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Hello Festival of Fantasy, and goodbye Spectromagic

Written by
Published: April 28, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Disney has a long tradition of parades, mostly successful, some mediocre, and some lost and forgotten -- like Light Magic.

Recently it has been announced that a spectacular new parade, called the Festival of Fantasy Parade, will be replacing the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Mickey and Minnie in the Celebrate Parade

I'm not a parade kind of person. The floats and choreography have to be amazing for me to be impressed. Aside from the Boo to You! parade and the Main Street Electrical Parade, I haven't liked WDW parades in nearly about a decade. Hearing news about a new parade reminded be that "New Parade" was WDW's of saying that it's really the same parade with a new name, same floats, only older and same choreography, only less complicated.

Then I saw the official blog release with the photos. Things started looking better.

Peter Pan float

Then my friend, who works on the upper end of the ladder at Main Street Ops, told me that there will be 26 (that's no typo: 26) floats. And the floats will be so massive that new housing structures will be built and that lovely Christmas garland that hangs across Main Street will have to go or be raised. Now I'm sold.

The time frame for the parade is interesting. Since there isn't room for three parades back stage, there will be a three month period in the park where the day parade will not exist at all starting next January.

On the note of storing parades. The somewhat missed Spectromagic has been left out in the rain to rust. Literally. The parade is largely beyond repair and deemed unworthy of the continual cost of storage so within the next few days it will be destroyed.

As night parades go, it was well below the satisfaction levels of Main Street Electrical Parade, which ranks much higher in all levels on guest surveys. As of now, it looks like Disney is hoping that Spectromagic quietly dies...out of sight, out of mind.

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Readers' Opinions

From 69.112.132.44 on April 28, 2013 at 7:44 PM
I don't even know how to respond to this entry. I am sure I will be able to be thrilled about the new parade in upcoming days, but for now I am DEVASTATED that Spectromagic will be destroyed. Spectro is quite possibly one of the most magical parts of the park for me and it is part of my memories of both Disney World and Disneyland. I love it so much that when I studied abroad in Europe, my roommate and I would play its music when we felt homesick. I am shocked that they would let it deteriorate the way they did, and I find it far more amazing and fantastical than the Main Street Electrical parade.I sent this blog entry out to all my friends in case they need to mourn too. :-(

Sidenote: I had to scan the page for a few seconds to figure out how to comment on the article. The "What do you think?" button didn't stand out as an obvious way to comment (Perhaps I'm use to a regular comment setup or the grey color didn't stick out?). I mean this only as a constructive comment, as I love, love your blog and love how you updated the format! (Yes throwing three loves out to Theme Park Insider!)

From Robert Niles on April 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM
Thanks for the catch on the comment button design. We didn't change that button when we introduced the new ad layout within the recent site redesign. But you're right, I totally see how that could be confusing. So I've added a slight rule to create a visual division there and changed the text to "Submit Comment" to be consistent with the front page. Thanks again.

Now back to our topic of parades....

From Beth Olliges on April 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM
I, too, am very sad to hear that Spectromagic has been allowed to deteriorate beyond repair. I love that parade! Don't get me wrong, I love the Main Street Electrical Parade, too (especially the robot-voice intro), but I was still hoping Spectromagic would come back someday. It was a truly magical parade, and should have been treated with more care!
From Eric G on April 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM
I'll be disappointed if Spectromagic never returns. I also think that a farewell will be a real missed opportunity for Disney. However, what's your source about it being left in the rain to rot? Leaving equipment to rot is more typical of Six Flags and not common with Disney.
From Json Son on April 29, 2013 at 2:04 AM
spectromagic was my favorite too. but this upgrade looks like a winner.
From Anita Norman on April 29, 2013 at 4:56 AM
I just don't get the Main Street Electrical Parade. We saw it last year and I was seriously underwhelmed. With all the hoopla, I guess I expected something great and this parade just.....wasn't. I remember turning to my husband and saying, "is that it?" and walking away in confusion. I think it's a shame that Disney would leave SpectroMagic to just rust away. I had been really hoping for it's return; sooner rather than later. IMO it was a far better and more magical experience that the MSEP. Hopefully the new parade will be more up to the Disney standard but with SpectroMagic just sitting there, why go through the extra expense of a "new" parade.....bring back SpectroMagic!
From Daniel Smith on April 29, 2013 at 5:11 AM
I come from Australia and have been to Walt Disney World one time in my life. As someone from another country who has only been one time, SpectroMagic is one of the best memories I have of they whole Disney "World". So much so, I bought the CD so I could remember it. It's such a shame!! The night parade was so much more exciting than the day parade for us internationals who come to visit.
From Jill Harrington on April 29, 2013 at 5:46 AM
It's funny, because I think the Main Street Electrical Parade is a 'nostalgia' thing. I don't like Spectromagic - refused to watch it. Why? Because it replaced the Main Street Electrical Parade (at WDW) which is the only parade I ever would sit to watch when I was a kid. When my hubby and I got married at the Wedding Pavilion at WDW, our recessional music was Baroque Hoedown - the music from the parade. I'll say I'm one month older than the MK park at WDW. We have friends that are about twelve years younger than us - they loved Spectro - had that music as their recessional. It's nostalgia - not 'quality' exactly. Like the Water Pageant in the lagoon - nostalgic... That being said, I'm sad to see anything destroyed like that - it's nice to be able to bring back the past for those that are nostalgic for it, like I was for the older parade. And I'm really looking forward to seeing the new parade - very cool concept!!
From Joey Mayberry on April 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM
The new parade looks (well mostly sounds) absolutely astounding! I'm just praying that the mirror castle float meets its untimely demise following the update. Also with 26 floats I'm wondering if we'll get to experience some characters that haven't seen the light of day in some time?

As far as Spectromagic goes, I will not miss the parade as much as I will miss the soundtrack. I loved every second of that parade's score, Electric Parade's Baroque Hoedown is fun, but it tries my patience after a little bit. I also think I like Electric Parade for the nostalgia of it, but it looks a bit dated to me. I'm not sure if I'd notice the older pieces in the parade showing their age as much if they didn't put the brand new Tinkerbell float at the very beginning of it.

But overall I'm excited as a parade fan! Looks like Disney World is finally stepping up it's game and trying to show Disneyland we can have nice parades too!

Great article Adam! Congrats!

From Mike Brilhart on April 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Finally, someone who I can relate to! Besides the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Boo-to-You Parade, I have no interests in parades. Glad to see Spectromagic going bye-bye and hearing that MSEP will continue to run.
From Anthony Murphy on April 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM
I find that the Spectromagic being retired is not a good move. I have found that each Magic Kingdom park (at least the ones I have been to) have their own special light parade (Main St Electrical Parade, Spectromagic, and Illumaque (DLP))
From Sylvain Comeau on April 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM
Thanks for the news, but this post is very confusing. When is the new parade supposed to debut? Is the Electrical Parade staying at the MK for now? Does someone know?

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