Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams Disneyland
Celebrate Disneyland's 50 years of magic and Walt Disney's dream come true in this 50th anniversary parade. Your favorite Disney characters wave from a series of fantastically themed floats or dance and sing their way along the parade route accompanied by a host of puppets, dancers, stiltwalkers and acrobats. The floats highlight many classic Disney movies and the memorable characters who inhabit them.
Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams — In addition to featuring more than 100 performers, the parade includes floats that are almost 20 feet tall, confetti blasts and jumping fountains, sophisticated audio-animatronics and huge puppets, choreographed musical numbers and even a trampoline. The floats are very detailed and beautifully decorated – many with lots of flowers — which is not a surprise considering that Raul Rodriguez, of Rose Parade fame, was a key production designer.
As the parade winds it way from "it's a small world" down toward Main Street (if there is a second parade, its route is reversed) it stops at several points along the route and each float presents its very own show choreographed to the parade's theme music "Welcome to Our Family." (It only stops once in any particular "zone", so parade watchers will only experience one such stop unless they move.)
"Gateway to Dreams"
The parade begins with a replica of the Disneyland train station at Disneyland's entrance including the floral Mickey head, a golden train and the clock tower. Tinker Bell herself waves from the top of the train, and Peter Pan is the engineer. The Blue Fairy, Fairy Godmother, and Flora, Fauna, and Meriwether add their own magic as they walk alongside.
"Dream of Enchantment"
This float recreates the ballroom scene from Beauty and the Beast. Dancers costumed as tableware lead the float, which features Belle and the Beast, as well as audio-animatronics of Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs. Potts, voiced by the original actors.
"Dream of Laughter"
On Pinocchio's float a large animatronic Geppetto pulls the strings attached to some human marionettes. On the back of the float are Jiminy Cricket and Cleo, and a trio of Russian marionettes bounce and flip and somersault on their elastic strings. Pinocchio, Gideon, Foulfellow and some of Geppetto's toys come-to-life precede the float.
"Dream of Another World"
The Little Mermaid, Ariel, sits atop a very colorful "under the sea" coral reef with cascading water fountains. She's joined by her animatronic friends Sebastian and Flounder and many other denizens of the ocean.
Following Ariel is an audio-animatronic Ursula on her very own float, preceded by a pair of Flotsam and Jetsam puppets.
"Dream of Imagination"
Alice in Wonderland's float re-creates the mad tea party scene with Alice and the Mad Hatter. But things just get curiouser and curiouser when the cards start jumping on the table — which is really a trampoline! Alongside the float the White Rabbit scurries around on roller skates, flower stiltwalkers bounce and sway, Tweedledee and Tweedledum spin around in a pair of teacups, and of course the Queen of Hearts (with her pink flamingo) stalks along and glares at parade watchers.
"Dream of Adventure"
The Lion King float is preceded by a number of dancers dressed in African costumes or as animals, such as gazelles, cheetahs, and leopards. There's even a two-person rhino with an animatronic head. The float itself is a replica of Pride Rock, where Simba is joined by Nala and Rafiki. The back of the float is a forest scene with colorful bird dancers and an animatronic Pumbaa and Zazu. Timon and African-costumed stiltwalkers walk alongside.
"Dreams Come True"
Led by the Seven Dwarfs, the final float features an arched walkway and a staircase on which the princesses and their princes promenade — Snow White and Prince Charming, Aurora and Philip, and Cinderella and the Prince. At the back of the float is a replica of Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle, with Mickey and Minnie waving from the highest balcony. Other Disney characters dressed in courtly garb roam around the float — Donald, Pluto, Chip and Dale, and Goofy — the court jester.
The parade takes 35-40 minutes from start to finish – about 15 minutes to pass any particular spot.
There are good viewing opportunities all along the parade route. The terraced area along Small World Way will give you some additional height and it's often possible to secure a spot there within 10 minutes of the start of the parade. If you're at the very beginning or the very end of the parade route then during the parade stop you won't see as much – it'll be the tail end of the final float that stops in front of you, and most of the action takes place further forward.
The Parade of Dreams features many Disney characters. Though guests are not allowed out onto the parade route, the many walk-around characters will greet guests or wave as the opportunity permits.
The parade officially debuted on May 5, 2005 as part of Disneyland's 50th anniversary "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" celebration.
Julie Andrews' voice is featured in the parade's introduction.
There are seven different parade elements.
The parade's theme song, "Welcome", by Phil Collins, is from the movie Brother Bear.
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