There are so many things that I absolutely love about Disney properties outside of Walt Disney World. There are the cruise ships, Disneyland, DisneySea and many more! Occasionally I would like to share my love for Disney things that are even farther away than the 861 miles Walt Disney World is from my home in New Jersey. Most of these I will probably never be able to see, but thanks to the Internet I can at least experience them through a screen.
Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is my absolute FAVORITE parade of all time. I am OBSESSED. I remember two years ago when I found out about the parade, and I was upset that it was going to be in Disneyland, because odds were that I would never be able to see it (if only I knew…). Before the floats ever hit the streets, it became my favorite. Even before I saw the costumes or characters that would be featured, I fell in love. Why, you ask? Because of the idea. It was all about getting loud and making music, which is unlike any parade that came before it. The characters on the floats have stricter choreography during some portions of the song which means that it isn’t just nonstop waving or an arm swoop everyone in a while. Of course, the other aspects of the parade just embraced my love for the Soundsational Parade even more.
Let’s sit down on Disneyland’s Main Street and get into the spirit of the Soundsational Parade. I am a percussionist, which means that I can play virtually any drum you can imagine. When I heard that the parade would be starting with a drum line, I was SO excited! I think drumlines are one of the best forms of music. My excitement for the drum line died down just a little when I watched the original video, and realized that they were all men so I could never be one of the drummers. Following them is a colorful parade float (another thing: This parade is very colorful! Another reason why I love it!) with a blinking Mickey playing the drums. Oh yeah, did I mention that the drums were live? Half of this parade is live music that is not being blared through the Main Street speakers. Mickey was ACTUALLY PLAYING THE DRUMS. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?! Following suit was Goofy with a xylophone vest banging a gong. This section’s music is the template for the rest of the parade. They took “The Mickey Mouse March” a.k.a the Mickey Mouse Club song and made it more modern (there was supposed to be an A-Dee-Do-Da Song featured here also but it got cut), mixed with the chorus is played throughout the parade “It’s a music celebration / Come on! Come on! Come on! Strike up the band / Hear the beat what a great sensation / Come on! Come on! Come on! / Move and clap your hands / Get into the spirit / Let everyone hear it / So come on! Come on! / Soundsational! / whoa, whoa- hey, hey, hey / whoa, whoa, hey hey!” The group of phrases is repeated throughout the parade with an overtone that fits the theme. For example, the next float, which features Aladdin, uses the same words but sung with Bollywood accents, the sounds of gongs and other things to fit the float more. Mixed between the choruses are remixes of songs from the movie the character or characters on the float starred in. Aladdin’s include Prince Ali, Arabian Nights, and One Jump Ahead. The next float features Ariel in mermaid form sitting on a slant. There is a board that she leans her tail on, and she uses her stomach muscles periodically to lift her tail up and allowing it to hit the board and bounce back and forth. Imagine that workout! The singers for this section have Jamaican accents and Caribbean drums. The songs from The Little Mermaid included are Kiss the Girl and Under the Sea.
Mariachi trumpets and maracas can be heard in the next float’s version of the song. Any guesses? It’s the Three Caballeros! Before I get into the float itself, I want to talk about the dancers that link the previous float and this one. There are only three and they are dressed as fashionable piñatas (never thought I would say that) with pointed skirts, bright colors and maracas in hand. I can imagine being one of these girls and maybe one day I will be! Donald is the king of this section as he stands on the float, with Jose and Panchito chasing after the piñata girls. The songs here include The Three Caballeros, Baía and Saludos Amigos. Instead of “Come on!” you can hear “Olé!” Disney’s royal family is featured in the next portion. You can find Snow White, Aurora and Rapunzel on the front half of the float and Belle and Cinderella on the back. Rapunzel’s tower is the center of this float, and she is direct center. I like how for this float they mend all of the princess songs together. The music would be a verse of one princess’s song and she would dance while the others freeze, and then move on to a different princess as she moves into the spotlight. Someday My Prince Will Come, Once upon a Dream, Beauty and the Beast, and the final build up leads to I See the Light. All of these are NOT sung from the princesses themselves, but are modernized and sung by different voices. This is one of the only times I am okay with Disney modernizing songs! The Soundsational chorus includes trumpets, chimes, and just overall sounds elegant. This is the only time that the words to the song change dramatically. Instead of “strike up the band”, it is “let your voices soar” and “move and clap your hands” is dubbed over with “whatcha waiting for” The “whoa, whoa-hey, hey, hey”s are completely gone.
Okay, so I have to talk about another parade performer that connects these two floats. Her skirt seems made of wood and her headpiece is almost as big as she is. I like to think of her as the Queen of the Jungle. That’s right; the next float has a jungle theme. Her skirt is so big, that it has its own wheels. I wouldn’t mind being her in a parade either! Simba makes sure that everyone knows he is the King of the Jungle by roaring every once in a while from his space atop the float. You can find other jungle characters dancing in front of the Queen of the Jungle. The music for this segment includes a flute and bongos. If you listen closely, you can hear I Just Can’t Wait to be King, Trashing the Camp (one of my FAVORITE Disney songs), I Wanna Be like You, and Circle of Life. Are you in a jazzy mood? You better be, or else the next float with catch you by surprise. Tiana and some of her friends bring New Orleans blues to Anaheim with the chorus being sung by many people in different octaves at the same time and a tambourine. Here you can hear Goin’ down the Bayou, and Dig a Little Deeper (which I love sung by a Tiana voice).
Watch out for pirates! Peter Pan and his crew are next. This is the one float that I have a slight issue with. Tinkerbell is featured and Peter Pan is on the floor, and I think it should be switched around. I believe that Peter Pan deserves more recognition. That being said, this is one of my favorite floats (my absolute favorite float is coming up next). The chorus was altered with swords clashing together and accordions no doubt played by pirates. The words “Come on!” were replaced with “Yo ho!” You can hear Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirate’s Life for Me, You Can Fly and A Pirate’s Life (Different then Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirates Life for Me) during this bit of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.
The second-to-last parade float is my absolute FAVORITE one of all time! It starts with fashionably dressed chimney sweeps with little dashes of color dancing down the street with their brooms. They remain in character even while jumping around and interacting with each other every once in a while. Mary Poppins and Bert follow behind them, not on a float but instead on horses…Carousel horses. If you have ever seen Mary Poppins the film, you understand why. The horses (along with Mary Poppins and Bert) slowly make their way up and down as the float moves through the parade route. During the chorus, you can hear stereotypical British phrases being shouted and it sounds just like it belonged in the movie. While they pass by you can hear Step in Time, and a little bit of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Do you want to hear the music for yourself? You can look up “Soundsational parade soundtrack” on YouTube!
I could go on and on about this parade, but as you can see this is already fairly long. In my eyes, this is the perfect combination of theming, music, color, and character features with only a few things that I would change. Hopefully, since Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is fairly new, it will still be around when I visit Disneyland in November. If not, at least I feel like I’ve seen it with you!
See ya REAL soon!
Quote of the Week: “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.” – Alice, Alice in Wonderland
Makena is a 14 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.