The Main Street Electrical Parade is a regularly scheduled nighttime parade famous for its numerous runs at Disney theme parks around the world, most notably Disneyland at the Disneyland Resort and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Originally created by Bob Jani and project director Ron Miziker, it features floats and live performers covered in thousands of electronically controlled lights and a synchronized soundtrack triggered by radio control along key areas of the parade route.
The parade has also inspired several variations and spin-offs, some of which still operate today. Currently, an updated version runs at Tokyo Disneyland as Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights. In 2014, Hong Kong Disneyland premiered a spiritual successor to the Main Street Electrical Parade, the Paint the Night Parade, which, like its predecessor, features "Baroque Hoedown" as its theme song. An extended version of Paint the Night premiered at Disneyland on May 22, 2015 as part of the park's 60th anniversary celebration.
The original iteration of the Main Street Electrical Parade ran at Disneyland until its heavily-promoted "Farewell Season" in 1996, but after being dismantled, reassembled, and sent to perform at other Disney theme parks from 1999 to 2016, it returned to its original home for a limited-time run starting on January 20, 2017. This run was intended to last until June 18, 2017, one day after the 45th anniversary of the parade's premiere, but popular demand saw it extended to August 20, 2017. After this, the parade sat dormant for nearly two years, but returned for a second limited-time run at Disneyland from August 2 to September 30 of 2019. Following another two-year hiatus, Disney announced that the parade would return to Disneyland once again starting on April 22, 2022, and that a brand new finale sequence was created to celebrate the parade's 50th anniversary.
On February 28, 2020, the Tokyo Disney Resort temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 24, 2021, the Tokyo Disney Resort reopened, and Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights resumed performances later that year on November 1, as part of Tokyo DisneySea's 20th anniversary celebration.
One of the original parade's floats also made an appearance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars during its 2020 season.
The predecessor to the Main Street Electrical Parade is the Electrical Water Pageant, a show made up of fourteen 25-foot-tall (7.6 m) screens with electrical lights placed on them. The screens are placed on a string of seven barges that travel around the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, beginning at 9 p.m. at Disney's Polynesian Resort or immediately after the fireworks if they are scheduled for 9 p.m.
The Electrical Water Pageant premiered on October 25, 1971, just weeks after the Walt Disney World Resort opened, and continues to operate to this day. It was decided shortly thereafter that Disneyland needed a similar show, but because the park's property did not contain a sufficiently large body of water, the concept was revised into a more traditional street parade.
The original 1972 Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade was commissioned by company president Card Walker and designed by Hub Braden, an NBC Burbank Television art director, who had designed projects for Bob Jani, Disneyland Entertainment Division. The original parade units were built by Silvestri, a Chicago, Illinois, display company known for its holiday light displays along Michigan Avenue in Chicago. However, construction of the floats in the factory ran severely behind schedule, leading Disney to ship the half-built floats to Anaheim, where Imagineering technicians and electricians finished the work themselves.
Because of these delays in construction, Disneyland was only able to hold one dress rehearsal before the parade's debut. This rehearsal was a complete disaster, with performers' costumes emitting sparks and several floats collapsing or crashing into buildings. Even with construction occurring around the clock, the parade was still being worked on as late as the day of its premiere. Against all odds, however, the parade opened successfully on June 17, and quickly became a favorite of park guests.
The engineers who helped create the parade also created the first show-control program in existence. This allowed the 2000-foot-long parade route to contain multiple radio-activated "trigger zones". As each float entered one of these zones, the park's audio system played float-specific music through that zone's speakers. Each zone was between 70 and 100 feet long, and the zoned system meant that every person watching the parade would experience the same show, no matter where they stood along the parade route.
From 1972 to 1974, the parade's roster of floats consisted largely of flat, two-dimensional screens similar to those used in the Electrical Water Pageant. These screens were placed on rolling platforms that needed to be pushed or pulled manually along the parade route. However, even from the beginning, some units were partially or entirely three-dimensional. Of the original floats, the Blue Fairy, Casey Jr. and the drum, the Cinderella ballroom canopies, the Chinese Dragon (later replaced by Elliott from Pete's Dragon), and Dumbo's circus calliope were all 3D. After 1974, this original version of the parade was retired and replaced by the bicentennial-themed America on Parade from 1975 to 1976.
