A farewell to Disneyland’s “Main Street Electrical Parade”
Bright lights and characterized floats have thrilled onlookers for decades but Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade will say it’s final goodbye August 20th.
While Disney has had many parades and shows throughout it’s life time, one of the most well known is a parade that was never supposed to last more than a single summer season. It has survived over 45 years and has amazed and thrilled audiences with it’s bright lights and incredibly crafted floats without fail through time, it is the glorious Main Street Electrical Parade. This week, Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade will say its final goodbye to the legendary park.
The parade debuted in it’s original form in 1972, barely finished. After being given only 2 weeks to finalize the parade or risk the project being scrapped completely, Disney designers and engineers quickly threw the parade together. It has been said that electricians were still working on the lights on each float just seconds before they passed through the gates and began their trek through the park. Although it was quickly thrown together, since then, it has become a beloved spectacle that many choose to serve as the perfect end to their day at the park. Originally intended to stay for just one summer, the parade ended up staying through 1976. But it didn’t remain just at Disneyland. The MSEP is perhaps Disney’s most well traveled parade. While it mainly traveled between the two American parks, it also made appearances in the Asian and European parks.
After the initial run of the parade, in 1977 a new version of the parade, using floats that were much wider, performed for the first time in the Magic Kingdom park in Florida. From then on, the parades had great success in both Disneyland and Disney World. Disneyland said it’s first goodbye to the parade in the late 1990’s before it’s version of the parade was sent to Magic Kingdom in Disney World where it ran for 2 years as a farewell season. However, it was decided that after those two years, it was to be brought back to California to save Disney’s California Adventure park, which struggled greatly upon it’s opening. There it stayed until 2010 when construction in the park forced it to shut down. It returned to Magic Kingdom in Florida where it stayed until it’s final farewell in 2016.
Following many seasons of travel and excellence, the parade returned back to it’s original home Disneyland for it’s farewell season after nearly 20 years away. On August 20th, 2017 the parade will make it’s last trip down Main Street before retiring once and for all. According to the park’s website, the park is making it’s final season one to remember with special treats and memorabilia for the occasion. This includes glowing ears that go with the parade’s music, special t-shirts and other apparel, and parade-themed treats from the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe and the Market House. Annual Passholders get a discount on these treats, and can even purchase discount tickets for blocked out days to enjoy the parade one last time.
So head over to Disneyland to catch this magnificent parade one last time before it’s lights are turned off for good. You better believe they’ll “glow” out in style!