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  • What makes a great Disneyland parade?

    This is a bit of a spinoff from another thread, but I thought it deserved it's own due to the opinions of all. There are no wrong or right answers. Personally my favorite parades have been Lion King, and MSEP... but I can't really say why. Since Lion King nothing for me has really compared. So I'm curious, is a parade stronger when it is centered on one theme, one movie, or one character, instead of being a mix of every loveable Disney character? MSEP is a huge mix, but it's central theme is the twinkling light and annoyingly catchy music. I honestly feel that they could toss in almost any set of characters and it would retain it's magic with those lights and that music. The Christmas parade is another such mix, Disney characters sprinkled throughout... with the overlaying theme as Christmas Holiday celebrations (I mean no offense to other religions... it is a Holiday parade that features the song Christmas Fantasy). But I have highlighted 3 successes... there are many parades that fail to draw in a crowd. So now I leave the floor open... what makes or breaks a parade for you?
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

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    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  • #2
    Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

    Parade of Dreams and MSEP are my favorites. I think what makes a parade truly great is the same thing that makes any Disney attraction or show great: attention to detail. The POD and MSEP floats are very detailed. The music is amazing and fits so well with what's going on.

    There is also the emotional connection that is created between the subject material and the viewer that makes a parade great or not. That is a very individual kind of thing and depends completely on the person. I think that's why some people can't stand POD and others love it. For some reason, something really touches someone in a very special way and not others.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

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    • #3
      Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

      I think for a parade it is variety, music, and of course the floats.
      Jeff Wayne






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      • #4
        Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

        Since Lion King nothing for me has really compared.
        Yes. I was actually quite young for part of that parade's run; I'm a college student now. Back then, The Lion King was a huge passion of mine. I loved the movie obsessively. Seeing the parade at Disneyland was sheer magic for me. Luckily, my father recorded much of it--and my reactions--on video, and I still watch that tape from time to time. It really was a very elaborate and beautiful parade, and one that I now have nearly incomparable sentimental connections to.

        So what makes a great parade? For kids, the chance to see your favorite characters all moving together in an orchestrated, elaborate, fun, theatrical, real way. These days, I really don't care much about parades and character meets. They really don't appeal to me much. But I am adamant that they forever remain part of the park experience, because they both can create some of the most amazingly magical moments for the young'uns. And adults, too, I suppose, though I can't relate to that.

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        • #5
          Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

          I think switching them around a bit would be nice. Instead of the same, tired old parades, it would be nice to rotate them a little. Of course, I go to DL several times a year, so, for me....the POD has grown VERY old. I don't even stop to watch it at all anymore.

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          • #6
            Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

            Even adding a new parade in the fall with a Halloween theme could be fun as well. Say, themed around the Haunted Mansion, mixing in the Disney Characters as well.

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            • #7
              Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

              Originally posted by mouseinphilly View Post
              Even adding a new parade in the fall with a Halloween theme could be fun as well. Say, themed around the Haunted Mansion, mixing in the Disney Characters as well.
              ^^^^ That is a great idea! ^^^^^

              My favorite DL parades are:

              1. MSEP
              2. Lion King
              3. Aladdin's Royal Caravan
              4. Hercules, Zero to Hero
              5. Mulan

              Used to have good parades at DL, LightMagic was the start of a downhill spiral (for me)

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              Andy
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              What is, is... What is not, is not.

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              • #8
                Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                Don't you mean Brake Light Tragic, Andrew? :lol: :lmao: :roll:

                And besides, if you click "armchair imagineering" in the clouds, you can see the Haunted Mansion House Party" proposal.

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                • #9
                  Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                  Colorful floats and lots and lots of characters for me

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                  • #10
                    Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                    Personally like liked parades that don't stop. I quickly tire of the stop and watch us perform segmants, though my kids like it, so what do I know?
                    Originally posted by SummerInFL
                    Jesus, even I wouldn't eat that.

                    Originally posted by Wanda Woman
                    Turtle, the dorks are going to take upskirt robot pics.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                      What breaks a parade?
                      -Having guest performers.
                      -Having a banner instead of a float to lead the parade.
                      -Having a mass of characters without a float.
                      -Having floats without on-board audio or lighting.
                      -Glass/plastic domes-- creates a boundary between guest & character.
                      -Bad music.
                      -Extra long show stops.
                      -Union regulations preventing certain choreography.

                      What makes a parade?
                      -Plenty of Disney characters.
                      -Plenty of dancers in addition to the characters.
                      -Good choreography and talented performers.
                      -Keeping dancer costumes representative and symbolic rather than trying to make it into the actual item/subject.
                      -Good music.
                      -Having a storyline/progression to a grand finale. The last float should provide some sort of peak to the progression of floats.
                      -If there are show stops, every person should get a good show, no matter where they are seated.
                      -It's nice to have lighting tied into the music track, so they are "synced".

                      And there are lots of other things I'm sure people could add.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                        Originally posted by Moving Sidewalk View Post
                        What breaks a parade?
                        -Having guest performers.
                        -Having a banner instead of a float to lead the parade.
                        -Having a mass of characters without a float.
                        -Having floats without on-board audio or lighting.
                        -Glass/plastic domes-- creates a boundary between guest & character.
                        -Bad music.
                        -Extra long show stops.
                        -Union regulations preventing certain choreography.

