Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Teal loop. Today we are sharing some of our favorite holiday cookie recipes.

I love sugar cookies. But I don’t love having to bake the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, cut them out and make fancy royal icing to decorate them. For me, that’s a 2 day process. You know what’s a lot easier? Sugar cookie bars that you bake in a pan, thickly frost and cut out! And you know what’s totally the best? Making sugar cookies that remind you of your favorite place, like these cookie bars that I decorated for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary! Using just a few store bought items and a few minutes of time and you have cute sugar cookie bars that don’t take two days to make and 5 seconds to eat.

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

Bake the cookies in a pan until just done

I found this delicious recipe online at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the sugar cookie bars.

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

I wanted variety so I iced half in blue and the other half in white with blue sprinkles

To decorate, I wanted these bar cookies to reflect the beautiful blue and white decor that is all over the Disneyland Resort this year for the Diamond Anniversary. I used half of the frosting as it was and then colored the second half blue so I’d have a variety.

Disneyland 60th Anniversary Sugar Cookie Bars

After chilling in the fridge a bit, I cut the pieces and then decorated each square a little differently. Some received a pearlescent candy ball. Others received hard-shell candy Mickey silhouettes because my little one loves a “hidden Mickey”, especially one made of candy!

Here is the map of Magical Blogorail Teal | Holiday Cookie Recipes Loop:

Disneyland in December and GIVEAWAY! Win a Trip from Get Away Today

Disneyland in December is always a magical time of year. With the entire resort decorated top to bottom in the holiday spirit, Disneyland is a great place to spend the season. This year there are several additions that make this December at Disneyland even better! Keep reading and see how YOU can win a trip to Disneyland!

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

Christmas is always a huge draw at the Disneyland. From the amazing decor, specialty treats, and seasonal layovers to popular rides like Haunted Mansion Holiday and “it’s a small world holiday”, this is a beautiful place to celebrate the season. In addition to the usual Christmas favorites, like Candlelight Processional in Disneyland, be sure to spend a day at Disney California Adventure Park to play at Olaf’s Snow Fest, World of Color – Winter Dreams and celebrate at Disney !Viva Navidad! The Christmas feeling extends to the rest of the Resort as well, with holiday decor at the Resort hotels and Downtown Disney Winter Village, where guests can ice skate or shop.

Photo Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Photo Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration

The 60th anniversary celebration lives on this holiday season. Sleeping Beauty Castle still shines with diamonds and has the addition of a few Christmas touches. Disneyland will continue to show the new nightly spectaculars, Disneyland Forever fireworks and Paint the Night parade as well as feature the traditional Christmas Fantasy Parade.

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Anna & Elsa from Frozen (with Olaf in the back)

Seasons of the Force

Tomorrowland is feeling the force as Star Wars takes over during what is sure to be a successful takeover. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the overlay on Space Mountain into Hyperspace Mountain. The Innoventions building has been transformed into the Star Wars Launch Bay, complete with Meet n’ Greets (Chewbacca or Darth Vader). Star Tours – The Adventure Continues now features a new scene from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Photo Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Photo Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland website notes that Star Wars-themed costumes are allowed for both adults & children (within the guidelines). Tomorrowland restaurants are featuring Star Wars themed dishes on their menus, including a black bun Angus beef and chorizo burger served in a Han Solo Carbonite bucket. Debuting December 8th, young Guests can participate in the updated Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. There is no official end date to this special event, but rumor is mid-March.

Learn how you can navigate the holiday crowds from my post at Traveling Mom.

Can’t wait to visit? Me neither!!! And you have the opportunity to WIN a Disneyland vacation, read on!

I am excited to announce that our friends over at Get Away Today are giving one of you a chance to win a 2 night hotel stay and 2 adult Disneyland 1 Day/1 Park tickets so you can enjoy Disneyland and make some magical memories of your own.

Win a trip to Disneyland from Get Away Today
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 and older and will run through December 4, 2015.

