Disneyland Shows and Entertainment

  • 01 of 08

    Enchanted Tiki Room

    Birds Sing Songs at the Enchanted Tiki Room
    ••• Birds Sing Songs at the Enchanted Tiki Room. Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

    The Enchanted Tiki Room looks like a Polynesian ceremonial house with a lush floral fountain in the center. It's filled with 225 animatronic characters that include singing birds and flowers. Even the tiki carvings on the wall sing. And there's a simulated thunderstorm.

    What You Need to Know About the Tiki Room

    We polled 448 of our readers to find out what they think about the Tiki Room. 79% of them said It's a must-do or ride it if you have time.

    That's surprising considering how old-fashioned the animatronics seem and how corny some of the jokes are. But I find myself wandering in to see it every third or fourth visit, just because it's fun.

    • Rating: ★★★
    • Location: Adventureland
    • Show Time: The show lasts 15 minutes
    • Recommended for: Kids and anyone who is tired or hot. You can sit in an air-conditioned room for almost 20 minutes
    • Fun Factor:  Medium. The animatronics are old school, and the jokes are tired, but it's a pleasant show I find myself returning to often.
    • Wa...MOREit Factor: If you arrive just after a show starts, you'll have to wait 15 to 20 minutes for the next one. It's seldom so busy that you would have to wait longer than that.
    • Seating:  Bench style in rows around a flower-covered fountain in the middle of the room. Sit in the back row if you want a little back support.

    How to Have More Fun at the Tiki Room

    • Dole Whip and the other pineapple treats sold outside are one of the best Disneyland snacks. While you're waiting, it's a good time to pick them up. The line is shorter than it will be outside the waiting area.
    • Beware of getting the theme song stuck in your head: "In... the... Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Tiki Room..."
    • If you go to the far side of the room to sit down, you'll be the first out after the show ends.
    • Before the show starts, figure out how to turn off your camera's flash. Flash photos are not allowed, and those bursts of light can ruin the show for others.

    Fun Facts About the Tiki Room

    The Enchanted Tiki Room opened 1963. The title song was written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who also wrote the scores for the films "Mary Poppins" and "The Jungle Book."

    Jose the Macaw once sat over the entrance to Adventureland, but the crowds who stopped to watch created so much congestion that they had to remove him.

    Walt Disney originally envisioned the Enchanted Tiki Room as a dinner show. However, he knew the attraction would be so popular that he changed the format to accommodate more Guests before it opened.

    Accessibility

    If you're in a wheelchair, go to the entrance and ask a cast member for help. Assisted Listening devices are available at City Hall. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV

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  • 02 of 08

    Jedi Training

    Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
    ••• Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Courtesy of Disneyland

    Jedi Training is a live stage show that invites participation from kids in the audience. The basic premise is that they are trainees learning to become Jedi warriors. 

    Participants don a brown, hooded robe and get a training lightsaber to wield as they learn a few fighting moves. Right on cue, Darth Vader and his henchmen arrive, trying to seduce the young fighters to the dark side. A battle ensues, but all ends well.

    If your child is the type who wants to participate in the on-stage activities, this is the best show in Disneyland to take them. If they think being on stage in front of a bunch of strangers is worse than a day at the dentist, then this isn't the activity for them.

    What You Need to Know About Jedi Training Academy

    This show is good for kids who want to get a chance to be on stage, especially if they're fans of the Star Wars films. For the rest of us, it's fun to watch the kids for a few minutes even if none of them are yours.

    If your kids want to participate, they...MORE have to register before the show. They must be between 4 and 12 years old. Registration is at a kiosk located outside the exit to Star Wars Launch Bay. Everyone who wants to register has to be present.

    Get there early and go straight to the registration kiosk. Registration starts when the park opens and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. This is one time when Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning has an advantage because registration also starts early on those days. If you don't have early entry privileges, you'll be better off to try to get in on days when it isn't available.

    The show lasts 20 to 25 minutes.

    • Rating: ★★★★
    • Location: Tomorrowland
    • Show Time: The show lasts about half an hour
    • Recommended for: Kids who love Star Wars films and want to be a Jedi Knight
    • Fun Factor:  High for enthusiastic participants and their parents, lower for everyone else
    • Wait Factor: You may have to wait to register, but after that you just need to show up for your assigned time.

    How to Have More Fun at Jedi Training Academy

    • Parents, this show presents some great photo opportunities if your kid is participating. The best place for you to stand is facing the stage just below the control booth.
    • This is an outdoor show that could be canceled by rain or bad weather.
    • You'll get a daily show schedule when you enter the park. You can also find the show times posted near the show stage on the Tomorrowland Terrace.
    • Get more details about the show

    Accessibility

    You can remain your wheelchair or ECV.

