Some Modern Pixie Dust Brings A Classic Up To Date
Disney has released a short video and fact sheet about the return of Disney’s Electrical Parade tomorrow night as part of the already flailing Summer Nightastic promotion. The updates to the parade were much needed and the parade appears sparkling and new thanks to LED light technology and a recreated soundtrack:
Tinker Bell leads the procession on an all-new float and her trail of pixie dust enchants all the parade floats with new beauty along the way. The popular pixie waves from the basket of a balloon floating gracefully above a magical garden shimmering with fairy light.
In addition, enhanced versions of two classic favorites will return to the lineup after a 13-year hiatus – the shimmering diamond mine of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Pleasure Island haunts of Pinocchio.
WHAT: The parade twinkles with approximately half a million lights. Of those, nearly 10,000 are new “pixie dust” lights spread over the 17 floats. The new LED lights use one-quarter of the power of incandescent lights. The “Tinker Bell” float alone has more than 25,000 points of light and 75 percent are powered by an LED source.
WHEN: Nightly at 8:45 p.m., beginning Friday, June 12, and continuing through Sunday, Aug. 23, at Disney’s California Adventure.
LIGHTS ON DEMAND: A new control system makes it possible, for the first time, for each light to be programmed individually. One example is the new Tinker Bell float, which has 160 dimmers, by far the most of any parade float, to control the lighting. Programming for this parade took approximately two months.
AN EVEN BETTER HOEDOWN: The unforgettable musical theme of the “Electrical Parade,” which has inspired several generations of Disneyland Resort guests to clap along, was adapted from a synthesizer piece known as “Baroque Hoedown,” written in 1967 by Gershon Kingsley and Jean-Jaques Perrey. Disney themes are superimposed over the original piece. For Summer Nightastic!, the distinctive “electro-sytho-magnetic” “Baroque Hoedown” has new audio technology that gives it a richer, fuller sound.
More than 80 performers appear in each presentation of “Disney’s Electrical Parade.”
There are 11,000 lights on the dancers’ costumes alone. Thanks to the energy-efficient LED lights, some of the dancers’ costumes now carry only one battery pack instead of two.
All the floats are battery-powered. More than 500 batteries supply power for lighting, propulsion, audio and special effects.
Approximately five miles of wire is used throughout the floats.
The tallest float in the parade is the Cinderella clock tower, at 18.5 feet tall.
The “Fireworks Finale” float, the longest in the parade, has seven cars that span 118 feet.
Summer Nightastic! 2009 will mark the 30th summer of the “Electrical Parade” performances at Disneyland Resort.
The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” premiered at Disneyland on June 17, 1972.
The parade has been performed more than 5,000 times at Disneyland Resort.
It has been presented nearly every summer, with the following exceptions: a 1975-76 hiatus for the Bicentennial “America on Parade”; the 1983-84 break for “Flights of Fantasy” parade; and the “Electrical Parade” retirement from Disneyland following the summer of 1996. Renamed “Disney’s Electrical Parade,” it premiered at Disney’s California Adventure in July 2001.
The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” floats were “flatter” and less three-dimensional than the current floats. New floats have been added through the years and some – “it’s a small world” float, “Briny Deep” float, and special anniversary floats for Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary (1980) and Mickey Mouse’s 60th Birthday (1988) – have been retired.
One of the original floats, the “Title Drum Unit” near the beginning of the parade, was created using an actual bass drum, one of the world’s largest in 1972. This drum had been used in Disneyland parades in the 1960s, when Mickey Mouse used to beat it using large drumsticks.
Versions of the parade have been presented at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (premiering 1977), Tokyo Disneyland (premiering 1985) and Disneyland Paris (premiering 1992).