Disney California Adventure Shows and Entertainment

Tinkerbell in Paint the Night at Disneyland
Courtesy of Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort
01 of 06

Frozen at the Hyperion Theater

A Scene from Frozen at the Hyperion Theater
Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

This guide includes all of the things you can do at Disney California Adventure for entertainment. Besides the Frozen show, just click through to find everything you need to know about:

  • It's Tough to Be a Bug
  • Pixar Play Parade
  • Disney Animation Academy and Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Disney Junior - Live on Stage!
  • The nighttime show World of Color

Frozen at the Hyperion Theater

Rating: ★★★★

The wildly popular Disney animated film takes to the stage at the Hyperion Theater in Hollywood Land. It's also a wildly popular thing to do, and you'll need to be prepared to get in — and to get the best seats. Here's what you need to know about watching Frozen.

02 of 06

Paint the Night Parade

Paint the Night Parade at Disneyland
Courtesy of Paul Hiffmeyer/! Disneyland Resort

Rating: ★★★★

This exciting nighttime parade was a big hit when it premiered at Disneyland in 2015. retired in 2017 and now it's back at California Adventure. 

Current Status: Paint the Night Parade ends its current run on November 4, 2018. It may return in 2019, but no date has been released yet.

Paint the Night is a twenty-first-century version of the Main Street Electrical Parade, featuring eye-popping LED effects. It's well worth your time to arrive early and wait for it to begin.

How to Enjoy Paint the Night

Paint the Night was wildly popular when it ran at Disneyland and after a two-year hiatus which ended in April 2018, it's likely to be extremely popular for the rest of the 2018 at least.

Check the parade time when you arrive (or online ahead of time) and plan to spend quite a bit of time waiting to see it if you want a good viewing spot. To be there in time, you can ask Cast Members when you can start waiting for it. They might also give you some tips on the best viewing spots.

Accessibility

You can park a wheelchair or ECV almost anywhere along the parade route. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV

03 of 06

Disney Animation Academy and Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney Animation
©2011 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

Rating: ★★★★

Disney Animation is three attractions in one building, and all focused on the magic of animation technology.

The most popular attraction here is Turtle Talk with Crush (from Finding Nemo), where the character interacts directly with the audience. You can ask Crush questions about his world, and he asks about yours. If you want to talk to Crush, sit on the aisle or in front. During your spare time, think up a good question, or here's one: "How many kids do you have and what are their names?"

At Animation Academy, you learn how a Disney character is drawn and draw one yourself. Sorcerer's Workshop offers opportunities to create a moving image and add your voices to a story, but our favorite is the Beauty and the Beast library. Linger until the last petal falls from the rose.

What You Need to Know About Disney Animation and Turtle Talk

  • How Long: It's up to you. Each of the sections takes about 20 minutes on average.
  • Recommended for: Everyone
  • Fun Factor: Everyone loves to talk with Crush. How much fun you have in the other sections depends on your level of interest in drawing or Beauty and the Beast.

How to Have More Fun at Disney Animation

  • Don't just walk through the lobby area without looking around. A continuous, 20-minute-long loop of the finest Disney films run on the many screens on the walls, and it's well worth a few minutes to enjoy them. This is also a great place to rest on a hot day.
  • Very small or active children may be bored or restless, except for a visit with Crush. Creative kids who like to draw may spend extra time in the Sorcerer's Workshop.
  • A drawing you made at Disney Animation is just one of many things you can get for free at Disneyland and California Adventure

Fun Facts About Disney Animation

The gift shop at Disney Animation has the best Disney collectibles in the park.

Accessibility

You can stay in your wheelchair or ECV to tour Disney Animation. Enter through the main entrance.

Turtle Talk with Crush has companion seating and some seats with removable armrests. Inside the Animation Academy, look for the wheelchair symbol on the floor. Ask cast members for help in either place.

Pick up assistive listening devices at Guest Relations when you enter the park. Some pre-show video monitors have Guest-activated captioning. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV

04 of 06

Disney Junior - Live on Stage!

Characters in Disney Jr.
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Rating: ★★★★ for little ones

A colorful, interactive show that's designed for preschoolers. They can join puppets of popular characters, sing and dance along.

What You Need to Know About Disney Junior

  • Show Time: 20 minutes
  • Recommended for: Smaller children
  • Fun Factor: High for the age group it's targeted for.
  • Wait Factor: You may have to wait up to half an hour - or a little more.
  • Seating: Be prepared to sit on the floor. There are no chairs and only a few benches around the walls. 
  • Accessibility: You can stay in your wheelchair or ECV to watch the show. Assistive listening devices are available at Guest Relations.

How to Have More Fun at Disney Junior – Live on Stage!

  • Get there early and don't be surprised if you have to wait. The show lasts only 20 minutes, but we've seen waits as long as an hour to get in.
  • The schedule varies. Check the Entertainment Times Guide you got at the gate or ask a cast member.
Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Other Disney California Adventure Entertainment

Red Car Trolley News Boys
Paul Hiffmeyer/Photographer

Besides watching all the shows at Disneyland, you can meet and greet the Disneyland characters

Other things to do, include the Boudin Bakery Tour and Games of the Boardwalk at Paradise Pier. You'll also find performances happening near Carthay Circle and other parts of the park. The Red Car Trolley News Boys take a ride on the trolley with Mickey Mouse, getting off to sing and dance. 

You'll also find comedians, musical groups, singers, and other performers all around the park. In general, they're not something you would go out of your way to see, but you may want to stop and enjoy them if they're performing when you pass by.

To find out when all that is going on check the Entertainment Times Guide that you can get at the entry gate, the schedule board near Carthay Circle or your favorite Disneyland app.

More Besides Entertainment

If you're looking for "rides" - the ones that send you spinning, rolling or moving into a Disney story, check this complete guide to California Adventure rides.

If you have specific needs or want some help sorting out that bewildering list of rides, you can find help in the guide to the best California Adventure rides and attractions, sorted by type of ride.

06 of 06

Nighttime Entertainment

World of Color at California Adventure
Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

The World of Color has long been one of the best things you can do after dark at California Adventure, with dancing fountains and excerpts from dozens of beloved Disney films. Here's what you need to know to enjoy it the easy way.

Since the Paint the Night Parade moved to California Adventure in 2018, it's hard to say which of the park's nighttime attractions is the best to watch. 

Was this page helpful?