Disneyland adds second nightly fireworks show Thanksgiving week, a strategy it might use more often

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Disneyland will add a second nightly fireworks show during Thanksgiving week – and consider using the strategy on select days in the future to thin out massive crowds.

The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show will run at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. from Nov. 21 to Nov. 28.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Disneyland Resort is experiencing record crowds, and with holidays and special events coming up Disneyland faces closing its gates to manage overflowing crowds.

If Disneyland offers a second fireworks show – and parades earlier in the day – park officials hope there is more elbow room in the evening for guests.

Disneyland will add second, earlier runs of two parades that week too: “A Christmas Fantasy” and the “Paint the Night” light parade. There will also be two showings of “Fantasmic!” on Rivers of America.

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Currently, thousands of visitors camp out and linger about to watch “Paint the Night” and then the fireworks show. Once they are over, a bottleneck forms as guests file out of the park – and then gridlock can ensue on the streets.

By offering earlier shows, Disneyland can gauge whether to adopt this strategy on select days during the popular winter holiday.

“Disney is seeking to determine if additional entertainment and an earlier fireworks show … will improve the flow of the guests through the parks,” said Mike Lyster, an Anaheim spokesman. “Anaheim has a vested interest in Disney’s efforts to manage demand, which helps lessen impacts on the areas around the Disneyland Resort.”

Anaheim’s fire marshal granted Disneyland’s request for added firework shows for the Thanksgiving week.

Disney does shoot off fireworks twice nightly for some occasions, such as on the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, and on the park’s 60th anniversary.

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Dave Judy, 50, lives near Katella Avenue on Ninth Street in a house with double-pane windows a half-mile from Disneyland. He has at times complained to the city about Disneyland’s noise.

“When I heard about Disney adding a second fireworks show (from park employees), I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” said Judy, who has lived in his home since 1978. “But I’ll give them credit, they’ve done a great job making adjustments and the last several months … it’s been a lot less disturbing.”

Judy is glad that the second fireworks show is early, as opposed to after the regular one.

“This fireworks thing will be a challenge, but I’m glad they are doing it at an earlier hour,” Judy said.

Grace Young, 54, also lives on Ninth. Young said at times she doesn’t notice the sounds and enjoys watching the fireworks from a second-floor bedroom in her townhome.

“It’s been great living here,” Young said. “All of the upgrades Disneyland made has cleaned up the area. Disney has been great neighbors.”