Tag Archives: fireworks

USA 2016 – 11 Paint the Night Parade and Disneyland Forever Fireworks (2016-07-13) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 12 JAN 2018

Having now pretty much spent the entire day exploring Disneyland on foot, I found myself gravitating back towards my original starting point of Main Street U.S.A., somehow eager to stake out a good spot among what was quite clearly a rapidly growing crowd lining the edges of the street.

Turns out, the reason for this sudden change of focus for the hordes of people milling about the theme park was actually pretty simple – the time for the big finale pieces had finally arrived, kicking things off with probably the most amazing electric light parade that I’ll probably ever see: the Paint the Night Parade!

The Paint the Night Parade actually premiered in Hong Kong Disneyland back in 2014, but did eventually arrive at Disneyland Park on May 22, 2015 as part of the original theme park’s big 60th anniversary “Diamond Celebration” season.

A spiritual successor to the long-running Main Street Electrical Parade, Paint the Night is Disneyland’s first all-LED parade, utilizing over 1.5 million LED lights to bring to life the special affects of the 8 units and their 76 performers that make up the show.

Lasting for approximately 20 minutes, this spectacle of light is accompanied by a mix of arrangements of Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley’s “Baroque Hoedown” and Owl City’s “When Can I See You Again?”.

The parade is led by the Peter Pan unit, featuring Rosetta, Silvermist, Iridessa, Tinkerbell, and Peter Pan. Following closely behind is the Monsters, Inc. unit (Sully and Mike), and the Cars unit (Lightning McQueen, Mack and DJ), before making way for the spectacular Little Mermain electric watercolors float (featuring Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, King Triton, and Marlin and Nemo from Finding Nemo).

After that comes Toy Story (Jessie, Slinky Dog, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the Aliens), followed by Candlelight Dreams (Belle, Rapunzel, and Cinderella), and then the hugely popular (based on the crowd’s roar) Frozen Fractals float (featuring of course Anna, Elsa, and Olaf).

The last unit to come rumbling through is Mickey’s Lightastic Finale, featuring Goofy, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, and Sorcerer Mickey Mouse!

The parade is a wonderful, musical, and colourful assault on the senses, and was most definitely a highlight of the  day for me.

Not that you have a chance to catch your breath mind you. No sooner had the closing notes of the Paint the Night Parade rung out, when the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle sparked to life with all its bedazzling lights, causing the crowd to quickly shuffle further down Main Street (towards the hub) in order to jostle for a better view.

The reason for this move was of course to catch a glimpse of Disneyland Forever, the nighttime spectacular at Disneyland that premiered on May 21, 2015 (again as part of the theme park’s 60th anniversary celebration).

Weaving a 15 minute long narrative while depicting iconic scenes from many of Disney’s classic films, Disneyland Forever incorporates an incredible mix of fireworks, projection mapping, fire, lasers and searchlights to bring a truly spectacular closing show to life.

Now I’m already a huge fan of projection mapping and the incredible tricks it can play on your senses, but when you combine this technology with fireworks and story at the scale that Disney does – the end result is simply just “wow”.

Honestly, what an incredible experience, and quite probably the best way that you could ever cap a day out and about in a theme park off with! The music was rousing, the visuals and narrative inspiring, and the fireworks simply put, astounding.

There really isn’t any more to say than that.

Anyway, the smoke cleared, the crowd started leaving, and I found myself exiting the gates and trundling down the road to grab a bite to eat from my very first American McDonalds – purely because this is something that we have in SA and thus I wanted to compare.

As it turns out, the American McDonalds experience (especially in terms of flavour) is actually a lot better than what we get back home – which came as a bit of a surprise really, considering how little I think of McDonalds at the best of times!

A short bus trip back to the hotel and given the long day I had just got under the belt, I was soon fast asleep in my surprisingly comfy Holiday Inn bed.

Of course, I did take a few photos of the night, purely as a reminder for myself, but obviously they’re not great given the fact that I used my phone for the photography – nevertheless, here they are in all their fuzzy glory:

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So, with the first day fun now well and truly over and done with, next up was the real meat and potatoes of why I found myself in the USA in the first place – NACUFS Idea ’16.

Related Link: Paint the Night | Disneyland Park | Wikipedia | #USA2016

Japan 2014 – 06 DeNA BayStars at the Yokohama Stadium (2014-10-02) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 24 OCT 2015

Having already enjoyed a jam-packed day in Tokyo that saw us wander around Zojoji temple, view Tokyo from above via the iconic Tokyo Tower, and stand in the shadow of a giant Gundam in front of DiverCity, we scurried back back to Yokohama to make it back in time for our evening date – a Japanese league baseball game between the Chunichi Dragons and home team, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars!

IMG_20141002_171702 ryan lotter and terrance lotter watching baseball at yokohama stadium japan

The game was being played at Yokohama Stadium, pretty much across the road from our hotel.

The circular-shaped, American-styled stadium  was opened in 1978 and can seat 30,000 spectators. In addition to being the home ground for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars (it’s primary function), this multi-purpose stadium has also been used in the past to host sports like American football, as well as a number of large musical concerts – including the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson and even Tina Turner performances.

IMG_20141002_161654 baseball at yokohama stadium japan

As it turned out, this was actually the final game of the season, which meant a good fan turn out and a pretty decent game to boot (though if you’ve ever watched professional baseball before, you’ll know that sometimes it can be a bit on the boring side – which I guess is why they have such entertaining mascots – go DB,Rider! – and dancing girls!)

IMG_20141002_200708 sperm shaped balloons at yokohama stadium baseball game

Japanese sports fans are extremely well mannered just by the way, meaning that you only shout when your team is up to bat, after which you give the opposing side fans a chance. No such thing as booing your opponents!

A particularly cool gimmick was these weird balloons that the BayStars fans let go during one of the breaks. Shaped a bit like sperm, the balloons make a whistling noise when let up in the air, making for quite a colourful sight/sound experience.

Sadly for our home team though, the cheering wasn’t enough and the Yokohama DeNA BayStars had to finish off the season with a crushing 4-1 defeat to the Dragons – a sad blow for DB.Rider and co.!

IMG_20141002_214339 yokohama dena baystars players salute fans at yokohama stadium

However, this being the end of the season meant that we were in for quite a treat.

After a live speech from the coach to the fans, an awesome season wrap-up film was shown on the big screen, followed by the team doing a lap around the stadium to thank the fans – during which the stadium was illuminated with nothing but the spectators’ cellphone LED lights!

And of course, what is a season ending game without a spectacular show of fireworks? :)

IMG_20141002_213850 fireworks at yokohama stadium for the end of the baseball season

All in all, an absolutely brilliant way to spend our seconding evening here in Japan!

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Related Link: Yokohama Stadium | Yokohama DeNA Baystars