Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Thu August 11 2016

Main Street Electrical Parade Leaves The Magic Kingdom: What’s Replacing It?

Destination & Tourism | Erik Yates | August 11, 2016

Main Street Electrical Parade Leaves The Magic Kingdom: What’s Replacing It?

Photo courtesy of Behind The Thrills

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, the spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synth magnetic musical sounds,  will be coming to a close on Oct. 9 of this year. The Main Street Electrical Parade has been a staple of the Magic Kingdom off and on for many years, with various different versions, and even different parades that helped to close the night.

Now that Main Street magic is leaving, as it makes its way to Disneyland for 2017. What will replace it, and when might we see it? All good questions that I just may have an answer for.

The Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) was originally designed and built for Disneyland, and premiered in 1972 at Disneyland. It was actually inspired by the 1971 Electrical Water Pageant, which premiered with the opening of Walt Disney World. That parade still performs to this day, as it takes screens with hundreds of lights, and puts them on barges, which are then towed around the lakes and lagoons of Walt Disney World.

The original parade featured some of the same barges, only now on land. The parade was an instant success, and a must-see for Disneyland guests. The parade even had its own East Coast and Paris counterparts, both with the same name and featuring much of the same layout.

READ MORE: 10 Secrets Behind the Magic of Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World launched Spectro Magic, which was essentially a different version of the same concept in 1991, and ran until 1999. SpectroMagic would return in 2001 for another nine years, before being replaced again by MSEP.

Disneyland has had a little bit more of a history with the parade and had it for 24 years before changing it up to Light Magic in 1997, which failed immediately. Light Magic was canceled, and MSEP was held off for a while, while it became part of the huge Millennium celebration in 1999 at Walt Disney World. That was the one that included the giant Mickey Ears on Epcot’s Spaceship Earth.

In 2015, Disneyland got the amazing Paint the Night Parade from Tokyo. That parade has been a huge part of the 60th-anniversary celebration, which is coming to a close on Sept. 5. In 2017, the MSEP will return to its origins at Disneyland, and will probably stay quite a while. That leaves just one thing…What to do with the Magic Kingdom?

READ MORE: The 15 Greatest Theme Park Rides We’ll Never See

The hope, and rumor, is that Paint the Night will make the rounds and come to Magic Kingdom. The  Magic Kingdom will celebrate 45 years this October, so it is likely we could see it as part of a huge celebration. Another persistent rumor is that SpectroMagic will make a triumphant return to the park, bringing an updated soundtrack and new lights. Another rumor will bring Fantillusion from Tokyo Disneyland to the park. Fantillusion is another version of the Main Street Electrical Parade that ran in both Tokyo and Paris for many years.

Disney is constantly changing things up, and looking at new ways to bring the guests amazing new experiences. Personally, the hope is for Paint the Night, which received amazing reviews and huge crowds during its run at Disneyland. The parade features tons of amazing lights, and huge new characters, including Pixar films like “Monsters, Inc.”

Whatever the next step will be, we can expect to see an announcement sometime in October as the park is expected to make huge announcements for Walt Disney World’s 45th anniversary. 

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