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  • [Question] Question About Parade Floats...

    OK, this is something that always bugged me whenever I watched a parade, and I really want to know...

    How are they controlled?

    I mean, I know some have drivers on board as some have obvious cabin space, but consider the beauty and the beast float in the parade of dreams? consider the princess ballroom float in christmas fantasy?

    In fact, there's a lot of parade floats that just do not have the space on board for a concealed cabin, unless the driver is lying in some kind of coffin-sized control room, but then could anyone safely guide a huge float through crowds of people everyday in those conditions?

    If anyone knows where the drivers are in a lot of those impossible floats, or knows HOW they are driven pleeeeeaaaaaase tell me!

    I'm new here on this forum, so Hi, (i should have said that first)!!!!!

  • #2
    Re: Question About Parade Floats...

    From what I heard they have a very limited window to see out of and it's real cramped to sit in it.

    I believe the long floats has two drivers in them, like those long fire trucks, driving up the rear.

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    • #3
      Re: Question About Parade Floats...

      I personally have NO idea what they do.. I just wanted to say "welcome to micechat!"


      DISNEYLAND: It even makes science geeks look cool!!

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      • #4
        Re: Question About Parade Floats...

        They use Disney magic.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Question About Parade Floats...

          Thanks for the welcome Giddy!

          And seriously, I'm almost inclined to believe it is Disney magic!

          I mean look at the picture! It's a flat float apart from the raised platform Beast stands on, and then the "window" would be looking out of the steps, and with Belle walking up and down them and around the bottom part, it'd be impossible to see!

          Isn't it possible that some floats are controlled by following a track that runs underground by using sensors, like the audio system?

          Or maybe a cast member walks alongside using a remote control?

          There just cannot be a driver!

          http://lh5.ggpht.com/_9YAS2yEuvYg/Rw...I/IMG_0082.jpg

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          • #6
            Re: Question About Parade Floats...

            Some of them could be remote controlled driven.
            Everybody's got a laughin' place-
            trouble is most folks won't take the time to go look for it.

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            • #7
              Re: Question About Parade Floats...

              I think I read somewhere that for some Disney floats the driver doesn't "sit" in a traditional driving position, but actually lays on his/her stomach. And yes there is a driver in the Beauty float, I've seen someone get in it before. So if they weren't driving I have no idea what else they would be doing...
              Class of 2005...

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              • #8
                Re: Question About Parade Floats...

                Ok. The Floats all have drivers. No, they dont have bucket seats or cushions...but its not exactly like lying on a bed of nails. There are no remote control floats. Yes sometimes theyre cramped some but they are never driving laying down or in some totally ridiculous postion.

                As for how well they can see, it depends on the float. Some floats have better visibility than others, they also have show services people nearby to guide them...

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                • #9
                  Re: Question About Parade Floats...

                  I drove floats for EP, POTS, and Christmas Fantasy a couple of years ago. Some floats have great space and can fit a whole family in there, like Elliot. Some are an absolute pain in the ***, like nearly all of the POTS floats. Many of the guys were too big to drive certain floats, like Belle or Centipede in EP, so the smaller girls had to drive those. I remember centipede was likened to a pap smear float because the pedals were up in the face of the float, and therefore my feet were about even with my shoulders when I drove it. The EP bugs all have drivers and take time to get used to the route, because you drive in the dark. I drove the Finale flag, and the driver sits to the far right of the float and cannot see out the front at all. So what I had to do was look left and right and align the route with a grid line on the side of the floats. Then about halfway down the route a line would appear dead center of the route and I would just keep that centered. I haven't seen any of the POD floats so I don't know how they work. But for the most part, it takes time for the driver to become acclamated to the route and the pacing. The more experienced drivers take the first float and the most obstructed floats. Next time you watch a parade, you'll notice the tow drivers along the route to guide the drivers who may have difficulties making turns because missing a turn could mean a float crashing into the curb. (I only crashed backstage, never on route...I shouldn't be so proud of that...)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Question About Parade Floats...

                    Yea... to clarify.... Every float has a driver. There are NO remote controls. Its not always the most comfortable seat, but we can fit in there.

                    Often visability will be impared, so instead of windows, drivers will rely on tiny hidden cameras in the front of the float that act as their eyes and ears.

                    Also all major floats have valets that walk alongside the float and offer additional directions. There are E-Stops inside and outside the float so either can stop the float at any time.

                    One thing to note though, none of the floats have any air conditioning. A few have a fan but thats about it. The Buzz Lightyear float in Pixar Play Parade can get (without exaggeration) 120 inside. For this reason, drivers will often wear cooling vests while driving for their own protection.

                    So it's not a simple operation, but yup. Everything is hand driven.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Question About Parade Floats...

                      Candydog, I just wanted to say welcome, and what a great question for a thread! I love the parades, but I've never given much thought to how the floats were driven. Thanks for asking such an interesting question, and thanks all the responses from those "in the know"! That's cool to know.
                      "A bad day at Disneyland is better then a great day at work." ~ Max Fischer )


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                      • #12
                        Re: Question About Parade Floats...

                        Originally posted by Tooliebear View Post
                        Candydog, I just wanted to say welcome, and what a great question for a thread! I love the parades, but I've never given much thought to how the floats were driven. Thanks for asking such an interesting question, and thanks all the responses from those "in the know"! That's cool to know.
                        Thanks Tooliebear! I know it's not a question that pops up very often, but it is something that I always wondered!

                        And if we're just going to deal with the Beauty and the Beast Float specifically, would I be right in saying, mainstreetcm, that the "cabin" of that particular unit is under where the beast stands, seeing as you've seen someone get in it? If so, I assume there's tiny cameras in the front of the float so they can see.

                        Anyway, thanks guys! You've cleared up a mystery for me! I know it sometimes spoils the disney magic to know these things, but sometimes it's the intricate details of these things that makes the magic itself!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Question About Parade Floats...

                          As another fellow Show Support CM I can verify that there are no remote controlled floats at all. They are all driven from the inside. Speaking of which, I am driving Calliope tonight for Electrical Parade if anyone wants to come watch hehe. (for those who dont know which float that is, it's the one with King Lion on it playing the circus organ.

                          -SPACE

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                          • #14
                            Re: Question About Parade Floats...

                            Originally posted by Space Mountain View Post
                            As another fellow Show Support CM I can verify that there are no remote controlled floats at all. They are all driven from the inside. Speaking of which, I am driving Calliope tonight for Electrical Parade if anyone wants to come watch hehe. (for those who dont know which float that is, it's the one with King Lion on it playing the circus organ.

                            -SPACE
                            I'll be working the route. =)

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