As you may have heard, the world famous Main Street Electrical Parade is set to return to Disneyland this evening (weather permitting) for what many have predicted will be a real farewell run. To mark this event, we’ve collected eight facts about the legendary parade you may not have known:

Finding Inspiration

The Main Street Electrical Parade was inspired by Walt Disney World’s Electrical Water Pageant, which debuted in 1971 and still runs there nightly.

Disneyland Proudly Presents…

The long-time voice of Disneyland, Jack Wagner, provided the heavily-modified original voice for the opening “Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls…”

Those Electro-synth-magnetic Musical Sounds

The original music was arranged by Don Dorsey. He used 11 different synthesizers to create the soundtrack.

The Lights Aren’t the Only Technology

The Main Street Electrical Parade was the first parade to have zones so that a float entering an area would have float-specific music play on that area’s speakers.

Hiatus

Although the parade debuted in 1972, it did not perform during the summers of 1975 and 1976 due to America on Parade nor in 1983 or 1984 because of Flights of Fantasy

Encore, Encore!

The parade’s original run at Disneyland was scheduled to end on October 15th, 1996 with Cast Member and Annual Passholder encores taking place the following day. However, it was then extended to November 25th, 1996 and was for all the public. As you can see in our look at “farewell season” souvenirs, some merchandise even has the original closing date on it (see above).

A Hard Act to Follow

The replacement for Main Street Electrical Parade, Light Magic — or “Light Tragic,” as it’s come to be known — lasted less than four months

By the Numbers

According to Disney, 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. But that’s not all — approximately 80 parade performers are used in the parade, the famous “To Honor America float” is a whopping 118 feet long, and the beloved Elliott float weighs 5,600 pounds!

 

Doobie is the co-owner of LaughingPlace.com having founded the website with his wife Rebekah in 1999. He became a “hardcore” Disney fan in 1995. His favorite Disney film is Snow White and his all-time favorite attraction is the PeopleMover. Having lived near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, he’s visited them literally thousands of times.

 

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