Disneyland's Float Highlights the 2016 Rose Parade

January 1, 2016, 10:40 AM · Happy New Year from Pasadena, California! The 127th Tournament of Roses Parade stepped off this morning as former Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay drove the Acura NSX pace car up Orange Grove Blvd.

Acura NSX

This year's parade theme was "Find Your Adventure," to honor the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service. Parade organizers honored one of the park service's most notable ambassadors by selecting documentary filmmaker Ken Burns as Grand Marshal. Burns, the director of "The National Parks" and "Yosemite," will profile one of Pasadena's most famous notable residents, barrier-breaking Hall of Fame baseball star Jackie Robinson, for his next project.

Ken Burns

But the highlight of the parade for theme park fans was the Disneyland Resort's float.

Designed to honor the park's 60th anniversary, the Disneyland float featured a representation of Sleeping Beauty's Castle in its "Diamond Celebration" decor.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

The three-unit float also featured Elsa's ice palace and characters from Frozen...


Elsa and friends

and the upcoming Star Wars Land, which starts construction in Disneyland Park on Jan. 11.

Star Wars Land

And of course, Disney characters abound.

Disney princesses and friends

Including the Star Wars characters, old...

Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2

And new...

Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren

What was your favorite part of this year's Rose Parade?

Replies (16)

January 1, 2016 at 11:21 AM

Robert, were you near the front of the parade route at Orange Grove and Colorado?

Did you think it was odd that they stopped the parade in the middle to have a two minute little show by Disney with their own public address announcer?

The Pasadena Star News tweeted that they didn't think thay had ever happened before. It just goes to show how much influence the Disney corporate behemoth has even with an organization as established as the Tournament of Roses.

BTW, my favorite float was the Marco Polo float from Singapore with the fire-breathing dragon.

January 1, 2016 at 12:16 PM

They did the same thing for the Cars Land float, I believe.

And, yes, I was on the press photo stand at Colorado and Orange Grove.

January 1, 2016 at 12:43 PM

My dad and some talented high school kids built the Star Wars float! Such a great parade!

January 1, 2016 at 12:51 PM

I liked the Medieval Times equestrian unit. The opening number was pretty good. Disney didn't exactly stick to the theme of the adventures at the National Parks.

January 1, 2016 at 1:12 PM

Does anyone know if there is a link to the whole parade, would love to see the parade in full but can not find it, thanks.

January 1, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Ignoring the dancing storm troopers for a moment.....In a parade celebrating health and happiness in the New Year, someone at Disney thought it would be a good idea to enter a Darth Vader (excuse me, Kylo Ren) float in the parade?

"Here's wishing you a murderous and dark New Year". Um, thanks Disney?

January 1, 2016 at 2:27 PM

JK, try this link from the local Los Angeles station KTLA, which dominates the local Rose Parade coverage:


January 1, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Sticking to the official parade theme is entirely optional--every year, some companies or organizations build floats that are completely unrelated to the theme, but they won't likely win the major float prizes.

The theme, "Find your adventure," could fit with going to a trip to Disneyland, although the tournament seemed to have in mind outdoor adventures in the national parks.

January 1, 2016 at 2:46 PM

I was able to catch a few glimpses of the parade. Mostly for the Disneyland float. And I loved their whole presentation! I do have one question though: I noticed there was one float that had nothing to do with Disney but played "yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me" (only the instrumental part at the beginning, though). While the song did match the theme of their float, I couldn't help but wonder, how were they able to work out copyright with Disney when Disney was entering their own float in the parade?

PS Happy New Years everyone!

January 1, 2016 at 6:51 PM

I loved the 60th Anniversary, but was so disappointed they left out Tinkerbell and Peter Pan! "wow" they were so important to the 60th Anniversary Celebration. There were characters there that came way after them both. The float was beautiful, I loved it. But I cannot believe the person who designed the float would leave out Tinkerbell & Peter!! I want to know why they were left out?

January 1, 2016 at 8:16 PM

As for the Pirates theme, that's just a matter of licensing the song publishing rights. Disney obviously didn't see it as a conflict that would justify leaving the license fee from another party on the table. I thought it was just more publicity for Disney.

January 2, 2016 at 12:17 AM

In response to the earlier comment about whether Disney has done a show stop moment before, they have. I distinctly remember a song and dance show moment for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. I think there have been others, too.

January 2, 2016 at 5:44 AM

Thanks Robert!

January 4, 2016 at 11:30 AM

I went to the float viewing this past weekend. The Disneyland Resort float was amazing. It was definitely a top attraction at the Rose Parade although other floats had better animation and more spectacular colors and roses. I loved the Star Wars side. The Frozen ice castle was merely okay.

January 4, 2016 at 3:13 PM

Great float, and fun little show stop. I believe--but don't know for certain--that the 50th was the first time the Tournament of Roses put on a little show. That was to kick-off the parade, and they've had a made-for-TV kick off every year since, sometimes with Disney sometimes without. This year's mid-way Disneyland moment made for good TV, too, and I wonder if they'll keep doing something similar moving ahead.

Now to dancing stormtrooper: Disney does need to figure out how Star Wars stormtroopers and villains work. They were able to have some fun (Darth at Disneyland ads) but now that it's going to be a real place a la the Wizarding World, these bad guys need to seem, well, bad, to make for good show. Wonder if that's something they'll think about not just in the park but in marketing like this.

January 7, 2016 at 2:11 PM

It is not odd at all for parade floats to stop and do short performances. The Macy's Parade has floats stop breifly all of the time to do extra performances.

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