The holidays at Disneyland Resort have brought a wealth of entertainment back to the parks! From the great live music at Festival of Holidays in California Adventure to a parade returning to Main Street at Disneyland, there is more live entertainment now than any other point since reopening. Thankfully, that will continue into next year as Disney has announced more entertainment that will be returning to the parks! In this post, we’ll cover what’s coming to the parks and add commentary along the way.
For the past few months, park reservations at Disneyland Resort have been scarce. Much to the chagrin of Magic Key (annual pass) holders and the general public, it’s not easy to get into Disneyland or California Adventure right now. There need to be steps taken to remedy that and adding entertainment is a simple solution to capacity issues. I’m not sure that this will go far in solving those issues but it’s worth a try, plus live entertainment injects energy into the parks.
We’ll start with California Adventure’s festivals that will run through late January until April. I’m very excited about these as Festival of Holidays has really blown me away. I don’t know if the upcoming ones can live up to the live entertainment that the current one offers but I’m excited to see how it shakes out. Here are the details on the two upcoming festivals!
Lunar New Year, Jan. 21 – Feb. 13, 2022
Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure park is a joyous celebration that commemorates traditions of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. The festival is filled with multicultural performances, special activities, culinary delights, beautiful décor, celebratory merchandise, and more!
In 2022, the festival will be celebrating the Year of the Tiger. New this year, Tigger will join in on the fun, along with beloved Disney characters including Mulan and Mushu, Mickey and Minnie, the Three Little Pigs and more, all donning their festive attire. Adding to the excitement of Lunar New Year, Raya from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film, “Raya and the Last Dragon” will be appearing for the very first time at Disneyland Resort during the celebration! You’ll be able to see Raya in a setting inspired by her native Kumandra, recreated in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
“Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession” will return. This bright and bold performance hosted by Mulan and her faithful dragon, Mushu, will feature dozens of spirited parade performers as they honor family, friendship, and the potential for a fortune-filled new year. Live musical entertainment will also be enjoyed at the Paradise Garden Bandstand.
Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, March 4 – April 26, 2022
In 2022, guests will come together to get a taste of what they’ve been missing at the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival! At the festival, you will be able to explore California regions and neighborhoods in a number of ways, from the delicious fare, to the vibrant entertainment, fun festival merchandise and more.
During the festival, guests will get to taste their way through a dozen festival marketplaces that offer an assortment of bites and beverages for every palate. Complimentary culinary demonstrations with local, celebrity and Disney chefs will return for the whole family to enjoy on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival. And for those looking to enhance their festival experience, special signature events will also be available to book and purchase, including the Carthay Circle Winemaker Receptions, and Wine, Beer and Mixology Education & Tasting Seminars.
Entertainment will fill the festival’s stages, with live musical performances at the Palisades Stage and Paradise Gardens Bandstand, visits with Chef Goofy and friends, and craft activities.
Both festivals will feature the popular Sip & Savor passport. We’ll be back with more additional details when they’re released! Moving on to the entertainment coming back to Disneyland Resort.
Disneyland Resort will celebrate the soulful spirit of Gospel music with the return of “Celebrate Gospel!” In 2022, “Celebrate Gospel!” will expand and feature live choir performances, each sharing its own distinctive style and inspiration. This powerful event moves to the Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland park where guests will be able to enjoy uplifting choir performances on select days during the month of February.
“Tale of the Lion King”
This spring, the Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland park will become home to “Tale of the Lion King,” an imaginative adaptation of Disney’s “The Lion King.” A hit with guests when it debuted in 2019 at Disney California Adventure park, “Tale of the Lion King” is brought to life by the Storytellers of the Pride Lands, a troupe of traveling performers who present Simba’s beloved and timeless journey in a unique story-theater style with live music and dance.
I’m eager to see both of these options come to the Fantasyland Theater as it sitting idle is a little frustrating. Celebrate Gospel has been around for a while at Disney California Adventure but takes on an expanded role this year as Disney celebrates Black History Month. This is a nice touch and will be uniquely local.
Tale of the Lion King had a brief debut in 2019 but didn’t really find its footing. I’m not sure that giving it another chance will help that but I’d rather see them try this then go back to the tired Mickey and the Magical Map. These offerings seem to be a departure from that stage show and I’m excited for both.
“Main Street Electrical Parade”
In time to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” will make its grand return to Disneyland park! This spectacular pageant of nighttime magic and imagination will be led by the iconic train and drum unit featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy, and proclaiming in lights: “Disneyland Presents – Main Street Electrical Parade.” The parade brings back many guest favorites including Elliot the Dragon and floats from “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan.”
I’m of two minds here. On one side, a nighttime parade with a killer soundtrack is back! I’d expect it to return sometime this spring. The downside is that the parade is 50 years old and looks it. I’d prefer Magic Happens to just return instead but maybe they both will, they aren’t mutually exclusive. It’ll be fun to see the old Electrical Parade back if for no other reason than nostalgia.
“Fantasmic!” has been a “must-see” show for guests for nearly 30 years at Disneyland park. Disney’s longest-running nighttime spectacular is an emotional, energy-filled extravaganza of colorful Disney animated film images, choreographed to an exciting musical score. The waters of the Rivers of America come alive as Mickey Mouse’s power of imagination enables him to create fantastic events and images as seen in some of our most beloved Disney classic films such as “Fantasia,” “The Jungle Book,” “The Little Mermaid” and more. The original fanfare and theme song make this show a Disneyland classic.
There’s not much to add here that isn’t obvious. Fantasmic! is one of the key pieces of Disneyland, mixing charm with grandeur. I adore it and can’t wait to sit alongside the river again. I would guess this will return sometime in the spring or summer.
“World of Color”
Guests also will be thrilled to gather around Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure park this spring to enjoy “World of Color,” a unique combination of music, fire, fog and laser effects, with Disney animation projected on an immense screen of water. The unforgettable kaleidoscope of color has enthralled millions of guests at Disney California Adventure as it brings the magic and fun of Disney and Pixar films to life – all set to a soaring soundtrack. Audiences are immersed in some favorite Disney stories with memorable sequences of animation and music, including scenes like WALL-E and Eve zipping through the cosmos and Pocahontas exploring just around the riverbend.
World of Color coming back is another boon for Disneyland Resort. We’ve been watching them work in the water for quite a while now and it seems like the show will be back in early 2022.
“Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular
“Disneyland Forever” is a sky-high celebration filled with sparkling pyrotechnics and immersive projections that envelop guests in a breathtaking journey with surprising special effects. Main Street, U.S.A., and a few other spots in Disneyland park become a magical canvas as guests are swept into a world of dreams, from flying above the London skyline with “Peter Pan” to a dance with King Louie in “The Jungle Book.” Two original songs, “Live the Magic” and the inspiring closing song “Kiss Goodnight,” were written by Disney Legend Richard Sherman.
While this isn’t close to my favorite fireworks show, it beats the pants off of Mickey’s Mix Magic or either of the holiday fireworks shows. The production value and soundtrack are excellent and it’s nice to finally get a nighttime spectacular that matches the quality of Disneyland.
Overall, we’re thrilled with all that’s returning and hope that Magic Happens and a show at the Hyperion Theater are just around the corner!
Are you excited for all of these returns to Disneyland Resort? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to Disneyland Resort? Check out our Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends and like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!