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Step in Time: A Look Back at the ‘Remember the Magic’ Parade at Magic Kingdom Park

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Just the title of this blog post has this parade’s theme song running through my head, how about you?
A Look Back at the ‘Remember the Magic’ Parade at Magic Kingdom Park

The year 1996 was a memorable one at Disney. It was the 25th anniversary of Magic Kingdom Park, an occasion that turned Cinderella Castle into a giant pink birthday cake, and the “Remember the Magic” parade debuted.

In this procession, Sorcerer Mickey led the way on a special Cinderella Castle-inspired float filled with Disney characters. Ariel and other characters from “The Little Mermaid” appeared in an impressive seashell float, surrounded by dancing fish friends, who would periodically pause and encourage guests to celebrate by dancing along. “The Lion King” also had its own float, which featured Simba, Pumbaa and other characters from the film. Rafiki also walked along the parade path and encouraged young guests to participate in the fun by beating drums.

Do you remember this parade (and its theme song)? Tell us in the “Comments” section below!


  • This was the first parade I ever saw, as it was my first time at Disney. We have a VHS video of the whole parade! I still watch it sometimes!

  • I loved the cake castle, it was my screen saver for the longest time. The entire celebration was nice. My son wasnt 2 yrs old yet but I still took him. What a wonderful memory, the parade was also fantastic. I am going to be there in June this year, it is my 25th anniversary, my sons graduation from high school and his going away present because he joined the Navy and is leaving in Aug. He is following my footsteps. What better place to celebrate all of that but with a trip to Disney World.I doubt my son remembers that 25th anniversary though. soon he will be making memories of his own there what a magical place to start a tradition.

  • Great article Jennifer! This parade will always make me think of that special time in my life. That year, 1996, was my first Disney College Program internship. During that first term I worked at Casey’s Corner on Main St. USA and was able to experience that great parade each day. To me, it was one of the best daytime parades ever in the Magic Kingdom. The college programs I did was some of the best times I’ve had in my life. Made great friends and worked for the best entertainment company around. I go back to Disney at least twice a year, but will never forget the time I spent during that special 25th Anniversary celebration as a cast member. Thanks again Jennifer for the article and letting me once again remember a great time in my life.

  • I totally remember this song and parade. I sung the lyrics the other day, for some random reason!

    I have too many Disney Parks parade, firework, and show lyrics in my head 🙂

  • This parade had great music. I’ve got it on my phone.

  • I spent my 50th birthday there – what a wonderful parade and memory – loved the castle all decorated for the 25th Anniversary 🙂

  • This parade holds great memories for me, it was running during my college program Spring of 1997. I still remember all the motions!!

  • Of course I remember it! It was our second trip to WDW.

    This past October when we went as a family, I sat waiting for the parade singing this song. =) I got a few looks from those who never knew of it, but I got some other Disney Vets to smile. Then I turned to my brother and began singing “Mickey Mania!” lol

    Disney parade music has a way of never leaving you.

  • Yes! Oh my gosh, I was four when I saw this parade and the anniversary Castle on my first visit to WDW. Cannot wait to be coming back next year for my honeymoon.

    • I hope you have an excellent honeymoon!

  • This is one of my first Walt Disney World memories! I remember Cast Members handing out stickers telling you which float you got to dance with and I got to be with the Aladdin float and the Lion King float! Last year, I got “Remember the Magic” tattooed on my right foot with a hidden Mickey dotting the “I.”

  • Yeah, thanks, now I can’t get the song out of my head. 🙂 It’s funny that you can forget about a song for so long, and then suddenly remember, “25 years of Disney magic. Plenty of sunshine, heading my way…”

  • Hi! I don’t mean to be that crazy Disney fan, but you said that the parade started in 1996 and that the lion king had come out earlier that year. The lion king was originally released in June of 1994. And if I remember correctly, most of the floats from festival of the lion king were from a parade that was located at disneyland.

    • Totally fine – and you’re right, Jonathan. I double-checked the date earlier and thought I fixed that before publishing. It’s correct now.

  • Did the Lion King float end up in the Festival of The Lion King show at Animal Kingdom?

  • I do remember this parade and its Remember the Magic jingle.

  • I was there! “Re-mem-ber the magic!” The castle as a birthday cake was amazing.

    • Yep. It’s in my head again. Thanks, Kim. 🙂

  • This was the first Magic Kingdom parade I ever saw. I still love watching the video! 🙂

  • This is what was going on in Walt Disney World the very first time I went. LOVE

  • This was the first time I visited WDW with my Mum, Dad and sister. We have a ‘Remember the Magic’ Mickey statue still.
    I’m coming back this year for my 5th visit, which will also be my Honeymoon.

    • Congrats, James!

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