On June 11, 1977, an upgraded version of the Electrical Parade was introduced to Disneyland, now featuring an entirely three-dimensional lineup. On the same day, a nearly identical replica of the upgraded parade was formally introduced to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. To coincide with these upgrades, the parade's soundtrack was updated as well. Working at United Audio Studios in Santa Ana, California, Don Dorsey and Jack Wagner rearranged the soundtrack, adding an opening fanfare, a spoken introduction announcement provided by Wagner, and new music loops for some of the parade units, though others retained their music from the original soundtrack.
In 1978, several of the parade's floats were used for a special performance in the halftime show of the 1978 Orange Bowl. For this presentation, Don Dorsey composed a closing fanfare, and starting the following year, this element was implemented into the parade's soundtrack at the theme parks. At the same time, Disney started applying a vocoder effect to Jack Wagner's opening and closing announcements; both of these alterations carried over into all future versions of the parade.
Walt Disney World's version of the Main Street Electrical Parade ran continuously from 1977 to 1991. It was replaced by a similar parade called SpectroMagic, which ran from 1991 to 1999 and then reopened in 2001 and ended on June 4, 2010. In 1992, the Electrical Parade from the Magic Kingdom was relocated to Disneyland Paris and ran there from the park's opening day until 2003. After closing there, the parade was sent to Hong Kong Disneyland, but when the park opened in 2005, the Main Street Electrical Parade was nowhere to be seen. For unknown reasons, Hong Kong Disneyland elected not to run the Electrical Parade and operated without a night parade until the 2014 premiere of the Paint the Night Parade. With the exception of three floats that were sent to Anaheim to join its version of the parade by 2009, the current location and status of these floats is unknown.
From 1985 to 1995, Tokyo Disneyland had its own version of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Because this park features the World Bazaar in place of Main Street, USA, and because the park's parade route does not traverse the World Bazaar, this rendition of the parade was instead known as Tokyo Disneyland's Electrical Parade. In 1995, it was then replaced by a new parade called Disney's Fantillusion, which ran until 2001. At that point, Tokyo Disneyland received its current night parade, Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights, which was a return to the style of the original with updated music and new floats. Unlike most other versions of the Electrical Parade, DreamLights has been updated on a somewhat regular basis throughout its run at Tokyo Disneyland, with each update adding, removing, or changing floats in the parade's lineup. The most recent major update occurred on July 11, 2017, though a more minor update in March of 2019 did result in at least one float being replaced with a newer model. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade went on hiatus from February 28, 2020 to November 1, 2021. When the parade returned, several elements, including the entire Disney Fairies segment, were cut due to COVID-related concerns. Following the rebranding of Nihon Unisys to Biprogy on April 1, 2022, the sponsorship float that concluded the parade was changed to feature the new logo as well.
Disneyland's version of the parade ran until 1982, when it went on hiatus and was temporarily replaced by the Flights of Fantasy Parade. The Electrical Parade returned from its hiatus in 1985 with some upgrades and ran for another eleven years before finally ending its run at Disneyland on November 25, 1996. As a promotional event, Disney sold light bulbs certified as having been used in the parade as collectible souvenirs. These light bulbs were sourced from the Casey Jr. float and the blue and pink mushroom floats in the Alice in Wonderland unit; the latter two floats were de-bulbed following the first of two performances given on the parade's final day, and the former was de-bulbed shortly following the second. After being stripped of their lights, all three of these floats were disassembled and their parts were placed in storage. The drum attached to the Casey Jr. float was saved, with the intention of using it as part of a Smithsonian Disney exhibit, but these plans fell through, and this float was instead placed in storage along with the others.
Disneyland's replacement nighttime show, Light Magic, opened in 1997 and was an immediate failure. Disney quickly cancelled Light Magic but held off in bringing back the popular Main Street Electrical Parade. Despite the parade's absence from Disneyland, however, it did make one more appearance that year when it was used to promote the premiere of Disney's newest animated film, Hercules. For this event, the Electrical Parade floats that had not been dismantled were sent to New York City, where the film was set to premiere at the then-recently-restored New Amsterdam Theater. These floats were then joined by four new Hercules-themed floats that had been created specifically for the event. The parade was temporarily rebranded as the "Hercules Electrical Parade" and traveled down the streets of New York for a special, one-night-only performance on June 14, 1997. Following this performance, the diamond mine float from the Snow White unit and both of the Pleasure Island floats from the Pinocchio unit were sent to Disneyland Paris to join its version of the Main Street Electrical Parade. The special Hercules-themed floats were scrapped, and the remaining floats were all disassembled and placed in storage, much like Casey Jr. and the mushrooms had been the year prior. Between 1997 and 1999, the dismantled floats were scavenged for parts on at least one occasion; the fireworks from the "To Honor America" unit were reused in Disneyland's version of "It's a Small World Holiday".
