Beginning Jan. 20, 2017, the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade will bring guests of multiple generations a sense of wonder, joy and–for some–warm nostalgia as it travels down the Disneyland Park parade route for a special encore performance through June 18, 2017. The iconic parade made its world debut on June 17, 1972, and later appeared at Disney Parks around the world. This spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination entertained guests at Disneyland until it “glowed away” on Nov. 25, 1996. Here’s a closer look at the legacy of the Main Street Electrical Parade, by the numbers.
Main Street Electrical Parade, by the numbers
- 600,000 lights sparkle in the parade’s nighttime journey from Small World Mall in Fantasyland to Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. (approximate number).
- 22 floats illuminate the parade route at Disneyland, nearly doubling the number of floats from the parade’s debut (12) in 1972.
- 7 films are represented in the parade: “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Pinocchio,” “Dumbo” and “Pete’s Dragon.”
- 27 beloved Disney characters perform throughout the show including Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell.
- 80 parade performers (estimated number per night) bring the magic to light including 10 To Honor America patriots, 16 royal court dancers and the Seven Dwarfs.
- 35 dazzling, lighted costumes are worn by the parade performers.
- 8 jittering insect floats spin and dance for guests during the “Alice in Wonderland” sequence.
- At 18 1/2 feet high, the Clock Tower in the “Cinderella” sequence of the parade, is the tallest float.
- At 118 feet long, the To Honor America float is the longest float in the parade. It was added in 1979 after the success of the bicentennial tribute parade “America on Parade.”
- At 5,600 pounds, the massive Elliot float, added in 1977 for the release of “Pete’s Dragon,” measures 16 feet tall, 10 feet wide and 38 feet long.
- 2 composers, Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley, wrote the iconic synthesizer piece known as “Baroque Hoedown” in 1967, and the song was adapted for the Main Street Electrical Parade in 1972, interwoven with classic Disney themes to create the now iconic parade soundtrack.
- 6 different colors of light bulbs flash throughout the parade, in amber, blue, green, chartreuse, red and pink.
- 150,000 glowing amber lights are used in the production, the most of any color.
- 80 highly skilled cast members were involved in the creation of Main Street Electrical Parade, including 20 designers and 60 craftspeople.
- 5 Disney Parks have presented versions of the Main Street Electrical Parade including Disneyland, Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
- Nearly 3,600 performances entertained guests at Disneyland from June 17, 1972 to Nov. 25, 1996.
- 900 miles is the approximate distance traveled by the Main Street Electrical parade during its original run at Disneyland, nearly the distance from Anaheim, Calif., to Seattle, Wash.
- In 2005, Main Street Electrical Parade creator and former director of entertainment Robert Jani was inducted as a Disney Legend.
- June 17, 1972, marked the debut of the Main Street Electrical Parade, and it returns for its encore performance 45 years later – Jan. 20-June 18, 2017.
- 500,000 hand-tinted white miniature bulbs twinkled each night in the early versions of the parade.
- 500 miles of wiring were used to light the floats during early years of the parade, enough to travel to the top of the Matterhorn and back nearly 9,000 times.
- Approximately 75 million guests viewed the Main Street Electrical Parade during its original run at Disneyland.
Photo: Scott Brinegar/Disneyland