5 Electrifying Facts About Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade

On June 17, 1972, Disneyland introduced one of its most beloved events—the Main Street Electrical Parade. It ran for 24 years before it was replaced with "Light Magic," which just didn't inspire the same love people felt for the original. "Light Magic" closed after just four months, and the Main Street Electrical Parade, renamed "Disney's Electrical Parade," was brought back to Anaheim in 2001 to help bring traffic to the new California Adventure Park. To celebrate the original anniversary of the groundbreaking parade, here are five electric facts about it..

1. It was inspired by a water parade at Walt Disney World.

To entertain guests at its hotels, the folks at Walt Disney World created a nightly display that makes its way around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Every evening, two strings of seven barges haul 25-foot light displays past the hotels, depicting everything from King Triton to the stars and stripes. Execs at Disneyland had been looking for something to keep guests at the park past sundown, and when they saw the success of the Electrical Water Pageant, they decided to adapt the idea for Anaheim.

2. It takes more than 600,000 lights to power the parade.

Between the 500+ miles of lights, the audio, and the float movement, it takes more than 27 tons of batteries to present the parade every night. That energy could power 32 homes. 

3. That catchy song is called “Baroque Hoedown.”

Written in 1967 by Moog synthesizer inventors Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley, the electronically-created “Baroque Hoedown” was a genre people had never heard before. Show creators and music directors agreed that the new type of music was perfect for the cutting-edge parade. Perrey and Kingsley had licensed the song for commercial use, but didn’t realize that Disney had based an entire parade around it until Perrey happened to visit the park in 1980 and heard it being played.

4. The parade is occasionally presented outside of the parks

Disney has moved the parade outside of the parks at least twice: As the halftime entertainment at the Orange Bowl in 1978 and to promote the Broadway show Hercules in 1997. For the latter, Disney managed to talk other theaters and retailers on Broadway into shutting down their neon marquees and signs in order to give the parade the maximum effect. Only one place refused: the Warner Bros. retail store at 42nd and Broadway.

5. The parade inspired a whole new show control system.

Rather than just steering the parade down the streets of Disneyland and blasting music from the floats, Disney pioneered a whole new show control system. They broke the parade route into distinct zones, and when each float hit a new zone, speakers were triggered to play specific sections of the music. This allowed guests to experience the same "show" with each float, no matter where they stood on the parade route.

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Disney World is Giving Away a Glamping Trip in Pandora
Disney
Disney

Short of booking a trip to Zhangjiajie, China—to see the surreal landscape that inspired the floating mountains in Avatar, James Cameron's epic fantasy film—Disney World is the only place on Earth that comes close to recreating the wondrous world of Pandora.

As spotted by Travel + Leisure, the Florida-based theme park is hosting a contest to send one winner and a guest on an overnight "glamping" trip inside Pandora—The World of Avatar, a section of the Animal Kingdom theme park that opened last spring.

For one night only, guests will get to sleep in a luxury tent against a bioluminescent backdrop in the park's Valley of Mo'ara. This will be the first time anyone has had the chance to stay overnight in the Pandora park. Accommodations will be arranged for the other two nights, and the trip also comes with round-trip airfare and specially curated experiences like a drum ceremony, night hike, and a visit from "surprise guests." (Sigourney Weaver, could it be you?)

Don't forget the rides, either. Guests will get a private ride on the 3D attraction "Flight of Passage" as well as the "Na'vi River Journey." A writer for Insider called "Flight of Passage" the "best Disney ride yet," and a writer for Travel + Leisure said it made her cry "literal tears of joy." The lucky winner will also receive a $250 Disney gift card and a photography package and, best of all, guests will get access to any of Disney's theme parks for four days.

To apply for the contest, make a short video explaining why you deserve a getaway and click the link here to submit it. The deadline for entries is June 21, and the trip will take place from July 28 to July 31, 2018.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Move Over, Star Wars Land: A Star Trek World May Be Coming to Universal Studios
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Getty Images

As Disney gears up for the 2019 openings of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at both its Florida and California amusement parks, there may be some sci-fi-themed competition on the horizon. According to Disney and More, there’s a rumor out there that Universal is planning a fourth Orlando theme park, which will include a land dedicated to all things Star Trek.

The blog also states that there have been rumblings that a Star Trek stage show at Universal would take the place of the now-defunct Terminator 2 3D show, but that’s just one option, with a Bourne Identity attraction being the other. Instead, the potential Star Trek show could be expanded to a whole area of the rumored fourth park, with a focus on a recreation of a sci-fi city, according to the site.

This rumored park would be the most high-profile Trek attraction since Las Vegas's Star Trek: The Experience (as seen in the main image). Housed at the Las Vegas Hilton from 1998 to 2008, Star Trek: The Experience included a restaurant based on Quark's bar from Deep Space Nine and the popular Borg Invasion 4D, which was an attraction that combined motion platforms, live actors, and a short 3D film to simulate a Borg takeover.

Any potential Star Trek land would be much further off than Galaxy's Edge's fall 2019 debut in Orlando. But with two new Trek movies on the horizon, and Star Trek: Discovery returning to CBS All Access for a second season in 2018, the venerable sci-fi franchise might just be able to ride a wave of momentum to become real competition for Star Wars—if not at the box office, then at least as a theme park.

[h/t Screen Rant]

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