My thoughts on #Disneyland60 Announcements
If you were online last night, you might have seen that #disneyland60 was trending on Twitter and Instagram. The internet exploded last night after a much-hyped special Disneyland Annual Passholder event. The was the medium that Disney chose to reveal details about the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.
First, the Diamond Celebration will begin May 22nd which is Memorial Day weekend. The official birthday is July 17th. There was no mention of how long the celebration/promotion will last. The event itself was short, not quite 30 minutes. To recap, a new fireworks show (Disneyland Forever), new night time parade (Paint the Night), and a new World of Color (World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney) were the announcement highlights. They also shared some beautiful concept art of the Sleeping Beauty Castle and Carthay Circle diamond overlay.
Let's talk about this night time parade news. This one interested me the most. This was not a big surprise but one of the things that I am looking forward to the most. It's interesting that "Paint the Night" parade is billed as "A New Electrical Parade".
The Main Street Electrical Parade made its way down Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. from 1972 to 1996. The parade music, "Baroque Hoedown", is a classic Disney tune. The main draw of these floats were the designs highlighted with light bulbs....lots of them. When this parade was retired, they actually auctioned off the light bulbs for charity.
What could replace a very successful and beloved 24 year old parade? EXACTLY NONE.
Any parade following the Main Street Electrical Parade had big shoes to fill and had too high of expectations to fulfill. Unluckily, Light Magic followed. It was a spectacular fail as it is forever referred to by many as "Light Tragic".
Light Magic had a catchy tune and made use of fiber optic technology. There was actually some infrastructure work done to some of the the buildings along the parade route so that twinkling lights provided by fiber optics could enhance the show stops that the this parade had. Personally, I think the parade theme of fairies was a little before its time. People also confused it with River Dance which was popular at that time. The Disney characters in their pajamas kinda was a little too creepy for many. Light Magic lasted 4 months. It's "the parade that shall not be named" and simply forgotten by many.
Since then, there has not been a night time only, lighted spectacular parade at Disneyland. There have been several parades that occurred at night with new themes, grand floats and new music but not new technology.
Last October, Disney Paint the Night parade premiered at Hong Kong Disneyland. It is the first fully LED night time parade. New technology enabled new costumes that change color and react with the music. Guest can purchase a "Mickey Magic Paint Brush" to help illuminate the parade. It is a very interactive parade.
I did have high hopes for the new Disneyland night time parade announcement. I really wanted something totally brand new. As much as people love the Main Street Electrical Parade, it had a great run at Disneyland. According to this clip, it was the inspiration for Paint the Night. I am happy to see that they took advantage of how much technology has grown and figured out a way to harness it to create a spectacular, brand new night time parade.
Strictly my personal opinion but I don't think Paint the Night: A New Electrical Parade is completely a new parade. It's version 2.0 from Hong Kong Disneyland. That Disney Park really got it first. I wish they would have left off the reference to the Electrical Parade in the sign. It sets up some high expectations. Why did it need that reference anyways? They could have added something like "a magical parade" to compliment with the Made with Magic merchandise that is already available at Disneyland shops. I guess I am a purist. Leave the classic Electrical Parade alone and let Paint the Night stand on its own. Let it create its own legacy.
The announcement last night pointed out that Paint the Night will also use digital projections as seen in this new video upload by Parks and Cons. It is similar to what is already used at Walt Disney World when they project Disney images on their castle. This effect will help the Guests feel completely immersed in the parade.
It is a new parade for Disneyland so I am looking forward to that. It's been a long time since a brand new night time parade made it's way down Main Street U.S.A. Disneyland knows how to deliver a fireworks show so I know that Disneyland Forever will rule the skies. I love how they can quickly adapt new themes to World of Color. Incorporating a celebration of Walt Disney totally fits into the story of Disney California Adventure.
I am confident that more #Disneyland60 announcements and events are still yet to be revealed. It's gonna be a great celebration this year as Disneyland turns 60.
Your friend in Pixie Dust,
PS: If you want to see some video of last night's event, visit to Inside the Magic.