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My experience seeing the final Main Street Electrical Parade

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  • My experience seeing the final Main Street Electrical Parade

    I saw dozens of people with the shirts. Even a couple people with the denim jackets with the MSEP logo on it. I wore my "I Survived!" shirt, from the original Farewell season in 1996. I didn't see that last performance, but I remember seeing the parade shortly before.
    It was the second performance of the day. The final one. I got to town square 45 minutes before it was set to begin. It was the most crowded I had ever seen it during the second show. I stood across the street from the Disney Showcase, so I could see directly into the gates once they opened.
    As the announcements began, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, in just 30 minutes......" people began cheering and clamoring. I was excited, and sad to hear them, cause it would be the last time.
    Then, it began. Blue lights filled the streets, and deep tone of the first note of the opening fanfare filled the air. Everyone cheered.
    Once the gates opened, I began to feel... really weird. As if a strange energy filled the air around me. I felt this way for the rest of the night.
    As each float came into view, there was a burst of cheers and screams from the guests. They would call the characters names, trying to get their attention. When Dopey came driving in his mine train, people chanted, "Dopey! Dopey! Dopey!"
    Elliot came into view; based on crowd reactions, he was undoubtably the fan favorite. Pete was moving away from his usual script, incorporating quotes from the film into his dialog. And when it was time for the disappearing effect, I swear, it was what sounded was like every single person in the crowd roaring, "BRAZZLE DAZZLE!"
    Then ladies for the American flag float came marching in, there was another chant, "USA! USA! USA!"
    As the golden eagle finally came out and passed us, the ropes came down, and it seemed as if everyone who was watching the parade wanted a chance to stay with it as long as they could. I joined in, into what was now an enormous mass of people following closely behind the last float. I heard someone say "Theres no such thing as personal space right now!" I pretty much believed that. We were packed shoulder to shoulder, only able to take tiny steps.
    When we reached the Matterhorn, I looked back, and the crowd following the parade was so long, I couldn't even see the end of it. And it kept growing as we went along the parade route.
    We passed people still sitting, and they cheered on. Some of us even waved to them, as if we were part of the parade.
    Throughout the mob, I could see dozens of arms in the air, holding up phones, recording, and streaming the last performance.
    As we left each viewing section, I could hear the music end, and the voices say "The Main Street Electrical Parade!" There would be cheering each time this happened, with each one, the cheers got louder.
    Then finally, we reached Its a small world. The last section. The cast members let us follow for as long as they could, until it was finally time. They gestured us to stop, and we did. We gave it another cheer, others chanting "Main Street! Main Street! Main Street!", as the float began going through the gate. Phones were recording, other people were clamoring, clapping, and (myself included) waving goodbye.
    Then the strangest thing happened. When the music ended, from where I was standing, it sounded as if everyone fell silent in an instant. Then we heard, for the last time,"The Main Street Electrical Parade!"
    It was followed by the biggest arruption of applaud I have ever heard. It continued until the float was inside the gates, and they completely closed.

    And just like that, it was gone. My favorite thing to ever exist at the park. Out of my life. I walked all the way back to my car, trying to hold back tears. My trips to Disneyland would never be the same.

    Making weekly visits to the park since February, I saw the full parade 56 times. But even then, I feel like it wasn't enough.

    I always felt weird wearing my "I Survived!" shirt, because I wasn't really there for that last performance in 1996.

    But now, I feel like I was.
    Last edited by Samareck; 08-22-2017, 11:01 PM.
    "If a 6 or 7 year old thinks you're cool, then you're doing something right." -Justin Scarred

  • #2
    Really beautiful and poignant message. Thank you for sharing.

    I suspect this won't be the last time we see the Electrical Parade, especially given the time and care Disneyland took to redo the floats; however, as of right now, I'd be content if the parade glowed away forever. My memories seeing the parade on Main Street one last time this summer were really special, especially since I never thought I'd ever get to see the parade again. Thank you Disneyland.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is MSEP being replaced with another parade?

      Comment


      • #4
        Ah, this almost made me bawl. I love that parade (and I'm not a parade person). It takes me back to my high school days when it "glowed away." I wish I could have seen it one last time.

        Comment


        • #5
          OP, what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt experience and perspective. We've really enjoyed the show this year and have seen the parade a number of times this summer. It will be missed and we became more emotionally attached that I would have thought of at its start.

          Comment


          • #6
            We were fortunate to see it three times this summer, the best part being my grandchildren were able to see it for the first time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by matterhorn77 View Post
              Is MSEP being replaced with another parade?
              Paint The Night is returning in its place, but will be in DCA. As for night parades in Disneyland itself, all i can see in an empty void in the future.
              "If a 6 or 7 year old thinks you're cool, then you're doing something right." -Justin Scarred

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Samareck View Post

                Paint The Night is returning in its place, but will be in DCA. As for night parades in Disneyland itself, all i can see in an empty void in the future.
                I'm kind of ok with that though. With fantasmic and MSEP and the firework show it was a little crazy getting from one side of the park to the other.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was there too for the 'final showing', and I'm pretty certain i saw you Samareck with your 96' t-shirt on!
                  It caught my eye on two occasions that night as all of us mega-fans were following behind the Parade all the way to the exit gate.

                  It was a great night to be in the Park as the crowds were not too bad during the day, and it wasn't as packed as I was expecting that night.

