With the 15th Anniversary Pre-Parade and Andie MacDowell’s launch ceremony moved on, Mickey & friends departed to prepare and the press lined up on their viewing platform, the time had come. The grand premiere of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade was about to begin! The weather was far from a dream – cloudy skies and increasing rainfall – but for the cast, crew and creators of the park’s first new daytime parade in over five years, their dream was about to finally, officially begin.
Music perfectly synchronised, cast giving their best performance and floats littered with fully-working effects and details… the view of the parade travelling down Main Street USA was apparently “perfection”.
Of course, we’ll probably never see the full collection of photos from this premiere – no, cloudy skies are a definite no-no for Disney, especially when they’ve other, sunnier days in the calendar to capture the new parade. The three photos above are the only ones officially released, with the fourth part of a larger set from earlier in the week – noticable since the Dreams of Imagination float is missing key details such as its anchor and stars.
And now, we turn another page…
The music sure was perfect for the press, but at a cost. Since the individual float scores and computerised show stops add up to one of the most complicated and hard-to-align parade soundtracks the park has ever attempted, and – perhaps more importantly – the press’ location between Town Square and the body of Main Street is the bridge between two “sections” of the parade route’s usual audio system, the entire parade used just one single synchronisation. So, whilst Dreams of Imagination pulled into view of the press and they heard the opening announcement, so too did normal guests in Fantasyland, at that moment enjoying Float 7 – Dreams of Adventure.
For anyone North of Town Square, no pre-parade announcement or song was heard, the floats simply trundled into view with their respective soundtracks playing only from the on-float speakers. Then, as the entire sound system cut to join up with Town Square, a silence of around two minutes fell upon the entire cavalcade, before the pre-parade song of “Just Like We Dreamed It” took over the loop.
It wasn’t only guests who rightly appeared confused at the muddled soundtrack – the parade’s cast also had a hard time keeping up with what was going on, such as the Green Army Men (in our video below), who first appear to ask the parade control Cast Member what was happening before giving up on their choreography (timed to the usual Toy Story music from their float) and simply waving to the crowds. With the break for the pre-parade song and announcement over, the float soundtracks finally began again and the parade and its cast could continue as normal.
The video also includes footage of the two show stops around Town Square. Even though music was perfect for the show the press was seeing unfold, it once again caused problems for anyone watching beyond this point, with Dreams of Imagination serenaded by Peter Pan music and Dreams of Fantasy met with dreamy princess music. But, despite this, the parade ended on a high and was met with great response from guests – a relief considering the increasing downpour they had to endure.
Watch out in particular for the fantastic choreography of the Peter Pan show stop, with the flag artists throwing their flags into the air and across the parade route to each other, all the while with Peter and Wendy running from Hook in perfect time to “Just Like We Dreamed It”. Once again, the cast made the once upon a dream.
Peter Pan and the pirate captain shrug their shoulders as Dreams of Fantasy comes to a halt, improvising with a pirate jig before “Just Like We Dreamed It” begins and they realise it’s a second, unscheduled show stop.
Meanwhile, as the floats are dried off and the dancers wrung out like a wet towel, the cleaners are kept more than busy with the debris of the launch ceremony and two streamer-filled show stops on Main Street.
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