Welcome to Disney Extinct Attractions. My name is Cole, and I’ll be your parade leader on today’s journey all around the world.
This past week, there has been a lot of news about all of the fun happening for Mickey’s 90th anniversary this year. On November 4th, there is going to be a full primetime special celebrating the mouse. I love that Disney makes such a big deal out of celebrating characters like Mickey because they don’t have to celebrate this fictional character, but they do because we love him.
But Mickey isn’t the only Fab Five character who has been celebrated in grand fashion by the company.
Debuting in June of 1992, The World According to Goofy celebrated the 60th anniversary of Goofy. This parade celebrated this classic character by taking guests on a journey through history, while showcasing how Goofy has been around through all of it.
This parade had the 90s written all over it, but it worked because it was made in the early 1990s. Ludwig von Drake opened the festivities by giving guests a brief history lesson before turning it over to the Goof himself.
The first float in the parade was prehistoric-themed. Looking at the float on the right, you can see the giant float of a dinosaur-shaped Goofy, which was really clever looking. It doesn’t seem like it should work, but for some reason, it was perfectly crafted, and the costumes were really cleverly designed.
After the dinosaurs, the parade moved on to Egyptian times as seen with King Putt. This entire part of the parade was full of puns. They also managed to tie in other characters in a very seamless way that felt like every character wanted to be there and fit in.
One of my favorite floats was the next one, celebrating the Renaissance. Not the Disney Renaissance of the early 1990s, but the actual historical period that took a hold of Europe in times past. These floats were full of hysterical food puns as well as some delicious looking floats. Italian food is my favorite meal to have, so these floats made me pretty hungry even with fake food on them.
Finally, the parade closes with Goofy dressed up as the President, a fitting end to the parade because it reminds me of the end of the Main Street Electrical Parade (my favorite parade of all-time). It was a really wonderful way to close the parade because it was a natural way to connect all of the characters, who were rooting for Goofy to win the presidential election.
Overall, I really loved The World According to Goofy. It is one of the most unique parades that I’ve ever seen. Each float was centered around Goofy, but utilized history in a great way to add a storyline to the parade. Most parades are fun to watch, but quite lacking in the story department, so seeing the Imagineers add the new element of story was particularly impressive.
Surprisingly, the parade only lasted until November 1992, with Aladdin’s Royal Caravan taking over a month later. I wasn’t the only person who loved The World According to Goofy, either, as many regard it as one of their favorite Disney parades. It wasn’t even reused in any other parks, all of which later followed the Disneyland trend of making parades based on the latest Disney Animated Classic.
However, after the Mulan Parade ended in 1999, a new trend began where parades were created to celebrate anniversaries, following the example set by Tokyo Disneyland. In Disneyland, the 45th anniversary parade, cleverly entitled 45 Years of Magic Parade, was created.
Intriguingly, the parade actually almost served as a combination between the older style of animated film parades and anniversary parades by drawing heavily from Fantasia 2000. The film had just been released by the Company, and it has a more timeless feel to it, so Disney could add it to the parade without attracting that much suspicion.
I liked the 45 Years of Magic Parade, but the overload of Fantasia 2000 was a little too much for me throughout the entire parade. I have nothing against the film, but I don’t think it led to the strongest floats and certainly left me wishing for a bit more out of the parade.
One touch that I really appreciated about the parade was the usage of the Blue Fairy at the beginning. It was another reference to the Main Street Electrical Parade, and she is one of the quintessential magical characters in the Disney pantheon, so it certainly set the parade going on the right note.
To me, one of the oddest parades was the one pictured above that shows some of the princesses riding a stork. I’m left to question what the stork has to do with these princesses in the first place, as well as why the float isn’t a bit more elaborate. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the princess not hiding them on this swan?
All of this is not as confusing as the original choice of music for the parade, “Pomp and Circumstance.” The graduation classic was featured at the end of Fantasia 2000, and at Michael Eisner’s guidance, the song was the primary music played throughout the original version of the parade before guest complaints managed to do away with the “Pomp,” with the entertainment crew instead using medleys of Disney songs (which still felt a little odd).
On a positive note, the parade would recruit guests to be a part of the parade and wear tutus and sometimes elephant hats throughout the entire parade route. It was really funny to see dads marching down the streets in these silly outfits without a care in the world.
There are a few other fun things to note about the parade, such as how Flik was the only Pixar character in the entire parade. Sure the only other Pixar films released until that point were Toy Story and Toy Story 2, but if Toy Story could have a sequel, you would think that its character’s could also appear in a parade.
45 Years of Magic could also be run at night just like its predecessor. It’s always fun when a parade is able to do both because it shows that there was some care put into the floats to give them the ability to do both.
Overall, I think the biggest issue with the parade was how boring it was. It never really caught my attention throughout its entire time, probably because of how calming it was. The Disney medley that they used in place of “Pomp and Circumstance” was full of some of the most relaxing songs that immediately made me want to fall asleep even though I wasn’t tired before I started watching the parade.
After a year, the 45th anniversary had ended, so a name change was in store, though nothing else really changed. The Parade of the Stars managed to stick around until 2005, when the 50th anniversary parade, Parade of Dreams, began its run in the park.
Now I know that I promised three different parades for this week’s post, but the final parade will have to wait for another day to shine on this blog. It won’t be appearing next week, either. Instead you’ll have to work through these clues to figure that out.
- This park was not quite a theme park, but still located at Walt Disney World.
- This park served as a precursor to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- This park still stands, abandoned today.
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.