Thursday, October 25, 2007

Watching Disneyland Fireworks in the Old Days

Mike Baldwin shares his memories of watching Disneyland Fireworks...

I grew up living in Santa Ana from 1952 till my family moved to Costa Mesa in 1963. My fondest memory is during the summers when before bed time, Mom and Dad would walk with my sisters and I up to the Santa Ana river bank to watch the fireworks at Disneyland each evening. During thoses days there were no obstructions to sight across the county to see the nightly display from Disneyland. It was a great way to end each day as the walk back home was a great time to share the the show of that night with each other and to think of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell before going to bed.

By Mike Baldwin
I lived in Santa Ana from 1978 to 1988, before moving to El Toro. But we lived on Richland Ave, out by Bristol St, and couldn't see the fireworks, but you could always hear them, and you always knew what time it was once you started hearing the "boom boom" in the distance.


  1. My brother, the neighbor kids, and I would climb onto the almost-flat roof of our tract house in Garden Grove to watch the Disneyland fireworks. From those few miles away, they were small but pretty.

  2. I grew up on Rosewood St. between Richland and Bishop in Santa Ana, and we would also climb onto the roof to see the fireworks. The slope was steep, the wood shingles were worn and slippery, and we should have broken our necks.


  3. I grew up on Rosewood St. between Richland and Bishop in Santa Ana, and we would also climb onto the roof to see the fireworks. The slope was steep, the wood shingles were worn and slippery, and we should have broken our necks.

  4. Very touching project. I lived in Fullerton between the ages of 2 – 8 years old which was 1964 to 1970. I have very vague memories of the Japanese Deer Garden, but when I saw the pictures on your web-site it gave me the chills. Like opening an old book with faded pictures and stirring memories long forgotten. Thank you SO much!

    One memory I tell many people….

    I know we lived on the corner of El Dorado and Valley View in Fullerton. Just around the corner, three doors down, started an orange orchard that stretched for miles. Where our road ended there was a wooden fence which led to the orange orchard which is now, of course, only homes. But I remember as a very young child, during the summer when we could stay up late, all the children in the neighborhood would come out, in their pajamas, and sit on that wooden fence and watch the fireworks at Disneyland. Then we all had to go to bed. If you told people at those housing developments that we used to watch the fireworks over Disneyland from there, they would probably think you were crazy!

    Of course I remember when Knott’s greatest attraction was the motorcycles that went around the track. No roller coasters of course! I know my brother and I used to walk to the Fox theater on Harbor which people are desperately trying to restore now…..

    Anyway, my parent will be with me this weekend and I KNOW they would have more stories about “old” Orange County.


    George Somogyi

  5. I miss living in Anaheim. Our house had a great view of the Disneyland fireworks. You knew summer had started when you heard the Kaboom! from the fireworks. Even tho we didnt live that close we actually could watch them from our kitchen window! Its the only time my sisters and I actually wanted to do dishes, just so we could stand there and watch the fireworks.

  6. Me and my 3 brothers lived in Anaheim till summer of "66"We only lived 2 miles to the North East of the Park,My Father would work orange crop. We always watched the fireworks and always anticipated the end of the show with a loud bang. That summer we went to Disneyland to watch the man who flew in the Jet Pack over in T/L and also see Walt Disney

  7. In the 1970s, we used to drive to the Trucking company on Ball Rd. -- close to Harbor Blvd. There was a street there where you park and watch the fireworks. I can remember some great summer nights there.
    Frank Johnson.

  8. Our family lived in the manse of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church on Trask Avenue (next to Sunnyside Elementary School). We would climb up on the very steep and tall church roof to watch the Disneyland fireworks each night starting at 9:00 pm. The fireworks lasted 5 minutes on weeknights but on the 4th of July they would last a whole 30 minutes.

  9. My family lived in a little duplex on 20th Street and Spurgeon, where it dead-ends at the railroad tracks and the 5 freeway. (We used to walk through a tunnel under the railroad tracks and freeway to get to Hoover Elementary School.) We were poor in those days and watching the fireworks from Disneyland from the front yard of our home was cheap entertainment. It was as close as I'd get to the magic kingdom for many years.

  10. I remember being on the roof of my home on
    Orange Road in Santa Ana, watching them. Then
    in 1963, they mowed down the Orange Grove across
    the street and built homes. While the homes were
    being constructed, we would go up onto the
    second floors and watch from their. July 4th
    was the best show. Construction sites were a
    great place to play.

  11. We used to go up to Panorama Heights and park in a vacant lot to watch the Disney fireworks.


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