Disneyland continues to tug on the heart strings of its faithful Mouseketeers by bringing back fan favorites to Disneyland and celebrating Black Music Month at California Adventure through the end of June.
I recently spent two days at the park, on a hopper ticket, taking in all of the new shows and the new offering of treats. I was able to take advantage of catching all of the shows and a few of the rides.
Fantasmic, The Tale of the Lion King, the Main Street Electrical Parade, Disneyland Forever fireworks, and World of Color are all back in the show lineup featuring an impressive display of how each story is told and put together.
The Tale of the Lion King has returned with an eye-catching flair. From the costumes, to choreography, to its director, the production showcases authentic African dialect and wardrobe to immerse the audience in the story inspired by Simba’s journey to becoming the Lion King.
“It’s a storytelling show that gets to the main productions of the show where the main concept is the villagers telling the story of the Lion King which is passed from generation to generation,” said Joe Peters, who serves as the shows senior technical director.
“The show was first written for 2019 and played over at California Adventure, but we’ve been working on it for the last six months which is a really compressed timeline as this is true old theatre with rope pulling and not so high-tech.”
The show is a great introduction for small children to sit still for a short amount of time. The show is less than 30 minutes and can be watched in the Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater.
On days when the show is running, you can also stop by Troubadour Tavern and try the new snack menu inspired by The Lion King. With African-inspired dishes like a baked sweet potato topped with chicken-coconut curry, or a pretty plate of cookies decorated with animal prints. They are especially tasty if you happen to love chocolate!
I wasn’t able to sample the new sweet potato, cardamom cold brew, or the berbere-spiced popcorn so I can’t speak to how good they are but when you visit try it and let us know what you think. Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend, featuring a variety of spices.
The show is dark Tuesday and Wednesday with a running time of 24 minutes.
The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction is still closed for refurbishment however, traces of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow are still prominently displayed during Fantasmic and World of Color. The crowd cheered in excitement when his face appeared during each show.
Fantasmic is playing in the New Orleans Square across from the Haunted Mansion at the Rivers of America. The show is a combination of live characters while portions are projected onto an impressive water display. Guests are asked to sit to take in the full scope of the production which allows for unobstructed views of the show.
You will enjoy watching Mickey dream of becoming a Sorcerer’s Apprentice which turns dark as he fights off a 45 foot dragon. The dragon and parade of characters along the boats make it a breathtaking show for all to enjoy.
The show ends with a parade of popular Disney characters from some of your favorite Disney movies. Princess and the Frog, Beauty and the Beast, and Toy Story to name a few.
Fantasmic is not guaranteed to be showing daily and has a running time of 27 minutes.
The Main Street Electrical Parade is celebrating its 50th anniversary with upgraded floats featuring LED lights which creates a brighter display in the darkness. The crowd knows the parade is near when you hear that familiar sound alerting you it’s almost to you.
Disneyland has rolled out some festive Macaroons celebrating its 50th anniversary. The commemorative Parade Macaroon is made in the shape of a yellow drum and is filled with honey buttercream and lemon topped with rainbow sprinkles but was a little too much sugar for my taste. It is also really soft to the touch and crumbles easily. I really enjoyed the coconut macaroon to the last bite. You could taste the butter!
California Adventure is celebrating Black Music Month with its Celebrate Soulfully now through July 4, 2022.
The Celebrate Soulfully experiences, includes new menu items at Troubadour Tavern, training with the Dora Milaje – the royal guard of Wakanda – at Avengers Campus, joining Princess Tiana for a fairytale meal during Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures at Napa Rose restaurant and more.
World of Color is playing at California Adventure’s Paradise Garden Park where you will relive scenes and music from beloved Disney and Pixar films are projected onto a grand fountain spraying 19,000-square-feet of water.
“We really love the theme song and spirit of wonder that it created and that is what we were looking to recreate with the show,” said Jennifer McGill, producer of the show.
When asked about the impact the downtime had on the show, McGill explained it gave them time to go back in and do maintenance which allowed the shows to come back with enhancements.
“We returned with a classic World of Color show and the downtime gave us time to work on the lighting on the Incredicoaster which has always been apart of the show and with the new lights that have been put in are much brighter and can be read in daylight.”
“The projectors are so much brighter and so much crisper than they used to be so that was a happy bonus to come out of the closure and have the show come back more remarkable than before.”
California Adventure is where you can get a wide range of drinks from frozen lemonade to alcohol for the adults.
I haven’t been to the park since my son was a toddler and it is definitely worth taking advantage of the promotion when you need a ‘mental health’ day off from work.
Is the visit worth the cost? Yes. I had a really great time and enjoyed walking around and taking my time as I went between both the parks. Stay tuned for my next article on How to Do Disney on a Budget.
I did get on some of the rides. I got on Guardians of the Galaxy, the Incredicoaster, and rode the Disneyland Train an obscene amount of times. I enjoyed a late lunch/ early dinner at the Plaza Inn where I devoured the chicken and potatoes, then topped it off with beignets and a mint julep while I waited in line for the Haunted Mansion.
For a limited time, California residents can visit the Disneyland Resort theme parks for as little as $83 per day with the purchase of a 3-day, 1-park per day ticket for admission Mondays through Thursdays only which are quite honestly the best days to go.
Tickets expire September 15, 2022, and have no holiday blackouts which means you could visit on the 4th of July with the weekday ticket assuming reservations are available.
You MUST make a reservation and tickets can be used at either park or you can upgrade to a park hopper ticket for an additional $60.
For more details visit Disneyland.com.