Mickey Mouse in Magic Happens, Disneyland, stock image

PHOTOS, VIDEO: ‘Magic Happens’ Parade Returns to Disneyland Park with Small Updates to Dancers’ Costuming, Floats

Toni Ferrigno

Magic Happens, the whimsical parade found at Disneyland Park, has returned, marking its first performance since October 2023.

‘Magic Happens’ Parade Returns to Disneyland Park

Mickey stands on the first float in Magic Happens.

The parade’s return was announced in December of 2023. It has two performance times: 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It is currently scheduled to perform just one of those two times per day, Monday through Thursday.

On the first day of the return of Magic Happens, we noticed a few updates. Keep reading for all of the modifications that have been made to the parade.

The members of Magic's Entourage in Magic Happens.

Starting at the very beginning, two members of Magic’s Entourage, the contemporary dance group that performs ahead of Mickey Mouse’s float, have gotten a wardrobe update. The two twins of the group — seen in the front line with blue hair in the above photo — have been refitted with significantly smaller hats than what could be seen before the parade’s hiatus.

The "Coco" float in Magic Happens.

The float dedicated to the 2017 Pixar Animations Studio film, “Coco,” has gotten a new coat of paint and has had its florals reapplied.

The "Frozen 2" dancers in their new shoes.

The dancers who perform ahead of the float for the 2019 animated film “Frozen 2” have updated footwear. They are now wearing sneakers that blend in with their Earth-toned ensemble. Previously, they would wear dance shoes.

The flag spinners ahead of the finale float.

We noticed the flag spinners who perform ahead of the finale float were a more diversified group, with both male and female performers.

The fixed finale float in Magic Happens.

Finally, the finale float, featuring Princess Aurora, Prince Phillip, and the three Good Fairies from the 1959 animated film, “Sleeping Beauty,” has been repaired. The main tower, which has been broken since 2020, was fixed and restored to its original full height.

For a full look at the newest version of Magic Happens, watch our video from the 2024 opening performance here:

Magic Happens Parade History

"The Sword in the Stone" float from Magic Happens.

Debuting in 2020 in celebration of the 65th anniversary of Disneyland’s opening day, Magic Happens ran for just two weeks before Disneyland shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though Disneyland reopened in 2021, Magic Happens did not return until February 2023.

Most recently, the parade was removed from the Disneyland schedule to make way for “A Christmas Fantasy Parade,” a returning holiday parade, which ran from November 10 through January 7.

"The Princess and the Frog" float from Magic Happens, at night.

Magic Happens features a mix of both contemporary and classic Disney films, including “Frozen 2,” “Coco,” “Moana,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Cinderella,” “The Sword in the Stone,” and “Sleeping Beauty.” The show also includes two original songs composed by singer-songwriter Todrick Hall.

This 2024 update is not the first time the parade has seen changes. Notably, when the parade returned in February 2023, the “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” line from the controversial Disney film, “Song of the South,” was cut from the end of the parade, and replaced with the “You Can Fly” line “Think of the happiest things,” from “Peter Pan.” In March 2023, Polynesian guests visiting Disneyland Park took to social media to criticize the choreography of the “Moana” unit of the parade, which led to Moana’s dancing being re-choreographed.

Additionally, the parade has had a few mishaps throughout its run. The audio system has crashed, Merlin from “The Sword in the Stone” has danced so hard that he lost his shoe, and the “Sleeping Beauty” finale float has gotten stuck in the Middle of Main Street, U.S.A, leading to Cast Members on the float being evacuated and walking the rest of the parade route.

What do you think of the return of Magic Happens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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