaza Restaurant for an optimal experience. There are seven floats in the parade, combining Disney and Pixar characters, in an all LED light show, with over 740,000 individual lights. The first float is Tinker Bell, floating in a swirl of pixie dust.

Tinker Bell in Pixie Dust Swirl in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Tinker Bell in a Swirl of Pixie Dust in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Tinker Bell in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Tinker Bell in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

 

Her Fiber Fairies dance around her and, when the parade stops, the Paint the Night paintbrushes come into play. Parade viewers can point their paintbrushes at the Fiber Fairies and change the color of their costumes! They can also change the color of other paintbrushes, which can make the time waiting for the parade go by a little more quickly. I took great pleasure in changing the paintbrushes of everyone around me to purple, cast members and guests alike.

Tinker Bell and Fiber Fairies in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Tinker Bell and her Fiber Fairies in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Children painting the Fiber Fairies in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Children Painting the Fiber Fairies in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

My Purple HKDL Mickey Magic Paint Brush

My Purple Hong Kong Disneyland Mickey Magic Paint Brush

 

The Monsters, Inc., Scare Floor float follows Tink, with a series of doors that open and close in a light show that contains surprise guests. Sulley drives the float and Mike brings up the rear. I didn’t get a picture of her, but I did spy Boo at one point, which made my night. I did catch George, though.

Sulley on the Monsters Inc Float in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Sulley on the Monsters, Inc. Float in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Mike and Doors on Monsters Inc float in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Mike and Scare Floor Doors on the Monsters, Inc. float in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

George in the Monsters Inc Float in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

George in the Monsters, Inc. Float in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

 

Next up is Lightning McQueen, leading Mack, who carries DJ. Mack’s sides perform a light show for viewers. The Cars Crew dance team have programmed costumes and the headlights on their costumes make them look like cars driving at night.

Lightning McQueen in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Lightning McQueen in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Mack in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Mack in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Mack Close-up in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Close-up of Mack in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Mack Light Show in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Mack Light Show in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

DJ Riding Mack in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

DJ Rocking Mack in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

DJ in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

DJ riding Mack in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

 

The Little Mermaid float is next and is also interactive. We dive under the sea with King Triton and Ariel, who has a live mic and talks to viewers as she floats by. Flounder and Sebastian are floating along with Ariel and King Triton and, as the float passes by, fish swim after it playfully.

Little Mermaid Float with Dancing Coral in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Little Mermaid Float with Dancing Coral in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Little Mermaid and Friends in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Little Mermaid and Friends in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Little Mermaid Chatting to Guests in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Little Mermaid Chatting to Guests during the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Under the Sea Float in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Under the Sea Float in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

 

As beautiful as the parade has been so far, nothing compares to what comes next. First a series of dancers, dressed in period costumes reminiscent of the Enlightenment with huge bouffant wigs that carry candelabra. Belle appears, then, standing before a tapestry of light that flickers from image to image, telling her story. The tail of the float is a series of four candelabra, accompanied by dancing swans with beautiful fiber optic eyelashes, and followed by Rose Goddesses – stilt walkers with rose headpieces over a long green stem.

Dancing Candelabra in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Dancing Candelabra in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Belle Greeting Guests in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Belle Greeting Guests in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Belle and Rose in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Belle and Rose in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Belle and Rose Close-up in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Belle and Rose Close-up in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Beauty and the Beast Float in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Beauty and the Beast Float in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Beauty and the Beast Kiss in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Beauty and the Beast Kiss in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Candelabra in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Candelabra in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Fiber Optic Eyelashes on Swans in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Fiber Optic Eyelashes on Swans in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

 

The parade moves from the romantic to the playful with Slinky Dog romping on a Lite Brite, ridden by Woody and Buzz. Luxo Balls follow, rolling from side to side of the route.

Toy Story Float in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Toy Story Float in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Slinky Dog Sees Me in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Slinky Dog Sees Me during the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Slinky Dog in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Slinky Dog watching me during the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Slinky Dog in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Slinky Dog in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Luxo Ball in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Luxo Ball in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

 

And of course, the grand finale is comprised of classic characters. Doodle-bug type mini floats dance past carrying Goofy, Donald and Minnie. Sorcerer Mickey rides a wave of light high above us, followed by a swirling, twirling, ribbon of light that twists in and around creating a mesmerizing effect – my favorite part of the parade!

Donald Doodle Bug in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Donald riding a Doodle Bug in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Minnie on Doodle Bug in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Minnie riding a Doodle Bug in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Minnie on Pink Doodle Bug in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Minnie’s Doodle Bug turned pink during the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Mickey Waving Good Night in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Mickey Waving Good Night in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Mickey Waving Good bye in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Mickey Waving Good bye in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

Sorcerer Mickey in HKDL Paint the Night Parade

Sorcerer Mickey in the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

HKDL Paint the Night Parade Caboose

The final float of the Hong Kong Disneyland Paint the Night Parade

If I could, I would personally thank the 80+ cast members who make this parade such a joy to watch every night. The second night I watched from Main Street, near the Christmas tree, waiting an hour and a half to make sure I had a good spot to watch Ariel interact with the views. Unfortunately, the park was very crowded and the parade did not make its second stop. Another parade-watching tip is to cross Main Street as soon as the parade passes the hub and work your way down to Town Square to watch the parade one more time as it goes backstage. I absolutely love this parade and will do everything I can to get back to Hong Kong to watch it again!

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About George Gensler

George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.