Best nighttime theme park show?

September 12, 2016, 11:51 AM

With the recent closures of some of the nighttime shows at disneyland and walt disney world, what is the best nighttime show at a theme park?
Personally I would have to say that it is the new original world of
F color show that returned the other night, because they took an already amazing show and added some of the best new effects from the celebrate version such as the giant flame thrower, the lights on California screamin and the new lighting/projection effects.
However I also really like fantastic at hollywood studios mainly for the fact that you can sit down and view the show.
So, what are your favourite nighttime theme park shows?

Replies (12)

September 12, 2016, 2:38 PM

I'm a sucker for Disneyland Forever, but IllumiNations gets my vote

Edited: September 12, 2016, 7:13 PM

Paint the night

September 12, 2016, 8:02 PM

Illuminations. Still relevant, still breathtaking!

Edited: September 13, 2016, 7:52 AM

In order:
Original IllumiNations
Disneyland Forever
Original World of Color
Disneyland Fantasmic
Paint the Night
Everything else (including current IllumiNations)

Edited: September 13, 2016, 3:40 PM

I want to mention two things that encompass more than just one show, they were/are full nights of entertainment:

Early years of Tapestry of Nations & Illuminations at Epcot -

It was a very Disney version of an Olympic opening ceremony. The Tapestry of Nations parade was weird and wonderful. I loved how the music started with the ticking of what sounded like hundreds of clocks, perfectly setting the mood for the entire evening. I loved watching the interactions between the performers and the guests, especially the kids watching along the route. Then, just as the final run of the parade was moving backstage, attention would turn to the World Showcase Lagoon. The deep rich narration that introduced the idea of gathering around the fire for a story still gives me goose-bumps. I'll never forget the first time all the flames were blown out as the show began. I love that. The story may not be completely understood by first time viewers, but the spectacle is still remarkable and the music is amazing (I'm listening to it right now!) It was a complete package. It's hard to believe Illuminations hasn't really changed in around 17 years, but it's just that good.

Next are the SeaWorld Orlando Christmas shows -

I have not been at SeaWorld Orlando at Christmas in over 5 years, so I can't say it's still exactly this way, but I hope it is. The night of entertainment begins at Shamu Stadium with the beautiful Christmas show. They really pull out all the stops with their lights, music, video, fountains, live performances and a few really big killer whales. Next, on the way over to the old ski stadium, stop and enjoy the amazingly beautiful "Sea of Trees" light show on the lagoon. There are several dozen trees that are actually cone shaped LED screens. It's hard to describe, but it's beautiful. Next there is a fantastic ice skating show that can be viewed in the old ski theater. It's open air, so in the back ground you can see the sea of trees and all of Sea World spread out in the distance. Before the show begins, there are singers and performers doing fun Christmas music. The ice skating show is just the perfect blend of Lawrence Welk-ish, Perry Como-like, Christmas TV Special IN A GOOD WAY. Just as that show is ending, they tell you to stay in your seats as the fireworks show is about to begin, and the view is perfect from where you are sitting...WHAT!?!?
It's a fantastic night of holiday entertainment.

I'll put that night at SeaWorld up against anything Disney does at the holidays and tell you it's better AND it's all included in your regular park admission.

Edited: September 14, 2016, 12:26 PM

Mis-post yesterday sorry.

My choice is Illuminations. It feels very visceral compared to the other shows, like you're super-close to the fireworks. Also really like the score.

September 13, 2016, 12:07 PM

I'm going retro with mine...

1. The ORIGINAL Main Street Electrical Parade

2. Rob's comments reminded me of this one... SeaWorld Orlando's "A Little Night Magic" Shamu show from back in the mid to late 80's. The whole thing gave me goosebumps, including their truly odd, but nonetheless beautiful and stirring, selection of the theme from "Ladyhawk" for the music.

September 13, 2016, 1:40 PM

IllumiNations remains my favorite. No matter how many times I experience it, it never fails to be moving and powerful. I can't think of another nighttime show with that kind of repeatability for me.

September 13, 2016, 8:00 PM

I can't comment on Florida, but among the nighttime spectaculars at the Disneyland Resort I'd rank them as follows:

1. Fantasmic
2. Paint the Night
3. Main Street Electrical Parade (not the DCA version)
4. Remember...Dreams Come True
5. World of Color: Celebrate
6. Disneyland Forever
7. World of Color (original)

Nothing else has really been memorable enough for me to view it more than once, which is also the case with most other nighttime entertainment (such as standard fireworks shows).

September 14, 2016, 2:22 PM

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is and will always be my favorite. To me, its in a different league from all others. First, its the only not IP-based Nighttime Spectacular Disney has has ever made. Not that IP is necessarily bad, but it sets it apart. The score is absolutely spectacular. From a story perspective, it all fits together perfectly. From a musical standpoint, it´s just a great piece of music. It changes keys and time signatures in a way no other theme park music does. It celebrates something besides Disney. It celebrates all the people of the world, it celebrates unity, it celebrates humankind and all we´re capable of. And, it´s beautiful. Other shows can be exciting, and they do that very well, but no other show is as beautiful. It´s the most like art.

September 14, 2016, 7:04 PM

Rivers of Light

September 15, 2016, 1:13 PM

World of Color in California Adventure

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