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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to Disneyland

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love the Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to Disneyland! Beginning its original run in Anaheim all the way back in 1972, the Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) has entertained generations of guests on both coasts. Much like it’s a small world and the Electrical Water Pageant, the beloved MSEP has a nostalgic charm – along with a catchy soundtrack – that makes it special no matter how much technology has improved over the years. There have been variations of MSEP at Disney parks around the world, but Disneyland’s run ended in 1996. In the ensuing twenty years, that particular version of the show bounced around between Disney California Adventure and Walt Disney World. On October 9th, 2016, the MSEP turned off its last light in Orlando and began a cross country trip back home to Disneyland.

The Main Street Electrical Parade comes home. (photo by @hintofspy)

This past week the MSEP had its triumphant return in Disneyland and began a limited time engagement that is scheduled to end on June 18th. Now, we’re just glad the MSEP is back, but Disney also delivered a whole bunch of surprises that truly made our day. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of the MSEP’s return, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – The SNACKS!

Readers of this fine blog series know we like our snacks. No, we really like our snacks. So imagine our surprise when the MSEP’s return to Disneyland brought with it a whole slew of tasty treats! With designs based on some of the iconic MSEP floats, these snacks are some of the cutest we have ever seen. Ladybug macaroons, turtle creampuffs, cheshire cat cookies and more!

Where was this when the MSEP was in Walt Disney World?! BE FAIR TO FLORIDA!! (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Cute caterpillar snack. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Cheshire cat tails. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Electric Cotton Candy. We’re 90% sure this is safe to eat. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

While some of the other designs are absolutely incredible, these Ladybug rice crispie treats look like if Burgan Fine Art ran a bakery. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Starting a Change.org petition to get similar FESTIVAL OF FANTASY snacks over here in Walt Disney World! (photo by Brian Pinsky)

# 5 – Turtle Bottle Topper

Sometimes the simplest of items can be the best. I bet you didn’t even know you needed a wonderful glowing Turtle Bottle Topper, did you? The turtle itself is basically an E-Ticket glow cube and WE LOVE IT.

Turtle Bottle Topper. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Turtle Bottle Topper. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

# 4 – MSEP Popcorn Bucket

Over here in Walt Disney World, major improvements have been made in the area of popcorn buckets. The Han Solo in Carbonite bucket may be the coolest looking one, the tie-fighter bucket the most impractical one, and the light-up Rivers Of Light inspired lotus flower just may be the greatest popcorn bucket Disney has ever created. With the MSEP return in Disneyland came a MSEP themed popcorn bucket that is just lovely. The bucket is also exclusive to annual passholders, and as much as we love our passholder only lines here in WDW, I ask my Disneyland counterparts: wanna trade?

MSEP Popcorn Bucket. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Another exclusive item for the spoiled great Disneyland Annual Passholders. (photo by Brian Pinsky)


# 3 – The Secret Ice Cream

While we’re not exactly sure what the secret is for these desserts, what’s not a secret is how much we love ice cream. At Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor there are two new frozen treats in the form of an ice cream whoopie pie sandwich and a float. Both taste incredible, and use banana ice cream as a base with hints of cherry and pistachio throughout. For those of us that are used to Walt Disney World menus where the only thing that regularly changes is the price, it is hard to fathom how many amazing “seasonal” options Disneyland has across the board in their food options.

Secret “Fantasia” Float and Ice Cream Whoopie Pie Sandwich. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Not so secret menu. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

# 2 -The Merch!

During MSEP’s run in Walt Disney World, we didn’t get much in terms of merchandise to support it. In fact, the biggest item was a “glowing away” shirt to mark the show’s leaving. On its return to Disneyland, MSEP brought with it a whole bunch of great items. While two separate pins both completely sold out just on the preview night, MSEP glowing “ears” headband, several different t-shirts, and limited edition art prints are still available. You can also get a hand drawn sketch by a Disney artist featuring the MSEP. While the “Disney’s Electrical Parade” CD is not new, popping this baby into your CD player is going to keep the parade going in your home or your car.

Glowing MSEP “ears.” (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Ladies MSEP shirt. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Men’s MSEP shirt.(photo by Brian PInsky)
Another MSEP shirt design. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
“MSEP” CD! Okay, it’s not new but it’s still great.  (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Limited edition MSEP print. (photo by Brian PInsky)
MSEP sketch. (photo by Brian Pinsky)


The floats. The lights. The characters. Baroque Hoedown. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…” It’s all back and it pulls at the heartstrings more than ever before. We mentioned the “Disney’s Electrical Parade” CD earlier, and that name was the logo which adorned the iconic drum when the MSEP went to DCA in 2001 and during its later WDW run. The original “Main Street Electrical Parade” logo now shines brightly to begin the show. Filled with charm and old school Disney magic, the refurbished Main Street Electrical Parade shows how far ahead of the curve the Disney company was 45 years ago. Their competition has yet to come up with a nighttime parade that is a stone’s throw from MSEP, let alone a newer offering like Paint The Night.