In 1999, the Magic Kingdom's SpectroMagic parade was in need of refurbishment, so the decision was made to put it on hiatus and temporarily replace it by bringing back the Main Street Electrical Parade. To accomplish this, Disney pulled the disassembled floats from Disneyland's version of the parade out of storage and hired Garner Holt Productions to reassemble and refurbish them to show-ready condition. Because they were not intended to be used in any more performances at the time of their disassembly, the floats were in varying states of disrepair and incompleteness, requiring some floats to be rebuilt either in part or in whole. This revived rendition of the parade premiered at the Magic Kingdom in May of 1999 for a limited engagement, just in time for Walt Disney World's Millennium Celebration. The parade ended its run at the Magic Kingdom on April 1, 2001 and SpectroMagic was brought back the following day.
The Main Street Electrical Parade floats were then sent back to California with the intention of running the parade at Disneyland once again. However, this plan changed after Team Disney Anaheim saw the poor attendance figures for the spring break season at Disney's California Adventure and feared that the park would fail to attract large crowds during the crucial summer season without a big draw. Therefore, on April 25, 2001, Disney announced that the popular Main Street Electrical Parade would be coming to Disney's California Adventure on July 2, 2001, in honor of the park's inaugural summer.
The Main Street Electrical Parade was renamed to Disney's Electrical Parade, as California Adventure does not have a Main Street. Aside from the absence of the floats that had been sent to Paris and the revision of the drum float to reflect the parade's new name, this version of the parade was practically identical to the one that used to run at Disneyland. The parade was offered during summer periods and select weekends. It finished a nine-month-long hiatus during the 2005 off-season at the Disneyland Resort, which allowed for the lights on all of the floats to be replaced and for the wording on the drum to be altered to "Disney's Electrical Parade, Presented by Sylvania".
On the 2008 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade special, Disney announced that a Tinker Bell float would be added to Disney's Electrical Parade, making it the first new float to be added to the classic parade in nearly 20 years, since the 35th Disneyland anniversary float in 1990. In truth, however, this addition was a merely the first step in a process to upgrade the entire parade for the Disneyland Resort's 2009 "Summer Nightastic!" promotion. Starting on January 5, 2009, Disney's Electrical Parade went on hiatus, and over the next five months, the parade underwent a complete refurbishment. During this time, one of the turtle floats from the Alice in Wonderland unit was put on display at the "technology" section of that year's D23 Expo.
Elements of the parade that had remained unchanged for years were given an overhaul. The entire soundtrack was revised to more closely resemble that of Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights, and the Blue Fairy float that had led the parade since 1972 was retired and replaced by the new Tinker Bell float as the parade's first float. The entire Dumbo section was also cut from the parade for unknown reasons, despite the fact that its music was updated along with the rest of the soundtrack, as could be heard in some backstage choreography videos. However, this removal was made up for by the return of the missing floats from the Snow White and Pinocchio units, as announced by Disney at a press conference on April 24, 2009. Hong Kong Disneyland had sent these floats back to Anaheim after deciding not to run Disneyland Paris' copy of the parade, but they required significant refurbishment to be able to run alongside the rest of the Anaheim version's floats.
Various enhancements were made to the existing floats as well. Animated LED pixie dust effects similar to those on the new Tinker Bell float were added to most of the major floats. The light bulbs that made up the letters on the drum float were replaced by smaller LED bulbs embedded into the side of the drum, and new, larger light bulbs were added around the edges of the drum. The butterfly in the Alice in Wonderland unit was altered in appearance and given the ability to flap its wings, and the Cheshire Cat was altered to fade between "visible" and "invisible" rather than simply blinking on and off. In the Peter Pan unit, Tinker Bell was removed from the crow's nest of the pirate ship (as she had her own float now), the central mast was made slightly taller, and the skull on the bow of the ship, previously formed by a group of light bulbs, was replaced by a single piece lit from the inside. In the Pete's Dragon unit, Elliott was given more detailed eyes and, much like the Cheshire Cat, a more elaborate sequence for fading in and out of view. Finally, the "To Honor America" unit was given a new title banner and animated fireworks.
