Nighttime parade love

Good evening dreamers,

With the summer vibes going on, my mind instantly links it to night time parades. The days are long, weather is nice (apart from the occasional rain/thunderstorm but what do you want here) and the goosebumps of a night time parade only add to the summery vibe in my opinion.

Sadly since 2012 Disneyland Paris doesn’t have a night time parade any more, and the missing of it… is getting harder every year. Though the final run of “Disney’s Fantillusion” is one I’ll never forget. It was a wonderful party along the route and we all waved it an emotional goodbye. And now we are left with hoping we’ll get spoiled one day again by such beauty. But in the mean time, let’s dig closer into some night time parades.

Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade – Walt Disney World (photo by Tom Bricker)

Disneyland Paris itself had 2 nightie parades running. I only saw “Fantillusion” since that one ran during summer and Christmas break from 2003 until 2 September 2012. Before that the iconic “Main Street Electrical Parade” brought the European crowds to happy tears. I’ve only seen video’s and pictures of that parade, and in America it still succeeds to bring joy and happiness to those who watch this kiss goodnight. But since I have never saw this one with my own eyes, I can’t tell you enough about it myself.

“Fantillusion” on the other hand, is my favorite night time parade. It’s the one I watched the most for obvious reasons. I have so many moments of this parade I won’t forget. Like how it made my cry of happiness  the first time I saw it on 28 august 2005, but also interactions with performers as well as the final tears when Minnie closed off one last time.


For those who don’t know, or might have forgotten, here’s a quick run through of the parade. At first there’s Tinkerbell followed by Mickey who invite you to the enchanted garden where we find Fauna, Flora and Merryweather, lots of flowery decorations and the closing float of this part is a beautiful butterfly. But not everything can stay beautiful, cause the villains come to mess in our garden! Ursula, Jafar and Maleficent try to scare us away with their evil spells. But have no fear! Cause the princesses assure us we are safe in that fairytale garden. Snow white, Ariel, Belle and Jasmine brought their princes and give us the happily ever after we all wish for. Minnie brings out the cake, and on a background of fireworks she waves us goodbye as she passes.

The beauty of this parade isn’t only the touching music (just start that music to make me emotional) or the passing of the twinkling lights, but the showstops turn it into a good story. Yes who remembers the showstops?! The first part of the parade had the least spectacular stop in my opinion. The lights turned to gold, and there was a time when there was a float with curtains closed and during the stop the curtains opened and revealed Goofy, Chip, Dale and Pluto. Though the curtains got removed after a while… It also took many years before I knew what was revealed during the showstop, since I watched it more from locations where the first part wouldn’t stop at all.

But the dull stop got followed by the most amazing showstop I ever saw! The floats of the villains transformed right in front of your eyes! Ursula grew bigger, Jafar turned into his snake form, and Maleficent into her dragon self! The power that this part showed. I loved it! Also the princess-floats transformed and send the princesses floating in the sky. It brought out the classic princess feels.

Uhum… by this time you are aware that “Fantillusion” just stole my heart completely. Though 2 years ago I was able to see “Paint the night” in Disneyland as well. It felt so good to see a night time parade again! I saw it 4 times over the 3 days I spent in the park. Yeah 4 times, since they let it run twice a night in high season. It’s earlier dark here, so possible to have multiple runs a night, while Paris only gets dark by 23.00 in the summer months.

The parade itself caught me mainly by the music. It has some nice modern twists and tributes to the original “Main street electrical parade” in there. Also the main theme, which is a twist on Owl city’s “when can I see you again” that served as soundtrack for Wreck it Wralph, is super catchy and fun.

The floats are all covered in LED lights, which makes them a bit more sustainable than previous parades. And they are gorgeous. It doesn’t have a real story attached to it, but is just a nice line up of different Characters of the Pixar and Disney studio’s. In order of appearance we have Tinkerbell and Peter Pan to get the party started; giant representations of Genie, Lumière and Tigger;  Mike and Sully’s scream party; Lightning McQueen racing in front of Mack; Ariels undersea adventures where Nemo, Dory and Marvin swim too; Buzz and Woody riding Slinky Dog as play time; the royals with Belle, Rapunzel and Cinderella who are followed by the queen and princess of Arendelle (Elsa and Anna); And finally Goofy, Donald and Minnie bring out Mickey himself to close the parade down.

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There are other night parades out there as well, but I haven’t experienced them myself. Since the experiences is so important for me to fully judge a parade, I won’t go over other parades like the Main Street Electrical, Spectromagic or Dreamlights.

With me being nostalgic, I’m wondering what are your experiences with night time parades? Favorite parade? Favorite part? I’m here for a chat about it.

Keep on dreaming!



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