*Just imagine the strains of the Baroque Hoedown here…*
I simply couldn’t spotlight the new Disneyland Paint the Night parade without taking some time to go back and take a look at the original classic Main Street Electrical Parade which is happily still running in the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom!
What is the Main Street Electical Parade?
Debuting at Disneyland in 1972, the Main Street Electrical Parade is a glowing nighttime parade of floats and performers decked out in lighted costumes moving to the strains of the iconic “Baroque Hoedown” soundtrack. It has crisscrossed the country several times between the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts over the years, but most recently has been shown regularly at the Magic Kingdom since 2010.
Who are the performers?
Some of the many beautiful floats include an entire Alice in Wonderland section which I love. A favorite would be Alice sitting atop a mushroom with the Cheshire Cat below:
As well as the Caterpillar with his hookah:
Plus other Disney favorites such as Cinderella’s coach, ballroom and clock tower:
As well as Captain Hook’s pirate ship.
But a major favorite would definitely be Pete riding atop his huge dragon Elliott!
When and where can I find it?
The Main Street Electrical Parade usually plays nightly at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort (though like all parades, weather can be a deciding factor!). Check your Times Guide for the schedule or log on to My Disney Experience to reserve a FastPass+ viewing spot.
Why spotlight it?
The last few years have been a time of tremendous parade renewal in the U.S. parks – from Mickey’s Soundsational Parade and Paint the Night at Disneyland to the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom. All of these parades have been tremendous artistic and technological successes and are hugely popular with the guests.
But if you ask the longtime fans which parade is closest to their hearts, I still think a lot of them would say the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Whether you first saw it at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure or the Magic Kingdom, there is something truly magical and meaningful in those bright lights and colorful floats and familiar music. Decades after its debut, the Main Street Electrical Parade may no longer be as shiny and new as its younger sibling, Paint the Night, but I think it still has a lot of life and heart left in it – and it is the one parade guaranteed to make me feel like a kid again.
Watching the newer parade at Disneyland this past week, I was reminded of a certain movie, wherein a new toy’s arrival seemed poised to replace an older, well-loved one. But as in Toy Story, Paint the Night may be as exciting as Buzz Lightyear, but it will never replace Woody… I mean… the Main Street Electrical Parade’s spot in my heart. Although there might be room enough to appreciate both!
Have you seen the Main Street Electrical Parade recently? Do you think it holds up as well as some of the newer parades that have been introduced over the past few years?
Update 8/14/16: I am sad to report that this week Disney announced the closing of this show at the Walt Disney World Resort after October 9th. The good news is that the parade will be returning home to the Disneyland Resort for a limited encore engagement in early 2017. If I were to guess, I would imagine that this parade will run at Disneyland Park during the time that the Pixar Play Parade is down for the Tower of Terror construction until that and the Rivers of America attractions – including Fantasmic! – return in the summer. But there have yet to be any official dates announced.