The return of the Main Street Electrical Parade to Disneyland raises many questions

Paint the Night
The Paint the Night Parade, created for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, will end Sept. 5.
(Walt Disney Co.)

Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade is coming back to Anaheim.

The Electrical Parade, a nighttime cavalcade of floats adorned with thousands of lights, was a fan favorite at Disneyland from 1972 to 1996. For the last six years, the parade has been entertaining visitors at Walt Disney World in Florida and is scheduled to end its run there Oct. 9.

The parade will debut at the Anaheim park early next year for a limited period, Disney representatives said.

But the parade’s lengthy transit time between coasts raises the specter of Disneyland devotees going months without a nightly illuminated procession.


That’s because on Sept. 5, Disneyland is pulling the plug on the high-tech parade, dubbed Paint the Night, that it launched in May 2015 to celebrate the theme park’s 60th anniversary. Paint the Night, which features Disney characters on floats adorned with more than 1.5 million LED lights synchronized with music, will return for brief stints during the upcoming holiday season, starting in November, but Disneyland representatives didn’t provide a list of exact dates. 

The 60th anniversary fireworks show, Disneyland Forever, and the World of Color water and light show at California Adventure Park also are scheduled to end Sept. 5.

Disneyland representatives were unable to say what nighttime parade would fill the gap between the end of the run of Paint the Night on Sept. 5 and the return of the Electrical Parade early next year.

They also had no information about how long with the Main Street Electrical Parade would stay at the Anaheim park and what would replace the Electrical Parade when it ends its temporary run at Disneyland.


What is certain: Disneyland is in the midst of the biggest overhaul of its six-decade existence.

Construction began in April for a new 14-acre Star Wars land near the Big Thunder Railroad attraction.

Although Disneyland hasn’t said when the Star Wars attraction will be completed, the park said several nearby attractions that have closed during construction will reopen next summer. Among the attractions reopening next summer are the Disneyland Railroad, the Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, the Mark Twain Riverboat, the Sailing Ship Columbia and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes as well as the Fantasmic fireworks show.

At the adjoining California Adventure Park, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction will close in January to be remade as a ride based on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy superheroes. The ride will reopen next summer.

And Disneyland last week unveiled a plan to build a 6,800-space parking structure and transportation hub where buses, shuttles, taxis and other vehicles drop off and pick up park visitors. The new project will connect to the resort via a pedestrian bridge over Harbor Boulevard.

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