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Disneyland

Parades

Disneyland has hosted a variety of parades with diverse themes over the years, including Fantasy on Parade, Flights of Fantasy on Parade, Very Merry Christmas Fantasy on Parade, Circus Fantasy on Parade, and Not Just Another Fantasy on Parade. Disney films such as Aladdin, Hercules, The Lion King, Victory Through Air Power, and Mulan have also had their own parades, more or less successfully.

The Main Street Electrical Parade is easily the most successful parade in the park's history. Held only at night (daytime performances were poorly reviewed), the parade features floats and costumed figures decorated with hundreds of tiny electric lights, marching through the park to the tune of synthesizer music. After a few false starts (Imagineers quickly realized that the parade should be sidelined during heavy rain to avoid embarrassing causalities, and that they shouldn't have wired the entire parade in series -- causing everything to go dark if a single bulb went out), it ran to capacity crowds for decades. The parade had its first performance in June of 1972. The final performance, after which the parade would never be seen again, came on October 15, 1996, and again on November 25, 1997. The parade, now in retirement, can be seen every night across the street from Disneyland in Disney California Adventure.

An interesting bit of trivia: one of the Electrical Parade floats depicts a circus wagon with an organ being played by a lion. The organ is Captain Nemo's organ from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

One parade which wasn't particularly well received was 1997's Light Magic -- a bizarre bit of entertainment in which floats would race through the streets of Disneyland at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour, screech to a halt and not go anywhere while the "parade" commenced, and then race off again, hopefully not seriously injuring anyone in the process. An interesting statistic is that the average speed of Light Magic floats was the same as the average speed of the Electrical Parade floats, movement was just distributed differently.


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