PHOTOS, VIDEO: After Two Days of Cancellations, ‘Magic Happens’ Parade Returns to Disneyland After Three-Year Hiatus

Justin Topa

Updated on:

PHOTOS, VIDEO: After Two Days of Cancellations, ‘Magic Happens’ Parade Returns to Disneyland After Three-Year Hiatus

After a weekend of weather cancellations, the “Magic Happens” parade has returned to Disneyland this afternoon, being performed for the first time since its initial two-week run in 2020.

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“Magic Happens” debuted at Disneyland Park in early 2020 as the first new parade to hit the park in nearly nine years. Created as part of the 65th Anniversary celebration, the daytime parade lined Main Street U.S.A. for a mere two weeks before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic forced a hiatus that lasted for nearly three years.

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When parks reopened, “Magic Happens” was noticeably missing from the lineup. The procession’s highly-anticipated return was announced at D23 Expo 2022 last year after a year of speculation. The parade was scheduled to return this past Friday, February 24, but the first public performance was canceled due to inclement weather. Unfavorable weather conditions led to “Magic Happens” performances being canceled on Saturday, as well, but today was the lucky day for guests hoping to catch the parade’s return.

Mickey and Friends

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Mickey Mouse leads the way on the first float of the processional, gliding along on glistening swirls of magic emanating from a giant, iridescent magical hat.

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The hat stands 15 feet tall from atop the parade’s first float and is covered in 300 shimmering LED lights for an extra dose of magic.

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Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, and Dale follow closely behind in colorful costumes. Magic is clearly the muse for these elaborate celestial-themed outfits, but they don’t seem to stop Mickey & Friends from sticking to their choreography.

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On her voyager canoe, Moana journeys forth on the crest of a towering wave, inspired by beautiful koa wood carvings and inset with dazzling, animated glimpses into the magic the ocean holds. This is the first full-scale “Moana”-inspired float to be created for a Disney park.

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Joining Moana on her journey is Maui, who travels along on his own magical piece of the islands with Moana’s adorable pet pig, Pua. Maui also made his official Disneyland Resort debut in the 2020 debut of “Magic Happens.”

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Hei Hei was also spotted (and heard clucking) among a troupe of Polynesian-themed dancers as part of the “Magic Happens” return.

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Inspired by Disney and Pixar’s “Coco”, the next float features Miguel as he strums away on the guitar of Ernesto de la Cruz.

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This spectacular float connects the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead with a vibrant marigold bridge. Alebrije spirit animals join the procession alongside Miguel’s dog, Dante. When “Magic Happens” debuted in 2020, the parade marked the first time the film “Coco” was used as a float for a Disney Parks parade.

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The dancers preceding the Frozen float have received refreshed costumes and new choreography in the returning “Magic Happens” performance.


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Fans of “Frozen” and “Frozen II” will be happy to spot Anna and Elsa as they explore the mysteries of the Enchanted Forest. Their friends Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf are also featured in the “Magic Happens” performance.

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Disney Classics

Other iconic characters from classic Disney films take to Main Street U.S.A as part of the “Magic Happens” parade. Princess Aurora, Prince Phillip, the three Good Fairies, Aladdin, Genie, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Pinocchio, and Fairy Godmother were all among the characters featured in today’s performance.

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Disneyland guests seem to be particularly excited to see Arthur and Merlin from Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone”, as Arthur heroically pulls the blade from the rock.

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Cinderella, of course, was seen promenading aboard her enchanted pumpkin carriage.

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“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” was removed from the finale of the show and was replaced with “You Can Fly” from Disney’s “Peter Pan”. A float featuring Tiana and Prince Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog” was missing during today’s return performance.

Watch the Full Return of the “Magic Happens” Parade

Todrick Hall, who co-composed two of the songs featured in the “Magic Happens” parade, was present at today’s afternoon performance. Pending any global pandemics, weather delays, or cancellations, “Magic Happens” will be performed twice each day at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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