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  • 03 of 08

    Mickey and the Magical Map

    Scene from Mickey and the Magical Map
    ••• Scene from Mickey and the Magical Map. ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    In this live stage show, Mickey Mouse returns to his role as the bumbling assistant in the Sorcerer's Apprentice. He gets himself into trouble as he tries to paint a magical map. Taunted by a black spot that resists his paintbrush, he accidentally summons characters from Disney films.

    The storyline ties together a review of songs and characters from Disney's greatest hits, chosen to appeal to Disney fans of all ages. In the Los Angeles Times, writer Mary McNamara describes the set as well as anyone can: "a gorgeous three-tiered screen awash in animated wonder." You can see part of it in the photo above.

    The show mixes cartoons, costumed actors, and performers in character costumes. Mickey and King Louie's faces come to life, with animatronic heads that allow their eyes to blink and mouths to move in sync with their words.

    The venue is comfortable, with good sound and views from anywhere you sit. It isn't air conditioned, but the overhead structure provides shade...MORE that's most welcome on a hot summer day.

    What You Need to Know About Mickey and the Magical Map

    LA Times theme park blogger Brady MacDonald says: "For me... King Louie from the "Jungle Book" was the highlight of the show, dancing wildly with his fleet feet and lively long arms... Unfortunately, the magical map in the Disneyland show left me wondering "Why are they doing this?" rather than "How are they doing this?"

    Kayte Deoima of golosangeles.about.com says: "The singers and dancers are excellent and the use of animation on the LED background is a delight... It's a very enjoyable show and kids will love seeing so many familiar characters and hearing all the familiar songs."

    Judging from reactions when I saw it, audiences generally like the show. Kids were quiet throughout and some of the musical numbers drew enthusiastic applause. However, my Gal Pal and I were less than impressed.

    • Rating: ★★★
    • Location: Near it's a small world
    • Show Time: The show lasts about 25 minutes, but allow another 15 minutes to get there and get out afterward. 
    • Recommended for: Kids and their companions, hardcore Disney fans
    • Fun Factor:  
    • Wait Factor: Show times are posted at the theatre and printed on the schedule you can pick up when you arrive at the park. 
    • Seating:  The theatre is like a big amphitheater, with tiered seating and several aisles. Sit closer to the stage to see everything better. 

    How to Have More Fun at Mickey and the Magical Map

    • Check the Entertainment Times handout you get at the entrance or the board posted outside the theatre entrance to find out the current day's show times.
    • The venue holds a lot of people and even though it was almost full on a busy summer day, there was little need to stand outside for a long time, waiting to get in.
    • The theatre is seldom filled up, but if you arrive close to showtime, you may have to sit near the back.
    • Get more details about the show.

    Accessibility

    Visitors can stay in their wheelchair or ECV. Ask a cast member to show you the accessible entrance. Assistive Listening, Hand-held Captioning and Audio Description available. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV

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  • 04 of 08

    Storytelling at the Royal Theatre

    Entertainment at the Royal Theatre
    ••• Entertainment at the Royal Theatre. Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

    Royal Theatre is an outdoor stage that features slapstick comedians Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, who put a comic spin on classic tales of Disney Royalty. They alternate two shows per day. Their repertoire includes Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and Tangled, but only two are active at a time.

    Writing about the Fantasy Faire, LA Times theme park blogger Brady MacDonald says: "Being a father of a now 12-year-old daughter who once had a closet full of princess dresses, I preferred the two comedic stage shows."

    What You Need to Know About the Royal Theatre

    • Rating: ★★
    • Location: Just off Main Street U.S.A. next to the Fantasy Faire
    • Show Time:  Shows last 20 minutes
    • Fun Factor:  Medium
    • Seating:  Seating is on benches, with room for about 50 kids on the floor in front.

    How to Have More Fun at the Royal Theatre

    Sit in one of the side sections for a better view - in the middle, there's a tent pole that can block your view.

    To get a good seat, you may want to line up 30 or more minutes before...MORE showtime. If you can't get a seat you can also watch by standing right outside the theater.

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  • 05 of 08

    Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

    Great Moment with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland
    ••• Great Moment with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland. Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

    Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln features an animated segment about Abraham Lincoln's life and a short speech from an animatronic Mr. Lincoln. This long-standing show seems old-fashioned and a bit melodramatic in the twenty-first Century, but it still draws a small audience to every showing.

    The Disneyland history retrospective stars Donald Duck and Steve Martin (who once worked at Disneyland's magic shop). It includes a selection of film clips and home movies from the park's earliest days that are fun to watch. 

    The lobby also contains some interesting items from Disney's early history, which is the closest thing Disneyland has to a museum. It's worth a stop if you're interested in Disneyland history.

