Show Spotlight: Flag Retreat at Disneyland

“What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming…”

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What is Flag Retreat at Disneyland?

Ernie, a mainstay of Disneyland Flag Retreat, lowers the flag for the evening.

Ernie, a mainstay of Disneyland Flag Retreat, lowers the flag for the night.

Each afternoon, Disneyland Park observes the retiring of the flag for the evening.

This involves the arrival of the Disneyland Resort security guards who oversee the actual lowering of both the American flag and the California state flag and perform the formal folding of them and the return backstage in a military-style march.

But before the flags are lowered for the night, the Disneyland Band and The Dapper Dans perform patriotic songs and honor current and former military members as each branch (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard) is called upon to step forward into the center of Town Square to the strains of their specific musical anthem.

As the veterans and now-serving military members form a circle around the flagpole, the crowd proudly cheers for them in gratitude for their service to our country. It is so inspiring and emotional to watch!

Who are the performers?

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland in front of the flagpole in Town Square at Flag Retreat.

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland in front of the flagpole in Town Square at Flag Retreat.

The ceremony is performed by the Disneyland Security Color Guard with musical accompaniment by The Dapper Dans and the Disneyland Band (to be spotlighted at a future date). The audience is invited to sing along to tunes such as “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful” and does so with gusto!

Participants also include all attending members of the military, past and present, as both guests and cast members who have served are invited forward to encircle the flagpole.

When and where can I find it?

Current military and veterans surround the flagpole in Town Square.

Current military members and veterans surround the flagpole in Town Square.

Flag Retreat is performed once daily in the late afternoon/early evening in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. The time changes depending on the season and sundown, so be sure to check your Entertainment Times Guide for the schedule.

Why spotlight it?

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Whenever I go to Flag Retreat at the park, I find myself so moved by the ceremony and the sacrifices of the veterans and current military members and their families.  It also feels like a part of my childhood revisited – those patriotic moments that inspired us that we rarely see paid tribute to in daily life anymore.

I think Flag Retreat is one of the most special and important moments at the park. It is a time to stop and pause and reflect on the men and women who have stepped up to protect this country and who allow the rest of us the freedom to experience the wonders of our Disney Parks.

Frankly, I think it’s a must for any visitor to experience at least once this powerful expression of respect and gratitude to our country and its heroes.

Have you been to Flag Retreat at the Disneyland Resort? Have you thanked a veteran or serving military member while you’re there?

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