You guys. I literally CAN’T EVEN. If you grew up going to Disneyland in the 80’s and early 90’s, then there is no doubt that you have some pretty epic memories of the Main Street Electrical Parade (from here on in referred to as MSEP). I have so many memories of watching the nighttime spectacular, and before Fantasmic came along, it was my favorite part of nights at Disneyland. I was devastated when the parade left in 1996, and though it came back to California Adventure in the early 2000’s, it was just never the same (also, I never went to DCA then because it was lame and I wasn’t old enough to drink yet).
I have to say, one of the main reasons I was bummed about Paint the Night not becoming a regular fixture is because I thought PTN would become Squirt’s MSEP, something so epic and visually stunning that he would remember it well into his adulthood (where he WILL continue to love Disney or so help me…). I am still a little bummed/annoyed by all the ambiguity around PTN’s future at Disneyland, but it was partially eased a couple of months ago when we got the news that MSEP was coming back to Disneyland!!! Cue the music and the tears! As soon as its arrival date was announced, I booked dining reservations for preferred seating and started counting down the days.
Of course, the day of the parade’s public premiere (those willing to fork over $100 for the advanced premiere party saw it the night before the rest of the public) dawned cold and rainy. Cold is fine, but rain is a no go for the MSEP. But I already had reservations, and conveniently Matt had a conference in OC that same night, so I bundled up Squirt in about five sweatshirts (since I sure as hell am not spending money on a raincoat for my toddler in Southern California) and we headed down to the parks. Luckily the rain was just a light drizzle most of the day, but it was enough to totally derail the on the go meal option at Aladdin’s Oasis, which meant I got an anytime preferred seating Fast Pass instead of the usual timed and dated one. And even more luckily, the rain cleared up just in time for the parade to be able to run. Not gonna lie y’all, when this train came around the corner, there were some tears.
I loved watching the MSEP so much, that I went back the next night and used my Fast Pass! Two nights in a row of pure childhood nostalgia. Seriously, I loved every second of it!
To be fair, Squirt couldn’t have cared less about the MSEP. Maybe because he was tired or cold or thinking back to the technological wonder that is PTN, but he was not impressed. Granted, he is two and a half so we’ll give him that.
Despite Squirt’s completely lukewarm reaction to one of the defining highlights of my childhood, I was thrilled to welcome MSEP back to its rightful home. Also, it was super fun to see others in their mid 30’s-40’s as excited as we were when we were kids. THAT is the magic of Disney, folks.
The MSEP is only back in town for a limited time, and as of right now is scheduled to depart Disneyland for good on June 18, 2017. One can assume that this will be the final run of the parade (which had stints at both DCA and Disney World after leaving Disneyland originally), but with Disney you never know. I do know that I am going to be soaking up as much of the parade as humanly possible while it is here because my love is deep. Also, I am super excited to see what Disneyland has in store for its upcoming retro/MSEP themed AP Days, which are starting in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more info on that!
If you want to see more shots and videos from the parade, make sure you like my Facebook page as I will be adding in new media each time I see the parade! For now, here’s a little snippet of the beginning!
Do you have fond childhood memories of the MSEP? Will you be making a visit to the parks in the coming months to see it again? If so, let me know (I’ll probably come with you!) in the comments!