'Magic Happens' Parade Set for Disneyland Return

February 24, 2023, 1:19 PM · Today's the day for the long-awaited return of the Magic Happens parade at Disneyland.

Magic Happens debuted in late February 2020 and ran for just a couple of weeks before the pandemic closed the parks. [Here was my review: 'Magic Happens' with Disneyland's next-generation parade.] After the parks reopened, the parade remained in the warehouse when Disneyland chose instead to revive the Main Street Electrical Parade for its 50th anniversary season last year. But now, it's finally Magic Happens' turn to come back into the spotlight.

Juuust in time for much of Southern California to fall under a... checks notes... blizzard warning. Are you kidding me? The most star-crossed parade in Disney history can't catch a break, can it? Just give it the nickname 'S--t Happens" already.

I had planned to be at Disneyland this afternoon and livestream the parade's return for you on our Theme Park Insider YouTube channel. But looking at the forecast 100% chance of rain today throughout the area, I canceled my reservation last night. Having driven through a weekday evening rush hour during the last "atmospheric river" rainstorm in the Los Angeles area, I vowed that I would never do that again. We are forecast to get over three inches of rain here in Pasadena just today, while the surrounding mountains are forecast to get up to eight to 10 feet of snow in this storm.

The weather's so bad today that Disneyland's neighbor Knott's Berry Farm closed for the day, as has Six Flags Magic Mountain, up in Los Angeles County.

Disneyland typically cancels parades in favor of rainy day character cavalcades when it pours like this, so I will try again on a sunny day next week to bring you that Magic Happens livestream.

Maui from 'Moana' on Main Street. Phots courtesy Disneyland

Magic Happens features nine floats and more than 90 performers, including more than two dozen Disney and Pixar characters. The parade includes two original compositions: the "Magic Happens" theme at the parade's beginning and a grand finale that includes musical references to past Disney entertainment spectaculars, including "Remember the Magic," "Wishes," and "Remember... Dreams Come True."

Aurora and companyPrincess Aurora's float in Magic Happens

(Based on a cast member preview Wednesday night, the only change from the 2020 debut is that "Zip a Dee Doo Dah" is now gone from the finale, as Disney continues to exorcise references to the Movie-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.)

As I wrote in my 2020 review, "The conceit is that we're seeing the moments in Disney stories when the magic happens, from a pumpkin becoming a royal coach in Cinderella to Arthur pulling Excalibur from the stone. But with its spot-on mix of music, motion and energy, the magic happens throughout this welcomed new production."

Here is my video from that original performance:

Music starts at 2:03. Blame Disney's copyright bot for silencing the theme song online.

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Replies (5)

February 24, 2023 at 6:02 PM

And the update... the parade did not run today. More rain in the forecast for tomorrow and then again for Monday through Wednesday.

February 25, 2023 at 12:20 AM

Well, considering how dry California is, getting rain at all should be considered "magic".

February 25, 2023 at 5:11 AM

Why is there no sound on the video?

February 25, 2023 at 3:15 PM

*Shiiit Happens

February 25, 2023 at 10:28 AM

Sorry, the caption on the video explaining the copybot issue wasn't displaying. Fixed that.

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