You can enter to win using the giveaway widget below. If you aren’t wanting to miss out on a good deal though, be sure to check out Get Away Today’s Cyber Monday deal.

Their Cyber Monday sale will kick off on Monday, November 30, and will be good for $50 off the same package requirements: 4-night Southern California vacations w/a minimum of 2 tickets for travel January 1 – March 1, 2016. This will need to be booked by Saturday, December 5, 2015. The promo code is: CyberMonday15
You can book your vacation by CLICKING HERE.

Good luck!
ENTER HERE: Disneyland Vacation Giveaway


SeaWorld San Diego Christmas Celebration

My family and I were recently able to visit SeaWorld San Diego during its annual Christmas Celebration. The park is beautifully decorated all over for the holidays with lights, trees and a fun Christmas party atmosphere. Read more about it on my post at Traveling Mom.

SeaWorld San Diego Christmas Celebration


Jamberry Black Friday Deals and GIFT CERTIFICATE GIVEAWAY!

Jamberry gift cards make the best presents! GIFT CERTIFICATE GIVEAWAY!

Today is Black Friday and even Jamberry has some fantastic surprises in store for you! Shop today to take advantage of these limited time specials.

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And if you’re looking for the perfect gift that fits every time and comes in over 300 designs with something to please everyone….well, simply gift them a Jamberry gift card! No shipping or delivery time needed, it’s emailed to you immediately. Shop the looks here and order your gift cards as well.

There is still time to order these precious holiday styles that are sure to get you in the winter mood!


Or a Holiday Gift Set that is perfect for giving (or keeping!)



I’m giving away a Jamberry gift card today on my blog! Sign up here and tell your friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Navigate Holiday Crowds at the Disneyland Resort #TMOM

It’s a very merry Christmas season at the Disneyland Resort! How can you navigate the crowds and still make sure to have a magical time? Follow these 11 tips on my most recent post at Traveling Moms.

How to Navigate Holiday Crowds at the Disneyland Resort #TMOM







Holiday Dessert-to-Go – Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

The holidays are upon us and that means, family, food and more food! I’m always up for dessert, but sometimes after a big meal, my guests aren’t always ready to indulge. But that doesn’t mean they want to miss out completely! Thanks to Rubbermaid TakeAlongs, guests can box up dessert to go so they can have a treat for later.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

I baked a pan of Apple Oatmeal Cake especially for my guests to take home with them. I love this Apple Oatmeal Cake recipe because it’s just as delicious for dessert as it is for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea. So if your guests just can’t find any room after their big holiday meal, they can save their cake to eat in the morning. It’s fantastic when warmed slightly and served with a dollop of whipped cream, mmmm!

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

After letting the cake cool, I cut it into pieces and boxed the slices up into the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs. Having my family around me during the holidays is a gift and I want to thank them for joining us. Sharing a meal together and giving a special treat to take home with them truly highlights what the season is all about.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

Since I know you’re busy, I created this Thank You Printable for you to use on your Rubbermaid TakeAlongs. Simply print and cut out. I delegated this task to my kids, who used simple craft sticky dots to secure the thank you cards to the top of the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs before we boxed up the treats.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

We already have quite a collection of Rubbermaid containers for everyday use, but I don’t necessarily want to send these home with my guests (because I’ll never get them back!) Rubbermaid TakeAlongs products are available at Walmart at a reasonable price so you can pack up leftovers for your guests and send them home with them. On our stop at Walmart, we chose Rubbermade TakeAlongs in Deep Square and Rectangle but there are also TakeAlongs Serving Bowl, TakeAlongs Serving Rectangle, and the TakeAlongs Deviled Egg Tray.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

Find Rubbermaid TakeAlongs for the holidays at Walmart

The holiday Rubbermaid TakeAlongs come in a variety of holiday colors and prints. We brought home festive red and green. I bought a few extra in case anyone wants leftover turkey or stuffing (as if they wouldn’t!) Rubbermaid TakeAlongs feature Quik Clik Seal™ technology which helps prevent spills in the car on the way home. They are also microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe, so you can pop your Apple Oatmeal Cake into the microwave to warm it up before swooping the top with whipped cream.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

This recipe goes together quickly and the addition of applesauce, coconut oil, ground flax seed and oatmeal make this a healthier dessert option. And as I said, fantastic for breakfast (in fact, that’s what we had for breakfast today!)

