Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Whole New Electrical Parade!

Tokyo Disneyland's original Electrical Parade ran from 1985 through 1995. It was replaced that same year with a new "light" parade called "Fantillusion", which ran until 2001. Less than one month after the final performance of "Fantillusion", Tokyo Disneyland debuted a new version of the Electrical Parade called, "Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights". This new version was bigger and better with more lights than ever before.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe....specifically Anaheim, we were told in 1996 to come see the Main St. Electrical Parade one last time before it GOES AWAY FOREVER! It was still very popular and park guests were still staking out their seats along the curb hours before the sun even went down. The whole thing was obviously a marketing ploy to get people to come to the park, purchase the "farewell" merchandise, and to buy the light bulbs. Let's face it, many of us were suckers and we fell for it. Well, just like certain performers that say it is their "farewell concert tour", Disney had lied to us. They brought the parade back five years later, but not back to Disneyland where it belonged. They put it in the failing California Adventure in a desperate attempt to try to get people into that park. The parade was also shorter now since a couple of the original floats did not return.

Since Tokyo Disneyland brought back their Electrical Parade seven years ago, they have already updated it by adding new floats in addition to creating a Christmas version of the parade for the holiday season. By the way, Anaheim's newest float is Elliot from "Pete's Dragon" which was added in 1977 when the movie premiered, but hey, I guess it's still better than what replaced the parade back in the summer of 1997......Light TRAGIC!

The front legs of these horses move up and down in a "trotting" motion. Did I mention that the parade is bigger and better than before?

Oh, and the parade's theme song, "Baroque Hoedown" was brought back as well. :-)

Stay tuned as the parade continues. Next time we'll take a look at the "Alice In Wonderland" unit of the parade and see what Alice is sitting on top of now!


Westcot2000 said...

The marketing tagline was actually "Come see the Electrical Parade before it GLOWS away forever."

Was Fantillusion similar to Spectromagic at WDW?

I wonder what happened to the "Return to Oz" unit of the Disneyland Electrical Parade...

TokyoMagic! said...

You are absolutely correct Westcot2000! I just was didn't like that whole marketing campaign that Disney ran for the "farewell season" and I especially didn't like their attempt at trying to be cute, so I just didn't repeat that play on words in my blog. I guess I'm still bitter about the whole thing...but hey, I bought three of those darn light bulbs! I just hope that some small part of that purchase went to charity like they claimed it was going to.

As for Fantillusion, it was far better than WDW's Spectromagic. It had kind of a Fantasmic theme...."good over evil/villains against heroes". When it left Tokyo, it got sent to DL Paris, but I heard that it was shortened by taking out some of the floats. Isn't that always the way it goes with Disney?

I also wonder what happened to temporary units like "Return to Oz". Do you remember the "Fox and the Hound" units from the summer of 1981? One of the floats was the hunter's truck which was driven by him and had a costumed character of Copper in the back of it and the other float was the Widow Tweed's car with her driving it and someone operating a puppet of Todd in the front seat next to her. Somewhere I have a photo of those. I'll have to go digging.

Westcot2000 said...

I had no idea that there was ever a Fox and the Hound unit!

I only knew about the original dragon, Oz, 30th and Small World.

I figure that Small World was probably scrapped after it caught fire (what happened to Florida's?)

When I went to Disneyland Paris shortly after opening it was funny to see the Electrical Parade with almost no performers. It was basically just the floats and the characters on the floats.

TokyoMagic! said...

Well, it's 4 months later and I've found the photo of the Fox and the Hound unit. See it here: The Fox and the Hound Unit