    What You Need to Know About Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln

    • Rating: ★★
    • Location: Main Street U.S.A.
    • Show Time:  Mr. Lincoln lasts 15 minutes, runs every 20 minutes and there's never a line. 
    • Recommended for: The history film is good for Baby Boomers who grew up...MORE wishing they could go to Disneyland and anyone who is interested in Disneyland history.  Mr. Lincoln might appeal to hardcore history buffs
    • Fun Factor for Mr. Lincoln:  Low. I'm almost (but not quite) embarrassed to say that the Gal Pal and I both took a little nap in the middle of it.
    • Fun Factor for the history film and museum: High if you're a Disney fan 
    • Seating:  No seating in the lobby, but those chairs in the theatre are good for a quick nap!

    Get more details about it.

    Accessibility

    The seating area is accessible, and you can stay in your wheelchair or ECV. Assistive listening devices are available at Guest Services in City Hall. Guest-activated captioning is available on some of the pre-show monitors. Ask a cast member about it and also about reflective captioning. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV.

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  • 06 of 08

    Tomorrowland Theatre: Star Wars Path of the Jedi

    Star Wars Path of the Jedi
    ••• Star Wars Path of the Jedi. Courtesy of Disneyland

    The current show at the Tomorrowland Theatre is Star Wars Path of the Jedi. It's a mashup film made clips from the first six “Star Wars” movies. 

    A few enthusiastic fans who have reviewed it online gave it high ratings, but that seems to be mostly because they love Star Wars in general. Most of them were less impressed, making comments like "Disney gotta put something else in here to make it worthwhile." Judging from the audience’s lukewarm response and sparse applause, this one is not destined to become a classic.

    The Tomorrowland Theatre is a cool place to go on a hot day, no matter what is playing.

    What You Need to Know About the Show

    • Rating: ★
    • Location: Tomorrowland
    • Show Time: The film lasts 10 minutes. A new show starts every 20 minutes.
    • Recommended for:  Star Wars fans and anyone who wants a creative excuse to sit down for a few minutes
    • Fun Factor: Mediocre
    • Wait Factor: The theater holds almost 600 people, so unless the park is very busy, the line is usually short...MORE enough.
    • Seating:  Viewers sit in movie theatre-style seats. The rows are long, but it's seldom full, and everyone can get a spot near the middle.

    How to Have More Fun

    Fun Facts About Tomorrowland Theatre

    Captain EO starring Michael Jackson ran at Disneyland from 1986 to 1997. The 3-D Captain film was created at the height of Michael Jackson's career, in conjunction with producer George Lucas and director Francis Ford Coppola. At the time, it was the most expensive film per minute ever produced. Captain EO returned after the Michael Jackson's death, running from 2010 until early 2016.

    Accessibility

    The theater is ECV and wheelchair accessible, through the regular line. One person can sit next to each vehicle, but Crew Members will try to seat the rest of your party nearby.

    The guest-activated captioning device works on some of the pre-show monitors. Reflective captioning is also available if you ask a Cast Member to help you with it.  More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV.

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  • 07 of 08

    Other Disneyland Entertainment

    ••• The Dapper Dans sing at Disneyland. Nikki Knight/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    Besides watching all the shows at Disneyland, you can meet and greet the Disneyland characters. To get some insider tips and ideas for having a really fun time with them, check the guide to How to Actually Meet the Disneyland Characters.

    The Main Street Cinema could easily be Disneyland's most-overlooked entertainment opportunity. Inside it plays a roster of six classic Walt Disney cartoons from the early days, including  Steamboat WilliePlane Crazy, and  Mickey’s Polo Team. They play continuously on several screens, making it easy to stop in for a moment to catch a quick glimpse of animation's earliest days.

    Disneyland also has a troupe of performers who appear around the park all day long. Among the most famous are the Disneyland Band and the Dapper Dans. The Dans are easy to recognize. Just look for four guys wearing in colorful striped vests and straw hats. They'll be tap dancing and singing songs like “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “Zip-a-Dee Doo Dah.”

    You'll also find...MORE comedians, musical groups, singers, and other performers. 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.

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  • 08 of 08

    Parades and Nighttime Entertainment

    Disneyland Fireworks from Rivers of America
    ••• Disneyland Fireworks from Rivers of America. Carlos/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    Disneyland Parades

    Pixar Play Parade: The Pixar-themed parade that has been running at California Adventure moved to Disneyland in 2018. It runs once or twice a day. Check the schedule ahead of time for the day you plan to visit.

    Nighttime Entertainment

    Disneyland Fireworks: It's one of the best fireworks shows anywhere, but it takes a little planning to get the best spots. Let us tell you how by reading the guide.

    Fantasmic!: It's a seasonal, nighttime show held on the Rivers of America in Frontierland. It uses mist screens to project images and features live characters and even a real boat. It has been around since 1992 and is still going strong, which is a tribute to how much people love it.