Disney's newest nighttime parade, Paint the Night, debuts at Hong Kong Disneyland

September 11, 2014, 8:19 PM · Hong Kong Disneyland today debuted its new night-time parade, "Paint the Night." Billed as Disney's first-ever fully LED parade, Paint the Night features more than 740,000 individual lights on seven units themed to various Disney franchises.

Note the tribute to Paint the Night's primogenitor, The Main Street Electrical Parade, as the riff from that parade's theme, Baroque Hoedown, kicks in at the 2:52 mark. You'll hear the Baroque Hoedown rift throughout the parade, as Disney uses the theme to tie the various units.

In the video above, the first float rolls into view at 3:36, as Tinkerbell gets the party going. I've got to admit, though, her accompanying butterfly fairies made me think of Marvel's Whiplash, with those lighted strands they were flailing about. Next up is the Monsters Inc. unit, with DJ Sully and his dancing iPhones, er, doors. That's where we get to the big dance break, as the floats stop rolling and guests are invited to "paint the night."

To support the parade, Hong Kong Disneyland's selling interactive light-up paintbrushes. Disney says that guests can push a button on the paintbrushes to change the color of the lights on a nearby performer's costume. It's a neat crowd effect, in the spirit of the "Glow with the Show" ears, but without the ears' prisoner's dilemma problem.

Mack in Paint the Night

But just wait until Mack, from Cars, rolls around the hub. The scale of this unit impresses, as does the lighting effect in Mack's trailer. Throw in the ever-present dance beat, and we're a step closer to Disney's Electric Daisy Carnival Light Parade here. Ariel and Belle follow before Toy Story steals the show with a psychedelic Slinky Dog atop a Lite Brite board. (We just had to have one of those for Toy Story in a light parade, right?) Mickey and his crew wrap up the event, with the Big Cheese in his Sorcerer Mickey gear.

Paint the Night continues Disney's tradition of night-time parades, begun by the Main Street Electrical Parade and continued with SpectroMagic, Fantillusion, DreamLights, and (even though everyone would like to forget it) Light Magic. Rumor has it that a copy of Paint the Night might be on its way to Disneyland as the centerpiece of that park's 60th anniversary celebration next year.

What do you think of Paint the Night? Would you like to see this parade at your favorite Disney park?

Replies (3)

September 11, 2014 at 9:06 PM · I can hear the guest control cast members moaning already about the ~show stops~ which make the parade ~inauthentic~

Looks cool, though.

September 11, 2014 at 9:26 PM · This is certainly a good parade, not great, but it does show great promise although it seems to fall short. The background tune of the old Main St parade is an added bonus, but it seems to not integrate with the chorus sung in Cantonese and Mandarin and the songs sung in English. The LEDs are bright, which is good. The parade floats are not as imaginative as expected. Yes, the Monsters iPhone are tacky and the Cars disco truck isn't much creativity. The stops were unnecessary. The parade performers weren't given much to do. Seems like there could be more floats instead having the wasted stops.

The light show is good, but if they do this in California, people will ask for improvements.

September 12, 2014 at 8:32 AM · Love how bright the floats are, to see a nod to MSEP as well as a little bit of Spectro thrown in was really nice to see. I think that they could also use more floats rather than a show stop. I was expecting that some of the floats were bigger. Tinkerbell's spiral should be a little bit bigger to gain a more dramatic effect, the last float was a little lacking. The big contraption in the middle is amazing but they could do more with it, and I think a title float would be nice. If they do bring a copy of this to Anaheim, I would hope that a lot of changes would be made, for example more floats and again a grander scale. The music is pretty good, but it's a little too busy. It could be toned down a bit. Overall, for HKDL 1st nighttime parade, I think itf fits in with their demographic.

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