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The Main Street Electrical Parade was a regularly-scheduled parade, created by Bob Jani and project director Ron Miziker, famous for its long run at Disneylandmarker at the Disneyland Resortmarker most summers between 1972-1974, 1977-1982, and 1985-1996. It features floats and live performers covered in thousands of electronically-controlled lights and a synchronized soundtrack triggered by radio control along key areas of the parade route. The parade was also spun-off many other versions that ran or continue to run at Disney parks around the world. Currently, the original parade runs at Disney's California Adventuremarker as Disney's Electrical Parade and an updated version runs at Tokyo Disneylandmarker as Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights.

The song is notable for its use of the vocoder voice effect, saying the lines, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Disneyland proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds. The Main Street Electrical Parade!" Near the end, it repeats, "Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade!"


The predecessor to the Main Street Electrical Parade is the Electrical Water Pageant, a show made up of seven 25-foot (7.6 m) tall screens with electrical lights placed on them. The screens are placed on a string of seven barges that travel around the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resortmarker, beginning at 9 p.m. at Disney's Polynesian Resort or immediately after the fireworks if they are scheduled for 9 p.m. The Electrical Water Pageant still shows today. The Electrical Water Pageant has been showing since October 26, 1971, just weeks after the Walt Disney World Resort opened.

In 1972, when the Main Street Electrical Parade debuted, many of the floats were flat screens on rolling platforms similar to the Electrical Water Pageant. The engineers who helped create the parade also created the first show-control program in existence. This allowed the long parade route to contain multiple radio-activated "trigger zones." Using radio-activated triggers as each float entered a zone, the audience would hear float-specific music through the Disneyland audio system. Each zone was between 70-100 feet long, and the zoned system meant that every person watching the parade would experience the same show, no matter where they stood along the parade route. Until 1977, almost all of the floats were 2D and had to be pulled or pushed along the parade route. The Blue Fairy float was the only 3D float, and ran until closing. A 3D "Chinese Dragon" float was added later on.

The Main Street Electrical Parade had counterparts of the same name and layout at the Magic Kingdommarker in the Walt Disney World Resortmarker, which ran from 1977 to 1991. It was replaced by a similar parade called SpectroMagic, which ran from 1991-1999. In 1992, the electrical parade from the Magic Kingdommarker went to Parc Disneyland at Disneyland Parismarker and ran there until 2003. It was then replaced by Fantillusion, a nighttime parade from Tokyo Disneylandmarker that had earlier replaced the Tokyo version of the Main Street Electrical Parade, which ran from 1985-1995. Tokyo Disneyland's current night parade, Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights began in 2001 and it was a return to the style of the original with updated new music and floats.

The Main Street Electrical Parade closed in Disneyland in 1996 after a 24-year run. Light bulbs certified as having been part of the show were sold to collectors. The replacement show, Light Magic, opened in 1997 and was an immediate failure. Disney quickly cancelled Light Magic but held off in bringing back the popular Main Street Electrical Parade. However, the parade was refurbished and appeared at the Magic Kingdommarker in May 1999 for a limited engagement. The parade ended its run at the Magic Kingdom on April 1, 2001 and SpectroMagic was brought back the following day. The Main Street Electrical Parade floats were then sent back to California for the parade's return to Disneyland. These plans changed after Team Disney Anaheim saw the poor attendance figures for the spring break season at Disney's California Adventure and feared that the park would fail to attract large crowds during the crucial summer season, unless they had a big draw . So, on April 25, 2001, Disney announced that the popular Main Street Electrical Parade would be coming to Disney's California Adventuremarker on July 2, 2001 in honor of the first summer of the park. The name of the show was changed from the Main Street Electrical Parade to Disney's Electrical Parade. Most of the 1996 parade floats returned, except for the Pinocchio Pleasure Island section and Snow White diamond mine float, which were sent to Parc Disneyland at Disneyland Parismarker in 1997. The parade has been offered during summer periods and selected weekends. It finished a nine-month hiatus during the 2005 off-season at the Disneyland Resort, which allowed replacement of lights on all of the floats and alteration of wording on the drum to "Disney's Electrical Parade, Presented by Sylvania." On the 2008 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade special, Disney announced that a Tinker Bell float would be added to Disney's Electrical Parade, which would make it the first new float to be added to the classic parade in 20 years, since the temporary Mickey Mouse's 60th Birthday float in 1988. It was announced on April 24, 2009 at a press conference that the Snow White,and Pinocchio units would be returning as well. Disney started testing updated and new units in late May of 2009. Most of the major floats have had new LED pixie dust effects added to them. This parade, which also no longer featured the Blue Fairy, made its formal premiere on June 12, 2009.

