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Encyclopedia > Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade DreamLights

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Disney's Electrical Parade at Disney's California Adventure

The Main Street Electrical Parade was a regularly-scheduled parade that ran at Disneyland most summers between 1972 and 1996. It featured floats and live performers covered in thousands of electronically-controlled lights and set to a synchronized soundtrack triggered by radio control along key areas of the parade route.


The parade had counterparts of the same name and layout at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom which ran from 1974 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2001 when it was replaced by a similar parade called SpectroMagic. The Disneyland Paris version ran only in the 1990s while the Tokyo Disneyland version has been running since 1988 originally under the name "Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade." In the late 1990s, that version received a makeover and was renamed "Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade DreamLights!"


The Main Street Electrical Parade was so popular that light bulbs certified as having been part of the show were sold to collectors. The 2001 opening of Disney's California Adventure park immediately across from Disneyland proved to be the perfect venue for resurrecting the original parade, now titled simply "Disney's Electrical Parade" since California Adventure has no "Main Street U.S.A." The parade has been running year-round since 2001 except on off-season evenings when the park closes at 6:00. The costumes and floats were used in the Walt Disney World version starting in 1999 and were shipped to the Southern California facility after the show's run ended.


The Main Street Electrical Parade's theme song, "Baroque Hoedown" by electronic music artists Perrey and Kingsley has even been covered by two famous musical groups: They Might Be Giants and Reel Big Fish. In Japan, Walt Disney Records released a CD called DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade which featured the theme music remixed by Japanese DJs.


Origins

The predecessor to the Main Street Electrical Parade is the Electrical Water Pageant, a show made up of seven 25-foot-tall screens with electrical lights placed on them. The screens are placed on a string of seven barges which travel around Walt Disney World's Seven Seas Lagoon, usually about 20 minutes after the Magic Kingdom's Wishes fireworks show ends. The Electrical Water Pageant still shows today, and uses the original version of Baroque Hoedown, and the current Disney's Electrical Parade in California uses some excerpts from the original EWP music. The Electrical Water Pageant has been showing since October 26, 1971, just weeks after Walt Disney World opened.


In Summer 2004, the second set of the pageant had been reported damaged, and has encountered technical problems since.


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