Over the weekend was the final evening for the Honda Celebration of Light and Team USA was competing. Which many were calling Team Disney because the team representing the USA consisted of crew that puts the shows on at the theme park in Florida for Walt Disney Entertainment. We decided to go to the Celebration of Light with our young kids, and it was a great evening!
We drove downtown around 4pm so that we could get there early, and have some dinner. Rocky Mountain Flatbread has a location not far away. We managed to get parking in a parkade also nearby, sure we could have found free parking somewhere on one of the side streets we just didn’t want to be doing circles with two kids in the car. We found a spot and we were happy.
We walked up to Rocky Mountain Flatbread but left the stroller and everything else we needed for later in the car, and enjoyed a great dinner. If you do want to eat here the night of the fireworks next Summer, I would strongly encourage you to make a reservation ahead of time. We lucked out with when we arrived because they had a few open spots that were not reserved just yet. While the meals may be a bit more expensive, it’s worth it because so much is made right there. Even the ice cream and the brownie Evie got with her three-course meal (that’s right they have a kids meal that is three courses!) were made in-house. After dinner, we headed back to the car and loaded up the stroller with the girls, the diaper bag, our beach blanket, and a warm blanket for later.
Thankfully we had friends invite us to join them, they had gotten there a bit earlier than us and claimed a spot right on the waterfront with all their blankets. We ended up over in Vanier Park and I am so glad we were not over on English Bay side. Sure it was around a ten-minute walk from the parkade to the park we still had a great view when the fireworks started that evening.
With several hours to go by before the show started, we had to pass the time. The girls were welcomed by our friends, and Addie even ended up in the middle of a card game they started. Moments like that I am so thankful for the friends in our lives because they do not hesitate to love on our girls, and include them. It meant so much to us! Everyone had brought snacks to enjoy too. We also brought our Ipad so Evie could play some games or watch a show. I also took her to walk a little bit and get some energy out.
There is one thing that is a bit challenging about the event, bathrooms. Now there were portapotties available, but according to many at the event, it was about half as many as there had been in previous years for the event. Not good considering the numbers for this night broke records. English Bay was even closed down and they were not letting any more people head down there at one point. Sure Vanier Park had fewer people on that side the wait for the washroom started at about 15minutes and just got longer before the fireworks started. At one point it was a solid 40-45minute wait! Be prepared to wait, or go early with your child to use them, maybe even consider pull-ups just in case.
The fireworks display itself was absolutely incredible! We didn’t expect anything less. The view over in Vanier Park is on an angle to the barge the fireworks are launched from, so it does look a bit different but is just as spectacular. One thing we do recommend is making sure you bring an FM radio with you. Streaming the music from online for the show just does not work and is too delayed putting the music off beat from what is happening before your eyes.
The song list contained many Disney classics, they had songs from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, Aladdin, Star Wars, and of course the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” which is just classic Disney. It took us instantly back to our trip to Disneyland and watching the fireworks there over the castle.
The girls did incredibly the whole night. We made sure to bring warm clothing for Evie, and we put Addie into pajamas. When the show was over we made sure to pack everything out that we brought in. Addie fell asleep in the stroller on the walk back, Evie held out til the drive home.
It was a bit crazy trying to get the car out of the parkade after, we opted to wait a bit in the car for things to clear up. Jason managed to transfer Addie into the car seat and have her go back to sleep. All of the streets downtown are just packed with pedestrians and cars, be patient, and be prepared to get home late. We were okay with pushing the girls bedtime this night for something special. For us it was so worth it. We all made memories that night.
Today we found out that Disney won The Celebration of Lights and is hoping to come back to compete again! If they do, we will definitely be back.