What is the Main Street Electrical Parade?
This endearing, enduring parade has once again crossed the country back from the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort where it ran as their nightly Disney’s Electrical Parade for the past several years.
Once again home at Disneyland Park for a limited time before it “glows away forever” (for real this time… we think), this spectacle of color, lights and music was the inspiration and precursor to the (hopefully returning later this year) Paint the Night parade.
The performance features massive floats themed variously to classic Disney animated movies including Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and Pete’s Dragon, along with brightly lit individual characters all moving to the familiar strains of the “Baroque Hoedown”.
Each main massive float features matching characters (Alice atop a mushroom, Cinderella in her pumpkin coach, Pete atop Elliott the dragon, etc.) and many are also accompanied by smaller themed floats as well.
Who are the performers?
Just as in the Magic Kingdom version, the parade is filled with characters and dancers both on the floats and walking between them.
When and where can I find it?
The Main Street Electrical Parade is currently playing twice nightly in its limited time return through June 18, 2017. It lasts approximately 20 minutes. Check the daily Entertainment Times Guide or Disneyland app for the schedule.
It runs along the parade route from It’s a Small World to Main Street’s Town Square with plenty of viewing space along the way. Due to popularity, immediately upon its return folks were camping out along sidewalks for several hours ahead of time. However, reportedly the Cast Members are now notifying guests that they cannot line up until the ropes have been set up and there is no saving spaces for members of your party who are not currently with you.
Why spotlight it?
After sampling some of the wonderfully themed Main Street Electrical Parade treats last week, it was time to take a look at the parade itself!
Though the word is used in connection with Disney and Disneyland a lot, it really was magical to see the return of this piece of my childhood to its home on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park.
While I think it’s a shame that this was taken away from the Magic Kingdom, where the wider streets really allowed you to appreciate the size of these floats – especially Cinderella’s clock tower and Elliott – it was absolutely joyous to hear and see this still eminently entertaining parade in its Anaheim reunion. Plus, they made a few tweaks to differentiate from its most recent run, including moving Tinker Bell back to the Peter Pan section of the parade, adding the train at the front, and returning “Disneyland Presents” to the drum sign.
While Paint the Night is truly a marvel to behold, and may appeal more to a modern sensibility with its bright LED flashy lights and updated characters and floats, the Main Street Electrical Parade will always have my heart – both for its nostalgia factor and its representation of two of my favorites: Alice in Wonderland and the original Pete’s Dragon. And if this actually is the end of this magnificent groundbreaking show, I’m glad I was there to see it one more time in all its grandeur and nostalgic charm.
Have you seen the Main Street Electrical Parade since it returned to Disneyland Park? Or do you miss it at the Magic Kingdom?
Update 8/21/17: The Main Street Electrical Parade was extended at Disneyland Park through August 20th, but sadly last night was the final show… although considering this parade has had multiple “final shows” already, I’m still going to hold out hope for a future return. In the meantime, please enjoy a clip from the (for now) final show on the (for now) final night on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel!