Don’t Let the Parade Pass Me By! by Jenn Romano

There have been many notable parades throughout Walt Disney World’s history. Currently, the only park with parades is the Magic Kingdom. However, each park has been host to a variety of parades over the years. First, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has had some of the most unique parades over its 25 year history. There was an Aladdin Caravan parade when the Aladdin movie debuted as well as other movie debut parades such as Mulan, Hercules, and Toy Story. My favorite parade at DHS was the Stars in Motorcars parade. In this parade, various Disney characters sat in custom made cars that reflected their respective movies or television shows. The characters were the focus, and the scale of this parade was the right scale for the streets of DHS. This park was never built to showcase a parade, so none of the offerings tend to fit too well into the infrastructure of this park. Namely, Block Party Bash and Countdown to Fun were difficult parades to enjoy because they stopped several times in order for the dancers to interact with guests. This sounds really fun in theory, but it led to a great deal of congestion in the entire park, and there were very few spots where you could actually see the entertaining parts of the parade.

Although DHS does not have a permanent parade right now, it does have several special events throughout the year that allow for parades or processionals. For example, Star Wars Weekends involve a parade every day with all of the Star Wars stars as well as many Star Wars characters. During the Frozen Summer Fun Event, Anna and Elsa as well as Kristoff entertained guests with a brief royal welcome procession. It will be interesting to see if DHS gets another permanent parade once all of the updating to the park is complete.

Epcot and Animal Kingdom have each had very few parades. Again, neither of these parks are really set up to host a parade. One of my favorite parades took place at Epcot, and it was called the Tapestry of Dreams/Nations parade. This was a very ethereal parade that utilized larger than life puppets as well as beautiful music. Animal Kingdom had the daily Jammin Jungle Parade as well as the Christmas version of this parade. Neither of these parks have very efficient routed for parades, so it makes sense that they do not always have a parade. Also, Animal Kingdom is undergoing serious changes right now, so who knows what the future holds.

Magic Kingdom has had innumerable parades over the years, but the current daytime parade is gorgeous. The Festival of Fantasy is everything a Disney parade should be. It is lively with fantastic, colorful costumes, and it has a very catchy song. I have seen it many times, and I still haven’t gotten sick of it. As for night parades, I really miss Spectromagic. This parade had a wonderful soundtrack as well as beautiful floats. It is such a shame that it will never travel down Main Street again.

Walt Disney World would not be complete without some sort of parade. Even in its infancy, Disneyland was home to parades, and it will be exciting to see what the Walt Disney Company does in the upcoming year to celebrate Disneyland’s 60th anniversary. Until next time, have a magical day, and keep moving forward.

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