Looking to develop a new parade for Disneyland, various concepts were considered, including an entire Princess and the Frog parade with the film's music being so strong. Eventually, director Steve Davison chose the idea of doing a parade based on Disney music in general, allowing for numerous films to be utilized. The parade currently does daytime and nighttime run except for during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. The nighttime performances went on hiatus during Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration to perform the new Paint the Night Parade, and again with the temporary return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. The parade went on hiatus yet again in 2018 for the Pixar Fest event, where it was replaced by the Pixar Play Parade which moved across the street from its home at Disney California Adventure for the festivities until November 4, 2018.
Based on the 2013 Academy Award-winning hit animated film, Frozen, used from June 13, 2014 to early 2015. Lovable snowman Olaf dreams of what it would be like in summer, longing for warm breezes and sunny blue skies. Elsa has created a magical parade float of snow and ice and will be greeting everyone along the parade route, as Olaf and Anna frolic in the snow.
Mickey Strikes Up the Band!
Mickey Mouse (with articulated head) plays drums and cymbals on the large float. He directs a group of six snare drummers ahead of the float in a march. He is accompanied on the float by Minnie Mouse. Pluto follows behind Mickey's float dancing. Chip and Dale follow the large unit by pushing a smaller float with Goofy on it. Goofy occasionally hits a large drum and gongs in the formation of a Mickey head behind him.
From January 25, 2019, when the parade returned, Goofy's float was replaced with him pulling an oversized Mickey Mouse drum toy float, which had previously appeared in Tokyo Disneyland's former daytime parade Happiness is Here Parade, while Chip and Dale pulled a new birthday cake float. Both of these additions were made in honor of Mickey's 90th birthday celebration.
For unknown reasons, after 2 days after the re-premiere, Mickey (with a static head) now stands in Minnie's original spot on their float, while a non-character drummer plays Mickey's drum set. This was later reverted back to normal after a few days.
Aladdin's Magical Cymbal Celebration
Based on the 1992 animated film, Aladdin, the diamond-in-the-rough street rat Aladdin dances atop a drum-shaped float (which is a common theme throughout the parade). Genie leads his dancing team, which is formed of six harem girls and a golden coin dancer, and Abu, as a toy cymbal monkey, is pushed by a banana salesman bringing up the rear.
Sebastian's Calypso Carnival
Based on the 1989 animated film, The Little Mermaid. Ariel and Sebastian ride atop a larger float dominated by a blue and purple octopus who plays many handheld percussive instruments including a triangle and maracas. A maraca-playing hermit crab follows behind. The performers' costumes were recycled from the Jungle Safari and Lilo & Stitch units from Tokyo Disneyland's former daytime parade, Jubilation!, which ran until March 2013, at which point it was replaced by Happiness is Here Parade. The hermit crab also uses the same technology as the snails in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Characters such as King Louie from The Jungle Book, Simba and Zazu from The Lion King and Terk from Tarzan are featured in this float. Simba stands atop a drum-shaped float before a golden sun featuring the image of King Mufasa, with four monkey dancers, a headdress dancer, and two dancing stilt walkers. If the animatronic Simba is under repairs, a live performer Rafiki takes his place.
Based on the 1953 animated film, Peter Pan. Pirates are described as having come out from Neverland. Tinker Bell takes on the starring role atop the drum float, which is decorated with giant flowers and humongous mushrooms to make the diminutive pixie appear smaller than the other characters in the parade. Captain Hook and Mr. Smee with two pirates chase Peter Pan around the base of the float, and two butterfly girls bringing up the rear, who generously sharing their joy and happiness to everyone!
Mary Poppin's Spoonful of Rhythm
Based on the 1964 animated- and live-action musical film, Mary Poppins. The large float features Mary Poppins and Bert riding on a bicycle. Carousel horses in front of the float finish the Parade with chimney sweeps, Big Moon, and horn-playing penguins riding on two whimsical carousel horses next to the Jolly Holiday Fox Hunter and Fox riding a penny-farthing high wheeler bicycle, and deliver the greatest "Jolly Holiday" of "Soundsational".
Show run: May 27, 2011 - November 5, 2017 (original version)
It's a music celebration
Come on, come on, come on
Strike up the band,
Feel the beat, what a great sensation
Come on, come on, come on
Move and clap your hands,
Get into spirit
Let everyone hear it,
So come on, come on
Whoa, whoa - hey, hey, hey
Whoa, whoa - hey, hey!
Note:The Princess Unit's chorus lyrics are unique. "Strike up the band" is replaced with "Let your voices soar", while "Move and clap your hands" is changed to "Whatcha waiting for". In addition, the last two (purely vocal) lines do not exist for this unit and are replaced with instrumentation. Another slight change appears in the The Three Caballeros Unit, where "Come on" is replaced with "Olé". And Peter Pan Unit, where "Come on" is replaced with "Yo ho", as per the pirate dancers and Captain Hook. During the Lion King/Jungle Book section of the parade, the chorus is not sung at all, instead being purely instrumental until "Hey, Hey, Hey," at which time the words are replaced by grunts following the same pattern.