Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Entertainment is Ending Soon

Update: Disney has now confirmed that the Main Street Electrical Parade will be heading west and returning to Disneyland in 2017.  I have no problem with this move, as long as that parade doesn’t hold on for more than a year.  The Main Street Electrical Parade is pretty old and not in the best shape.  While one last nostalgic run is nice, I think the park should move on pretty quickly.  As for Paint the Night, it will seasonally run at Disneyland through the holiday season.  After that, we don’t know.  Obviously with the Electrical Parade coming west, Magic Kingdom is without a parade.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paint the Night head east after the holidays.  If not, I expect Magic Kingdom to have a nighttime parade of some kind in the near future.  All in all, I think this is pretty good news, with the chance of it being great news depending on what happens in Walt Disney World.  Another option for Paint the Night is to switch over to Disney California Adventure, where it would fit in extremely well.  Okay, on to the original post!

Disney has announced that on September 5th, Paint the Night, Disneyland Forever, and World of Color: Celebrate will all end.  All of these events started to celebrate Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary and many thought that they’d be Disneyland’s nighttime entertainment for years to come.  Obviously, that isn’t true now.

This news was announced last week, and I’ve been a little slow getting to it.  Many of these rumors had been circling for the last month or so but the Paint the Night news was definitely not expected.  Disneyland Forever is being replaced Fantasy in the Sky which is an old show that isn’t all that highly thought of.  Maybe there will be some plussing to the show in its return but the news is underwhelming (more on that in a bit).  World of Color: Celebrate will give way to its predecessor (World of Color) which is the superior show.  Paint the Night is leaving for now but there may be more to that than meets the eye.  Let’s talk about the news for each show and then as a whole.

Mack truck

Disneyland Forever -> Fantasy in the Sky

If Disneyland had to go back to an old fireworks show, I wish they would have chosen Remember… Dreams Come True.  I think that show is fantastic as far as storytelling and theme go.  Unfortunately, those two aspects don’t seem to be at the top of the priority list right now for the Disney company.  The reason Disneyland Forever isn’t sticking around is reportedly due to its high cost.  This would be understandable and fine in isolation but the cost cutting is part of a worrisome trend at Disney this year.  With park tickets costing as much as ever, seeing the company continue to cut costs is frustrating.  If Disneyland Forever doesn’t resurface in the future I will remember it as a technological marvel that was missing a little bit of heart.  Instead of celebrating the park’s tradition, it celebrated Disney animations achievements.  Still, it was a wonderful show that augmented the pyrotechnics with stunning projections.  Fantasy in the Sky will be running on the weekends this Fall, which is not uncommon for Disneyland.

sharp Disneyland Forever

World of Color: Celebrate -> World of Color

I don’t have much to say here.  World of Color: Celebrate had great moments but wasn’t a complete show.  World of Color is a great show.  I’m happy to see that it will make a return.  I’ll be anxious to see if they update any of the segments or keep it the same.  Either way the original show is far superior to Celebrate.

World of Color lots of colors

Paint the Night -> ???

Well, I have no idea what is coming (if anything?)  Disney spent a bunch of money on Paint the Night and I’m very confident in saying that it will reappear somewhere in the  coming months.  Disneyland had gone without a nighttime parade for a while prior to Paint the Night and that may be what happens this Fall.  So, where is Paint the Night going?  My best guess is that it will reappear with refreshed floats in a few months and be at Disneyland seasonally for years to come.  Maybe Paint the Night will go away until next summer and come back to Disneyland.  It definitely needs a little time off to clean up the floats and lights, so this isn’t the worst thing.  Another option is to ship it over to Disney World and have Main Street Electrical Parade make one final ride at Disneyland.  I don’t think this is likely and I’m on the fence about it.  Main Street Electrical is very nostalgic and classic Disney, but it is running on fumes.  The parade will need to be retired before long and while a return to DL for one more run would be a storybook ending, but it would also pale in comparison to Paint the Night.  Meanwhile, I’m sure Disney World would love to have Paint the Night while it waits to get new entertainment for their 50th anniversary (2021).  If the parade is simply cut due to budgetary reasons I would be very frustrated and disappointed.

Slinky from afar PTN

No matter what happens I hope Paint the Night sticks around somewhere.  I think it was the biggest success of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, paying homage to Main Street Electrical Parade while dazzling guests with incredible lights and technology.  I won’t soon forget the first time I saw Paint the Night and I hope it won’t be long before it turns up somewhere.  I don’t think it will be.

Conclusion

As a whole, I never want to see entertainment cut.  The trade-off of Disneyland Forever for Fantasy in the Sky is frustrating and disappointing.  Paint the Night ending is discouraging but is a bit of an unknown at the moment.  World of Color coming back is really good news.

Disneyland Forever sparkly castle

As a whole, the next year at Disneyland (until the river opens back up in late summer 2017) will be pretty dry.  You know, because the river is drained.  Also because they don’t serve alcohol in DL.  Okay, my jokes are over.  The nighttime entertainment will surely be lacking until Paint the Night returns or Fantasmic! reopens.  The holidays will help off-set this problem with special entertainment.  Still, I wouldn’t fully recommend going to Disneyland (after September 5th) until the river opens back up or new entertainment is announced.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go, just that there will be a few things missing from a normal experience.

– Andrew

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