Healthier Apple Oatmeal Cake

Healthier Apple Oatmeal Cake


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or use sugar substitute)
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used 1/4 cup melted coconut oil and 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
  3. Add liquid ingredients and mix just until moistened.
  4. Stir in apples and walnuts. Mixture will be quite thick.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13" pan.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes.
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Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

Make sure to stock up on Rubbermaid TakeAlongs from Walmart so you’re prepared to pack up leftovers and share them with your guests! Click through to find out how you can get $1 Off Of Any 2 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Products in this rebate offer, exclusive to Walmart shoppers (starts Nov 25th). It’s an excellent way to Share the Holiday.

Holiday Dessert-to-Go - Apple Oatmeal Cake Recipe and FREE Printable #ShareTheHoliday

How will you #ShareTheHoliday with your family this year?



Holiday Gift Guide – Disney-inspired Gifts for Kids Under 5

Holiday Gift Guide - Disney-inspired Gifts for Kids Under 5

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Black Loop. Today we are sharing our holiday gift guides.

There are thousands of Disney-inspired gifts for kids under five years old. So how do you know what will make the best gift for your little ones? When buying gifts, there are several things to consider: age appropriateness, probable longevity of the item and quality. And an important thing to me, practicality. Sure, those 3 foot tall dolls are cute, but how often will it be played with? Yes, that awesome, hot new toy is cool but if it’s over $100 how many times will it be used with to make it worth the value?

I love to think outside the box for my kids and buy them things that they’ll be able to use and enjoy over several years and that won’t end up at the bottom of the toy bin next week. Having something that is timeless and high quality is important too, especially if you have more than one child and the item could be handed down to the next child in time.

Here are my choices for the best Disney-inspired gifts for kids under 5, starting with babies. I’ll be having a little girl next year and already thinking of the sweet Disney-themed items I’ll be able to buy for her! Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.

Disney Gifts for Babies

What does baby love? Something useful like a teether or a blankie? Something fun like wooden blocks! Something soothing like a soundtrack of lullabies. And when all else fails, you can’t go wrong with an adorable outfit that dresses baby like a princess or Winnie the Pooh!

NUK Disney Mickey Mouse Teether (Amazon), Dumbo Piggy Bank (DisneyStore), Wooden Castle Blocks for Baby by Melissa & Doug (DisneyStore)

 Minnie Mouse Plush Blankie (DisneyStore), Disney Baby Lullaby (Amazon)


Winnie the Pooh Hooded Romper (DisneyStore), Disney Minnie Mouse Dress Black Shoes (Amazon), Disney Baby Cinderella Dress Set (Amazon), Mickey bibs (DisneyStore)



Books are one of my favorite gifts to give because they are truly enjoyed all year round by my little ones. We own the Cars First Look & Find and it’s a great conversation starter. Reading is also the perfect way to snuggle up with them at bedtime.

Disney Junior Official Magazine (Amazon), Frozen Five Minute Stories (DisneyStore)


Disney-Pixar Inside Box of Mixed Emotions (DisneyStore), Cars First Look & Find (DisneyStore), Winnie the Pooh’s Giant Lift-the-Flap Book (DisneyStore)


I’m all for giving new pajamas at Christmas. Often times it’s a gift I let my kids open on Christmas Eve so they have a crisp, new pair to wear in their Christmas morning photos!

Mickey Mouse PJ Pals and Doc McStuffins Pajama Set (both from The Disney Store)

Toy Story – Woody and Buzz Pajama Set (Amazon), Elsa Nightgown (DisneyStore), Cars Lightning McQueen Pajamas (Amazon)


Meal Time

We own Zak Designs melamine plates and bowls and they hold up so well over the years, even with dishwasher use. And truly, can you ever have enough cups for little ones?