Disney started testing these updated and new units in late May of 2009, and finally unveiled them formally to the public when the parade returned on June 12, 2009. That December, one more change was made to the parade: the caterpillar in the Alice in Wonderland unit was changed in color from green to a more movie-accurate blue and was given a digitally-projected face whose lips synched up with the caterpillar's dialogue. However, despite the scope of all of these upgrades, guests at the Disneyland Resort would only be able to experience the newly-enhanced parade for a few more months. Ongoing construction projects at California Adventure necessitated that parts of the parade route be walled off, and because of this, Disney's Electrical Parade was forced to end its run at the park on April 18, 2010.
That same year, "Summer Nightastic!" was extended to Walt Disney World, and to tie in with the promotion there, the parade was sent back to the Magic Kingdom, where it started performing on June 5, 2010. Though billed as "Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade", the title on the drum float was not changed from its run at California Adventure, still reading "Disney's Electrical Parade". The "Presented by Sylvania" text was removed, however, as Sylvania's sponsorship ended when the parade moved. While Disney initially announced that the parade would stay just through the summer, they later extended this into an open-ended run. On August 11, 2016, it was announced that the parade would be ending its run at the Magic Kingdom on October 9, 2016, after which it would travel back to Disneyland in 2017 for a limited-time encore performance.
On January 19, 2017, a special ticketed premiere event was held after regular park hours, costing 95 US dollars to attend. Banners with the parade's logo were hung on the Main Street lamp posts during the parade's run, similar to those hung on the lamp posts during the Halloween and Christmas seasons and during the Diamond Celebration. Jack Wagner's original opening vocoder announcement from 1979 was restored, albeit pitched down slightly to better match the updated soundtrack that had been in use since 2009.
The parade underwent several changes in the months between the final Magic Kingdom performance and the Disneyland premiere. Casey Junior was made the lead float of the parade, and the text on the drum float was reverted to its original state, alternating between "Disneyland Presents" and "Main Street Electrical Parade" rather than "Disney's Electrical Parade" fading in and out. When this change was made, the LED lights spelling out the words on the drum were replaced with regular light bulbs. The Tinker Bell float was relocated from the front of the parade to the end of the Peter Pan unit, and Tinker Bell's balloon was replaced with a large flower platform. Despite Tinker Bell no longer leading the parade, the pixie dust effects on the rest of the major floats were not removed until several weeks into the parade's run. Finally, the float upon which Pinocchio rode in the Pleasure Island unit was omitted completely, having been damaged in transit from Florida; to compensate for this, the donkey boys' dance was rechoreographed, and Pinocchio himself was integrated into the new routine. The Main Street Electrical Parade's 2017 run at Disneyland Park ended with its final performance on August 20.
Immediately following this date, Disney arranged for the parade floats to be stored away in an off-site warehouse in Anaheim but did not make any announcements regarding the parade's future. Nearly two years later, on June 28, 2019, Disney announced that the Main Street Electrical Parade would return to Disneyland once again from August 2 to September 30 of that year. When the parade returned, it had not received any alterations since its 2017 run aside from several minor choreography updates and behind-the-scenes refurbishments. After only eight weeks, on September 30, the Main Street Electrical Parade performed for the final time once again, leaving this as the parade's shortest run to date.
After this, the parade floats were returned to the storage warehouse. One week prior to the last performance, the Disneyland Resort's official Twitter account stated that it would be the final show "of the season", implying that the parade might return in the future, but aside from this, Disney gave no official word regarding the parade's status. In 2020, one of the snail floats from the Alice in Wonderland unit was briefly taken out of storage and sent to Los Angeles to perform on Dancing with the Stars as part of that show's "Disney Night" on September 28.
On October 26, 2021, over two years after its most recent performance at a Disney park, the official Disney Parks TikTok account posted a short video heavily implying that the Main Street Electrical Parade was preparing once more to return to Disneyland, which Disney officially confirmed less than a month later, on November 20. On February 22, 2022, Disney announced an exact date for the parade's return: April 22 of that year. In addition, it was revealed that a new finale unit would be added to the parade to celebrate its 50th anniversary, replacing the classic "To Honor America" finale unit. This new finale, whose floats would reuse the chassis and general structural design of "To Honor America", would be visually inspired by Mary Blair's art style for "It's a Small World". In addition to featuring representations of several retired or temporary units from the parade's past (such as the Blue Fairy, Hercules, and Sleeping Beauty Castle), it would also introduce newer Disney properties to the classic parade, such as Coco, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Encanto.
