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Vintage Walt Disney World: A Look Back at Magic Kingdom Park Parades

posted on May 2nd, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center

With the exciting announcement of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade coming to Magic Kingdom Park in 2014, I thought it’d be fun to revisit some of the parades that have traveled down Main Street, U.S.A., over the years.

America on Parade ran from June 1975 until September 1976 and celebrated the Nation’s bicentennial with a lot of red, white and blue. Below, Mickey, Goofy and Donald get in on the patriotic fun.

America on Parade Ran From June 1975 Until September 1976 on Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park

In October 1986, 15 Years of Magic started to roll down Main Street, U.S.A., celebrating the 15th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. Here we see Mickey and Minnie in their ’80s best joining in on the fun!

15 Years of Magic Rolled Down Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park in October 1986

In the summer of 1994, the Mickey Mania parade hit the streets celebrating the one and only Mickey Mouse. Check out the life-size Mickey gloves and ear hat.

The Mickey Mania Parade Hit Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park in the Summer of 1994

Finally, here’s a look at Walt Disney World Resort’s 25th Anniversary parade, Remember the Magic. Ready to grant three wishes, The Genie travels down Main Street, U.S.A., along with Aladdin and Jasmine.

Walt Disney World Resort’s 25th Anniversary Parade, Remember the Magic, on Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom Park

Part of Magic Kingdom Park since opening day, parades have and will continue to create memories for guests daily. What’s your favorite?

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Christopher from Co. Waterford on May 2nd, 2013 at 8:49 am

The one and the only SPECTROMAGIC!!!!!


Nicole on May 2nd, 2013 at 8:52 am

Move it Shake it Celebrate it parade is by far our favorite. My 2 year old sings the songs everyday.


Robert on May 2nd, 2013 at 9:07 am

Although not at the Magic Kingdom, my favorite would be the Father’s Day Tool Time parade at Hollywood Studios. At MK it would have to be the main Street Electrical Parade.


Jennifer on May 2nd, 2013 at 9:37 am

SPECTROMAGIC! Definitely! My family and I used to watch it every day during our past vacations in WDW! We could never get tired of that beautiful music. :)


Laura on May 2nd, 2013 at 9:45 am

I loved SpectroMagic! I miss that parade so much!


Nancy on May 2nd, 2013 at 9:54 am

1994 was the first year we took our daughter Rachel to Walt Disney World. She has grown up to be a Disney fanatic (like me), worked at Disney’s Contemporary Resort during her Disney College Program days in 2008 and we hoping to move there soon to live out the Disney Dream and get to see every parade!! Thanks for these great pictures :)


Gloria on May 2nd, 2013 at 10:29 am

My favorite daytime parade is Remember the Magic and the nighttime Spectro and Main Street Electrical. This new parade looks great, can’t wait to see it.


Joe on May 2nd, 2013 at 11:33 am



todd on May 2nd, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Main Street Electric Light parade, hands down. I was fascinated with it as a child, and only came to realize much later in life that my love of electronic music was born with that parade and its amazing soundtrack.

Of course, for a long while the parade left WDW, and I actually wrote a long letter to Disney begging for its return (I was told the floats were too heavy for the soft Florida ground).

Then, three years ago, I took my daughter (aged 2 at the time) to WDW for her first time. After an afternoon swim at the Polynesian, we came back into the part around dusk, and OH MY GOD I could hear the music playing in the distance. They had brought it back!! Honestly, I cried. A grown man, I cried hearing that music and seeing my daughter hear it.

Never in her life had she danced the way she did as the parade went by, she was so excited. It was like a time warp, me watching her basically being me when I was her age. It was truly a fantastic moment, one of the best in my life.


John on May 2nd, 2013 at 12:21 pm

My favorite is Disney’s Dreams Come True Parade!


Debra on May 2nd, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I loved the Mickey Mania parade! It was fun and I can still remember the catchy music :)


Mark on May 2nd, 2013 at 2:05 pm

In August 1976 is when my wife and I celebrated our honeymoon. I have so many pictures of this parade and the memories that we have renewed every time we return.


