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Remembering Light Magic


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  • Remembering Light Magic

    Once upon a time in 1996, The Main Street Electrical Parade ended its last farewell performance, never to return to Disneyland again.

    Then in 1997, Light Magic was introduced.

    And it ended just one season later.

    The folks at Disney apparently want you to forget the "streetacular" ever existed. Trust me- I've searched through records in books and things about past DL shows- and they talk about The Lion King Celebration, the Mulan Parade, the Pocahontas show- but not a single mention of Light Magic!

    Why? Well, to be blunt, Light Tragic, as I've heard it called many a time, was a failure. But in the eyes of Disney, it was the result of a lot of good ideas mushed together that seemed good at the time but really didn't work out.

    Light Magic was four very large identical rolling stages that stopped two in Small World area, two in Main Street. The idea was that Tinker Bell and her friends come out to play in the night and the Disney characters, dressed in pajamas, wake up and come to investigate what all the fun is about. What they found were pixie people (Tinker Bell's relatives?) who put on a show and interacted with the audience. The music (I have it on CD and only managed to listen to the whole thing about once) sounds very leprachaun-ish, with accordion and flute and A LOT of bagpipe, re-mixing favorite Disney songs in renditions I do not especially care for, but that's just me. The theme song, Dream our Dreams, is O.K., but I've heard better. Anyway, the set was very elaborate, so I've heard (I never had the pleasure of seeing the streetacular, it did have a short run). Extensive use of fiber optic lighting was used, as well as screens with projections of Disney clips from the films. These no doubt looked very cool at night, when they worked, that is. As the story goes, the AP preview of Light Magic had a few visible glitches, which kinda ruined the reputation of the night show even before the general guest public could see it. Oh yes, and Light Magic did have a ton of confetti, much to the delight of the cast members working those street sweepers.

    So you see, Light Magic tried to combine past successes- the show stops from the Lion King Celebration (sorta like what PoD does now, but much more briefly thank goodness), the screens and clips of movies from Fantasmic, and the confetti from the Mardi Gras 35th anniversary parade thingy. And they all combined all right, into a messy, mushy 20-million-dollar pulp.

    Anyway, that's as much as I recall. I didn't mean to bash on Light Magic- I'm just stating it as it is.

    btw- if anyone has pictures of the streetacular, please post them. I have only seen bits and pieces of what the show looked like and I would be interested to see. And if anyone saw the show, please add your insight and memories here, + or - as they may be.

    So thus, Light Magic disappeared into the darkness forever, and the renamed Disney's Electrical Parade broke the promise of farewell and lived happily ever after in DCA in 2001. The End?...
    Last edited by 2DieFR; 06-27-2005, 07:12 AM.

  • #2
    LM Blew MAJOR Butt Nuggets. Glad it was short lived, and glad it's Gone.
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    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: Greatest *GOD-Made Place On Earth :thumbup:


    • #3
      I'm glad too, but I think it's good to pay attention to failures just as much as successes. Maybe then, the same thing won't happen again.


      • #4
        *afraid of being beaten*

        [whisper] i miss light magic! :o [/whisper]


        • #5
          Originally posted by fantoongal
          *afraid of being beaten*

          [whisper] i miss light magic! :o [/whisper]

          Somebody get the whip out!

          just kiddin' :lol:

          wow .. did this sucker tank. When I saw it roll out of Small World mall, make it's stop .... It was amazing to hear how few people actually applauded this thing. The only time people broke out into applause was when a few bars of "Baroque Hoedown" (MSEP music) broke out .. and the clapping began.

          I miss the fact Disneyland has no nighttime parade. I was almost certain following the disaster of Light Tragic .... that a new and different night-time parade would make it's way out: MSEP version 2.0, Spectromagic 2.0 ... any one of TDL's successful night time pageants - the creativity is there.

          But now that the Main Street Electrical Parade performs in DCA (Disney Cuddles Accounters) ... seems 2 nighttime parades kind of cancel each other out.

          Light Magic seemed to be the brainchild out of the current craze of the time (Riverdance, and other Irish keltic dancing that was big at the time). That seemed to be a temporary fad.

          What I thought was also missing .. we essentially we had one float to look at. Without much to see .... boredom set in fairly quickly. There was only so much those little pixies could do on and around the floats for the 15 or so minutes they were on.


