Back in October I headed off to Disneyland Paris with Little Miss, Kariss and Hayley. It’s something we’d had planned for a while and I was looking forward to it. Although it was hard at times as we struggled to find Peter Pan and that was just something LM couldn’t deal with. It was also cold and It’s a Small World along with a few other rides that LM enjoys were closed. But we made the best of it and it ended up being quite a lot of fun.
Aside from the beautiful castle, one of our absolute favourite things about Disneyland Paris is the 5pm parade. The music is catchy, the units are awesome, and of course, Peter Pan is there. I really love Disney’s Magic on Parade so today I thought I would share some photos I took of it over the four days we were there (we watched it every day) for anyone who hasn’t been to Disneyland Paris before.
The first unit’s focus on the benevolent beings of Disney. First the three good fairies from Sleeping Beauty, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. They’re not on a floats but glide around the road in the exact same way as they do in Festival of Fantasy at Magic Kingdom. Then there is a beautiful float with a big open story book and some turrets that look very similar to the one on Sleeping Beauty castle. If you’re watching the parade come down Main Street you will see how it mirrors the centre piece of the Disneyland Park. On this float there is Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio and on the back is Merlin! I love this parade because it does celebrate such figures as the Blue Fairy and Merlin who have both long vanished from other parks.
Next, the princesses. Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora ride in coaches with their respective princes. Their coaches are so cool as they’re themed to each story and Aurora’s is even pulled by Samson. Then comes the princess unit which on the front is Frozen with Elsa up the top and Anna and Olaf at the bottom. Anna as usual was adorable usual however it’s the back of that particular float I love as it’s Flynn and Rapunzel. Rapunzel is on a swing with Flynn pushing her and they’re surrounded by flowers and the floating lanterns. It’s just beautiful.
Then comes The Queen of Hearts with her pack of cards, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit. Although they do have choreography there is a lot of the Mad Hatter causing trouble. We caught him sneaking up on the Queen of Hearts and throwing confetti in her face, I’m sure she loved that. The unit itself is Alice in the White Rabbit’s house with the Tweedles, Dormouse and the March Hare on. On the back of the float there is a big wooden clock as it’s Pinocchio themed with some marionettes in gorgeous outfits (I’m so tempted to get one made for LM) along with Geppetto. Dancing behind there are more marionettes and Pinocchio. Once again I really love the fact that older movies are celebrated in this parade. Usually Alice and Pinocchio only get to walk along side these days.
The next unit is another duel sided. The first side is Toy Story with Jessie leading the Toy Soldiers in front. I actually like the Toy Soldiers at DLP as they don’t have their faces completely covered like in WDW but of course that stops them from being authentic I guess. On the main unit there is Woody riding on Bullseye along with Buzz riding on RC as well as favourites such as Bo Peep, Slinky, the aliens, Mr & Mrs Potato Head and Hamm. On the other side is Pooh surrounded by honey pots followed by Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet on foot with some parade dancers as bumble bees. It’s really simple but I think it works perfectly with the 100 Acre Wood theme.
I love the next set of dancers they remind me of the Lion King musical and show at Animal Kingdom although the unit itself is probably my least favourite as it reminds me too much of the Disney Parks parades from the 90s, and I’d like to hope by 2016 things had moved on. Simba is so hard to photograph without him looking really fake. I’m still working hard to preserve the magic for LM and a fake looking Simba doesn’t work with that. On the back there was a simple set up of King Louie on his stone throne from the Jungle Book with Baloo following behing. I always feel like they missed an opportunity here, they could have had a few tumbling monkeys.
Now to resist the urge to post 100 photos of the next unit, because you guessed it, it’s finally Peter Pan. This float’s theme is clearly London as it has Peter Pan on the front and Mary Poppins on the back. And OBVIOUSLY it’s the best unit in the whole parade in my opinion. The Peter Pan one is lead by Mr Smee and a band of pirates (where as in Festival of Fantasy it’s lead by the Lost Boys). The unit itself is actually Captain Hook’s ship The Jolly Roger in the front with London including Big Ben in the back. On it there is a pirate steering along with Hook and of course Peter. The last time I saw it Peter had no unit and was on the ground so it was so great to see him up there playing hide and seek with Hook, where he belongs. We did have a bit of a nightmare trying to get him to notice LM but finally on the last day of a trip he blew her a kiss and all was right with the world. Also, look at those ears! As I mentioned above, Mary Poppins is on the other side, she’s on her carousel with Bert on foot with the penguins and the dancers. It’s cute but as of yet I haven’t managed to get a great photo, that’s an aim for next month!
The finale unit of course has the fab five, plus Chip & Dale on it. I love the colour scheme it’s definitely magical and Minnie’s dress is the stuff of dreams (and one I really want to get for LM because it’s the cutest). Lots of stars and glitter. Although like all the unit’s in Disney Magic on Parade they’re a lot smaller than some of the newer parades I do think you get that moment where you catch yourself (especially if you’re over emotional like I am) when it comes to this float. At the very bag is Tink, almost hidden away but I think she’s perfectly placed as a lot of people walk behind the parade especially if they’re heading out the park.
Over all, like all Disney parades, Magic on Parade really is well.. magical and something that should be on your must do Disneyland Paris list. I don’t think my photos really do it justice so if you want a preview there are some videos on youTube you can watch, especially if you want to get in the mood for an upcoming trip.