A fire-breathing dragon… a pirate ship with smoking cannon… a music box that’s a seashell… sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy hair… a mega-sized bagpipe.
Classic Disney fantasies soar to new heights with the all-new Disney Festival of Fantasy parade, which hit the streets of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on Sunday, March 9. The tribute to Fantasyland highlights several new classic Disney and Pixar stories on a grand scale with nearly 100 performers and larger-than-life floats.
Disney Festival of Fantasy parade is the first of a new generation of parades for Disney parks, featuring never-before-used technology on eye-popping floats adorned with Disney characters from more than a dozen fairy tales. Set to an all-new musical score, the dazzling parade floats will soar up to three stories tall with spirited performers donning dramatic costumes crafted at ten different design houses across the country.
“The parade celebrates and pays homage to what the Magic Kingdom is all about,” said Randy Wojcik, senior show director Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment. “It has the most beautiful floats, enchanting characters, vibrant costumes that come to life – and the choreography is just glorious. Yet it is also very kinetic, relevant, and powerful on a scale never seen before at Walt Disney World.”
Seven unique units comprised of nine spectacular floats will march down Main Street, U.S.A. to the beat of an original soundtrack inspired by favorite Disney films, composed by Mark Hammond, known for his work on World of Color at Disney California Adventure and the Flights of Fantasy parade at Hong Kong Disneyland. The parade has its own voice, with a theme song customized for each float followed by a medley of songs woven throughout the cavalcade.
“It’s visually stunning, like mini-Broadway shows rolling down the street,” said Wojcik.
Here’s the float-by-float lineup:
The Princess Garden – this pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty. Cinderella, Tiana, and Belle, accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds, and more. Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature Frozen.
Tangled – a massive, long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure and another “Best. Day. Ever!” Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float, which is decked out with swaying pendulums and which carries dastardly thugs.
Little Mermaid – Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee. There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float, with conga-dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore. Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell, and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired.
Peter Pan – straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship, complete with smoke effects and special surprises. A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor. “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography.
Brave – Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney*Pixar film.
Sleeping Beauty – the heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired dragon that doubles for the wicked Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall, with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float. With fiery eyes and glowing effects, the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis, allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades. This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry. There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, and dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, glide along the parade route.
Finale and Mickey’s Airship – the parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto, and more in a splashy carnival of color. There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos, and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Sporting zany new costumes, Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky-high in Mickey’s Airship – a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy parade.
To learn more about Walt Disney World, view all of the WDW posts in the OI Blog archive.