I Love A Parade

It has been 50 years since the first trip down Main Street for the Main Street Electrical Parade. The Main Street Electrical Parade is 50 years old, has graced 3 continents, and even though it started at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World was the inspiration. The Main Street Electrical Parade is 50 years old, but it has come and gone over those 50 years. There is a parade that is older, and has not stopped.  Do you know which one it is? Read through the end of these musings to see if your guess is correct!

Bob Jani came up with the idea and after the creative buy in, a company in Chicago was sought to create these complicated floats. The problem was, they were too big and bulky to make the trip to DLR.   This however was nothing more then a challenge for Imagineers. Once again, taking on something nobody had experience in, the Imagineers jumped in to save the day. Opening day was coming at them like a train and they were struggling to make the deadline. Bob Jani tells the story of how cast members at DLR volunteered to assist in getting the float ready. This camaraderie is what Bob Jani remember most about the project. People volunteering their own time to get things going.  

Two days before opening, the first rehearsal was held, and like opening day of DLR, it crashed and burned… not literally though. Floats had pieces falling off, lights would go out and one float crashed into a Main Street building. The second rehearsal went much better and the parade opened as planned and went off without a hitch. 

The More Things Change

Over the years much has changed about the parade. Floats have come and gone, technology upgrades.   Even the song itself has gone through some changes. In the beginning, some floats were pushed, today, they are guided by computer sensors buried in the ground, much like the sensors in Tower of Terror. The lights today respond to the sound, where previously, they just blinked.  The Grand Marshal in the beginning was the Blue Fairy. She was retired in 2009.

Credit: Disneypix.com

Since 2019 Tinkerbell has taken her place as the Grand Marshal of the beloved march down Main Street.

The More Things Stay the Same

The original song of The Main Street Electrical Parade has always been Baroque Hoedown, even though it has gone through a few changes.  And one float still remains from the original parade.  Casey Jr still tows the big drum. 

Credit: WDWRental.com

Many characters have ridden Casey Jr, Mikey, Minnie, Goofy is usually the engineer, but this float has been the caboose of the float train since day one. 

Mixed throughout the music are more then 50 Disney songs, 80-100 performers on site and equal amount behind the scenes to pull off the live show, 6 Disney parks have been graced with the parade, more then 90 floats has ridden Main Street over the years, and more then half a million lights in each show.  

The Main Street Electrical Parade may have come and gone over the years, but one thing remains whether the show is running or not. When this show is gone, it is not forgotten.

Did you guess the shows progenitor? The show that inspired Bob Jani to create The Main Street Electrical Parade was the Magic Kingdom’s Water Pageant. This is the longest continually running parade at 51 years. Were you right?

dngnb8 is one of our contributors to D-COT and helps provide some very interesting historical info as well as the latest official Disney news.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for that fun article! Great read, and I do miss the electrical parade, but always look forward to the water pageant! :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

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