Guide to ‘Magic Happens’ Parade at Disneyland

magic happens

Guide to ‘Magic Happens’ Parade at Disneyland

The ‘Magic Happens’ parade has returned to Disneyland! Led by Mickey Mouse and his pals, the parade at Disneyland Park celebrates moments of magic from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios films as they are brought to life on a grand scale with stunning floats, artistic costumes and an energetic musical score combined with beloved Disney tunes. In addition to the magnificent floats, the parade route along Main Street, U.S.A., fills with dynamic performers and more than two dozen Disney and Pixar characters.

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This daytime spectacular by Disney Live Entertainment features distinct stories with a mix of characters, making it feel contemporary and classic, fun and regal, and surprising and familiar – all at the same time.

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Fun facts about ‘Magic Happens’ 

  • The parade features nine floats created as pieces of moving art, with their lines and aesthetic design working to tell a story along the parade route. Alongside are more than 90 performers, and more than two dozen of them are Disney and Pixar characters. 
  • Two original songs add to the musical flow of the parade: the main theme, “Magic Happens,” and a special song for the grand finale. The finale score includes musical nods to past Disney entertainment productions that have special meaning to show director Jordan Peterson, weaving in themes from the “Remember the Magic” parade as well as the “Wishes” and “Remember… Dreams Come True” fireworks spectaculars. 
  • The parade’s costume design draws inspiration directly from modern runways, making each costume look fashion-forward, yet uniquely Disney. 
  • Featuring a musical score and new songs co-composed by singer-songwriter Todrick Hall, the “Magic Happens” soundtrack and choreography are heavily influenced by today’s pop culture, putting a contemporary spin on classic Disney hits. 
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Parade highlights 

  • Mickey Mouse leads the way, gliding along on glistening swirls of magic emanating from a giant, iridescent magical hat that stands at nearly 15 feet tall and features 300 shimmering LED lights. Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale dance alongside eclectic and artsy performers representing aspects of magic.  
  • On her voyager canoe, Moana journeys forth on the crest of a towering wave, inspired by beautiful koa wood carvings and inset with animated glimpses into the magic the ocean holds. This is the first full-scale “Moana”-inspired float to be created for a Disney park. Maui travels along on his own magical piece of the islands with Moana’s adorable pet pig, Pua.
    • Guests looking closely at the flow of the ocean may spot a character cameo (or two) from Disney and Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” The heart of Te Fiti may also be spotted under the water. 
    • The percussion instruments played on the Kakamora unit that follows the “Moana” float are inspired by traditional Polynesian drums. 
  • In the first Disney Parks parade float inspired by Disney and Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel celebrates the magic that happens when he strums the guitar of Ernesto de la Cruz. This float connects the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead with a vibrant bridge decorated by more than 30,000 marigolds. Fantastical alebrije spirit animals join the procession, along with Miguel’s dog Dante. 
  • From Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2,” Anna and Elsa explore the mysteries of the Enchanted Forest, as their friends Kristoff, Sven and Olaf tag along. The large snowflake behind Elsa incorporates the four elemental symbols from the film, representing water, fire, earth and wind. At nearly 39 feet long, the “Frozen 2” float is the longest in the parade. 
  • The regal grand finale of “Magic Happens” celebrates magical moments from several classic Disney stories. The start of the finale brings together many iconic magical characters, including Genie, Aladdin, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Blue Fairy, Pinocchio and Fairy Godmother. These characters lead the way as more floats are introduced, each highlighting the moments of magic that changed the characters’ lives:
    • Cinderella is seen inside a grand pumpkin, just as it magically transforms into a glistening carriage to whisk her off to the ball.
    • From “The Sword in the Stone,” Merlin wisely leads the way for young Arthur, who finds the magic within himself as he pulls the sword from the stone, claiming his place upon the throne.  
    • Tiana and Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog” are seen amidst a swirl of golden flowers where they share a kiss, completing their transformation back into human forms. 
    • The happily-ever-after scene from “Sleeping Beauty” features the three Good Fairies and Prince Phillip dancing with Princess Aurora, whose gown shimmers between hues of pink and blue. The Sleeping Beauty float is the tallest float in the parade, with the top turret reaching approximately 30 feet tall.  

Have you had a chance to experience the ‘Magic Happens’ parade?

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