While the majority of the parade is filled with characters from Disney films such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it concludes with a patriotic tribute to America. For me, this section of MSEP is a great reminder that – no matter what side of the political aisle you may be on – we’re all in this together. While We may have some differences, we also have shared experiences of joy and wonder. People from red states and blue states can stand next to each other on Main Street and have the same child-like awe watching the parade pass by. In a way, the Main Street Electrical Parade represents what has made America the great country it is: taking something simple such as a light bulbs on a parade float and creating an emotional connection that stays with guests for a lifetime.

It’s BACK! (photo by Brian Pinsky)
The Main Street Electrical Parade. (photo by Brian PInsky)
Cheshire Cat and Alice. (photo by Brian PInsky)
Who wouldn’t love seeing this come down the street, let alone MAIN STREET, USA? (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Elliot. (photo by @HintOfSpy)
Gorgeous. (photo by @HintOfSpy)
Thar’ be pirates on the loose! (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Keep in mind, the original MSEP was created in a time when theme parks could still be weird, best shown by this Pinocchio float. (photo by Brian Pinsky)
USA! USA! USA! (photo by Brian Pinsky)
Elliot passing by Walt’s castle. (photo by @HintOfSpy)
Welcome home, MSEP. (photo by Brian PInsky)

So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love the Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to DisneylandSee you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

This is “Glow With The Show” we can get behind!

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:

Six Reasons this WDW Annual Passholder LOVES Disneyland

Six Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try!

The Third Annual Theme Park Turkeys Of the Year

The Six Best Snacks in Epcot’s World Showcase

Six Reasons We Love Univesal’s Toothsome Chocolate Emporium

Six Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exist (But Totally Should)

Special Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, the “photographer’s photographer” Kinny M Brown, two time E-Ticket Report listener of the month and Dateline Disneyland’s own Brian Pinsky, the hint-iest of all spies @HintOfSpy, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with goofballs co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde , while fellow Potterheads may enjoy Meg’s work on the Central Florida Slug Club.

FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2017 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now and support SIX NATION (boy do we need a better name than that.)

The MSEP is “YUUUUUUUGE.” (photo by Kinny M Brown)

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10 thoughts on “SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to Disneyland

  • I’m happy that the parade made it back home. We got to enjoy it for 6 years! Most nights… twice!

    Only I’m really sad that they seem to have plans to retire it forever! 🙁

  • To me the MSEP IS Disneyland. I saw it for the first time in the 70’s when I was a kid and I bought the music on a 45 (which, sadly, I didn’t save). I’m one of the suckers who bought the light bulb when the parade went away the first time. I’ve seen the parade dozens of times in 3 parks (DL, DCA, and MK), and I’ve listened to the music thousands of times. I still love it and can’t wait to see it in May when I return and it’s back on Main Street with the original drum. I might even ‘buy the shirt.’ Thanks for the article!

  • Everyone doing their best to ignore that last picture…but not me! its a wondrous thing you’ve done there.

    • I have always enjoyed the US Disney Parks, including parades and fireworks, because of their spirit of inclusion, of optimism, of solving our problems and vanquishing evil by working together. Even the humor of the Muppets is utilized to celebrate our US Constitution and Declaration of Independence as the documents of fairness and equality, of respect for the law they were written to be.
      Visiting a Disney Park has always reminded me we are stronger together. It has always called me to my better self by reminding me to celebrate all we have in common.
      I pity those who miss what Walt and Roy tried so well to do at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

  • I don’t know what’s more frustrating – that there’s still no nighttime parade at the Magic Kingdom, or that Disney Parks is likely to try to profit from those who miss it by selling these items at the MK.

  • Thanks for a great article! I am heading to Disneyland next week & can’t wait to see the MSEP again. I caught it most every night of my WDW trip a few years ago. Paint the Night is awesome & a great new parade, but there’s still something special about MSEP. Let me know if you need me to pick up that popcorn bucket for you :-).

  • MSEP is ok, but Paint the Night was waaaayyy better. Can’t believe they are not going to have it at either park 🙁

  • I’m so happy to see some type of re-introduction of the “fantasia” ice cream. I loved that many years ago, and was sorry when it was discontinued. I don’t understand why WDW tends to go so generic on their treats and merch….They miss so many opportunities for food and merchandise that is unique. Not planning a trip to Disneyland any time soon, but it’s fun to see it reported. Thanks.

  • I’m glad I got to see Paint the Night before it went…best, most high-energy parade I’ve seen. I don’t particularly like MSEP…repetitive 8-bit music and vaguely creepy floats. In my opinion, the best parade WDW had in my lifetime (90’s on) was Spectromagic.


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