Fantasy On Parade 1981 - Part 2 (The Christmas Finale Units)
This is Part 2 of a follow up to my "I Was A Teenage Christmas Tree" post from December of 2010. To see Part 1 (from last month), which included the first half of Disneyland's "Fantasy On Parade" from 1981, click here.
The second half of the parade was made up of the "Christmas Finale" units and began with the Toy Soldier Band and Drill Team (from the Disney film, Babes In Toyland).
Next came the horse drawn Landeau Coach carrying Mickey and Minnie.
Mickey and Minnie were followed by Donald Duck standing on the Post Office float. It's barely visible, but there is a bag of "U.S. Mail" slung over his back.
Here's a shot of the Post Office float backstage, with the Seven Dwarfs posing next to it.
The second part of the Post Office float included stacks of over-sized letters to Santa, with Snow White sitting at a table adding names to "Santa's List". The Seven Dwarfs and the Wicked Witch walked alongside this float.
This shot shows several floats parked backstage behind Main St. with Space Mt. towering in the background. The floats visible are, the front part of the Post Office float (on the right) with Dumbo's Firehouse behind it, and the rear part of the Post Office float (on the left), with the Mary Poppins Rooftop float behind it. A "headless" Winnie the Pooh can be seen between those two floats and in the foreground, a couple Reindeer heads are visible (in the shadows) on special stands that are designed to hold the character heads when they are not in use.
Incidentally, the brown building in front of Space Mt. was called The Center and was an employee break area and activity facility. I believe the portable building is still there today, but I'm not sure if it serves the same purpose.
Following the Post Office float, was the Candy Shop float. Mrs. Claus rode on this float. She can be seen here along with Chip and Dale ("Bea," who played "Dale" on the far left) and Winnie the Pooh (Hi Alan!).
Chip and Dale wore aprons and chefs hats and rode on the back of the Candy Shop float. They would get in a fight and throw flour at each other during the parade. Needless to say, their costumes had to be cleaned after every parade! And speaking of cleaning, the Snowman posing in this picture ("Barry" or "Rene," is that you?) has a big dirt spot on the front of his costume! The Snow People would occasionally fall down during the parade because their vision was pretty restricted (they would see out through the ribbon around their hats). I believe the building behind Chip and Dale would have been the Adventure Thru Inner Space show building.
Here's a "headless" Minnie Mouse ("Bernie"), posing backstage next to the Candy Shop Float. The Disneyland train and monorail roundhouse can be seen in the distance and the building on the far right is the backside of the It's A Small World show building. Several headless Dwarfs are also in the background.
This shot shows a headless Minnie Mouse again, as well as a headless AND "bottomless" Donald Duck ("Mary").
Here's a better shot of the back of the Post Office float. Dopey and one of the other Dwarfs are on the far right, sans their heads. Winnie the Pooh is hanging out with Mrs. Claus (his head can be seen sitting on the Candy Shop float. In the distance is Santa's float.
Christmas Finale Unit schematic (Page 1):
Finally, we get to my section of the Christmas Finale unit, the Christmas Trees and Snow People! Here, the Snow People are posing in front of Santa's float. Santa had already climbed up a ladder to his sleigh. I usually do a better job of composing a picture, so it's really a shame that I cut him off here. It had just rained and the ground is still wet, so this might actually be how that Snowman got the stain on the front of his costume!
There were eight Christmas Trees altogether. My tree was the green one on the right.
This is how we got inside the trees. The top halves were on springs which enabled us to make the trees "sway" back and forth during the parade.
In my post from December of 2010, I included some daytime and nighttime shots of the Christmas Trees and Snow People out on the parade route. This is a shot I took the following year during the 1982 version of Fantasy On Parade.
Santa and his Reindeer followed behind the Christmas Trees and Snow People. I'm counting eight reindeer here, so I think that ear that we can see cut off on the far right belongs to "Rudolph".
And here is another shot from the 1982 parade. The "Glock Girls" can be seen walking alongside Santa's float, playing their glockenspiels. I'll say it again, they just don't do parades like this anymore!
For the last photo in today's post, I'm including this shot of Santa in his sleigh from the "Very Merry Christmas Parade" in 1979. By the way, Santa's Sleigh, the Post Office float and the Candy Shop float were all originally created for The Very Merry Christmas Parade, which debuted at Disneyland in 1977.
Christmas Finale Units schematic (Page 2):
Included with the bundle of parade schematics, was some orientation information:
A map of the parade route:
General Guidelines and Procedures:
Here again, is that home movie footage of the parade from 1981:
I hope everyone enjoyed this two-part trip back to Christmas '81 at Disneyland!