                  I also had the perfect spot to watch the Parade - corner in front of the Emporium, which is a thin standing only area right where the floats turn when leaving Town Square and beginning their run up Main Street proper.
                  From here, you could see the floats exit the starting gate and make their way around the circle, then pass right in front of you with no one to obstruct your view from front or behind.

                  The floats make a tight turn there on that corner, and are so close to you that you could reach out and touch them if you dared.
                  This is where I had my magical finale night moment with the Parade.

                  Standing on that corner, I must have looked like a obvious fan of the Electrical Parade.
                  I wore my WDW 'Electrical Water Pageant' shirt and a string of wire seed lights twinkling around my neck that I had brought from home.
                  It must have made me stand out from the crowd as when the Casey Jr. opening float came by, one of the two black attired CMs trailing the train spotted me and came over.
                  He then passed me a small handful of the plastic light covers used on the floats, saying that perhaps I could now use these on my lights ( around my neck )!

                  I'll confess, I geeked out as any self respecting serious MSEP fan would....as it was a really cool thing for him to do.
                  Wether he had some spares in his pocket, or just pulled them off the float itself I didn't see.
                  I watched the rest of the Parade with those peices in my hand.

                  After the Parade passed by, I had planned to follow it up Main Street....and I wasn't alone in having that idea.
                  That in itself was a fun experience...trailing the golden eagle from the To Honor America unit with hundreds of other Parade fans.
                  Everytime we crossed a parade 'zone' and the finale fanfare went off, the massive throng following behind cheered.
                  It was awesome!

                  Once we reached the exit gates, more cheers once the final float passes behind the trees and out of view backstage.
                  The huge mob still kept cheering, and eventually started chanting 'encore...encore...encore!'
                  Probably one of the highlights of my recent visit....that entire evening.



                  -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Maybe now we can finally get that revival of Light Magic everyone's been hoping for!
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

                    No matter where you go, there you are.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sbk1234 View Post
                      Maybe now we can finally get that revival of Light Magic everyone's been hoping for!
                      The 20 year update!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sbk1234 View Post
                        Maybe now we can finally get that revival of Light Magic everyone's been hoping for!
                        Still holding my breath!
                        "If a 6 or 7 year old thinks you're cool, then you're doing something right." -Justin Scarred

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Figments Friend View Post
                          I was there too for the 'final showing', and I'm pretty certain i saw you Samareck with your 96' t-shirt on!
                          It caught my eye on two occasions that night as all of us mega-fans were following behind the Parade all the way to the exit gate.

                          It was a great night to be in the Park as the crowds were not too bad during the day, and it wasn't as packed as I was expecting that night.

                          I also had the perfect spot to watch the Parade - corner in front of the Emporium, which is a thin standing only area right where the floats turn when leaving Town Square and beginning their run up Main Street proper.
                          From here, you could see the floats exit the starting gate and make their way around the circle, then pass right in front of you with no one to obstruct your view from front or behind.

                          The floats make a tight turn there on that corner, and are so close to you that you could reach out and touch them if you dared.
                          This is where I had my magical finale night moment with the Parade.

                          Standing on that corner, I must have looked like a obvious fan of the Electrical Parade.
                          I wore my WDW 'Electrical Water Pageant' shirt and a string of wire seed lights twinkling around my neck that I had brought from home.
                          It must have made me stand out from the crowd as when the Casey Jr. opening float came by, one of the two black attired CMs trailing the train spotted me and came over.
                          He then passed me a small handful of the plastic light covers used on the floats, saying that perhaps I could now use these on my lights ( around my neck )!

                          I'll confess, I geeked out as any self respecting serious MSEP fan would....as it was a really cool thing for him to do.
                          Wether he had some spares in his pocket, or just pulled them off the float itself I didn't see.
                          I watched the rest of the Parade with those peices in my hand.

                          After the Parade passed by, I had planned to follow it up Main Street....and I wasn't alone in having that idea.
                          That in itself was a fun experience...trailing the golden eagle from the To Honor America unit with hundreds of other Parade fans.
                          Everytime we crossed a parade 'zone' and the finale fanfare went off, the massive throng following behind cheered.
                          It was awesome!

                          Once we reached the exit gates, more cheers once the final float passes behind the trees and out of view backstage.
                          The huge mob still kept cheering, and eventually started chanting 'encore...encore...encore!'
                          Probably one of the highlights of my recent visit....that entire evening.



                          -
                          Hah! Samareck has been sighted!

                          But that sounds like an excellent viewing spot. As often as I saw the parade, I thought I found all the best spots! My favorite thing to look at during the parade is right when the Tinkerbell float comes out, you can look down Main Street Towards the castle, see the Casey Jr. train and the entire Alice unit with all the twirly bugs all at one time. The amount of movement they show is seriously an amazing sight. And anything Electrical Water Pageant is certainly fitting for the occasion, even seeing someone with merch for that at Disneyland is so rare.

                          And yeah, since the parade is over, I guess they gotta do something with all those leftover reflectors, since I'm sure they have hundreds of thousands of spares! What you got was truly an amazing souvenir; out of all the times I followed the parade to the gates, I was lucky to find 8 of them, even though 4 of them are cracked or broken! But its nice to take pieces of the parade home with us.
                          "If a 6 or 7 year old thinks you're cool, then you're doing something right." -Justin Scarred

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