This week in our Disneyland Spotlight, we’ll take an audio look back at the history of Parades that have made their way through the Disneyland Resort of the last sixty years.
Our show kicks off with a track from the Grand Opening parade of Disneyland, National Emblem which was played by the US Marine Corp Band.
Next we fast forward to 1959 with Disneyland’s Gala Day Parade. This parade was developed as part of the celebration of Disneyland’s first major expansion and was presented live on television.
Fantasy on Parade was a parade that debuted for television in 1966 on the Wonderful World of Color.
According to Disneychris.com most early parades were one time only events. However, as time went on demand for daily entertainment grew and Disneyland developed daily parades. The early versions were simply parades of characters set to music. The Disneyland Character Parade was one of the first of these.
In 1978 Disneyland celebrated Mickey Mouse’s 50th Birthday with a special parade. Six years later in 1984 Disneyland celebrated the 50th birthday of Donald Duck with his very own parade.
The All American College Marching Band is a performing ensemble of undergrads from Disneyland’s performing arts internship program.
The Disneyland Parade Song was originally the theme of the Mickey Mouse 50th Birthday parade but continued on beyond that event with some changes to the lyrics and became a parade theme song.
The Lion King Celebration parade celebrated the release of the 1994 Disney Feature, The Lion King. It ran from June 1, 1994 to June 7, 1997 and was succeeded by Hercules’ Victory Parade.
The Mulan Parade, which debuted in 1998 around the release of Mulan and had two nightly performances. The Mulan Parade, performing at night, had the tall order of erasing the bad memories that had been left by the 20 million dollar technological disaster it replaced, Light Magic. However, unlike Light Magic, which frequently drew boos from the crowd, the Mulan Parade was a success and was described by one Disney fan as “clever, often dazzling…” The Mulan parade featured a 150 foot dragon and an 18-foot-tall emperor.
Disneyland’s Parade of the Stars debuted in 2000 as part of the park’s 45th anniversary and ran until its final performances in 2004.
Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams premiered on May 5, 2005 as part of the Happiest Homecoming on Earth, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. The Parade featured narration by Julie Andrews and closed in November of 2008.
*special thanks to Disneychris.com for a substantial portion of the information and audio provided.