Check out the fantastic launch of the Sunderland Illuminations

Disney characters and dinosaurs dazzled hundreds of families who turned out to see the launch of the annual Sunderland Illuminations.

Once again, Roker Park, Cliffe Park and the seafront, were transformed into a Festival of Light, featuring bigger and better lighting display than ever before.

The launch of this year's Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light.

The launch of this year's Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light.

The showcase, which kicked off tonight, impressed huge crowds with attractions including a giant observation wheel, fairground rides and food stalls.

Running for four weeks until Sunday, November 5, the launch of the display saw crowds delight in the unveiling of a host of traditional Disney favourites, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse,

Donald Duck and Goofy, which shone alongside dinosaurs, pirates and characters from the movie Frozen.

About 3,000 tickets have been sold online for the event, which has been hailed by Sunderland City Council as one of the highlights of the year.

The illuminations also had and Alice in Wonderland theme.

The illuminations also had and Alice in Wonderland theme.

Coun John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “The illuminations and Festival of Light are mainstays of the Sunderland events calendar, which bring tens of thousands of people into the city and to our beautiful seafront.

“Every year we challenge ourselves to do them better than the year before and I think residents and visitors alike will get a real kick out of what we have planned for this year.”

Sky Sinclair, 21, from South Shields, was there with her son Harley Martin, two.

Sky said: “This is the first time I have managed to come along and it is really good.

The event is great for families. Parents Leanne and Gaving Collin with son Noel, two.

The event is great for families. Parents Leanne and Gaving Collin with son Noel, two.

“My son loved it and has loved the Disney characters.”

Sunderland Illuminations will run until November 5, from 5pm to 10pm each day, while the Festival of Light will be open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until then.

Each £1 online ticket to the event will entitle the ticket holder to a £1 discount on pantomime tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk, which is being held at the Sunderland Empire Theatre between Tuesday, December 5 and Sunday, January 7.

The Sunderland Illuminations 2017 end in spectacular style with a firework extravaganza on Sunday, November 5, at 6pm.

This year's event in Roker Park and Cliffe Park featured characters from Frozen.

This year's event in Roker Park and Cliffe Park featured characters from Frozen.

To buy tickets, visit www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/illuminations

Disney characters were also popular with visitors.

Disney characters were also popular with visitors.

This year's illuminations also featured fairies.

This year's illuminations also featured fairies.