Friday, January 30, 2009

Walt Disney World loves a parade and asks you to celebrate!

The afternoon parade at Magic Kingdom has a new name and new elements that dovetail with Disney's marketing campaign What Will You Celebrate?

The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, which debuted last Friday, isn't a drastic departure from its predecessor, Disney Dreams Come True Parade. Some floats are redecorated a bit, some are completely unchanged in appearance but with different characters aboard.

Here's what's new:

*The parade makes three "show stops" along the route for performances. The first one is along the straight stretch of Frontierland. At the second stop, the performers reach from Cinderella Castle to midway down Main Street, and the third stop goes from the hub at the front of the park back up Main. (Stand in key spots along the Main drag and see the front of one stop plus the rear of the next one without moving.)

*The songs are now "Celebrate a Dream Come True" and "Celebrate You." The latter is used in Disney's current television spots, and a pop version was recorded by High School Musical actor Corbin Bleu and performed in the telecast of Disney's holiday parade last month.

*Snippets of Disney movie themes have been incorporated into the parade soundtrack. For instance, when Mary Poppins floats by, you hear bits of "Chim Chim Cheree" and with Peter Pan and Wendy, "You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!" is in the air.

"We think it makes it a little more Disney," says Reed Jones, director of creative development for Walt Disney World Entertainment, who led the creation of all show elements.

*There are 101 cast members in the production -- 60 of them are dancers. They display great stamina, and when they aren't hoofing it, they're interacting with children lining the parade route. Which brings up another difference from past parades: All costumed characters, from Mickey to Pooh to Snow White to Chip and Dale, are up on the floats, not at street level and not nearly as accessible. It may be practical, but you might ask, "When did a kid ever line up to get an autograph of a dancer?"

*The grand marshals of the parade are stationed at the beginning of the parade -- not several minutes beforehand as in previous incarnations. In the past, you would see them motoring along and think the parade had started. That false alarm had been a letdown.

"Because of the whole celebration theme, it was a natural fit" to move the grand marshals closer to the activity, Jones says.

*The next addition to the Magic Kingdom celebration: the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party, which will promenade up Main Street three times a day, culminating with a party with "dance-along hits," Jones says. The soft opening is scheduled for Feb. 12.

Tickets can be purchased for Walt Disney World by calling 877.273.5636 or by going to

Posted by Michael Crandell
Sources: The Walt Disney Company, The Orlando Sentinel

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