On April 20, two days before The Main Street Electrical Parade was scheduled to return, it had a surprise soft opening, alongside the Disneyland Forever fireworks show. In addition to the new finale, several other changes had been made since the parade's 2019 run. Following the precedent set by Tokyo Disneyland's DreamLights version of the parade the year prior, a new opening vocoder announcement was recorded, replacing the words "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls," with "To all who come to this happy place". The lights spelling out the text on the drum float were replaced yet again with new LED lights, allowing for new "sparkle" effects and more advanced fade-ins and fade-outs to play on the faces of the drum. The lights around the rims of the drum were also upgraded to flash on and off in a simple "chase" pattern, and a "50 Years" logo was added to the drum alongside the "Disneyland Presents" and "Main Street Electrical Parade" text. Finally, projection effects similar to those used in Disneyland Forever and Mickey's Mix Magic now play on the "It's a Small World" facade building, the Matterhorn, Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the buildings along Main Street as the new finale unit passes by each landmark.
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights features several upgraded or alternate models of floats featured in the western incarnation, alongside units unique to the DreamLights version. As of November 2021, the floats are the Blue Fairy, the Knights of Light, Mickey's DreamLights Train, Alice in Wonderland, Pete's Dragon, Peter Pan, Toy Story 3, Aladdin, Tangled, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and "It's a Small World".
On June 14, 1997, a variant of the Main Street Electrical Parade called the "Hercules Electrical Parade" ran on Broadway, Manhattan, New York City for the opening of Disney's New Amsterdam Theater and the film Hercules. Disney arranged for the lights to be all turned off on about 8-blocks of Broadway up to the theater. All businesses complied, with the exception of Disney rival Warner Bros. It was led by a custom Hercules title unit that was only used for this singular performance. It was shown on national television on a one-hour promotional program featuring the music and making of Hercules.
With the following exceptions, the parade's lineup was exactly the same as when it left Disneyland in 1996:
Baroque Hoedown Dance Floats (golf carts with lights)
The Main Street Electrical Parade's underlying theme song is entitled "Baroque Hoedown". The original version was created in 1967 by early synthesizer pioneers Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley and appeared first on the album Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music from Way Out. Originally, the parade's soundtrack had the same themes as the current recording but was a different arrangement by Jim Christensen and Paul Beaver. In 1977, an updated version was arranged by electronic music artist Don Dorsey and Jack Wagner, which was used until January 2009 in Disney's Electrical Parade. The current soundtracks for both the Main Street Electrical Parade and Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights were arranged, programmed and performed by Gregory Smith, who also arranged the music for Disneyland's Remember... Dreams Come True and Magical fireworks spectaculars.
The soundtrack to the parade has been released numerous times:
Main Street Electrical Parade (1973 soundtrack) (Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort)
Main Street Electrical Parade (1977 soundtrack) (Disneyland and Magic Kingdom)
The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song (1992) (Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort)
Fantasmic!: Good Clashes with Evil in a Nighttime Spectacular (1992) (Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort)
The Main Street Electrical Parade (1999 CD) (Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World)
Les Parades En Musique (2000 CD) (Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort Paris)
Disney's Electrical Parade (2001 CD)
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade DreamLights (2001 CD)
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade DreamLights- Show Mix Edition (2001)
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade DreamLights ~Christmas~
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade DreamLights (2011 Renewal Version)
A Musical History of Disneyland (Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort)
Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Disneyland (2015)
Dorsey used eleven synthesizers to create the soundtrack: Moog Model III, Mini-Moog, Steiner-Parker Synthacon, Oberheim 8-voice, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Fender Rhodes Piano, New England Digital Synclavier II, Bode 7702 Vocoder, Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter, Yamaha DX7, and Yamaha TX7.
While the original soundtrack is played solely on synthesizers, the Tokyo Disneyland version uses an orchestra with adult and youth choirs in addition to harmonies and synthesizers. This version also includes character voices in both English and Japanese. An alternate version of the soundtrack is used during Tokyo Disneyland's Christmas season, with Christmas songs mixed into the theme music. For Tokyo Disneyland's 30th anniversary, a show stop was added to the parade; it includes a 2-minute Christmas medley, and fireworks from Cinderella Castle are synced during the show stop as well.
