Disneyland Twitter exploded over the last two days, flooded with pictures of a nighttime parade. It’s not Paint the Night, and people are EXTREMELY excited about it. So what’s going on?
Thursday night marked the limited return of a classic Disneyland parade: The Main Street Electrical Parade. This nighttime show debuted in Disneyland in 1972, and ran for nearly 25 years.
This parade accomplished many firsts.
- The first parade specifically designed to run after dark in a Disney park
- The first automated parade, which could automatically cue music and lighting in different zones on the parade route
- And of course, the first parade to become a sensation in and of itself, with merchandise flying off the shelves!
After 1996, Disney dismantled many of the parade’s original floats, selling individual pieces like lightbulbs to collectors. But MSEP came back to life in 1999, this time in the Magic Kingdom in Florida. In 2001, it moved back to California Adventure (under the name “Disney’s Electrical Parade”), to draw crowds into the new park after sunset.
In 2010, the parade moved back to the Magic Kingdom, under its original name. The show became an instant hit on its second try, and as a result, many Disney World fans felt shocked that the parade would head west once again. Now, the MSEP will return to Disneyland, for a limited run through June.
On January 19, Disneyland hosted an exclusive after-hours party to celebrate the triumphant return of this traveling parade. Guests walked a red carpet, wore special glowing lanyards, and feasted on electrical-themed goodies from nearby restaurants and shops.
The parade will run in Disneyland through June 17, its 45th anniversary. After that, no one knows where it will go. But I know quite a few Disney World regulars hoping it will continue its trend of traveling back and forth!