Welcome back to Disney Extinct Attractions. My name is Cole, and I’ll be your banner holder on today’s unofficial parade route.
Pixar Fest has now officially begun at the Disneyland Resort, and one of my favorite parts is the movement of the Pixar Play Parade to Disneyland from over at California Adventure. It was a simple move for Disney, but one that helped keep Disneyland’s storied history with parades alive as well as create another extinct parade at California Adventure, a few of which we’ll discuss today.
When California Adventure opened on February 8th, 2001, its California theme was even more prevalent than it is today, with attractions like Golden Dreams, Superstar Limo, and Mulholland Madness all helping guests experience aspects of California. All those previously mentioned attractions have joined the halls of extinct attractions, but today we’ll be focusing on a different California Adventure attraction.
Disney’s Eureka! A California Parade opened along with the park, helping establish the theme for all of the newcomers to the park. In fact, the parade was so dedicated to its theme that there were actually no Disney characters in the entire parade. Instead, each float represented a different part of California. Some of the areas represented were Los Angeles, the beach, and Chinatown, but surprisingly there was not much of a Hollywood or national parks presence. I’m not sure the exact reason for why they weren’t entire floats, but I suspect that it had to do with the fact that those areas were specifically represented with entire lands at the park.
While it represented the park well, there was something about it that felt weird, with the parade lacking that Disney touch. In fact, my friend looked at my computer as I was watching the parade in preparation for this article, and after about five seconds, she simply said, “That doesn’t look like a Disney parade.” That type of sentiment was common amongst guests of the day, and the attraction’s popularity dwindled until it ran for the final time in the middle of 2002.
Disney California Adventure stood daytime paradeless for three years after the end of Eureka. But on May 5th, 2005, daytime parades returned when the Block Party Bash held its first celebration as part of the festivities for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. The Green Army Men from Toy Story led the parade through the park, stopping in specific spots to help involve guests in the party. The floats would stop for about 10 minutes, and the show’s cast would dance and play with guests with a lot of fun, non-Disney music involved. Some of the songs included classics like “Celebration,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Shout” and “Y.M.C.A.” In fact, the only Disney song that was featured in the entire parade was “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
In terms of the content of the parade, the attraction actually showcased a lot of the different Pixar films that had come out at that point. In addition to the Green Army Men and Toy Story, guests also had the chance to dance with some of their favorite characters from A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc. This parade actually began its run a year before Disney purchased Pixar, so when Pixar officially joined the Disney family, they immediately had a home in Disney California Adventure (further seen today with Pixar Pier).
I enjoyed this parade a lot and actually have distinct memories of it from when I was younger. I have always been amazed by gymnasts in parades and shows, so I remember really loving their performances whenever the floats would finally stop in the party zone where I was sitting. But the fun couldn’t last forever, and the Block Party Bash ended its run at the park on January 6th, 2008 to be replaced by the Pixar Play Parade (our old friend).
The Block Party Bash would not let Disney California Adventure rain on its parade as it made its way across the country to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, opening there on March 14th, 2008. The parade actually did not change because the entire show was simply shipped to Florida.
I really did enjoy this attraction and watching it again brought back a lot of great memories of those fun times hanging with Heimlich, Boo and company. If you want to relive your own fun times, you can check it out below. It truly was a fun show to watch, and I loved that guests got to be a part of the action when they danced with some of their favorite Pixar characters. Plus, there was a special surprise appearance by some very animated super heroes.
The Bash did not last long at the Studios, either, formally ending its run on January 1st, 2011. But Pixar was not done parading around the park yet, as Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun entered the scene on January 16th, 2011.
However, many guests complained that the countdown was simply too short, making a valid point as the parade only clocked in at about eight minutes long. The parade basically used the floats from the Block Party Bash for returning films and added in a few small floats for the movies not represented in the Bash. On these floats, the main character of each film would wave at the crowd, while some of his cohorts would run around in front of the float, not quite having the same effect as the grand Block Party Bash floats.
All of the new floats had about the amount of decoration that you can see on this float of Carl Fredricksen. Needless to say, guests were not very impressed with Disney’s “updated” offering, especially because all of the parade stops were gone, so this short parade would go by with no real payoff in the end.
To be honest, I enjoyed watching the parade online. Sure, it was a short parade, but it was still fun to watch the characters go by and seeing Mr. Fredricksen dance truly brought a smile to my face. So if you want to watch a version Block Party Bash with a few extra characters and no breaks, this is the parade for you. You can find it right below.
Unfortunately, most guests did not agree with my assessment of the parade, though, and it officially closed on April 7th, 2013. Disney’s Hollywood Studios then sat without a parade for a year, until the Frozen Royal Welcome Ceremony came along.
And with that, our cross-country parade route comes to a close. But now all eyes are on next week’s post about an attraction having to do with these clues.
- These attractions were all closer to exhibits.
- These attractions all appeared at the same park.
- These attractions mainly appeared in the early 2000s.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!
Cole Geryak is a college Disney fan making his way through the world. He has ridden every single ride in Disneyland in one day, all while wearing a shirt and tie. Imagination is his middle name, and his heart truly lies in the parks.