Zak Designs 5-Piece Princess Mealtime Serveware Set & Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 3 Piece Mealtime Dinnerware Set (both from Amazon)


Minnie Mouse Cup and Olaf Tumbler (both from DisneyStore), Disney Junior Miles From Tomorrowland Folding Flatware Set (Amazon)

Travel for Kids

Going on a trip to a Magical location? Or just to Grandma’s house for the night? Little kids love to tote their own necessities in Disney style.

Miles from Tomorrowland Light-Up Rolling Luggage and Anna & Elsa Rolling Luggage (both from DisneyStore)

Disney Princesses Plush Travel Pillow and Disney Mickey Backpack (both from Amazon)

Disney Sofia the First Toddler Sleepover Slumber Set with Tote Bag and Inside Out Slumber Bag in Drawstring Bag (both from Amazon)

Bedroom Decor

Disney Jake and The Pirates Bed Tent (Amazon), Sully Plush Pillow, 2-pack Disney Cinderella Pillowcases Night Sparkles Bed Accessories (Amazon)


Ariel personalized blanket (DisneyStore),  Up House artwork (Vivid Editions)


For more holiday gift options,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Black | Holiday Gift Guides Loop:

What are your favorite items to gift to kids under five years old? Share below in the comments!



Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MejoresRecetas #CollectiveBias

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

I’m not alone in thinking that a hot bowl of soup truly warms you up on a chilly day. But does it always fill you up? Depends upon the ingredients, because sometimes my tummy is grumbling for more food a short while after having soup for dinner. The key is to making a hearty and filling soup that truly satisfies, and still gives you that warm feeling! It’s also nice to have a soup recipe on a budget that can be easily doubled for a second meal.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Recipe on a Budget

For me, soup needs to be budget-friendly and it needs to be easy. I made Chipotle Black Bean Soup for my husband and big kids a few weeks ago and they all loved it. Perfect for a chilly fall day, this soup is filling and full of flavor and fiber. With black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, green chiles and La Morena Chipotle Peppers this soup will warm you from the inside out. La Morena gives my dishes an authentic Latino flavor (and spice!) that we love.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

I like that I can serve this soup with a variety of toppings so my family can mix in exactly what they want. And my husband and I? We top it with EVERYTHING! A dollop of Greek yogurt, shredded cheese and sliced avocado. Add in a big bowl of tortilla chips and an icy Coca-Cola…I’m in heaven.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

*ahem* I already took a sip of this Coke…I couldn’t help it!

Take a Little Time to Save Money

I like to cook on a budget so instead of canned black beans, I prep dry beans for cooking in this soup. You could certainly go the canned black bean route but to save a little money, it’s not hard to take a little time when you’re home to soak and boil a bag of dry beans to have ready when you need it. A one pound bag of dry beans costs $1.70 and makes at least six cups. Versus one can of black beans at $1.30 each that only makes about two cups. If you have the time, truly, try making the beans from scratch. I soaked mine overnight and then boiled them up for 90 minutes today so they’d be ready for the soup at dinnertime.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

In Store Special

The rest of the soup goes together quickly, especially with the use of canned diced tomatoes, canned corn, green chiles and La Morena Chipotle Peppers. I picked up the La Morena product and cute Coca-Cola glass bottles at Northgate Market. They are currently offering a special when you combine La Morena products with Coca-Cola: Buy (1) 7.5oz Mini Can or 6 pack PET bottles of any Coca-Cola brand + La Morena product and receive $0.50 off. Consider doubling this soup recipe and freezing half so you’ll have a ready-to-serve meal during the busy holiday season!

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot? You won’t even need this entire pepper to make your soup spicy.