Main Street Electrical Parade 1995


The Main Street Electrical Parade's underlying theme song is entitled "Baroque Hoedown." The original version was created in 1967 by early synthesizer pioneers Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley. Originally, the parade's soundtrack had the same themes as the current recording, but was a different arrangement by Jim Christensen and Paul Beaver. In 1977, it was updated and arranged by electronic music artist Don Dorsey and Jack Wagner at Jack Wagner Studio, which was used until January 2009 in Disney's Electrical Parade. When the parade returned to Disney's California Adventure in June 2009, it began using the updated, orchestrated DreamLights soundtrack from Tokyo, but with certain made as certain floats in the California parade are not included in the Tokyo parade.

The soundtrack to the parade has been released numerous times, here are a few releases that contain the multiple versions of the parade:

Don Dorsey used the following synthesizers to create the soundtrack: Moog Model III, Mini-Moog, Steiner-Parker Synthacon, Oberheim 8-voice, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Fender Rhodes Piano, New England Digital Synclavier II, Bode 7702 Vocoder, Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter, Yamaha DX7 and Yamaha TX7.

Jack Wagner was the voice that was synthesized for the intro and outro to the parade, until Don Dorsey took over after Wagner passed away in 1995, as noted by Dorsey in a documentary about the parade: "From One Lightbulb To Another".

While the original soundtrack is played solely on synthesizers, the Tokyo Disneylandmarker and Disney's California Adventuremarker versions utilizes a full orchestra with adult and children choirs in addition to harmonies and synthesizers. Much of the newer soundtrack in the California version comes from the Tokyo "DreamLights" soundtrack.

During the Christmas season at Tokyo Disneylandmarker, The Electrical parade gets a new soundtrack for the holiday season.

Remixes, samples and parodies

  • In Japan, Walt Disney Records released a CD called DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade which featured the theme music remixed by Japanese DJs.

  • The album Eurobeat Disney 3, also only released in Japan, was done by the group A-Beat Power and features a remix of the song in Eurobeat style.

  • In 1998, a Disney Tribute Album entitled We Love Mickey ~Happy 70th Anniversary (Walt Disney Records), featuring covers of Disney songs by Japanese artists, included a remake by The Eccentric Opera. The track uses samples from Dorsey's arrangement and Snow White. Lyrics are from from an unknown source.

  • A "Celtic"-inspired version was heard in the Main Street Electrical Parade's replacement Light Magic. Light Magic ran for one summer, never to return again.

  • In The Simpsons episode "Selma's Choice" Lisa could be seen dancing in a dazed state in front of the Duff Gardens Light Parade with a musical take off of Main Street Electrical Parade Theme & Background music.

  • A tribute to the vintage Main Street Electrical Parade was recorded "old school style" by Jim Presley for Jiminy's Limited Editions entitled "Jiminy Salutes The Main Street Electrical Parade."

Show facts

Main Street Electrical Parade

  • Park: Disneyland
  • Original Run: June 17, 1972 - November 25, 1996
  • Sponsors: Energizer (1972-1985) General Electric (1985-1996)

  • Blue Fairy
  • Casey Jr. Circus Engine
  • Alice in Wonderland
    • Mushroom with Butterfly and Ladybug
    • Snails
    • Mushroom with Alice and Cheshire Cat
    • Fireflies
    • Mushroom with The Caterpillar and Frog (originally a butterfly)
    • Turtles
    • Centipede
  • Cinderella
  • Peter Pan (1985-1996)
  • Dumbo's Circus
    • Hippo and King Leonidas Calliope
    • Four Ring Circus with Dumbo and Clown (split into two parts)
    • Bear Balancing on Barrels
    • Elephant Bathing
  • Briny Deep/Pinocchio Underwater (1977-1984)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1985-1996)
    • Dopey's Mine Train with Dopey, Snow White, Doc, Grumpy, and Sneezy
    • Dwarf Mine with Happy, Sleepy, and Bashful
  • Pinocchio on Pleasure Island (1985-1996)
    • Funhouse Face and Pleasure Island Part 1
    • Pleasure Island Part 2 w/ Pinocchio and Lampwick.
  • Sleeping Beauty Dragon (1972) (later changed to Chinese Dragon)
  • Pete's Dragon (1977 - 1996, replaced Chinese Dragon)
  • Return To Oz (1985)
  • Disneyland's 25th Anniversary (1980) (replica of Sleeping Beauty Castle)
  • Mickey Mouse's 60th Anniversary (1988)
  • It's a Small World (1972 - 1988)
  • Disneyland's 35th Anniversary (1990) (logo float)
  • To Honor America
  • Disney Neon Finale (1977 & 1978) w/ Mary Poppins, Bert, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Donald Duck, Chip, Dale, Baloo, King Louie, Pooh, Tigger and Piglet
  • Fox and the Hound (1980)

