Friday, August 12, 2016

Unplugged: Another Disney tradition comes to an end

Our last Electric Parade
March 2016
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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It's the end of an era at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The company has announced plans to pull the plug on the Main Street Electric Parade October 9. The fun heads west to Disneyland in California where the event originated more than 40 years ago. The lights go out permanently for the parade in early 2017.

In all the reports I've seen about this, the one tidbit missing is why the parade is coming to an end. Every time we've visited Disney's Magic Kingdom we stopped what we were doing and made our way to Main Street for the parade. During our visit this past March we caught just a portion of it and I snapped the picture of Pete's Dragon. Had I known it was going to be our last time seeing it, I would have taken more note of the parade.

Pooh rules
Through the years Disney has tweaked things at the park and removed attractions and rides that were losing popularity. One of my favorite rides as a child was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. In 1999 it was replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. 

Last time with the Sorcerer's Hat
At Disney's Hollywood Studios the giant Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat has been torn down. We last posed in front of it two years ago. On our most recent trip nothing had replaced the attraction. One rumor was something from Frozen would replace the famous hat from Fantasia. But I haven't seen any other updates on the matter. 
Star Wars takes over
It's only natural that things change at the popular theme parks. As the company continues to produce movies and tv shows it's important to stay relevant and do what the paying customers want to see. Universal Studios has undergone several makeovers, most notably to appeal to fans of Harry Potter. Now that Star Wars has the licensing to Star Wars there will no doubt be a larger presence of that franchise at the parks. 

So if you haven't been to Disney World for the Electric Parade, time is ticking away. If you have a trip planned between now and October 9, I highly recommend checking it out. I still remember seeing it for the first time at age 6 and the last time days before I turned 43 (while at Disney World no less). Thanks for the memories.

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