          • #6
            Jim Hill wrote a series of articles about Light Magic if you're interested.
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            • #7
              I liked some of the theme music to it and that's about it(not the riverdance parts). While watching it I like many others was just filled with nonstop feelings of "what in the hell is going on here... they stole our parade for this?!?"

              I miss a fun nighttime disneyland parade. I appreciate what they did with PoD and think it looks marvelous at night, in fact I think I like it more at night. But a true nighttime parade would still be all the more special.

              I don't think anyone would complain if come nighttime on July17th, baroque hoedown came blasting in and the parade went strolling through the magic kingdom again =D (wishful thinking)


              • #8
                Music isn't that bad....


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sgtsloth
                  Jim Hill wrote a series of articles about Light Magic if you're interested.
                  Did he actually finish it?

                  Eat meat. Your daddy sez it's good for ya.


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I read Jim Hill's articles- in fact, that's about the only good source of Light Magic I ever came across. Very informative as to how Disneyland ended up with this nighttime parade- er, Streetacular. Apparently, Disney had a love fest as to make a way for Tinker Bell to fly just "feet above people's heads" so that the guests that didn't get enough of her in the fireworks show were satisfied. (Now that we have R...DCT, I doubt that would be a problem anymore, thanks and all but Tinker Bell has her claim to fame, heh. But we're talking back to Fantasy in the Sky days, when she just flew down the zipline by gravity.)


                    • #11
                      Light Magic had many good ideas in it, but none of them worked together. We could go on for hours and hours (or post after post). but it just didn't work. It's time to move on and enjoy the current parade/show.
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                      • #12
                        Well, I'll say it...I liked Light Magic and I'm sorry it's history at the park had such a sad ending. It was kind of rough getting going, but they deserved more time to work out the kinks. The ideas were good, the music was great (we still like that CD!), and the dancing was good. For as much financial investment as they put into it, they should have kept with it and gotten a better return.

                        Yes, crowd control was a mess and the costuming needed work. But the biggest problem I had with it was that if you didn't have the right viewing angle or close proximity to watch the show, you really couldn't see much and it dragged on too long. The show stops should have been shorter (i.e., less of "the pixies are ***still*** dancing"). And there should have been more to look at during the show and a big finale to look forward to. It needed more magic!

                        The show had potential and they did a fair amount of tinkering with it while it ran, but it got such a bad name that they never had time to finish working out it's troubles. I think that's the "Tragic" in the "Light Magic" story.

                        They also let the marketing people promote it extensively before they had a good product to promote. That was made even worse by the fact that Light Magic was the followup parade to the ridiculously successful MSEP "glowing away forever" season that clicked emotionally for a lot of people. Then add in the internet factor, where people online had been discussing the new show to death. Expectations were running incredibly high before the show even opened, and anything less than a new Fantasmic was going to be judged a failure. Light Magic got skewered.

                        Nowadays it seems like everything has to be a hit right away, and if it's not, just pull the plug and it's gone. In my opinion, they threw the baby out with the bathwater on this one.

                        Sue in Sacramento
                        ...who's kids loved dancing with the pixies...


                        • #13
                          Yeah, it had its high points (VERY few), but overall it was a disaster.

                          We were there for opening night. And we were fortunate enough to get a seat early enough to be right in front of one of the stops, so viewing (for us) was fine. Others weren't so lucky...

                          I remember telling the CM that surveyed us afterwards that it was terrible (for the above reasons, no sense in repeating) and that it wouldn't last long. Actually, it was shut down right after Labor Day, so I wasn't too far off.

                          Like was said above, hopefully they learned from their mistakes. Good ideas surrounded by a lot of bad ones. That was the makings of Light Magic.


                          • #14
                            I saw light magic on opening night. It was very colorfull and the girl pixies were hot and cute....but after the first 10 minutes, i got really bored. you just sit there watching the pixies dance over and over with disney charecters. And while it's nice to watch girls dressed as pixies dance....i expected more, but there was nothing. nothing more, nothing less.
                            Waste of money, plain and simple.
                            I think it could have been a good night parade if they had made it shorted and kept it running thru the streets kind of like MSEP. AND NOT MARKET IT AS MSEP'S REPLACEMENT! That was the kicker that killed it faster then anything. They tried to replace MSEP right after it left and hyped up light magic. if they had left the park with some cool down time and just soft opened the parade, it might have been a bigger hit.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SueinSac
                              Then add in the internet factor, where people online had been discussing the new show to death.

                              People do that??


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