Thanks to Theme Park Tourist, we are informed that Disney will no longer produce the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Earlier this week, we discussed the rumor that Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort might be swapping nighttime parades in the near future, with Paint the Night heading to Walt Disney World and the Main Street Electrical Parade going to Disneyland, potentially before being retired forever.
Interestingly, just a few days after we initially explored what a switcheroo like this would mean for both resorts, Disney has confirmed that at least part of this rumor was true. However, it looks like part of it was also very false…and it probably isn’t the part you expected…
1. The Main Street Electrical Parade is going on the road for its farewell tour this fall
After bouncing back and forth between the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland several times over the past four decades, this over forty year old parade will be making one last pilgrimage to Disneyland this fall before being retired forever on an unspecified date. Guests who want to see this parade one last time at Walt Disney World, will have to move fast as Disney has confirmed that the Main Street Electrical Parade will end its run at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom permanently in just a few weeks on October 9, after which it will be packed up and shipped to Disneyland for a late fall re-debut.
And while you might think that the relocation of this parade means that Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will be getting something in return…you’d actually be mistaken.
2. Paint the Night is staying at Disneyland for the foreseeable future
Though Paint the Night has been confirmed to be ceasing regular performances at Disneyland on September 9 (exactly a month before the Main Street Electrical Parade packs it in for good at the Magic Kingdom), Disney has confirmed that after a short refurbishment, Paint the Night will be resuming its path down Main Street USA at Disneyland once again beginning this holiday season, which is of course contrary to the original rumor that Paint the Night would be heading to Walt Disney World later this year.
While there haven’t been any firm dates confirmed yet for when Paint the Night will start back up again at the park, it looks like these two parades will be alternating for a bit at Disneyland later this year and possibly into 2017, depending on how long the Main Street Electrical Parade sticks around for its swan song at Disneyland. And while this is great news for guests visiting Disneyland this fall, this development unfortunately leaves the Magic Kingdom in a very precarious position…
3. Disneyland gets two nighttime parades and the Magic Kingdom is left with…none?
Though parades in general have been on the decline at Walt Disney World (Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and most recently, Disney’s Hollywood Studios have all closed their mid-day parades with no replacement), it looks like the Magic Kingdom will be without a regular nighttime parade once the Main Street Electrical Parade departs the park later this fall.
Though this won’t be an immediate issue as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will bring the Boo to You parade to event nights (and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will bring Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade to the park during the holidays), once these seasonal parades conclude in December, the Magic Kingdom will be left without any nighttime parade at all as we head into 2017.
This seems like a very unfortunate development for this park, especially as Walt Disney World has been confirmed to be grappling with some serious attendance drops in 2016, which probably won’t get better before the end of the year (and won’t be helped by diminishing options at the Magic Kingdom after dark).
However, though this ostensibly seems like some pretty bad news for Walt Disney World guests planning a visit later this year or in 2017, some are hoping that this development might mean that Disney is working on creating something new for evenings at the Magic Kingdom. Though the milestone 50th anniversary of the resort is still five years away, The Magic Kingdom is celebrating its 45th anniversary this fall, which might be a perfect opportunity for Disney to announce (but probably not debut) a new evening parade for this park. While we’ve heard absolutely nothing to support this theory, it seems like one of the only really good reasons why Disney would double up the parades at Disneyland and then leave the Magic Kingdom with no parade at all.
Of course, on the flip side, there’s also the possibility that the removal of nighttime parades at the Magic Kingdom is actually a cost-saving measure. Disney confirmed earlier this week that budget cuts are indeed coming to the parks, and while it will certainly be costly to ship the Main Street Electrical Parade out to Anaheim later this year, there will likely be a substantial saving at Walt Disney World from not needing to run this parade once (or twice) a night at the Magic Kingdom, and unless Disney announces something new soon, this saving will extend into the new year. And if Disney sees that attendance stays at least level while there is no parade, this cost-cutting measure could remain permanent as Disney looks for new ways to run its parks as efficiently as possible.
While it is certainly exciting to see the Main Street Electrical Parade return to its home at Disneyland before being retired forever on an unspecified date, this move is bittersweet as it does leave the Magic Kingdom in an unfortunate situation without any evening entertainment beyond seasonal parades and the nightly Wishes fireworks display.
Do you think that Disney will announce a brand new parade for the Magic Kingdom in the near future? Or are evening parades going to become a thing of the past (for now) at Walt Disney World thanks to budget cuts? Let us know what you think about these interesting developments in the comments below!
— Destinations Gal (@ChiaraAmina) August 11, 2016