As of 2009, the soundtrack for the American version of the parade utilizes much of the soundtrack created for DreamLights, with new loops created for the Cinderella, Pinocchio, and "To Honor America" units. Although the Dumbo's Circus unit was removed from the parade before the new soundtrack debuted, a new music loop was created for it as well, possibly suggesting that the decision to remove the unit was a late one. The American soundtrack retains a more electronic sound than that of Tokyo's in that many of the orchestral parts of the DreamLights soundtrack have been replaced by synthesizers in this version. This version of the soundtrack was used for the parade's runs at Disney's California Adventure from 2009 to 2010, the Magic Kingdom from 2010 to 2016, and Disneyland from 2017 onwards. Starting with the parade's 2022 run at Disneyland, an additional new music loop was created for that version's new "It's a Small World" finale, rather than reusing the music from the corresponding DreamLights unit.
Opening and Closing Announcements
Since 1979, all versions of the Electrical Parade have included spoken announcements at the beginning and end of the parade, provided by a human voice that has been processed through a special synthesizer called a vocoder. Jack Wagner provided the underlying voice for the vocoder announcements during its original runs at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland. After Jack Wagner's death in 1995, other Disney employees filled the role when new announcements were required, with Bruce Healy voicing the "Hercules Electrical Parade" announcements and Bill Rogers voicing the announcements used when the parade returned to the Magic Kingdom in 1999. The announcements used for the parade's run at Disney's California Adventure were based on Jack Wagner's announcements for the Disneyland version of the parade, with alterations made to reflect the parade's new name and venue.
After the soundtrack was updated, the vocoder announcements were updated as well. In Disney California Adventure, the announcements were rerecorded in a lower key with new vocoder effects, though they were still sourced from Jack Wagner's Disneyland announcements. The parade's third run in the Magic Kingdom used newly recorded vocoder announcements instead of either the 1979 or 1999 versions, but for the parade's runs at Disneyland in 2017 and 2019, Jack Wagner's original vocoder introduction from 1979 was pitch-corrected and integrated into the modern soundtrack. However, Wagner's original closing vocoder announcement was replaced with a segment of audio reused from the opening announcements.
Starting on November 1, 2021, the wording of the opening announcements for Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights was altered to be more inclusive. A similar change was later made to the American version of the parade when it began its 2022 run at Disneyland on April 20. In both cases, the opening and closing announcements were rerecorded from scratch.
The opening and closing announcements for each iteration of the parade are as follows:
Main Street Electrical Parade (Disneyland)
Prior to 1979, the opening announcements lacked the vocoder effect.
Opening Announcement (1977-2019): "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Disneyland proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. In thousands of sparkling lights, and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds: the Main Street Electrical Parade."
Opening Announcement (2022): "To all who come to this happy place, Disneyland proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. In thousands of sparkling lights, and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds: the Main Street Electrical Parade."
Closing Announcement (1979-1996): "Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade."
Closing Announcement (2017-2022): "The Main Street Electrical Parade."
Main Street Electrical Parade (Magic Kingdom)
Prior to 1979, the opening announcements lacked the vocoder effect.
Opening Announcement (1977-1991): "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Walt Disney World proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. In thousands of sparkling lights, and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds: the Main Street Electrical Parade."
Opening Announcement (1999-2016): "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the Magic Kingdom proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. In thousands of sparkling lights, and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds: the Main Street Electrical Parade."
Closing Announcement (1979-1991): "Walt Disney World's Main Street Electrical Parade."
Closing Announcement (1999-2016): "The Magic Kingdom's Main Street Electrical Parade."
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade
Opening Announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Walt Disney proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. In thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds: Tokyo Disneyland's Electrical Parade."
Opening Announcement (1992-1995): "Mesdames et messieurs et vous les enfants, EuroDisneyland est fier de vous présenter son extraordinaire festival de magie nocture et d'enchantement. Dans une féerie de milliers de lumières, sur une musique electro-synthe-magnétique: the Main Street Electrical Parade."
Closing Announcement (1992-1995): "EuroDisneyland Main Street Electrical Parade."
Opening Announcement (1995-2003): "Mesdames et messieurs et vous les enfants, Disneyland Paris est fier de vous présenter son extraordinaire festival de magie nocture et d'enchantement. Dans une féerie de milliers de lumières, sur une musique electro-synthe-magnétique: the Main Street Electrical Parade."
