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Why do daytime parades use illumination?

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  • Why do daytime parades use illumination?

    This is a question that makes me scratch my head time and again - Why do daytime parades use illumination? Whenever there is a daytime parade, even in the brightest of days, Disney parks will still use lighting on them (which achieves nothing). Isn't this just a waste of energy? I understand it in enclosed theaters, but the parades are always using illumination as well. Here is a pic of what I am talking about. Any explanations I might have missed?

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  • #2
    Well although I am not privy to Disney's methods, I can give you an explanation from a photographers point of view. Short answer, it looks and photographs better. Even though it's the "brightest of days" the lights still effect the "look". The sun comes from one direction (as well as scattered ambient light, but it's relatively top down). The "effect lighting" lights the object from different angels, cutting down on dark shadows, and the use of color gels over the lights give an added effect of making colors "pop!".

    It's the same principle as using a flash when taking pictures during the day or the use of klieg lights during a daytime sports events and concerts.

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    • #3
      And I can tell ya “waste of energy” is not a concern for Disneyland. I once had a chat with a Lighting Designer and I asked why more of the power hog conventional lights that are used for entertainment were not converted to LEDs and he said that Disney has such a low negotiated rate for power there is zero cost benefit to retrofit. New technology is installed with the latest and greatest but power costs were not a determining factor.

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      • #4
        Looks like a WAST to me~~~~~
        but what do , I know ......lol)))
        Soaring like an EAGLE !

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        • #5
          I suspect it's so they only have to program for one parade, day or night, for simplicity. Since the results of having the lights on during the day are negligible, why take the chance of having the wrong show loaded in the control system?
          Just sayin'

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MSCguy View Post
            I suspect it's so they only have to program for one parade, day or night, for simplicity. Since the results of having the lights on during the day are negligible, why take the chance of having the wrong show loaded in the control system?
            I think this is part of it but also they keep the lights going as there will be days where it is very overcast or cloudy and rather then have an additional component of checking weather and determining if lights should or should not go then it is simply easy enough to run the same show night, day, cloudy, rain or shine.

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            • #7
              They do it at Disneyland Paris too, and I don't know if they have a preferential electricity rate over there. I think that the photography reason would be the best. I still think it'd be a matter of just clicking a button for the lights to be off during daytime shows, but as you say, what difference does it make to management if the cost is negligible. It is probably just for "good show".

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              • #8
                photography reason is only one that make sense .
                Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mtlchuck View Post
                  They do it at Disneyland Paris too, and I don't know if they have a preferential electricity rate over there. I think that the photography reason would be the best. I still think it'd be a matter of just clicking a button for the lights to be off during daytime shows, but as you say, what difference does it make to management if the cost is negligible. It is probably just for "good show".
                  I can definitely understand the concerns on saving energy, even if Disney gets a negotiated discounted rate.

                  Without knowing how the software works or how the shows are programmed it's hard to say if it's as easy as "clicking a button", but I would hazard a guess that like Starcade said it's a matter of just having one program that works well to worry about regardless of the environment, but also for ease of use for the CM that is controlling it. It's easier to train someone to simply press a start button and not have to worry about additional cases. Even if highly trained engineers are working the show, sometimes simplicity is better as to not introduce additional reasons for something to go wrong. Better to have a working parade than disappointed guests who can't see it because of a glitch in the system. Perhaps the software that runs the program can simply turn off the lights, maybe it can't. Again, I don't know the system, but usually in automation all aspects are pre-programmed and changing things could require a second program.

                  You would think spotlights in the daytime are silly due to how bright the sun is, but as a photographer myself, I know that a camera handles contrast changes between highlights and shadow far worse than the human eye. The difference between highlights and shadows are huge in photography, more so on a sunny day with direct sunlight than on a cloudy day. I'm sure there's plenty of photographers on this board that can back me up on that. Those spotlights are definitely bright enough to fill in the shadow areas on the floats that aren't in direct sunlight. Any additional fill lighting is always appreciated. I've gone to many outdoor daytime concerts where they still run the stage lighting for effect.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mtlchuck View Post
                    They do it at Disneyland Paris too, and I don't know if they have a preferential electricity rate over there. I think that the photography reason would be the best. I still think it'd be a matter of just clicking a button for the lights to be off during daytime shows, but as you say, what difference does it make to management if the cost is negligible. It is probably just for "good show".
                    In Paris there is also the situation of winter. During winter the parade runs as usual at 5:30pm and it is dark already so they need lights.
                    DLP - 1994 / 2002 / 2007 / 2010 / 2011 onwards: Annual Passport

                    WDW - 2006 / 2008 / 2009 / 2014 / 2016

                    TDL - 2016

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