“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Disneyland proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-syntho-magnetic musical sounds, The Main Street Electrical Parade!” If you spent at time at Disneyland during the 70s-90s, you probably know this opening intro and the music that follows quite well. It’s one of my very favorite childhood Disneyland memories and I’m thrilled that it’s returned to Disneyland for a special encore performance running through June 18, 2017 (though we’re secretly hoping that it’s not the final end). *UPDATE: Our secret hope came true! The parade has been extended to August 20, 2018!!!
Last month, we had the pleasure of seeing the parade on a family trip to Disneyland, so I wanted to share some viewing tips and fun facts in honor of one of my beloved childhood favorites!
The parade returned home to Disneyland on January 20, 2017 after its time at Walt Disney World. Disney knows the nostalgia the parade holds and the fond memories it brings back for SO many. In fact, approximately 75 million guests viewed the Main Street Electrical Parade during its original run at Disneyland!! All that sentiment so well in this commercial for the parade’s return:
LOVE!!!! Here’s some incredible stats…
Main Street Electrical Parade Fun Facts:
- June 17, 1972, marked the debut of the Main Street Electrical Parade, and it returns for its encore performance 45 years later – Jan. 20-June 18, 2017.
- Nearly 3,600 performances entertained guests at Disneyland from June 17, 1972 to Nov. 25, 1996.
- 900 miles is the approximate distance traveled by the Main Street Electrical parade during its original run at Disneyland, nearly the distance from Anaheim, Calif., to Seattle, Wash.
- 600,000 lights sparkle in the parade’s nighttime journey from Small World Mall in Fantasyland to Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. (approximate number).
- 22 floats illuminate the parade route at Disneyland, nearly doubling the number of floats from the parade’s debut (12) in 1972.
- 8 jittering insect floats spin and dance for guests during the “Alice in Wonderland” sequence.
- 7 films are represented in the parade: “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Pinocchio,” “Dumbo” and “Pete’s Dragon.”
- 27 beloved Disney characters perform throughout the show including Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell.
- 80 parade performers (estimated number per night) bring the magic to light including 10 To Honor America patriots, 16 royal court dancers and the Seven Dwarfs..
- At 18 1/2 feet high, the Clock Tower in the “Cinderella” sequence of the parade, is the tallest float.
- 6 different colors of light bulbs flash throughout the parade, in amber, blue, green, chartreuse, red and pink.
- 150,000 glowing amber lights are used in the production, the most of any color.
- At 118 feet long, the To Honor America float is the longest float in the parade. It was added in 1979 after the success of the bicentennial tribute parade “America on Parade.”
- 80 highly skilled cast members were involved in the creation of Main Street Electrical Parade, including 20 designers and 60 craftspeople.
- 5 Disney Parks have presented versions of the Main Street Electrical Parade including Disneyland, Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
- At 5,600 pounds, the massive Elliot float, added in 1977 for the release of “Pete’s Dragon,” measures 16 feet tall, 10 feet wide and 38 feet long.
Electrical Parade Viewing Tips:
1. Plan Ahead – With the limited time and nostalgia of this one, this is NOT a parade that you can expect to find a seat for a few minutes before it starts. Based on your trip itinerary, figure out what’s the best night for you to plan some parade fun!
2. Consider the area near “It’s a Small World” – Obviously “Main Street” is the most popular viewing area for a parade named the “Main Street Electrical Parade”. It’s also popular because it’s prime castle & fireworks viewing. BUT…if you’re willing to forgo the castle view for fireworks (or do fireworks another night), the back area of the park can be a great spot. In our experience, it does NOT fill up as quickly back there. So, you can arrive a little closer to parade time and have a better chance of getting a spot.
3. If there are TWO parade times, consider staying for the later time! Usually, the later parade time is FAR less busy. You can often get a great spot (even along the coveted Main Street route) without having to save seats for 3+ hours before the show. Plan to snag your favorite spot after the fireworks end and you’ll have only about 1 hour to wait before the parade time!
ENJOY!!!!! We’re not sure when or if this parade will ever be back and with so much history, this isn’t one to miss! Soak it in, take lots of pictures, and enjoy!
Save money $$$$ on your Disneyland Vacation…
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