Disney's Electrical Parade

  • Park: Disney's California Adventure
  • Original Run: July 3, 2001 - Present
  • Sponsor: Sylvania (2006 - Present)

  • Tinker Bell (2009-present)
  • Blue Fairy (2001-2009- rumor that it might return close to the Pinocchio units for the next season)
  • Casey Jr. Circus Engine w/ Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Cinderella
    • Pumpkin Coach
    • The Royal Ball
    • The Staircase
    • Clock Tower
  • Peter Pan
    • Pirate Ship
    • Smee's Boat
  • Dumbo's Circus (removed June 2009- rumor that it might return for the next season)
    • Hippo and King Leonidas Calliope
    • Four Ring Circus with Dumbo and Clowns
    • Bear Balancing on Barrels
    • Elephant Bathing
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Dopey's Mine Train
    • Diamond Mine (2009-present)
  • Pinocchio (2009-present)
    • Funhouse Face and Pleasure Island Part 1
    • Pleasure Island Part 2 w/ Pinocchio and Lampwick
  • Elliott, Pete's Dragon (He Disappears on the Parade route and suddenly reappears)
  • To Honor America

Main Street Electrical Parade

  • Park: Magic Kingdom
  • Original Run: June 11, 1977 - September 14, 1991
  • Second Run: May 28, 1999 - April 1, 2001


Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade

  • Park: Tokyo Disneyland
  • Japanese Name (in Kanji): 東京ディズニーランド・エレクトリカルパレード
  • Japanese Name (in Romaji): Tokyō Dizunīrando Erekutorikaru Parēdo
  • Original Run: March 9, 1985 - June 21, 1995


Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights

  • Park: Tokyo Disneyland
  • Japanese Name (in Kanji): 東京ディズニーランド・エレクトリカルパレード・ドリームライツ
  • Japanese Name (in Romaji): Tōkyō Dizunīrando Erekutorikaru Parēdo Dorīmuraitsu
  • Original Run: June 17, 2001 - Present
  • Sponsor: Nihon Unisys, Ltd.


Main Street Electrical Parade

  • Park: Disneyland Parismarker
  • Original Run: April 12, 1992 - March 23, 2003
  • French Name: La Parade Électrique de Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Sponsor: Philips (1992 - 2002)


New York City

  • June 14, 1997. One of the outside presentations of the Electrical Parade outside of the Disney parks for the opening of the New Amsterdam Theatermarker and Hercules movie. Called one day on Broadway - "The Hercules Electrical Parade". Disney arranged for the lights to be all turned off on about 8-blocks of Broadway up to the theater. All businesses complied--with the exception of Warner Brothers. It was lead by a custom Hercules title unit made for this one time only use. It was shown on national television on a one-hour promotional program featuring the music and making of Hercules. Due to lack of battery power (caused when some were accidentally left behind in Anaheim) This caused a host of problems, one being the 2nd Pinocchio unit went mostly dark before it even got on the parade route but they had no way to move the unit out of the parade, another being that To Honor America and Pete's Dragon went partially out along the way.

  • New units included:
    • Hercules and Pegasus (Lead parade title unit)
    • Greek Temple
    • Megara
    • Hades

1978 Orange Bowl

  • Elliot, Pete's Dragon
  • Baroque Hoedown dance floats (Golf Carts with lights)

See also


  1. Article describing the creation of MSEP audio technology
  5. Siemens 2005. "The Sylvania lighting division of Siemens will sponsor Disney-MGM Studio's holiday light show — "Osborne Family Spectacle of show Lights," as well as "Disney's Electrical Parade" and "Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams" at Disneyland Resort in California."
  6. Siemens 2006. "The Sylvania lighting division of Siemens will sponsor Disney-MGM Studio's holiday light show — "Osborne Family Spectacle of show Lights," as well as "Disney's Electrical Parade" and "Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams" at Disneyland Resort in California."

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