Closing Announcement (1995-2003): "Disneyland Paris Main Street Electrical Parade."
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights
Opening Announcement (2001-2020): "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Tokyo Disneyland proudly presents our most spectacular pageant of nighttime dreams and fantasy. In millions of sparkling lights and brilliant musical sounds: Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights."
Opening Announcement (2021-Present): "Good evening and welcome, one and all, Tokyo Disneyland proudly presents our most spectacular pageant of nighttime dreams and fantasy. In millions of sparkling lights and brilliant musical sounds: Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights."
Opening Announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Disney proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. In thousands of sparkling lights, and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds: Disney's Electrical Parade."
Opening Announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, as part of Disney's Hercules' world-premiere weekend in New York, the Walt Disney Studios proudly presents this spectacular pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. In thousands of sparkling lights, and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds: the Hercules Electrical Parade."
1978 Orange Bowl Halftime Show
These announcements lacked the vocoder effect.
Opening Announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, the Orange Bowl honors the most unique event staged in America in 1977: Disneyland and Walt Disney World's incredible spectacular of nighttime pageantry and imagination, in electrical sights and sounds: the Main Street Electrical Parade."
Closing Announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Orange Bowl 1978 Spectacular of Lights."
Remixes, samples, and parodies
The nighttime parade Paint the Night at Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland is heavily inspired by the Main Street Electrical Parade, though unlike Tokyo’s DreamLights, it is not a direct upgrade. One of its theme songs is an EDM remix of "Baroque Hoedown", which plays alongside Owl City's "When Can I See You Again?" from Wreck-It Ralph. The parade's opening fanfare and announcement are both based on those of the Main Street Electrical Parade. In the California version, the Tinker Bell float that leads the parade also has a drum float behind it, which is heavily modeled after the drum float in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
A "Celtic"-inspired version was heard in the Main Street Electrical Parade's replacement, Light Magic. Due to an overwhelmingly negative response among park guests, Light Magic ran for only one summer before being permanently retired.
Samples of both the original 1972 and 1977 compositions of "Baroque Hoedown" (the former of which was orchestrated by Paul Beaver and Jim Christensen, and the latter by Don Dorsey) made for the Electrical Parade were used from 1975 to 1979 in the end credits of the Mexican comedy series, El Chapulín Colorado.
The audio was acquired from the 1973 and 1977 soundtrack picture discs released and were used without authorization from Disney or Perrey and Kingsley. It is unknown how it was obtained for the production of Chapulín and if there were any lawsuits for using "Baroque Hoedown" specifically.
A remix of the Electrical Parade theme (called the Retro Future Remix) was released on Dance Dance Revolution Disney Mix, and contains audio resamplings from the Apollo 8 reading of Genesis.
In Japan, Walt Disney Records released a CD called DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade which featured the theme music remixed by Japanese DJs.
The Japan only House☆Disney album, also released by Walt Disney Records, contains a remix of the song by famous Japanese DJ Shinichi Osawa.
The album Eurobeat Disney 3, also only released in Japan, was done by the group A-Beat Power and features a remix of the song in Eurobeat style.
In 1998, a Disney Tribute Album entitled We Love Mickey ~ Happy 70th Anniversary (Walt Disney Records), featuring covers of Disney songs by Japanese artists, included a remake by the Eccentric Opera. The track uses samples from Dorsey's arrangement and Snow White. Lyrics appear to be in German and are from an unknown source.
In The Simpsons episode "Selma's Choice" Lisa could be seen dancing in a dazed state in front of the Duff Gardens Light Parade to a musical parody of "Baroque Hoedown". Most of the floats appear to have 2D designs, which might be a reference to the Electrical Parade's original 1972-1974 iteration.
A cover version by They Might Be Giants was released on the Disneymania 2 album. The same version was also featured on the soundtrack of the film Moog. It is also heard in the episode "Orlando" from ABC's sitcom, The Middle, where Sue listens to it during the Heck family's road trip to Walt Disney World.
A parody of the parade can be found during the ending credits of Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario.
A remix by Shinichi Osawa was released on the 2014 Disney remix album, Dconstructed.
A tribute to the vintage Main Street Electrical Parade was recorded "old school style" by Jim Presley for Jiminy's Limited Editions entitled "Jiminy Salutes The Main Street Electrical Parade".
