Top Five Favorite Experiences of Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite

This week guests descended on Disneyland on Tuesday and Thursday night for Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite. This hard-ticketed event took guests back to the days gone by at Disneyland. These were the days before there was a tale as old as time with Beauty and the Beast or a mermaid wanting to be part of our world. This was the era where Walt Disney walked the park and Annette Funicello was the “bee’s knees.” The night was full of fun for those in attendance with entertainment (swing dancing was back!), classic Disney characters, food, merchandise, and a lot of short lines for attractions. Below are the Daps Magic’s team top five favorite experiences from Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite. These are in no particular order.

Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks

The Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show was a staple in the skies above Disneyland for a very long time. It first started in the late 50s and then could be seen by Disneyland guests for decades. This is a wonderfully nostalgic show that celebrates some of the favorite Disney stories of a day gone by. For many Disneyland guests, it also is a connection with nostalgia from visiting the park decades before. It may be short, but it is sweet and full of magic!

Character Playtime

For people who have always wanted to play games with Disney characters, Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite was definitely the place to be. Throughout the park, there were plenty of opportunities to play games with characters. In Fantasyland Princess Aurora, Prince Phillip, Flora, Fauna, Merryweather, and Maleficent could be found playing games and dancing with guests. In Princess Fantasy Faire, Pinocchio and company danced, retold his story, and in general had a lot of fun random interactive moments. Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinker Bell brought the banks of the Rivers of America to life with their storytelling and games. Those who made their way back to Critter Country would find The Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs and their shenanigans. The focus was on interactive play for a bulk of the characters in the park and the reaction by guests was incredible. This was a lot of fun and a lot of magic!

The only lines for photos with characters were with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in Town Square and also the Tomorrowland classic characters. Dumbo was also meeting with guests from behind a rope and had a quick moving line. Check out Daps Magic’s Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite character guide here.

The Music

The music throughout Disneyland for this event was all pulled from days gone by. This included some music from the earlier days of Disneyland like it’s a small world, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Haunted Mansion. There was also Disney music from Louis Armstrong that played throughout the night. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that Annette Funicello could be heard as well! This helped set the stage for the event and it really is fun to hear some older music being piped through the incredible Disneyland sound system (biggest surround system in Southern California perhaps?). It was also fun to watch people get into their favorite tunes and occasionally catch people singing along.

Tomorrowland Classics

This was perhaps the most awesome offering of Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite. There were some classic Tomorrowland characters to be found in three locations in the land. At the former entrance of the Carousel of Progress, Mother and Father from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress could be found meeting guests (who waited in quite the line and thought it was totally worth it)! In the middle of the land, Mr. Morrow met with guests in his laboratory. Finally, over by Space Mountain the Space Couple also met with guests. These five characters were incredible and brought the past to the present during the event in a completely magical way!

Swing Dancing

Swing Dancing returned to Princess Fantasy Faire, formerly the Carnation Plaza Gardens, for Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite. This was a welcome return to a tradition of big bands and swing dancing in the location that dates back to 1956. The band of the night was the incredible Mel Collins & the D. Ben-jamin BIG Band. This was one of the most magical offerings for this special event and one that many people could be heard saying they wished would return on Saturday nights at Disneyland, as was the tradition for so many years.

Final Thoughts

The above offerings were some of the favorite offerings for Disneyland After Dark: Featured Image from the Daps Magic team. We would be remiss if we didn’t also include something that wasn’t offered, but was experienced at this event: the low crowd count. The park was not full at all and it was wonderful. Neither of these events sold out ahead of guests arriving and the resulting experience was one of the most magical things ever. It was much easier to see and experience a lot of the offerings without spending the entire night waiting in line. It was awesome.

Overall, Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite was a wonderful evening at Disneyland. It perhaps could have used more live entertainment groups from days gone by (like maybe the Dapper Dans, Disneyland Band, or a jazz band on the Rivers of America?) but that is nit picking. This was an event that was playful, fun, and nostalgic. The character interactions really set the bar for what Disney magic can be when the magic makers are allowed to offer experiences different than a hug, an autograph, and a photo. These created memories that will last a lifetime for those who were lucky enough to experience them. It can only be hoped that the positive reaction to this by the guests who experienced them are noticed by Disney and leaned into even more than it already is for regular days at Disneyland.

The videos posted above are just some quick examples of what was experienced throughout Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite. Below in the video gallery can be found more magical moments from this event. This includes a tour of Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough with the Three Fairies, Princess Aurora, and Prince Phillip. There is also the Mad Hatter, March Hare, Alice, and the Tweedles “riding a monorail” among other crazy moments. The other interactions with the classic Tomorrowland characters can also be found. We hope you enjoy reliving these moments through the lens of the Daps Magic cameras!

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