In the spirit of the well-known song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, our writers will be counting up from 1 to 12 as we bring you a numbered, Disney-themed subject on each day leading up to Christmas.
On the Fourth Day, Walt Disney World gave to me – four parades!
Who doesn’t love a Walt Disney World Parade? There have been so many over the years that I would like to share some of my favorite parades – Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Electrical Parade, SpectroMagic, Festival of Fantasy, along with Animal Kingdom’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. I was fortunate to stand next to a Cast Member during one parade who explained how the sound matched the floats passing by. This technology allows every guest to experience the parade as it passes in front of them. The soundtrack was triggered along the parade route by radio control signals so that people standing at various locations would hear the right music as the parade passed by. This process is used for all of the parades at Walt Disney World. In the same manner many of the night floats are covered in electronically controlled lights that dance to a soundtrack along the parade route.
The Main Street Electrical Parade, a night parade, first premiered in June 1972 and had live performers walking and dancing amongst the lighted floats. I have seen this parade on multiple visits and truly enjoy the visual impact of twirling floats.
It traded places with the SpectroMagic parade in October 1991. SpectroMagic featured fiber optics and a new soundtrack along with parade specific characters. In 1999, SpectroMagic made way for a temporary return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, but returned in March of 2001. Sadly, the SpectroMagic parade ended its run in 2010, being replaced by the return of the updated Main Street Electrical Parade.
The Festival of Fantasy parade is the current 3 ’clock parade at the Magic Kingdom, and it began in March 2014. With more than 100 live performers around the floats, we are mesmerized by the likes of Princesses, Tangled, The Little Mermaid, Brave, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and others.
My fourth favorite parade was in Animal Kingdom and was called the Jammin’ Jungle Parade. It debuted in 2001. I can remember my first visit to AK and viewing the parade from a special handicap area. Because of the smaller walkways in the Animal Kingdom, the parade is really up close for viewing. During the Winter Holiday season the parade changed over to the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. These parades ended in May 2014 as the Animal Kingdom began going through expansions.
Although there have been several other parades at Walt Disney World since 1971, these are four of my favorites. Each parade should be viewed at least once as they offer a magical experience for everyone. The Disney Imagineers keep imagining new and better parades for our enjoyment – who knows what parade, with what new Disney characters lies ahead for our enjoyment.
(Mine Train and Pete’s Dragon photos from Alyssa Wyseman, SpectroMagic parade and Pete’s Dragon photo’s from Kathy from Looking for Magic, Festival of Fantasy logo ©Disney, Dragon photo Flickr Creative Commons, Dennis D , Disney on Wheels logo and Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade from Andrew Prince’s personal collection.)
Andrew is an 18-year-old senior in high school from Ohio. He was born with cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair. He has been to both US Disney parks, several D23 events and is a DCL Gold Castaway Club member. If you would like to contact him feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or look him up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/andrew.prince.7161 and on Twitter https://twitter.com/Andrew1arp