More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Main Street Electrical Parade – 1999

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

We’re digging back through the Walt Disney World video archives today – to 1999 and a night you could’ve been driving toward Magic Kingdom Park with Pete’s Dragon in the lane next to you. In May of 1999, a few weeks before Main Street Electrical Parade started making nightly appearances in Florida, hundreds of cars lined an interstate for an overnight road test. Many of the Main Street Electrical Parade vehicles and cars driven by Walt Disney World cast members joined a ceremonial caravan toward the park. It was quite a sight. See for yourself:

This isn’t the first time this “crown jewel of summer” has traveled from California to Florida. Main Street Electrical Parade debuted in Anaheim at Disneyland back in 1972 and after a 24-year run, closed in 1996. In May 1999, after technical and electrical upgrades, Main Street Electrical Parade made the move to Magic Kingdom, just in time for the start of the Millennium Celebration.

Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade begins a limited engagement for Summer Nightastic! at Walt Disney World beginning June 6 and continuing through Aug. 14.


  • If Summer Nighttastic returns next year, let’s hope that they’ll include the return of the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown as part of the line-up.

  • Will Spectromagic also be shown during this time?

  • Is there any chance this could run longer than August 14th?

  • I can’t wait for summer! My first trip to The Magic kingdom was in December of 2000. I danced with my kindergartener as the parade passed by. Sadly, before I could book a return trip for the summer, the parade had moved on to another park. Now my kindergartener is in high school, but I may dance anyway. The electrical floats were good but the music made the parade. I hope the music hasn’t changed.

  • Not only was this wonderful to watch, I was so pleased to see how the vehicles on the road reacted. Did you notice not only did they slow down (probably because they couldn’t believe their eyes) but also stayed clear over to the right of the parade almost to the edge of their lanes. To me this portrayed respect. And I am thankful for that. Thank you for sharing this moment with us.

  • Now we need to have a tilt shift video of the parade.

    Speaking of videos, Thomas, who did the music for Epcot tilt shift video?


  • This is a great video! Not every day you get to drive an illuminated dragon down the turnpike! I first saw MSEP in Disneyland in the 1970’s and have never forgotten my astonishment. It’s held up amazingly well and the music is still perfect. Can’t wait to see it again…

  • Will the parade come back to Disneyland after August?

  • The video was great to see. I wish the MSEP were scheduled for a longer stay at the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunatly it will be gone by the time we arrive in October. It would have been great to see it again.

  • Are they really going to bring it all the way accross the county to only show it for 2 months???? Kinda stinks if so, was hoping to see it the last week of august.

  • Nevermind, I see now that I was talking about Pete and Pete’s Dragon.

  • I would have loved to have seen this! I love Goofy waving out the window. Who is on the snail’s neck waving at the beginning of the video?

  • This video is so much fun! Wish I could get down to WDW this summer to see this. Any chance of extending it? I’m torn, though, I also love Spectromagic, but MSEP is a classic!

  • Perhaps my memory has gone wonky but did the Parade visit WDW in 1991 ? I’m sure I saw it there when we visited in July that year. Wish we could see it again but we’re coming over in March/April this year so it won’t have arrived by the time we leave !!

  • I miss this parade at WDW. Unfortunately, I won’t be visiting during the dates of it’s return… Unless someone would like to sponsor a trip for me. 😉 °o°

  • I think it is great you are bringing it back, but we are gonna’ miss it and my roommate has never seen it! Bummed — we will be there after it closes.

  • A) Eliot rules
    B) I found my photos of this parade at Disneyland from the 80s.
    C) I added a day to my visit in August so I can catch this parade.
    D) Thank you!

  • So what will take its place in Disneyland as I am heading there Sept for the half marathon? Will not be in WDW til Jan for Goofy challenge so will it still be around there then?

  • ARRG! I’m going to be there on Aug. 15th. How about keeping it one more day? Pleeeze? I havent seen it since a trip to D-land when I was a kid, and I was really looking forward to seeing (and hearing) it again.
    I propose the “Summer Nightastic!” not end until the actual end of summer! Who’s with me?

  • Just watched it – immediately started humming the music! Saw it at Disneyland every year since it began – can’t wait to take my kids to see it this summer in Florida!

  • WOW! I haven’t seen that parade in ages. Since I lived in Anahiem, CA in 1991-1992. Guess I’ll start planning on taking a visit.

  • Thank you for sharing this fantastic video. This is one traffic tie up I would happily sit in just to be a part of W

  • I’ve been to Disney World 4 times since 2005 and we this is a must see everytime!! Love it!!

  • Can’t wait to see this parade and show my son! He’s never seen this before.

    I hope the people knew the parade would be using the highway…can’t imagine what they were thinking if they didn’t!

  • Great Video! Do you guys promise to give us our beloved Parade back when your done? You still have Walt’s Office.

  • This was my favorite parade! Please keep it beyond August 14! I can’t get there before September!

  • This is wonderful! I want to go soooooooo bad! It is a shame that going to Disney costs so much money! Atleast it keeps people like me, something to daydream about. Maybe one day I will be able to see the Light Parade AGAIN!

  • Great parade! I saw this at the Magic Kingdom years ago. It had different music than this video plays and I have that music on a DisneyWorld cd. Gotta go see it this summer!

  • This is fantastic!! Now bring Captain EO back to WDW!!

  • That was great to see. Does something like this get announced so I can come over and see it in person when the parade arrives in Orlando.

  • I would have been beyond excited seeing this go down the road!! Does anyone know the exact dates it will be at WDW?

  • It must have been sooooo cool to see the parade on the highway!

  • Wish I would have been on I-4 that night in 1999. What fun!!!! Glad it is making a come back in Florida, but Florida passholders have only two days to see it before black out dates….maybe you will think about extending the stay!!!!

  • Thanks Thomas for posting this video. I’ve been going to WDW since Opening Day and am a long time Passholder. I can’t wait to see the Electrical Parade again! Maybe you all would consider leaving out the floating light parade for all of us “oldies” to enjoy on our way out of the Park while we wait for the various transportations. We still enjoy it at the campground and there are so many who have never experienced it. I can hardly wait for the 40th Anniversary!

  • Love this parade!!! Have seen it several times. Glad its back!!!!

  • this is going to be AMAZING!!!! i loved spectromagic and i know im gonna love this EVEN MORE!! YAY! i cant wait!! see you this summer!

  • That must have been interesting to see. I love how Goofy pulls up in the train float to the toll to pay to park at the end. So if they are moving the Main Street Electrical Parade to Disney World, where are they moving Spectromagic to???

  • Fantastic!

  • HA! This certainly put a smile on my face today 🙂

    • Yes…me too when I first watched the raw footage.

  • been to disneyland once, never forgotten it – am stuck in boring old England!sob!

  • That is so cool! What are the chances we’ll see a drive-by version at Walt Disney World? I wasn’t planning being there opening day, but it would be worth a trip down at that time just to see the parade driving down the road at night!

  • This just made me laugh! It’s hysterical to see the floats just driving down the street. I wish I could’ve seen that first hand!
    Great video…thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Can. Not. Wait. to see this again. GREAT marketing and entertainment decision to bring this to WDW. Do more like this!

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