I first saw the Main Street Electrical Parade, not long after it’s debut in 1977, at Walt Disney World in Orlando. And it made a lasting impression. To this day, it’s my favorite Disney parade.
I’ve seen it a number of times over the years, including once at Disney California Adventure in 2005, and most recently in what will become its final performance at Disneyland.
That’s right, it’s time to say goodbye to our old friend the Main Street Electrical Parade. Originally scheduled to end on June 18, 2017, the parade got an extension, due to its popularity, and will now run until August 20, 2017.
The Main Street Electrical Parade will be replaced by Paint the Night, which refreshes the characters and music for a younger generation. Paint the Night doesn’t appeal to me in the same way that the Main Street Electrical Parade does, but it’s not about me. It’s about hoards of kids that don’t know what they are watching anymore, and the new parade fixes that with updated soundtracks, LED Lights and impressive new technology.
For me, one of the best viewing locations is just across the street from It’s a Small World, just past the reserved seating area, there is a small area that remains open for public viewing that not a lot of people know about. You can safely arrive about 1 hour before the parade and easily find a space to call your own.
If you’d rather have a bench to sit on, stroll just past the castle on the right side, as your head in the direction of It’s a Small World. There are benches along the left side of the walkway, directly across from Pixie Hollow, that makes for great viewing. But you have to get there early. Like 2-3 hours early.
If you’re traveling with small children and would like the cast members in the parade to interact with your children, you don’t have to leave it to chance. It is their job to interact with them, but it’s pretty much impossible for them to interact with all of the children along the parade route. So here are two things that you can to do to ensure that your child stands out in the crowd:
The first, of course, is get there early and get a seat right on the edge of the parade route. And second, do something that gets them noticed. One of the families that we saw brought dollar store “glow stick” Princess Crowns with them to the park, and they put them on just before the parade started so that they would be their brightest as the parade came by. It was amazing. I think every single character that could have possibly interacted with them, did.