As we prepare to re-enter ExtinctAttractionLand, please have your tickets out and hands stamp ready for the UV blue light. We’ll gather on the plaza as we wait for thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds.
The Main Street Electrical Parade opened in Disneyland on June 17, 1972. This extravagant light pageant with over a half million lights was first thought of by Robert Jani, then director of entertainment. Disney Legend Bill Justice helped to design the floats, which were built in Chicago and shipped to Disneyland via train in the days before the parade opened.
The toe-tapping catchy tune that introduced the Main Street Electrical Parade was a synthesized version of Baroque Hoedown, a country song written by Jean-Jacques Perry & Gershon Kingsley in 1967. Intertwined with the Baroque Hoedown are snippets of Disney songs to correlate to the passing floats. Radio sensors on the floats would trigger the nearby speakers to the songs to be played as the parade passed by.
The parade and its 30 floats had a 24 year run through inside Disneyland. In early 1996 Disney announced the parade would be ending its Disneyland run and a new parade, Light Magic. To allow fans to remember the parade, Disney sold light bulbs from the floats for $10 a piece, with the proceeds being given to 18 different Orange County charities.
In October, as the end of the parade run drew near, the park decided to extent the run of the parade through November. On November 25, 1996 the Main Street Electrical Parade made its final two runs through Disneyland Park.
This would not be the end of the parade run, however. In 1999 the parade was shipped to Orlando for a two year run inside the Magic Kingdom for the Millennium Celebration. it would be shipped back to the Disneyland Resort, where it would premiere in the newly opened California Adventure, where it premiered as Disney’s Electrical Parade on July 2, 2001. The parade again ran through California until April 18, 2010. It was shipped back to Orlando, where it currently runs down Main Street again in the Magic Kingdom.
Disneyland currently has the Fantasmic! show on the Rivers of America as well as its nightly fireworks show, along with the World of Color extravaganza inside Disney’s California Adventure. With swelling crowds in the summer months, it is difficult to imagine a third nighttime event inside Disneyland park. Likewise, with the nighttime World of Color and the Mad T Party in California Adventure, it seems unlikely to see the Main Street Electrical Parade inside the Disneyland Resort. This is unfortunate, as this parade is one of the park treasures that needs to be restored inside the Disneyland Resort Property. Although the parade cannot be seen in Disneyland anymore, it is still available on DVD on some websites.
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