J.D. from OR on May 2nd, 2013 at 3:21 pm

For me, it’s America on Parade. In 1976, on my first trip to Disneyland we entered the tunnels under the railroad tracks at 3:15. The very first thing I ever saw inside the park was the parade coming down Main Street. The huge floats, great music, and crazy-looking doll/people just blew me away. I’ve been collecting AoP memorabilia ever since.


Allison from WV on May 2nd, 2013 at 3:32 pm

My favorite parade was (I think) called Spirit of America and was running in March of 1988 celebrating (again I was 8) the Constitution. It was my first visit to Disney, and I made my grandparents and Mom watch it every day of our visit–we were there eight days!! I just loved and still do, the idea that I could watch a parade every day. My favorite parts were, Goofy, who rode a horse, and Tigger surfing a wave. There was also an actual band that played, which I also loved. I’m sure this new parade addition won’t disappoint based on the float renderings. So excited!


Ben on May 2nd, 2013 at 4:09 pm

SPECTROMAGIC, hands down!!!
I wish, hope and prey for Spectro’s return :)


Craig from FL on May 2nd, 2013 at 4:50 pm

My absolute favorite afternoon parade was the 20th anniversary Mardi Gras parade! I loved the giant balloon floats… especially Roger Rabbit!


Chris on May 2nd, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Really hoping Spectromagic is back when we next visit… have only ever caught MSEP and everyone says Spectromagic is a much better fit for the Magic Kingdom!


Kurt from NY on May 2nd, 2013 at 6:07 pm

In 2007, our family started vacationing in Walt Disney World. So I am going to have to say I miss Spectromagic. It has my favorite parade music, especially the trumpet fanfare.


Skip from FL on May 2nd, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Main Street Electrical Parade
………Baroque Hoedown………
(1 and uh 2 and 3 and uh 4 e and uh)


ed from PA on May 3rd, 2013 at 12:02 am

I really like this look back into the past. My first trip to WDW was in 1976 at 11. This parade hasreally lasted in my memory. The other thought is, wow, the castle behind Genie. The Pink 25th Birthday Cake.
And, it would be so great to get Spectro back in WDW.


Brenda from NH on May 3rd, 2013 at 6:33 am

Loved reading Todd’s comment (#9), it made me cry. I ALSO love the ELP and ecstatic when it came back. My daughter saw it when she was 7 and saw it again at age 29– loved it even more the second time!!! I also love the AK afternoon parade with the incredible animal creations the cast members display… those are amazing. THANK YOU Disney!!!


Brittney from AL on May 3rd, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I love these!!! America on Parade, I didn’t see (because my first visit was in 1978) but all of the others, I remember…and as I was reading the post the “theme song” of those parades was in my head!
Thanks for the stroll down memory lane :)


Edwin from FL on May 4th, 2013 at 9:54 pm

MK Main Electrical Parade.


Linda on May 6th, 2013 at 8:28 am

SPECTROMAGIC also. Love Main Street Electrical Parade, but really miss Spectromagic.


Tonya from TN on May 6th, 2013 at 10:59 am

Spectromagic is my favorite!!! We come to Disneyworld every year and I REALLY miss everything about it especially the music!!! Please bring it back!


Kathleen on May 7th, 2013 at 9:33 am

I loved the Remember the Magic parade for the 25th Anniversary! I still hum that song sometimes. My favorite nighttime parade is the Main Street Electric Parade. I even purchased some of the old lights from the Disneyland parade when it went into retirement.


Laraine from NJ on May 7th, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I agree with Todd and loved reading his comment. It’s so nice to be able to bring joy to loved ones. We brought our two nieces and nephew and they loved it too.
I absolutely love the Main Street Electric Light Parade. I’m delighted that it has been brought back to WDW. I love it so much that I had been searching for the CD that plays the music; just so I could bring the memory of the parade to mind. I searched for quite a while, finally found a CD online but the price was $200! Then, just last month, when we were visiting WDW I actually found a CD of the Electric Light Parade music in the store located in the Swan hotel. And the price was under $12! We listened to it on the way home! I hope they keep this much loved parade at the MK; it’s beautiful.