Now, a warning. Chipotle peppers in adobo are HOT. You will not be using the entire can in this soup. I used only 1/3 of the can and probably shouldn’t have even used that much because my soup was still quite spicy. I’d recommend starting with 3/4 of one pepper because you can always add more later if you want more kick. I used 1 1/2 peppers and it was probably too spicy. Fortunately we topped our soup with Greek yogurt which cooled it down.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Bag up and freeze the rest of the can to use later.

So here’s what I did with the rest of the peppers in the can. I labeled plastic baggies and put them in the freezer so I can use them in another recipe in the future. You could also cut them up and divide into ice cube trays so you have a small shot of spice to use later.

Dinner in 20 minutes

Once you have the dry beans prepped and ready, this soup only takes about 20 minutes to toss together and cook. Great on those days when you’re short on time and need something hot and filling on the table fast!

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

The combinations of flavors is complex and satisfying, and oh-so warming on a chilly day. If you enjoy this recipe, make sure to search #MejoresRecetas for recipes from La Morena and Coca-Cola. For additional savings, also look for the specially marked displays in your stores.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup Recipe on a Budget

Chipotle Black Bean Soup

Chipotle Black Bean Soup


  • I lb bag of dry black beans, prepared (instructions follow) OR 2 cans black beans, rinsed & drained - You will need a total of 4 cups black beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Can of Chipotle peppers in adobo, to taste (I recommend between 3/4 of one pepper to 1.5 peppers)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 can chicken broth (2 cups)
  • 1 can of corn, well drained
  • 1 can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-oz can green chilies


  1. Preparing the Dry Black Beans - Pick through the beans (don't skip that step, I found a pebble once!) Rinse beans thoroughly.
  2. For an overnight soak, add beans to a pot with 8 cups of cold water and let them sit overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans. For a quick soak, add beans to a pot with 8 cups of cold water and bring to a boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and cover pot with lid. Let stand one hour, then drain and rinse beans.
  3. To cook the Beans - add 8 cups hot water to prepped & soaked beans. Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is achieved, between 1.5 - 2 hours.
  4. To Make Soup - In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.
  5. Add onions, chipotle pepper, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and use spoon to break up pepper into small bits. Cook until slightly softened, about five minutes.
  6. Add garlic, paprika, cumin and chili powder, then stir to combine. Cook another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add four cups of cooked and drained beans, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, corn and chilies. Stir to combine and then cover.
  8. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Serve with toppings, like Greek yogurt or sour cream, cilantro, avocado slices, shredded cheese and tortilla chips.
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Preteen Routine Daily Checklist Printable (So You Don’t Have to Nag)

FREE PRINTABLE - Preteen Routine Daily Checklist Printable (So You Don't Have to Nag)

Preteen kids have a lot to keep track of. With the start of junior high, puberty and a changing body, they also have intense emotions they’re dealing with as well (seen Inside Out?) I have two preteens in the house (my almost 12-year old son and my 11-year old stepdaughter) so my husband and I have a lot to deal with keeping them on track!

If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is have to run down a laundry list of items as your kids are going out the door. They don’t like the nagging and neither do I…however, I also don’t want my kid smelling like an onion after P.E. because they forgot deodorant! Streamlining their personal routine and making it more routine for them is the key, but sometimes they need help remembering.

FREE PRINTABLE -Preteen Routine Daily Checklist Printable (So You Don't Have to Nag)

I created this quick, no-nagging-necessary free printable checklist for preteens. I have it in a plastic sleeve, posted in several places around the house so my preteens can handle their business privately on their own. This is all about creating good habits that your child will take with them through life. And about teaching them a routine so at some point these things will be second nature and they won’t have to refer to the checklist anymore. Parenting is about creating independent people (because you don’t want to be calling your college-age children to make sure they are using deodorant, right?)

Here’s my FREE PRINTABLE Preteen Daily Checklist.

FREE PRINTABLE -Preteen Routine Daily Checklist Printable (So You Don't Have to Nag)






Paint the Night – Disneyland’s Nighttime Spectacular Parade

This bright and brilliant nighttime parade literally “paints” the streets of Disneyland with colorful lights, floats and costumes. The parade route comes to life with your favorite characters, all illuminated in ways you’ve never seen before!