The vocaloid producer DaniwellP created a remix of the Electrical Parade using Hatsune Miku.
The parade is parodied in the 2002 film Scooby Doo as a spooky themed parade called the "Electrical Torture Parade".
In the 1981 Spanish film La Segunda Guerra de Los Niños, an original composition loosely based on "Baroque Hoedown", called "Parada Nocturna Disneylandia" was played alongside footage of Walt Disney World's Electrical Parade before the end credits of the movie.
Versions of this Parade
At least three versions of the parade have been created since its launch 1972. As recently as 2022, two of these are still known to exist.
Version A (Original Disneyland version) launched in 1972 and consisted primarily of flat wire frames on wheels that were hand-pushed. After the 1974 season, it went on hiatus due to America on Parade and returned in 1977 with new 3D floats. This refined Version A ran at Disneyland Park (in Anaheim) from 1977 to 1982, went on hiatus from 1983 to 1984 (during which time it was replaced by the Flights of Fantasy Parade), and then returned for another run that lasted from 1985 to 1996. On June 14, 1997, it performed a one-off performance in New York to celebrate the opening of the New Amsterdam Theater as well as the premiere of Hercules. The diamond mine float and the two Pleasure Island floats were sent to join Version B in late 1997, and all of the other floats were stripped of their lights, taken apart, and placed in storage.
In 1999, Version A was rebuilt and restored by Garner Holt for use at the Magic Kingdom (in Orlando). While some floats needed refurbishment or replacement, the reconstructed Version A visually appeared largely the same as before, minus the omission of the floats that had been sent to join Version B. This version ran at the Magic Kingdom from 1999 until 2001. After that, it moved to the struggling Disney's California Adventure Park (in Anaheim), where it ran from 2001 until 2010. In 2009, the diamond mine and Pleasure Island floats rejoined Version A after having been returned from Version B. After leaving Disney's California Adventure (in Anaheim), the parade moved back to the Magic Kingdom (in Orlando), where it lasted from 2010 until 2016. It then traveled to Disneyland (in Anaheim), where it ran from January 20 to August 20, 2017. After this, it was stored away in a parade warehouse owned by Disneyland, before returning to Disneyland again for its 2019 run, which lasted from August 2 to September 30. Following its return to storage and another two-year period of inactivity, it returned to Disneyland once more starting on April 22, 2022, complete with a new finale to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Version B (Original Walt Disney World version) was built in 1977 and premiered at the Magic Kingdom (in Orlando). It was a clone of the one that was running in Anaheim, but with slightly wider floats to better fit the Magic Kingdom's larger parade route. It lasted there until 1991, when it moved across the Atlantic to Disneyland Paris and ran at that park from 1992 to 2003. After that, it was sent off to perform at Hong Kong Disneyland, but for unknown reasons, the park decided not to run the parade. While the diamond mine and Pleasure Island floats (originally from Version A) were returned to Anaheim, where they sat unused until rejoining Version A in 2009, the current status and location of the remaining Version B floats is unknown. One popular but unproven rumor is that Version B was scrapped sometime after arriving at Hong Kong and disposed of in the bay just off of Lantau Island.
Version C (Tokyo Disneyland version) was built in 1985 and premiered in Tokyo Disneyland. It lasted until 1995. It is unknown what has happened to the floats in this incarnation. It has been rumored that they were destroyed or have been refurbished into Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights. The Swan Lake unit was moved to Disneyland Paris in 1997, and it presumably shares its fate with that of the other Version B floats.
In 2001, Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights premiered in Tokyo Disneyland. It is unknown whether this version is a refurbishment of Version C or was built from scratch; if the latter is true, it is a fourth version, separate from Version C. In either case, this version ran continuously at Tokyo Disneyland from 2001 to 2020, at which time it was forced to go on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It returned on November 1, 2021, with street dancers and several characters omitted due to COVID-related concerns, and it continues to run to this day. The floats are unique to Tokyo Disneyland and never have been replicated or relocated to any other Disney theme park.
On December 22, 2012, during a run of the Christmas version of DreamLights, the "Crush's Current" float from the Finding Nemo unit began to turn in the wrong direction before briefly stopping inches away from spectators, which forced them to quickly stand up to avoid being hit. Though several guests screamed in fear, no one appeared to be injured in the accident. The parade continued as normal after the float was reversed back into its proper direction.