Tricks and Tips to Get the Most Out of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration

The official Disneyland 60th anniversary is July 17th 2015. Whether you’re planning a trip to celebrate at the happiest place on earth, or just wondering what they have going on, our tips are meant to inform and help you plan and enjoy Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration.

Disneyland 60Disneyland 60

1) Wait for the Second Paint the Night Parade

One of the big things Disneyland introduced as part of its Diamond Celebration is the Paint the Night Parade. Pulling from a parade at Disneyland Hong Kong, this is the stateside premier of the electrifying parade, and people line up early to get a good view. I spoke to a woman who secured her place on Main Street U.S.A. at 4 pm – for a parade nearly five hours later!

At the moment they have two viewings of the parade – one at 8:50 pm and another at 11 pm. I cannot suggest enough going to the second parade. Both times I saw the parade, I was able to secure a prime viewing spot with less than an hour wait. And frankly, spending an hour enjoying some ice cream from Gibson Girl while waiting for the parade, wasn’t a waste of time! Even if you have little ones and waiting until 11 pm might be hard, going to your hotel and swimming or napping, then coming back for the second parade might be a better use of time than spending five hours on the curb.

Disneyland Paint the Night ParadeDisneyland Paint the Night ParadeDisneyland Paint the Night ParadeDisneyland Paint the Night Parade

My last tip for this – look for a spot on Main Street U.S.A. right after the fireworks as people are clearing out. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get a prime location.

2) Projections are KEY for the Fireworks

Disneyland Forever, the new fireworks for the Disneyland Diamond Celebration, are truly above and beyond any Disney fireworks I’ve seen before – and I’ve seen a lot of them. They’re immersive, moving and tell a beautiful story. Part of this story is told through projections and seeing them makes the experience a million times better.

Ideally, being in the hub for the fireworks would be your best bet. You get to take in all the fireworks, the projections and the added aerial bonuses. However, as you can imagine, the hub is jam-packed. You have two other viewing options: at the back of Fantasyland on it’s a small world and in the middle of Main Street U.S.A. Both places make use of the projections and offer great views of the fireworks and special effects.

Disneyland Forever

Both places have their pros and cons. The facade of it’s a small world makes a better “canvas” for the projections since it’s generally more uniform. However you’re really caught between the fireworks that go off behind the castle and the fireworks that go off behind it’s a small world. On Main Street U.S.A. the projections are broken up a bit by the buildings, but they surround you in a beautiful way. Here, you’ve got a better view of the fireworks and of the aerial special effects. I’d never actually seen Tinkerbell fly before and that was just magical.

Disneyland Forever

There are obviously merits to both places, but make sure, if you want to see the fireworks, you’re someplace where you can see the projections too! And make sure you stay to hear the new song by Richard Sherman called “Kiss Goodnight.” It’s sentimental, but lovely.

3) Merchandise is Everywhere

Given what a huge celebration Disneyland is having, you’re probably not surprised to learn that there is also tons of Diamond Celebration merchandise to go along with it! And your opportunities to buy things are countless!

Disneyland60merchandise

Not only can you buy 60th anniversary items at Disneyland, you can also purchase them at California Adventure and at Downtown Disney. And the shops at Disneyland aren’t just limited to the ones on Main Street U.S.A.! I actually found the shirt I was looking for at Frontierland Mercantile after looking in two other stores! It’s good to remember that if one store doesn’t have what you want, others might. Don’t be afraid to check out every store to get what you want!

4) But Don’t Hesitate!

While 60th anniversary merchandise is limited to purchasing just five of any one item, some items are seriously flying off the shelves! While I was browsing in the Emporium a few people came in looking for the diamond Mickey ears, only to be disappointed when they were told they had been sold out for a while.

Pins are also hard to come by. I didn’t spy the jewel-encrusted classic Disney “D” pin that I wanted at the Emporium and was told those had been a limited edition and were likely sold out. Thankfully a friend found one in another store (see Tip #3), but there weren’t a lot of them and that was sheer luck!

Merchandise-Event-Jewelry

An unexpected surprise sell-out was the diamond glow cubes for your drinks! My husband is obsessed with glow cubes and we visited several carts and beverage shops, only to hear they’d been sold out for a while! Long story short – if you see something you like, grab it!

5) Consider a World of Color Package

Like many of their other shows, Disneyland has debuted a new World of Color for the 60th Anniversary. Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, it’s a beautiful tribute to Walt Disney and all the Walt Disney Company has done.

Disneyland 60 World of Color

As you likely know, getting a great spot for World of Color can be difficult. And while they do offer FastPasses, the competition for those can be fierce and will likely only grow as we get closer to the 60th.

Disneyland 60 World of Color

We took advantage of the World of Color dining package, which provided us with prime FastPasses, along with a delicious dinner. We enjoyed an appetizer, entrée and desert at Carthay Circle, which is a delightful place to relax during a day in the park. The World of Color Dining package is also offered at Ariel’s Grotto and Wine Country Trattoria. The price for the package was $60 and was definitely worth it for a great meal and a perfect viewing spot.

6) Have Fun!

Disney trips often take a lot of planning, and with big events like the 60th Diamond Celebration, that’s even more true. But don’t forget to take some time to step back from the planning, relax and have fun.

Perhaps grab a diamond-themed adult beverage.

Disneyland 60 themed beverageDisneyland 60 themed beverage

Or take in a rocking Diamond Celebration by the Mad T Party.

Disneyland 60 Mad T Party

Or even spend time at the resorts, seeing how they celebrate the 60th!

Disneyland 60

Have you been to Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration yet?  What are your tips for the best experience?  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Cristen Curley-Edwards