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by Chris Reed (archives)
February 18, 2000
Chris Reed on Disneyland's new parade and Law and Order.

Parade of Criticism

The saying goes that "Everybody loves a parade."

The saying should be abridged when it comes to Disneyland, where it should be, "Everybody loves a parade, except when it isn't that good and doesn't live up to the hype."

This week, Disneyland has debuted their latest collection of floats and costumed characters to clog up traffic between the main entrance and Fantasyland, the "45 Years of Magic" parade.

I have yet to see the parade myself, so judging it would be akin to basing my judgement of the legal system on an episode of Divorce Court.

Yet, judging by the LaughingPlace.com discussion boards and media articles, many of you have chimed in on your opinion of the new parade. The reaction can best be described as "50-50." Half of you like it, half of you don't.

From the time I was a kid, I always loved parades, which isn't a hard thing growing up in Southern California. The day after Thanksgiving, I always watched the "Hollywood Christmas Parade." Waking up on New Year's morning always had to be accompanied by the Rose Parade.

Yet, parades have never really been a highlight of going to Disneyland to me. At least, I considered it less of an "attraction" and more of just a small addition to the atmosphere of the park.

Judging by the always-crowded Disneyland parade routes, which are more clogged up with people than a Manhattan sidewalk, I realize that the parades are a big highlight for a great deal of you. To be frank, though, I would probably list the parades near the bottom of my list of reasons to go to a Disney theme park. I just never cried to my parents, "Mom and Dad! I want to go to Disneyland because they're having a parade."

In fact there have been only three Disneyland parades in my lifetime that floored me: The Electrical Parade, the Mulan Parade and a parade of Olympic athletes when the 1984 Games were in town (personal bias there).

Still, I can't say I've ever seen a terrible parade at Disneyland. Sometimes they can get overly corny (I still have "Totally Minnie" nightmares) or just lackluster, but they're always entertaining and do have a purpose to adding to the parks' atmospheres.

Which leads to the parade critics. It's like what they say about television shows that offend you. You can always change the channel. In the same respect, if you don't care about watching the parade, it's not like there's nothing else to do in the Magic Kingdom.

Sometimes, the fault of parade criticism lies in the Disneyland management itself. Face it, Light Magic wouldn't have seemed so bad if it wasn't hyped up as a sequel to the Main Street Electrical Parade. That happens with rides too. Rocket Rods is enjoyable, but it isn't the E-ticket ride it was hyped up to be.

In the end, I will judge the new parade on its own merits, and not on one of the commercials.

On Fire: Speaking of E-Ticket rides, there's a lot of buzz at Disney World's Magic Kingdom at the moment about the land being cleared in Adventureland for Fire Mountain.

I'm not so sure people would have been excited if land was being cleared for "Tire Mountain."

Lumeire and Order: Fans of television's Law and Order enjoy Jerry Orbach's performance each week as Lt. Lennie Briscoe.

What some may not know is Orbach's Disney connection. He was the voice of Lumeire, the talking candlestick in Beauty and the Beast.

In case you didn't know, Orbach and the writers of Law and Order have provided a subtle hint within several episodes.

During many interrogation scenes, after the suspect asks to call their lawyer, Lt. Briscoe always responds, "Be our guest."

The part with the dancing police reports and batons is cut out.

Oscar Omission: In all the talk about Jim Carrey's omission from the Academy Awards nominations, nobody is really talking about the biggest omission of all.

Where was Toy Story 2?

It only got named as a "Best Picture" at the Golden Globes, but got only one Oscar nomination for best song ... When She Loved Me, which will go against Phil Collins' superior You'll Be in My Heart from Tarzan.

I'm not sure many can tell you they had a better movie-going experience at The Cider House Rules than Toy Story 2.

Something Disney Fans Would Like to See: "Law and Order: Toontown Unit" with Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant, aided by Lumeire the candlestick. In a very special episode, Lumeire reveals to Briscoe that he is his long-lost dining room centerpiece.

Something Disney Fans Would Not Like to See: "Law and Order: Go.com Unit." A special force investigates crime within Disney's Internet unit, including the use of someone else's corporate logo.

Craving CAVE: Every one is talking about how excited they are with the possibilities of CAVE coming to the Disney theme parks.

Isn't that Fred Flintstone's house?

What if It Was a (non-Dimension/Miramax) Disney Movie: "Reindeer Games" would be "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Games" and reveal that during the offseason, Rudolph fights crime.

Until next time... Be our guest, call your lawyer.

Chris Reed, who hopes to dress up as a duck in the audience-participation portion of the new Disneyland parade, is usually a sportswriter whose column "Extra Points" can be seen on the Internet at StreetZebra.com and in the pages of StreetZebra magazine in Los Angeles. Suggestions for better parade music can be sent to creed@streetzebra.com or entered below.

Guest Relations is posted every other Friday.

The opinions expressed by Chris Reed, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the future of Disneyland and the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.

-- Posted February 18, 2000