I don’t know about you, but if I lived in California, I would be jumping for those D23 tickets to go do a Carsland and Buena Vista Street walk-through before the official opening on, everyone together now, JUNE 15th! But, alas, I am in Florida, recapping the past ten years of DCA for you to enjoy before that lovely June day. Today, we will talk about the 2 now deceased (maybe not the best word choice…) parades that ran up and down the Performance Corridor for years. No, I’m not kidding, it was called the Performance Corridor instead of a Parade Route…oh DCA.
First up, we have the infamous “Eureka”. Named after the state motto, it was also the name of the deity that was represented on each of the floats, dressed as to reflect certain regions of California. She was in the sun logo, Hispanic California, an angel from “The City of Angels,” Beach-Loving Beauty, Chinese woman of Chinatown, and the Golden Goddess representing the Golden State. With each float came its respectable share of interesting costumes (A man dressed as the Hollywood Bowl, two men on stilts as the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.). In addition to the odd costume choices, the float performers were really cool, with the beach/surfing float containing a skateboarding half-pipe being used and the City of Angels section having drummers hanging off the side of float.
Though it did gain a small cult following among some Disney fans, it ultimately was not successful (Shocking!) at DCA. The problem? It had no Disney Characters. Not even Mickey. Though “Tapestry of Nations” at Epcot had no characters and was very popular, this parade had a very hectic and discombobulated feel to it that off put some, unlike “Tapestry”. It opened with the park in Feb. 2001, closed for the off-season, returned for the Summer of 2002, and never ran again.
After the park became such a folly for Disney and the crowd numbers weren’t what they were expecting, they needed something to pull the people in and fast. The solution? “Disney’s Electrical Parade”.
July 4th 2001 the show came back from the Disney Parks graveyard. Though it didn’t bring in the people, it did bring smiles to the people that did see it. After leaving following the huge “Glowing Away” campaign given to its departure in the 90′s, people thought they would never see it again, but you know what they say…when you have a dying theme park, you bring back anything you can! The show had a large update in 2009 with the addition of a Disney Fairies themed lead float (And the subtraction of the Blue Fairy lead float), the 7 Dwarves’ Mine Train float, updates to the music and lights, and fairy dust trails lining all the floats. The parade “Glowed Away” for a second time in 2010 as it headed for WDW. It was (kind of) replaced by “Glow Fest” and “World of Color”.
Premiering in 2005 as part of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary was “Block Party Bash”. Not as much of a parade as a street party, this Pixar extravaganza had you dancing with your favorite Pixar characters to your favorite dance songs. Featuring floats from “Toy Story”, “A Bug’s Life”, “The Incredibles” and “Monsters, Inc.”, this high-energy show had over 60 performers and acrobats moving and grooving to the music. After its first season, the parade was scaled down to featured a few less floats, some characters being dropped, special effects being toned down, and the number of show stops being brought down from 3 to 2. Even with this, the parade still seemed to be pretty popular. It brought kids into the mix after DCA was often regarded as “too adult”. The parade left in 2008, being sent to “Disney’s Hollywood Studios” and was replaced by the “Pixar Play Parade”. The Pixar Play Parade should be returning right around June 15th after a few years on hiatus due to the lack of a parade route because of construction.
Did I mention one of your favorite parades? Would you like to see them back in the park? Were you as jealous as I was of those drummers hanging off the floats? Let me know in the comments below. As we get one more week closer to the big re-reveal of DCA, I will be returning with an article on the past shows at the Hyperion Theater. Until next time, “Come Away With Me!” Have a Magical Day!
(Photos courtesy of Laughingplace.com)