Sorry for the break (I will explain at the end), but here we are, my report on the return of the illustrious....the legendary...the classic as all get out....MAIN STREET ELECTRICAL PARADE!
Now, it was exciting enough the parade was to come back on my January 20th birthday (which I elected to spend at Universal....and got rained out. I mean soaked.)
Now, this isn't a full trip report, but dibs and dabs for you all, and if you hang in there, you can see the Photo Buffet of a good old favorite.
For those who don't know, the Electrical Parade is back in intervals while the Paint the Night Parade is receiving much needed repairs. The success of the parade has led to wear and tear on the floats, along with some costume issues. Please make sure to check the Disneyland website and your maps to be sure you know which parade is showing in the coming months. However, for now, it's Electrical all the way. Much to my grandmother's chagrin....she'd rather have Paint the Night....
Right from Main Street, Disneyland is celebrating the parade's return. The primary colors of the banners down Main Street do add a nice aesthetic touch along your route.
The Showcase shop right off of Town Square has the new Parade merch. It's all very cute.
I want these ears!
Two shirts for the little people. And my mother as Vanna White.
Replacing the Christmas lights (though there were still some left in the Emporium) are these necklace lights which I suppose are meant to go with the parade.
The Straw Hatters were out on Main Street as well. If you get a chance, stop and enjoy these talented musicians. Some of the best things about a Disney theme park are the moments where you stop instead of run.
Over in Critter Country, I did what I do best: peeking through the cracks of a temporary wall. Looks like there will be a nice bridge towards Star Wars Land. Disney just announced this week, it's scheduled to open in 2019. (Full article here.)
Lots of rock work is already up. I can't remember if Jim Hill said so or Micechat, but the intention in Imagineering is to get the rock work up first so the other elements can just be brought IN, as opposed to doing the facades last. Interesting way to go - I wonder how much of the "plan" is still in flux.
The train is still in refurbishment mode. Last year at this time, the trains were taken offline and immediately the tracks were being pulled up for replacement. I haven't been able to see how far they've gotten on that project, but it would be a nice video for the Disney Parks Blog. I'm sure train track laying is a lost art...
Later this week, I'll do a larger report on the Pooh Corner shop, but anywhere you can buy pastries, Disney has adorable Electrical Parade themed cake pops and rice krispy treats. The Caterpillar, I believe, is actually a marshmallow...pop? I don't know; Mom elected to get the Cheshire cat tail.
The Golden Horseshoe is back to its non-holiday shows. I know I've said it before but it's always a good time if you want a rest, a drink, or a quick meal.
On a note of etiquette, please, when the weather is like this, do NOT allow (or enable) your child to play IN the blowing balloons. Sure, it's cute now, but if they somehow get stuck and panic, it can most certainly lead to problems. While waiting, a parent not only allowed this, but held his child close to the blowing balloons. It just didn't look safe at all between the force of the wind (which cancelled the fireworks) and the ribbons that could easily get tangled, it seemed this parent was not interested in common sense.
If you are planning to see the parade, make sure you know what you're getting into. Personally, we waited a good 4-5 hours. Disney smartly made an announcement when the "seating areas were full". Not that people listened....it was still a good tactic.
The cast members dealing with the crowds were on point! I was given the opportunity of a survey, and mentioned them both by name, Mitchell and Lloyd.
Another etiquette note, there are ALWAYS openings in the ropes set up during parades. Just go to the end of the roped off area. Going under/through is disruptive to those who have been saving their place for hours. And attempting to insert yourself through a passage that is in fact NOT a passage, is rude.
Here it comes!
The Blue Fairy float appears to be missing, but the train was a more than adequate herald to an old friend.
I didn't think I was all that excited until the music started. It truly was an old friend back to visit.
There are a few little extra bits of magic in the floats, but otherwise, the floats are in great classic condition.
No longer "DCA Presents Disney's Electrical Parade"!
Only thing new here is Mickey's...facelift? (C'mon! The dude is gonna be 90, he's had SOME work done!)