Raise your hand if you remember the Main Street Electrical Parade? If you listen closely to the music playing during Paint the Night you might hear a familiar tune that reminds you of the synthesized sounds of that classic favorite. The parade theme song is “When Can I See You Again?” by Owl City that is given slightly new lyrics here and really sets the tone for the parade. Because after watching Paint the Night, I wanted to see it again! There are just so many details that you miss the first time it passes by.

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are discussing some of the amazing nighttime spectaculars at the Disney Parks.

I was able to film the parade on my visit and will share it with you in snippets below. This is the opening scene (pardon the first few seconds when my camera was adjusting before it focuses)

I recently found a YouTube video that showed the iconic Main Street Electrical Parade and I have to admit that I started to tear up at the familiar sounds and cheerful floats. It was such an important childhood memory for me, watching this parade as a child with my family. I think that children years from now will have the same wonderful memories witnessing Paint the Night, as well.

With over 1 million colorful lights, this is a very modern parade with cutting-edge technology yet it still remains true to its roots. Reminiscent of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Paint the Night also features a giant drum float in its opening scene, this time with Peter Pan riding atop and an illuminated Tinker Bell at the lead.

Many favorite characters are here including classic Disney princesses and characters from newer Pixar films. I love parades that have lots of interaction from characters (waving, blowing kisses, talking, pointing) because it’s a great way for children to see their favorites without the long lines of typical “meet n’ greets”. Feel free to tell your kids, “Yes, she’s waving right at you!”

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Monsters Inc. float with Sulley in front

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Mac the Truck from Cars

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Hypnotizing lights

Mack the Truck features 25,000 lights in rows that create the most incredible displays and designs in an almost three-dimensional way. We watched this parade near “it’s a small world” on a raised platform and I liked being slightly higher. I was able to capture more of the details of the top of the floats than I would had I been sitting on the curb.

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Ariel and King Triton from The Little Mermaid

Keep in mind that the Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular often follows Paint the Night so choose your location wisely. We were able to watch both the parade & fireworks from our spot near “it’s a small world” and catch the light show that shines on the building during the fireworks as well. Main Street U.S.A. is another great choice, but highly populated, so you’ll probably have to stake out your spot much earlier.

Love the “Light Bright” effect on this float! Jessie toe-taps along the route while Buzz and Woody wave from their perches on Slinky Dog.

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Slinky and Woody from Toy Story

The Beauty and the Beast float is an absolute showstopper (and impossible for me to capture on photo, it was lit so brilliantly). It features animated video that is so lovely. But I was able to capture it on film as well as the other princesses and dancers trailing behind. Be sure to check out Rapunzel’s glowing hair!

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade


Yes, even Anna & Elsa from Frozen make an appearance (and speak live to the crowd from atop their balcony). Theirs is a breathtaking float that looks like a castle made of ice. I was happy to see Olaf in his glittering wonderland in the back.

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Anna & Elsa from Frozen (with Olaf in the back)

I loved all the dancers and street performers in this parade as they were equally decked out with bright lights. It truly added a fun dimension to have them weaving along the streets and engaging with the crowd. They really add life and fun to the parade in between the large floats with their fantastic choreography and truly amazing costumes that appear to be lit from within (even some with light-up wigs!)

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

Loved these spinning pinwheels of color

And what’s a parade without Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Mickey? Naturally they make their appearances here too.

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade

The Mickey Finale

The finale, featuring Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice has a float that is so hypnotic and beautiful, it might have been my favorite. It was quite impossible for me to capture on film but the rotating feature on this float is incredible.

After the dance-inducing sounds and bold colors, you’ll be asking “When Can We Do This Again?”

Which float in Paint the Night would you be most excited to see in person? Share with me in the comments!

For more information about Disney’s nighttime spectaculars,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Disney Nighttime Spectaculars Loop:

Paint the Night - Disneyland's Nighttime Spectacular Parade