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Disney celebrates Fashion Week with a preview of the Festival of Fantasy Parade costumes

by Banks Lee

Disney Festival of Fantasy parade costume Little Mermaid

The new Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade is set to hit the streets of Magic Kingdom this March, but for Fashion Week, Disney has revealed several costumes guests will see throughout the parade.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade is the first of a new generation of parades for Disney Parks featuring never-before-used technology on floats adorned with Disney characters from more than a dozen fairytales. Set to an all-new musical score, the parade floats will soar up to three stories tall with performers donning costumes crafted at 10 different design houses across the country.

From first sketch to final stitch, the production process took almost a year to complete. The creations transpired in 10 different costume houses across eight cities and two countries, with the Creative Costuming facilities in both Florida and California among the mix.

Designer Mirena Rada was brought on to create the costumes. “This was a personal first and it turned out to be a very different experience from other projects,” said Rada. “Everything here at Magic Kingdom is done on a considerably bigger scale and the resources are aplenty. I took every opportunity to avail myself of these specialties.”

Visual cues such as color and texture choices were taken from each float and incorporated in the costume designs. Additionally, Rada closely studied the style guide of each film for details and fabric patterns to capture the essence of each story. Rada partnered with Walt Disney World Resort costumers to select fabrics that would withstand the Central Florida climate while also accommodating the needs of each performer.

An innovative 3D printing technology brought to life Rada’s most intricate concepts, with the beaks of the Ravens in the “Sleeping Beauty” unit being an example. Using a 3D origami program, a paper beak was created and placed on a performer’s head to obtain the initial scale and shape. A digital sculptor then worked on the filigree beak design, which was printed, fitted and refined to produce the final shape. Each piece was base coated, bronzed, lacquered and gilded with fiery Swarovski stones to complete the finished look.

Seven units comprised of nine floats will march down Main Street, U.S.A to the beat of an original soundtrack inspired by favorite Disney films, composed by Mark Hammond, known for his work on World of Color at Disney California Adventure and the Flights of Fantasy parade at Hong Kong Disneyland. The parade has its own voice with a theme song customized for each float followed by a medley of songs woven throughout the cavalcade.

Here’s a video of the fashion show followed by a float-by-float lineup provided by Disney:

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade costume fashion show - Plus 3 floats for Magic Kingdom

The Princess Garden – This pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty. Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds and more. Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen.”

Tangled – A massive long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure. Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float decked out with swaying pendulums carrying dastardly thugs.

Disney Festival of Fantasy parade float Little MermaidLittle Mermaid – Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee. There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float with conga dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore. Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired.

Peter Pan – Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship complete with smoke effects and special surprises. A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor. “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography.

Brave – Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney•Pixar film, “Brave.”

Disney Festival of Fantasy parade float airshipSleeping Beauty – The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float. With fiery eyes and glowing effects, the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades. This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry. There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather glide along the parade route.

Finale and Mickey’s Airship – The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto and more in a splashy carnival of color. There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Sporting zany new costumes Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Photo Gallery:
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