With the continued success of Mickey’s Halloween Party and other ticketed after-hours events at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, it’s easy to understand why the park would want to expand these affairs into the off-season.
Mid-to-late January is one of the least busy seasons at Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom, so the infusion of the new Disneyland After Dark nighttime series is a welcome way to spice up the post-holiday period. The first installment in this fresh tradition took place last night at the Happiest on Earth, with the theme of Throwback Nite. The evening’s elegant festivities featured a variety of live music, unique photo opportunities, exclusive merchandise, and more than a few uncommon experiences at the park.
WATCH DISNEYLAND AFTER DARK THROWBACK NITE HIGHLIGHTS:
My absolute favorite part of Disneyland After Dark Throwback Nite was the Musical Riverboat Cruise around the Rivers of America aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. It’s such a rare treat to be able to ride this Disneyland classic after sundown, and the addition of live crooners singing 1950s standards set the mood perfectly for an unforgettable trip. In fact, it was such a memorable excursion I just had to do it twice.
WATCH MARK TWAIN MUSICAL RIVERBOAT CRUISE:
Throwback Nite also revived the famous “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks show for a one-time performance behind Sleeping Beauty Castle, recreating the beloved show that thrilled guests from 1958 through the next four decades of Disneyland history.
WATCH FANTASY IN THE SKY FIREWORKS:
I know there were some concerns about the $95 price tag for Disneyland After Dark, I want to give my opinion on the value of what guests received with admission. I can say that I think the event would have been absolutely worth it for non-regulars, as access to the park began at 6:00 PM, ran through 1:00, and by and large the lines for attractions were nonexistent.
As for Annual Passholders, I would say consider attending the next if you happen to (A) be really into the theme, (B) absolutely love getting dressed up to go to the park, or (C) have a love affair with special photo ops, of which there were many.
The musical performances are of course also a big draw, and many guests were getting into the swing of things by dancing the night away. There are also special dining offerings and rare character greetings around the park, and I could see both of those appealing to certain groups of theme park fans. Overall, I had a very enjoyable time and I can also say the event was perfect for people-watching.
Considering the event wound up selling out at the last minute, we can expect Disneyland to announce the date and theme of the next Disneyland After Dark sometime very soon. Check back here at Inside the Magic or at the official Disneyland website for further updates.