                        What makes a parade?
                        -Plenty of Disney characters.
                        -Plenty of dancers in addition to the characters.
                        -Good choreography and talented performers.
                        -Keeping dancer costumes representative and symbolic rather than trying to make it into the actual item/subject.
                        -Good music.
                        -Having a storyline/progression to a grand finale. The last float should provide some sort of peak to the progression of floats.
                        -If there are show stops, every person should get a good show, no matter where they are seated.
                        -It's nice to have lighting tied into the music track, so they are "synced".

                        And there are lots of other things I'm sure people could add.
                        I agree with everything, but none of the parades are under unions at the moment so its not unions that decide what choreography goes and stays. I believe POD and Christmas Fantasy have some of the best choreography of the Disney parades, sometimes I think POD goes a little too far in the summer, since its harder of the cast.
                        Jeff Wayne






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                        • #13
                          Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                          I love a parade that has an awesome soundtrack to dance and sing along with, beautiful decorated floats to look at and attractive dancers and performers to be infatuated with!!

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                          • #14
                            Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                            Originally posted by GhostHostJeff View Post
                            I agree with everything, but none of the parades are under unions at the moment so its not unions that decide what choreography goes and stays. I believe POD and Christmas Fantasy have some of the best choreography of the Disney parades, sometimes I think POD goes a little too far in the summer, since its harder of the cast.
                            I believe he is speaking of WDW's parade dept. in which they do have to deal with unions, Equity in particular, and it puts restrictions on what they can do choreography wise in their parades. (Though I will say, you don't have to be too complex to have good choreography, simplicity can work well - but it all depends on who choreographs and how creative they really are).

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                            • #15
                              Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                              Originally posted by Moving Sidewalk View Post
                              What breaks a parade?
                              -Having guest performers.
                              -Having a banner instead of a float to lead the parade.
                              -Having a mass of characters without a float.
                              -Having floats without on-board audio or lighting.
                              -Glass/plastic domes-- creates a boundary between guest & character.
                              -Bad music.
                              -Extra long show stops.
                              -Union regulations preventing certain choreography.

                              What makes a parade?
                              -Plenty of Disney characters.
                              -Plenty of dancers in addition to the characters.
                              -Good choreography and talented performers.
                              -Keeping dancer costumes representative and symbolic rather than trying to make it into the actual item/subject.
                              -Good music.
                              -Having a storyline/progression to a grand finale. The last float should provide some sort of peak to the progression of floats.
                              -If there are show stops, every person should get a good show, no matter where they are seated.
                              -It's nice to have lighting tied into the music track, so they are "synced".

                              And there are lots of other things I'm sure people could add.
                              I like your thinking.


                              Just curious, what do consider a long show stop?
                              POD- 2 minutes or so (not counting the waiting for all to get in place and then to start up and move on).
                              or
                              Tokyo Disney parade productions - up to 5 or 6 minutes?

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                              • #16
                                Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                                After watching the float test of the Christmas Fantasy parade several nights ago I can honeslty say what truly makes a great Disney parade are all of the performers.

                                Watching these giant Christmas floats drive down Main Street it seemed like something was missing. The music was playing and the lights were on but what wasn't included in this "parade test" were the performers. It was just a calvacade of floats coming down the street. There wasn't anything particularly magical about the experience. Then I saw the actual performance with all of the characters, dancers, and all of the other performers. It was like night and day. All of a sudden the floats seemed to spring to life with all of this movement suddenly around them. It was then, after all of the performers were added that it felt like a Disney parade.

                                You see, anyone can build elaborate floats with extensive attention to detail (Macy's does a pretty good job with that every winter holiday) but its those performers that bring the magic to life at Disney -- the magic that Disney prides itself on.
                                Last edited by mainstreetcm; 11-18-2007, 05:55 AM.
                                Class of 2005...

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                                • #17
                                  Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                                  Originally posted by Moving Sidewalk View Post
                                  What makes a parade?
                                  -Plenty of Disney characters.
                                  I decided to focus on this because this is one of the points I was trying to understand. A lot of individuals, including me, feel that the greatest day parade in recent memory was the Lion King. The Lion King was specific to the Movie and all the characters were just from the movie. They did not have Mickey, or Goofy, or Donald dressed in Adventureland costumes... it was all based specifically on the movie, and it was amazing. Mulan was the same way, and it was pretty good, they even had a traditional Chinese performance at the end which rocked. Hercules tried this and IMO really wasn't that great.

                                  For most MSEP has claimed the title of greatest night parade, and it's centralized theme is the lights... accompanied by the music. The cast of characters while seemingly permanent could be changed without changing the overall magic of the experience. As an example, you could update the characters or change them out in MSEP, but if you traded out characters in Lion King it would fall apart.

                                  And this is where there is a dilema, because the majority of the recent parades have been a daytime hodge podge of Disney Characters without a central theme. Some people enjoy this, with the thought being that each separate float is a mini surprise and the "what comes next?" mentality. Personally I find it somewhat annoying, because there only the smallest thematic link between everything, and that link is that they are all Disney and happen to be in the same parade. Fantasmic is able to pull this off mainly because of the way the show is designed. Anyhow I digress. This lack of a centralized theme could easily be blamed on a lack of recent animated Disney Blockbusters (as in Walt Disney Productions not Pixar), or it could be a definative trend that Disney has established as a model for future parades. I really just wanted everyone's opinion... what makes a parade great, is it the characters, or the theme, or the combination of both plus music.
                                  "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

                                  sigpic

                                  "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: What makes a great Disneyland parade?

                                    It's all about the music for me. It has to make me feel like it's something that I would want to be a part of and would run away from home to "join the circus", so to speak. I loved, loved, loved The Lion King parade!
                                    A signature should go here.

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