The Fourth of July is one of the best holidays to spend in the happiest place on earth. In fact, due to its popularity, July fourth is one of the days within the calendar year that Disneyland actually reaches max capacity. Gasp!
So why not stay home, you ask?
Well, here are 3 reasons why you will want to brave the heat and the crowds to experience an unforgettable Independence Day in the magic kingdom, followed by 5 tips to make your fourth of July at Disneyland a bit less stressful.
3 Reasons to Spend the Fourth of July at Disneyland
1| Disney’s Celebrate America! Fireworks Show
The #1 attraction that draws people to Disneyland on July 4th is their special fireworks show. “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” is a fireworks show with narrative, singing and spectacular fireworks that is truly a celebration. Spectacular is an understatement. It’s an awe-inspiring show that leaves you feeling inspired and patriotic. Disney is known for doing things well and their Fourth of July display does not disappoint.
“Disney’s Celebrate America!” will be presented nightly from July 1st through July 4th at 9:25pm each night.
2| Patriotic Food, Drinks, and Décor
Disneyland makes your time spent in the park on July 4th extra special with decorations unique to Independence Day. There are even special Fourth of July themed drinks and menu items at Disneyland restaurants and street carts that aren’t available at other times of the year. All that’s left to do is to go to Disneyland decked out in red, white, and blue!
3| Special Performances
On July 4, a special pyrotechnic water display will be presented at the start of all 3 performances of the new “World of Color – Celebrate!” at 9 p.m., 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m within Disney California Adventure. A special patriotic pre-show will be presented at the start of both the 9 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. performances.
Military Band Performances
The tradition of having the military band perform within Disney parks was started by Walt Disney himself on opening day. The tradition continues today with several Air Force and Marine bands performing throughout the park at various times from July 2nd through July 6th. Here are the performance times from July 2015. Visit Disneyland’s website to find the most up-to-date performance times for 2016.
The military bands will parade throughout the park in typical military fashion. There’s also Mickey’s Soundsational Parade (pictured above) at 4:30pm and Paint the Night nighttime parade at 8:50pm and 10:45pm within Disneyland Park.
5 Tips for Visiting Disneyland on the Fourth of July
1| Prepare for Disneyland to Reach Maximum Capacity
July 4th is one of the busiest days of the year at Disneyland. The park will more than likely reach full capacity before the end of the day. Be aware that if you switch parks (using a Park Hopper Pass) you may not be admitted (or re-admitted) after maximum capacity is reached. It’s advised to pick a park beforehand and remain there for the day. Due to Disneyland’s adherence to the city’s fire codes, exceptions are not made (for reservations, hotel guests, or ticket holders of any kind) once maximum capacity is reached.
2| Arrive Before the Park Opens
If you’re planning on spending July 4th at Disneyland you will not want to sleep in. Since chances are high that the park will become full, it’s best to enter Disneyland immediately after the ropes drop. Make a beeline for your favorite rides as soon as the park opens. You may want to grab your FASTPASSES right away as well. This will save you from the astronomical wait on the most popular rides in the heat of the day.
3| Schedule Your Day
Scheduling your day will not only allow you to get on your favorite rides first thing in the morning, but it will also help in case you get separated from your group among the sea of people. Decide on a meeting place that you will reconvene at a certain point in the day or in case your group becomes separated. Don’t forget to assign one adult per child to ensure that at least one person is responsible for always keeping their eye on each little one. This will save the adults from saying “I thought you were watching him/her.”
4| Use RideMax to Plan Your Day in the Park.
RideMax was created by a group of people that study the flow of crowds at Disneyland and developed a way to predict wait times based on crowd flow. One family that used RideMax went during the last week of July (Disney’s busy season) and never waited in line longer than 15 minutes!!! Wow. They always stay up-to-date, so check out their recent updates here.
5| Sport Your “Glow with the Show” Ears
To enhance your participation in Disneyland’s Fourth of July festivities, purchase some “Glow with the Show” Ears! The interactive, light-up Ear Hats cost $25 and are designed to become part of the “World of Color” show and its patriotic pre-show within Disney California Adventure. They’re sure to make your fourth of July at Disneyland memorable.
Stick Around for Disneyland’s Birthday on July 17th!
July 17, 1955 is the day that Disneyland first opened in Anaheim, CA. To commemorate this day, the park always throws a birthday celebration.
It’s not even a day that Disneyland actively promotes, yet devoted Disney-goers flock to the park for special souvenirs and a one-of-a-kind experience that is only available on Disneyland’s birthday!
Check out these Anaheim Vacation Homes if you are looking for accommodations near Disneyland.