"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I Love A Parade

Walt Disney wanted to make everyday something special at his theme park, and what do Americans do on special days? They throw down with parades and fireworks shows, that's what. So, at Disney parks everyday has parades and fireworks. Each park has at least one parade or nightly fireworks-type show and the Magic Kingdom goes especially whole hog with several parades and sometimes two fireworks presentations a day. We aren't the type to have to make every parade, we missed the afternoon Magic Kingdom parade entirely on this trip, but we did make a point to check out a few for either the first or possibly the last time.

The Cheshire Cat seems to be enjoying himself, too
Maybe I just like this parade because it features Elliot.
Sadly, I think this was the last time we'll see the Main Street Electrical Parade. I have written in the past about how much I will miss this and hate to see it replaced with the terrible SpectroMagic parade, but that seems to be what is planned. On the day of our arrival, we planned to be in the Magic Kingdom for the Electrical parade no matter what else we managed to do. As it worked out, it was the only night we'd be able to see it, so we made it a priority. It didn't disappoint, it never does. In fact, I was a bit surprised that it looked even better than the last time. I figured maybe with it being scheduled to end sometime around the end of the year (rumor has it), it would look a little the worse for wear. But it was glorious and bright and wonderful. It was a great start to our week and apparently a great way to finish it as well. We got talking to a woman watching next to us with her small child. Turns out she was leaving the next morning after her very first trip to Disney. After a full week of vacation fun, her husband and other son were back at the room resting, but she said she needed to see one last parade before she went home. My kinda person.

Blurry, crappy picture of a really cute Tigger Pirate :)
As someone who just loves the Magic Kingdom at night and someone who loves Halloween, I guess it should come as no surprise that I found the Boo To You Parade during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party to be the BEST DISNEY PARADE EVER!!!  The whole MNSSHP was an unbelievably fun night and will get its own gushing blog post, so I'll limit myself to the parade here. I don't have a bunch of pictures from the Boo To You parade because we left the good camera in the room. We did that on purpose. Having never seen that parade and having looked forward to it for months, I didn't want to see it through a viewfinder. I'm glad I made that choice. This parade was a spectacle from the very start. A few minutes before the parade itself comes around, the Headless Horseman gallops down the street on a huge black horse. That alone was worth the price of admission. The music that goes along with this parade is awesome, it stuck with us all week and not in that annoying "Small World" way either. In fact, Lisa has been looking for a way to download the soundtrack into her ipod. The villains all made an appearance, but our favorites were the "extras" that you'll only ever see in this parade. There were ghosts from the ballroom scene in the Haunted Mansions ride dancing down the street and there was a for real blood hound that looked uncannily like our own dog. Our favorites, though, were the grave diggers, guys with shovels who danced by dragging their tools across the pavement in time with the music and creating showers of sparks. It was really, really cool. We weren't the only ones impressed, we found. The people we were standing with to watch had already been to a MNSSHP earlier in the week and came back for this one as well because they loved it so much. Again, my kind of people.

She is adorable
The costumes, such as on this stilt-walker, are amazing
Another first for us was Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade in the Animal Kingdom. This was only our second visit to this park and we missed the parade the first time, so  it was a priority. I think this is my new favorite daytime parade at any Disney park. The colors are almost overwhelming, the characters are dressed in really cool "expedition" attire, the floats carrying the characters are mostly Jeeps in various states of modification and the other floats are incredibly imaginative and unique. Everyone in the parade seemed to be genuinely having the time of their lives. I know it's Disney and it's their job to look like that, but this seemed really genuine. Almost all the stilt-walkers, and they were pretty high up there, noticed Lisa and I wearing "Happy Anniversary" buttons and acknowledged our celebration with a wave and a point at our buttons or a shouted "Congratulations!!!" It wasn't a terribly long parade, but it was high energy and to my eyes at least very different from the ones at the other parks. It fits Animal Kingdom perfectly.

Goodbye Baloo!!!
The last parade we saw on our trip was entirely by accident. I had to ask on the Dis Boards what the thing was called and what it was about. Actually, our last day in the parks was pretty incredible all around. We spent maybe a total of two and a half hours in the Magic Kingdom and saw two stage shows and a parade, none of them on purpose. It just seemed that they knew when we'd be crossing the Hub and arranged entertainment for us! It was a very nice touch, we thought. Anyway, what we saw was apparently the Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! parade/dance party that travels up Main Street to the Castle front yard a few times a day. They stop there and the characters climb down to mix and mingle and dance with the park guests. We didn't see any of that, or even know it was going to happen. We were just walking out of Tomorrowland on our way out of the park and to Hollywood Studios when we noticed a parade of really bright, gift package-looking floats headed towards us up Main Street. We stopped and took pictures and waved and said goodbye to  Mickey and Donald and Goofy and Baloo and King Louie one more time. It really felt as if they planned this as a farewell to the Stites Family. You can tell me it wasn't, but I'll not listen :)

I've got lots more pictures and even some video from these parades, if you're interested. Just follow these links, and feel free to "like" the Pooh Sticks Facebook page or subscribe to my Youtube channel.

The Main Street Electrical Parade in pictures

Captain Hook's Main Street Electrical Parade video

The Hookah Smoking Caterpillar Main Street Electrical Parade video. I told you they featured some off the wall characters!

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade in pictures

These videos were shot by my son, John, at the Jungle Parade. I think he did GREAT!!!

King Louie and Baloo

Donald Duck.
 I just gotta say Donald singing "Iko Iko" pretty much made my day.


Mickey Mouse

And last but not least, our last day, last minute pictures of Disney's Goodbye Stites Family Parade ;)

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