Disney Date Night at Disneyland with MacSparky
One of the benefits of being a Disneyland Annual Passholder is that you get to attend some special events. About every quarter, Disneyland invites specific groups of Annual Passholders for an exclusive Disneyland Park event. It's usually targeted to those whose passes are about to expire. These special events are a way to for Disneyland to say "thank you" for being a Passholder and "by the way, don't you want to renew?"
My husband (MacSparky) and I decided to attend one of these events and made a fun date night out of it. We've been to a couple of these events as some fellow Annual Passholder friends kindly invited us to go with them. We wanted to see how this event would be different than those previous that we had been to. It was a Tuesday evening so we also figured that we would have a better chance of the Park not being as crowded. The official hours of the event was also 9pm - 1am.
We started our date night by treating ourselves to a visit to the Napa Rose Lounge. We knew that it was slow enough where we could get a seat and get something fabulous to eat. Sitting in the lounge as opposed to making dinner reservations and getting the full dining experience would also save us some time. I wanted a nice glass of wine and MacSparky was looking forward to his ordering his most favorite salad, "Smiling Tiger Salad". The full menu is available to everyone in the lounge area.
We were seated next the fireplace. We had a lovely and relaxing meal so we could enjoy a fun evening at Disneyland. We opted to skip dessert so we could sample some other sweets at Disneyland.
We finally made our way into Disneyland just as the Paint the Night Parade was starting. Since fireworks would soon be after the parade, we decided to work our way to the Small World area to get another view and experience of Disneyland Forever. The same projections that take place on Main Street USA are projected directly onto "it's a small world" facade.
It may not be the completely immersive that you get on Main Street USA but it was just as wonderful. You miss the fireworks that happen directly over the Castle but you still get a great view of the fireworks. The image projections look fabulous on "it's a small world" and of course the music is an amazing part of the show.
When the fireworks ended, we made our way to the "west side"(Adventureland, Frontierland, Critter Country and New Orleans Square) of the Park. Since there had not been a Fantasmic show, the Mark Twain was still available. We were excited about being able to take a night time cruise around the Rivers of America.
The Cast Member on board told us that it is a very rare occurrence that there is an evening Mark Twain cruise. MacSparky was able to reminisce and share with the Cast Member about when he used to work at Disneyland back in the early 90's, pre-Fantasmic days. When MacSparky worked nights and assigned the Mark Twain, there would be a "fireworks cruise". They would park out on the Rivers of America at a certain time and then allow the Guest to view the fireworks show from the top deck. How cool is that?
There was hardly anyone on the night cruise with us. You could walk around the Mark Twain during the cruise and explore. There was already someone in the "wheelhouse" (where they boat controls and captain sit) so we missed out on that opportunity. Going around the Rivers of America at night was a treat.
We went to have dessert at Gibson Ice Cream Parlor. We noticed how there was hardly anyone on Main Street this evening. There was an 11 pm Paint the Night parade scheduled for the event. Here are a couple of photos taken of the curb about 20 mintues before the parade was to start. Crazy sight.
The photo below is an example of what people do to snare their viewing spot. It's such a funny sight to see this blanket all spread out, no owner in site, and all the spots beside it available, too. The parade was about 15 minutes to start time and there was hardly anyone waiting for it. During regular operating hours, people will save their spots starting about 3 hours before parade time.
I am sure part of the reason there was hardly a parade crowd was because people were getting in the rides they could. There was little wait time during this particular event. We decided we may as well wait and snag an amazing curbside view and enjoy the parade.
Date nights with Macsparky are always an adventure. We enjoy creating some special moments together and when we can make memories at Disneyland, it's even better. Those are date nights with some pixie dust on the side.