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Happy 50th Anniversary to the ‘Main Street Electrical Parade’

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Fifty years ago tonight – on June 17, 1972 – the “Main Street Electrical Parade” first made its way down Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland. Since then, the fan-favorite parade has created memories for generations of park-goers.

Main Street Electrical Parade 50th Anniversary
Photos courtesy of Disneyland Resort

To commemorate this magical milestone, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” – complete with an all-new grand finale sequence – is back on its original route for a limited time.

Main Street Electrical Parade 50th Anniversary Grand Finale Float

The 118-foot seven-segment 50th-anniversary grand finale float celebrates the classic Mary Blair design for “it’s a small world,” featuring more than a dozen beloved characters from “Encanto,” “The Jungle Book,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Aladdin,” “Coco,” “Mulan,” “Brave,” “The Princess and the Frog” and more as small world-inspired animated dolls. The new float is also accompanied by new music that weaves arrangements of favorite songs from each represented story – all performed in the parade’s iconic electronic musical style.

Did You Know?

Each side of the grand finale float features different scenes, so if you want to catch them all, you’ll need to watch the parade from both sides of the parade route. The float is also complemented by colored lighting and projections when it makes it’s way down Main Street.

Main Street Electrical Parade finale float with projections

“The parade strikes that perfect balance of nostalgia that takes us back to when we first saw the parade and new stories that make it immediately loved by younger generations,” said Disneyland Synergy Manager Mirna Hughes. “And who knows? When the parade celebrates 100 years, maybe they’ll come back with their families to continue the love this parade started 50 years ago.”

“Main Street Electrical Parade” then

…and now.

“Main Street Electrical Parade” Fun Facts:

  • The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” debuted in Disneyland, but versions of the parade have appeared at four other Disney parks around the world: Disney California Adventure Park, Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disneyland Park, and Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris.
  • The synthesizer musical piece known as “Baroque Hoedown” was composed by Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley in 1967, and the song was interwoven with classic Disney themes to create the now-iconic “Main Street Electrical Parade”  soundtrack in 1972 – the first parade to feature unique musical arrangements synchronized to each float unit.
  • Twenty-two floats currently illuminate the parade route at Disneyland, nearly doubling the twelve floats in the parade’s 1972 debut.
  • With a height of 23 feet, the Cinderella clock tower is the tallest float in the “Main Street Electrical Parade.”
  • The massive Elliott float – added in 1977 for the release of “Pete’s Dragon” – measures 16 feet tall, 10 feet wide, 38 feet long, and weighs 5,600 pounds.
  • Approximately 500,000 lights illuminate the parade’s nighttime journey from “it’s a small world” to Town Square in six colors: amber, blue, green, chartreuse, red, and pink, with the 150,000 amber lights being the most of any color.
  • Eighteen Disney stories are represented in the parade: “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Pinocchio,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Hercules,” “Brave,” “Coco,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Moana,” “Mulan,” “Pocahontas,” “Frozen 2,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “The Jungle Book,” “Aladdin,” and “Encanto.”

Here’s our video of the “Main Street Electrical Parade” 50-anniversary debut:


Updated Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland Park with New Finale
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‘Exploring the Disney Universe’ auction traces Disney history – Kid Social Media Winners November 25, 2022 - 2:39 pm

[…] Mary Blair paintings, together with an unique 1950 idea portray for Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” (Merchandise 205), estimated to promote for $20,000 – $30,000; an unique 1951 idea portray for “Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland” (Merchandise 222), estimated to promote for $10,000-$20,000, and an unique 1953 idea portray for Walt Disney’s “Peter Pan” (Merchandise 227) estimated to promote for $10,000-$20,000. […]

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