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Step In Time: ‘Main Street Electrical Parade’ Lights Up Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

This week, we’re looking back at a parade that’s still a guest favorite to this day (and, incidentally, it was the first parade I ever saw at Walt Disney World Resort) – “Main Street Electrical Parade.


“Main Street Electrical Parade” debuted at Magic Kingdom Park on June 11, 1977, and was performed nightly through 1991. The parade stepped off to light up the night with a total of 23 floats (featuring more than 600,000 lights) and the talents of 80 parade performers. Up until this parade’s debut, the park had showcased mainly daytime processions, so the use of light to bring Disney stories to life after dark in a dedicated parade was innovative. So was the parade’s unique soundtrack, which featured a unique composition of “Baroque Hoedown” and many Disney titles.


“Main Street Electrical Parade” ran through September 14, 1991, when it was replaced by a new nighttime parade, SpectroMagic. It returned in 1999, just in time for the start of the Millennium Celebration and closed again in 2001. The parade returned to Magic Kingdom Park for a third time in 2010.

Is “Main Street Electrical Parade” one of your favorites? Tell us in the “Comments” section below.


  • Gregory- while that would be cool to have a parade on each coast, if Spectromagic ever DID come to California they’d have to build it from scratch for 2 reasons 1. the Old Spectro floats were dismantled this past july and 2. the parade was built to fit w/in the width of Magic Kingdom’s parade rout which is approximatly 4 feet wider than Disneyland’s

  • The Main Street Electrical Parade soundtrack was the tune of the first Disney TV program (Dit is Disney) that I saw as a child, back in the 80s in The Netherlands. This program has been the solid foundation of my love for all things Disney. So I couldn’t be happier when I first saw the parade in Euro Disneyland in 1992. No matter when or where I saw it, it has always enchanted me! Also in the updated Dream Lights version. And it has been my ringtone for more than a decade now! I guess it has become part of my DNA :-). So I hope it will always be the night time parade in one of the Disney Parks around the world. And I’m looking forward to seeing it in Paris again soon!

  • my favorite thing about it is sitting along the parade route in DCA or on Main Street in DisneyLAND when the lights go out and the music starts, its a wonderful chilling sensation…

    which actually leads me to my question… When will this beloved parade come back to California, I was under the impression it would only be in WDW for 2 years while Buena Vista Street was under construction.

  • As a Canadian visitor, I would have to say it’s when that huge American flag float rolls past at the end of the parade, a subtle reminder of what country you happen to be in. it’s really quite the modest statement.

  • We were there in mid-October and my boyfriend (45) had never been to Disney before. The night after we got settled in we noticed that the park was open until 2am that night. Me – the WDW Veteran knew that it might be a good time to head INTO the park since many would be leaving after fireworks were over. So off we went.

    I can tell you that it was absolutely magical. We rode an empty (YES- EMPTY) tram to the transportation center and boarded an almost empty Monorail watching the fireworks as we went. We arrived like Nemo swimming through the crowds LEAVING. We got his first pair of Mouse Ears and landed a prime spot on the corner curb of Town Square just in time for the Electrical Parade to roll by. The video I have of this grown man watching all of this in his first 45 minutes at Disney is amazing and the luck we had is further proof that Disney = Magic. If it can happen anywhere – it can happen there.

  • Interesting fact: while the parade has had versions running on both sides of the country the majority of Florida’s floats that were in their original versionwere actually built in California (it iis believed that Spectromagic is the only Florida parade to bew completely built in Florida)

  • I can’t wait for this parade to return to Disneyland!! By my calculations should be soon!!! Any comments or info anyone can add?

  • Will it EVER return to Disneyland Anaheim? It is SORELY MISSED here.

  • I have always wondered how they were able to restart the parade in 1999 without the $20 bulb I purchased in 1991. The bulbs went on sale and were suppposed to commemorate the final end of the electrical parade…?? 🙂

  • This is my all time favorite parade. I watched it as a child at Disneyland in CA. Couldn’t wait to show my sons (born in 2010 & 2013) the parade, and then they moved it to FL. So upsetting. I sure wish they would bring it back, since it has its roots here at Disneyland. (Alberto, it has been gone from CA Adventure for 3 years now) Hopefully one day I will be able to show my children the magic I grew up with.

  • I saw this parade from Main Street for the first time back in February and just fell in love. So magical and wonderful. Part of why Magic Kingdom’s my all time favourite theme park.

    • That’s a wonderful review, Emma, thanks!

  • Photos; super 8 film; and current digital video cameras.

  • I love the electric light parade as far back as I can remember and I try to make it a once year visits to either Disneyland or Disney world and yes they still have the parade in California adventure across from Disneyland. I have been visiting disney since they were still issuing “E” tickets

  • I actually have pictures from our 1979 trip. I would post them but they pale in comparison to what Disney has on file but I do love have those old pics. I’m so glad to see that Elliot is still with the parade. I still have never seen Pete’s Dragon all the way through but I always loved that float!

    • Old family vacation photos are such treasures, aren’t they?

  • I was at first disappointed to see the Electrical Parade replace with SpectroMagic, but since then I have fallen in love with both. Two fantastic parades. They should keep one at WDW an the other at DL so we have the choice of both!

  • Could have sworn the MSEP originated at Disneyland around ’72 and ran for about 24 years. Wish it returned to DL 🙁

  • This parade is my all time favorite of any parade (Disney or not). I wish it would come back to Disneyland though.

  • Main Street Electrical Parade, Light Magic, Fantasmic, Spectromagic, Fantillusion, If it’s night entertainment and it captures Disney Magic, I love it!

    • That’s great to hear, Ryan. 🙂

  • This is the best Disney parade ever!!! I saw several times both at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. There are still 6 weeks of Limited Time Magic in 2013 – all I want for Christmas is to see it again in California! How magical that would be !!!

  • This is the ring tone for my cell phone!! Any time I get a call, it’s a symphony of Baroque Hoedown, I LOVE it!!! Went to Disneyland during its farewell season, the best parade ever!!!

  • This is my all-time favorite parade. The first time I saw it, I walked away humming the “Baroque Hoedown”, it was that catchy.

    • The music is very happy, isn’t it?

  • I love this parade!
    It was the first parade I saw at WDW in August, 1999.
    When I returned years later to find SpectroMagic in its place, I was saddened. Eventhough a great parade, it’s just not as good.
    Love Elliot and Pete!

  • Do you know if Spectro Magic is ever coming back to Disney World? That was my favorite!

  • Bring it back to California……Disneyland Main St USA! It is really missed here!!!

  • One of my favorite things to see at Walt Disney World. My very first trip to the Magic Kingdom was after dark (late arriving airplane) where I saw this spectacular show. This is easily my children’s favorite as well. Wy 12 year old plays the soundtrack over and over and over again. Please, please keep the parade going for years to come!

  • A timeless classic and easily my favorite parade, although Disney’s Fantillusion is a close second! I can’t think of Disney World without fondly remembering The Main Street Electrical Parade, especially Pete and Elliott! Maybe some day it will get a remake like Tokyo Disneyland’s Dreamlights! Speaking of Fantillusion, is there any information on it’s current state? Will it ever make a return either to Paris or the States?

  • Yes, I wish they still had it in Disneyland!

  • I still have the picture disc 45 of the theme song. The greatest tribute to a Moog Synthesizer ever!

  • Yes, it takes me back to my childhood. However, I miss the Blue Fairy.

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