BACKSTORY (June 17, 1972—Nov. 25, 1996): This guest favorite depicts favorite Disney films with 26 floats using 700,000 light bulbs. Known originally as the Main Street Electrical Parade, it ran on Main Street until November 25, 1996 and caused its theme, “Baroque Hoedown” to be ingrained in the ears of over 75 million guests after 3,600 performances. The Parade has since been revived over at Disney’s California Adventure. Michael Phillips, aka “Boxcar Mike,” submitted this interesting info: “Up until the Main Street Electrical Parade debuted back in 1972, all of the parade guest control was done by security. In pictures of the early parades, you will notice that there are no ropes or stanchions to keep guests back on the sidewalk and sometimes guests would walk out right into the middle of the parade just to take a picture or to get a closer view. There were plenty of safety issues with the new Electrical Parade such as visibility issues (float Drivers had limited visibility) so security wasn’t enough. This was the first parade to use crowd control ropes and stanchions, as well as guest control hosts and hostesses.” The MSEP's last performance at Disneyland was November 25, 1996, after which it was moved to Walt Disney World.
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Summer '78: In and Around Disneyland
Disneyland's summer 1978 will surprise our guests with some delightful new plusses to our Show as well as some returning favorites.
Sights and Sounds
For starters, our visitors will find that something new has gotten into the Matterhorn, as the mountain has taken on an inexplicable "chilling" atmosphere, complete with ice caverns, fog banks and a mysterious howling resident. Once they're deep inside the mountain, guests will experience a sudden drop in temperature. Also bobsledders will now race through chilling caverns, whip by majestic icicles and ice crystals and penetrate drifting fog banks as the sleds dart and dip through the mountain's interior.
Adding to the fun nightly will be the dazzingly beautiful Main Street Electrical Parade. Half-a-million colorful twinkling lights depict a variety of fanciful scenes, many from famous Disney motion pictures, during this brilliant procession which will wend its way through a darkened Disneyland every summer evening at 9 and 11:30 p.m.
Another series of spectacular sights may be viewed when the sky above Sleeping Beauty's Castle becomes a symphony of color following the 9 p.m. parade as the Park presents its Fantasy in the Sky fireworks spectacular. Guests will undoubtedly ask you for the best locations to view the fireworks from...Main Street and Fantasyland have proven to be the best vantage points. Many may be disappointed to learn that Tinkerbell is taking the summer off, due to construction at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but she'll be back next year.
The Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasy in the Sky will be presented each night beginning June 17 and continuing through September 9.
Dancing will dominate the scene at Tomorrowland's Space Stage very Monday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. Guests will be invited to join in a celebration of rock 'n' roll, as a multi-media show backs a live revue in highlighting almost every musical trend from the mid-1950's through today's disco sounds.
On the Carnation Plaza Gardens Stage the sounds of top big bands will be heard nightly from 8:30 p.m to 12:30 a.m. Included in this summer's stellar line-up are Woody Herman and the Young Thundering herd (June 17-24), les Elgart and His Orchestra (June 25-July 1), Les Brown and His Band of Renown (July 2-8), Bob Crosby and His Orchestra featuring the Bobcats (July 9-15), Louie Bellson and His Big Band Explosion (July 16-22), Freddy martin and His Orchestra (July 23-29), The Glenn Miller Orchestra (July 30-August 12), Buddy Rich and His Killer Force (August 13-19), Lionel Hampton and His Big Band (August 20-26) and Count Basie and His Orchestra (August 27-September 9).
Our daytime lineup will feature a celebration of Mickey Mouse's 50th birthday, as a fun-filled pageant will parade down Main Street and Matterhorn Way twice daily throughout the summer.
Also slated for the musical enjoyment of Disneyland guests will be performances at various Park locations by the All-American College Singers and Marching Band. Top students from all over the country are chosen for this unique program, bringing to the Park a rousing combination of singing, dancing and music. New this year will be a 13-member street theatre improvisational acting troupe which will entertain throughout Disneyland.
New Names & Faces
A new name will be joining the Disneyland Cast this summer: Kikkoman International, Inc. This new member of our Participant Program will be sponsoring the Tahitian Terrace. Kikkoman is a Japan-based manufacturer of teriyaki and soy sauces and represents the first foreign organization in the Participant Program. Disneyland will be celebrating the new arrival with a Grand Opening on June 14.
Town Square Cafe will be replaced by the American Egg House starting this summer, and its sponsor, the American Egg Board, will be lending an experienced hand in the proper preparation of some interesting egg dishes. The new menu will be highlighted by an intriguing array of omelettes and quiches. Adding a touch of show will be a cook demonstrating in the restaurant's foyer the art of skillful cooking with eggs. July 14 is the date at the American Egg House will open its doors
Another important plus in our summer '78 show is represented by the addition of some 1,200 new Cast Members. They'll be joining forces with our returning and continuing Cast of thousands to produce 83 of the finest all-around performances Disneyland's guests have ever enjoyed.
If the past 23 years are any indication, we're sure to bring in rave reviews!
BACKSTORY (July 3, 2001—April 18, 2010): The parade ended its run at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando on April 1, 2001 and SpectroMagic was brought back the following day. The MSEP floats were then sent back to California for the parade's return to Disneyland. These plans changed after Team Disney Anaheim saw the poor attendance figures for the spring break season at Disney's California Adventure and feared that the park would fail to attract large crowds during the crucial summer season, unless they had a big draw. On April 25, 2001, Disney announced that the popular Main Street Electrical Parade would be coming to Disney California Adventure Park on July 2, 2001 in honor of the first summer of the park.
The name of the show was changed from the Main Street Electrical Parade to Disney's Electrical Parade. Most of the 1996 parade floats returned, except for the Pinocchio Pleasure Island section and Snow White diamond mine float, which were sent to Parc Disneyland at Disneyland Paris in 1997. The parade has been offered during summer periods and selected weekends. It finished a nine-month hiatus during the 2005 off-season at the Disneyland Resort, which allowed replacement of lights on all of the floats and alteration of wording on the drum to "Disney's Electrical Parade, Presented by Sylvania."
On the 2008 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade special, Disney announced that a Tinker Bell float would be added to Disney's Electrical Parade, which would make it the first new float to be added to the classic parade in 20 years, since the temporary Mickey Mouse's 60th Birthday float in 1988. It was announced at a press conference on April 24, 2009, that the Snow White and Pinocchio units would be returning as well. Disney started testing updated and new units in late May 2009. Most of the major floats have had new LED pixie dust effects added to them. This parade, with the new Tinker Bell float replacing the Blue Fairy, made its formal premiere on June 12, 2009. California's caterpillar received a new digital face in December 2009. One of the original turtle floats from the Main Street Electrical Parade was on display at the "technology section" of the D23 Expo.
Disney's Electrical Parade at California Adventure ended its run on April 18, 2010 and is currently running at the Magic Kingdom as "The Main Street Electrical Parade." Disney currently says that the parade will end in WDW in 2014, and move to Disney California Adventure.