Paint the Night Parade Disney California Adventure
Paint the Night Parade at Disney California Adventure ended on November 7, 2018.
Paint the Night lights up the night in a dazzling display of over 1.5 million computer controlled LED lights. The parade features floats, Disney characters, imaginative costumes, motion, light and choreography, and a bouncy soundtrack.
Here’s a full-length video:
Paint the Night — The parade starts near Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and ends next to “Mission:BREAKOUT!”.
The eight parade units include nods to classic Disney animated features like Peter Pan, the princesses, and The Little Mermaid, as well as the Disney-Pixar hits Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Cars, and The Incredibles. And it pays homage to the original Main Street Electrical Parade: the light on the end of Tinker Bell’s wand is a rosette from the original parade, and if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the Baroque Hoedown woven into the new soundtrack.
The main theme is “When Can I See You Again” from Wreck-it Ralph. As the various parade units pass by, there’s also musical selections from the associated movie, such as “You Can Fly”, “Life is a Highway”, and “Under the Sea”. The musical style changes to match the floats: for example, the theme is much more subdued and melodic during the Princess segment.
Drum Unit – the parade opens with the “light fairies”, followed by Tinker Bell floating in front of a huge drum. The drum is animated with thousands of LEDs and Peter Pan rides on top.
Monsters, Inc. – The doors on the Monsters, Inc. float spin around, and appear to open and close as different characters and scenes appear on them. Sulley and Mike ride along.
Cars – The “Cars Crew” dancers precede the largest float in the parade: Mack the Truck. Mack’s sides are a 3-dimensional volumetric display – the colorful patterns and images appear to move. Lightning McQueen and DJ are also a part of this unit.
The Little Mermaid – The float features mermaid Ariel and King Triton. Accompanying the unit are coral dancers, spinning jellyfish and puppet versions of Marlin and Nemo, who “swim” in and out of the coral and jellyfish.
Toy Story – Slinky Dog is the main figure on the Toy Story float. His “coils” are kaleidoscopic illuminated spinning disks. Jessie and cowgirl dancers walk alongside.
Princess float – Belle stands at the front in a brilliant illuminated ball gown with a 17′ rose behind her. Video screens around the rose show scenes from “Beauty the the Beast” and other romantic images. Cinderella and Rapunzel follow in gazebos illuminated by softly glowing candelabras.
The Incredibles – In a scene featuring “The Underminer”, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl strike heroic poses on the front of the float while Frozone surfs a frozen ice trail behind them. Dash runs all around the float and Violet creates a rotating force field while Jack-Jack flames happily.
Sorcerer Mickey – The final parade unit features Mickey and the gang. The pinwheel dancers lead out followed by Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, riding on lighted spheres with changing colors and patterns. Sorcerer Mickey follows, atop a 12′ “kinetic sculpture” that whirls in very Escher-like fashion.
The parade takes about 40 minutes from start to finish – about 16 minutes to pass any particular spot. There is no performance stop: the parade continues moving the entire time.
There are good viewing opportunities all along the parade route. Being a little further away helps with perspective of some of the larger floats.
Designated viewing areas for guests in wheelchairs and ECVs are available – ask a cast member.
PAINT THE NIGHT DINING PACKAGES
There are three dining package options available for those who wish to guarantee themselves a viewing location without staking out a spot far in advance. They can be booked up to 60 days in advance by calling Disney Dining or booking online at disneyland.com. In the descriptions below, the prices do not include any applicable tax or gratuity.
Carthay Circle Restaurant offers a 4-course dinner package: appetizer, soup, choice of entree, and dessert. It is $99 for adults and $45 for kids ages 3-9. The viewing location is a reserved seating area next to the restaurant.
Wine Country Trattoria offers a 3-course lunch or dinner. Lunch is $38 for adults and $21 for kids; dinner is $45 for adults and $25 for kids.
Sonoma Terrace offers a reception package. It includes a charcuterie tray along with wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverage, and a box of truffles to eat later. It is $79 per person. Guests can check in 60 minutes prior to the start of the parade and will be seated in a reserved viewing area at the Sonoma Terrace.
KIDS AND CHARACTERS
Paint the Night features many Disney characters as well as other performers. Guests are not allowed onto the parade route, but the walk-around characters will interact with guests as the opportunity permits.
Interview with Show Producer Eddy Collins
- Paint the Night originally premiered at Disneyland on May 22, 2015 as part of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. It premiered at Disney California Adventure on April 13, 2018.
- The parade tells seven different Disney and Disney-Pixar stories, each story represented by multiple floats, props and performers.
- Paint the Night is the first-ever parade lit almost entirely by LED lights. Only very minimal incandescent lighting sources are used: at the tip of Tinker Bell’s wand and in Rapunzel’s flickering lanterns.
- Each costume has its own sophisticated system of lighting controls. Some lights are sewn into the costume fabric and some are sculpted pieces worn by the performers.
- Including the video screens, the parade contains more than 1.5 million sources of light. The 500 strobes used in the parade are a custom lighting product developed by Disney.
- Paint the Night requires more than 200 “universes of control” to operate everything from the video presentations on the floats to the lights on individual costumes.
- The Tinker Bell float is 40 feet long, with 44 universes of control and, including video screens, more than 850,000 points of light. The float design includes a tribute to the drum unit that led the classic Main Street Electrical Parade from 1972 to 1996 in Disneyland. Tinker Bell’s wand is handmade and is capped by a rosette from the original 1972 Main Street Electrical Parade.
- A Frozen float was part of the Disneyland parade, but was not included in the Disney California Adventure parade.
- The video on the doors of the Monsters, Inc. float was created for the parade in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios. Custom automation programming allows the doors to act as individuals or as a group.
- In the Cars unit, Mack’s 3D volumetric display contains 26,730 individual orbs. Almost 2000 feet of LED “neon” is used in the unit.
- On The Little Mermaid float, Triton is over 12 feet tall. There are nine fish, eight flowers and more than 250 blades of grass. Each of the 80 “sea grass bubbles” was custom cast and painted and can be individually programmed.
- Belle’s video screen contains more than 500,000 pixels and presents scenes from Beauty and the Beast as well as floral graphic imagery and starry night skies. In addition to color changing programmable ribbons, Belle’s dress has 40 custom-designed jewels and the most decorative lighting caps of any float.
- The Toy Story float is 32 feet long, and Slinky’s ears are 18 feet tall and 11 feet across. The 10 spinning disks rotate at 120 RPM and are programmed with custom video content.
- The Incredibles float is 11 feet wide, 18 feet tall, and 30 feet long. Frozone stands 12 feet off the ground. There are 13 buildings on the float, created with 123 different LED panels.
- Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone wear suits illuminated by sheets of flexible, miniature LEDs. They are fully programmed to be in sync with the music. The chest logos for Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible are made up of 60 individually programmed LEDs. 64 individually lit frames create the effect of Dash speeding around the float. Violet’s force field is a custom persistence-of-vision globe – the first to be installed on a Disney parade float.
- The Mickey Mouse & Friends Finale features Goofy, Donald Duck, and Minnie Mouse on a series of smaller whirling parade vehicles. Each vehicle has 352 points of light custom designed for the character on board. The Mickey Mouse float is 31 feet long, has 40 universes of control and more than 10,000 points of light. The spiraling kinetic sculpture behind Mickey on his float is 14 feet tall, 7 feet wide, contains 6,944 individually programmable LED pixels with 124 “paddles” on 31 armatures.
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