All the happy little creatures!
Poor Alice's hair was whippin' in the wind!
Why is the turtle wearing a Spanish hat? This is one of those mysteries of life....
OK, I couldn't get a good picture of the mice but my grandmother LOVES them, so here.
I think she forgot they're in there otherwise she wouldn't be missing Paint the Night so much...
I always loved these odd canopies. I'd be interested to hear how this decision was made.
Now, Cinderella gets the coach while the poor Prince is stuck with Anastasia and Drizella?!
Evil stepsisters or One Direction fans?
I love this float, mostly for the nice little "water" fountains.
Peter Pan and Captain Hook!
Oops, he caught me!
One addition is the Tinkerbell float, with --as I called them-- her token Fairy friends. Seriously, who hangs out with ONE Asian fairy, ONE black fairy, ONE redhead? This isn't Friendship Bingo, just pick who ya pick, Tink!
The float, being a little younger, is a little more high tech, so it stands out.
I don't know about you all, but I always loved the Snow White section because I loved the different color jewels.
The diamond mine float seemed a little shorter than before...
And I get the impression we're missing a Pinocchio float....I'll have to check my video tape from the parade's "final season" in 1996 (yes, it's a VHS, I'm old).
I did lend it to my aunt, because as a toddler, my goddaughter loved the parade during its tenure at DCA. She used to get into her Cinderella costume, and walk around the room slowly, waving and blowing kisses like she was in the parade. It took me a while to figure out why she was so slow.
Elliot! Now, how many kids saw the recent reboot of Pete's Dragon, and were confused....
It was hard to get a good shot, but at one point Elliot "disappears". It was a REALLY nice moment.
And I love these details like Elliot's lamp on his tail.
And the grand finally...."To Honor America".
The parade is in good shape. When it came back to CA in the form of Disney's Electrical Parade at DCA, I know the Pleasure Island float became two smaller floats, and there were other odd changes. At the time, it seemed Walt Disney World management liked to "fix" the parade to differentiate it from its performances at Disneyland. God knows why. The Window to the Magic Podcast did a series on the history of the Parade in its early years, but I never felt it answered the questions about the seeming tug of war between the east and west coast parks. It's all such a crazy jumble for a parade that, I'm sure, wasn't intended to last this long.
The reactions from the audience were a testament to what a classic it is. Nostalgia isn't something temporary. If it were, there wouldn't be nostalgia. A memory of something happy is something that lives in your heart for years. Disney made a very smart move bringing this parade back, even temporarily.
Finally, I feel the need to explain why this post was a little later than I'd intended. I meant to have this post up for you all last week. Sadly, my cousin Michael "Tank" Pacheco, passed away, after a valiant battle with cancer, and just a few days after the unexpected loss of another cousin, John Ojeda.
I'm a writer....yet for the past week, words have truly failed me. I am so proud of Tank for fighting, relieved to let his body rest, and heartbroken for his parents-my great-uncle and aunt- his older brothers, and twin sister. Tank and his siblings are all my baby cousins, no matter how old we are, and I am equally proud of their strength through this journey.
There is no love without pain. So, I must be grateful for the pain of loss, the tension of waiting by the phone for news during this journey. I am grateful because that means Tank loved and was loved.
The Saturday before he passed, my family drove the two hours to be sure to see him, and to provide family support. That's what love is - playing your role in that person's life, no matter how small. I am grateful to have played a small part in Tank's life.
"Those who love us never truly leave us." -JK Rowling
So, again, I apologize for my absence, but it just didn't feel right in light of the events of the week.
Thank you all for hanging on. With AP Days starting on the 10th, it will be a busy month here at the Shadow of the Mouse Blog. I'm sorry I didn't get to cover the Lunar New Year celebrations, but I'm sure you all understand. (You may want to try trusty Micechat.)
Have a good week and weekend. Stay safe.
P.S. Here is the commercial for the Electrical Parade, to leave you on a happy note.