Light Magic

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Light Magic
Disneyland
Area Fantasyland and Main Street, U.S.A.
Status Closed
Cost US$20 million[1]
Soft opening date May 13, 1997
Opening date May 23, 1997
Closing date September 8, 1997
Replaced Main Street Electrical Parade
Replaced by Paint the Night
General statistics
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Duration 20 minutes

Light Magic was a parade/street show that ran at Disneyland from May–September 1997. It was billed as a replacement for the 24-year-old Main Street Electrical Parade. At the time of Light Magic's closure, Disney officially stated that it would return in the year 2000, but that did not happen.

Despite the show's short run, infrastructure improvements made specifically for Light Magic – particularly in Fantasyland – are still used today.

Synopsis[edit]

Light Magic was a "streetacular" (a portmanteau of "street" and "spectacular"). Floats moved into two performance zones, one located at the Small World Mall in Fantasyland, and the other on Main Street. Upon reaching the performance zones, the floats stopped and the pixie characters, who were the focus of the show, awakened and performed step-dancing routines for the audience, and were then joined by Disney characters. During the performance segment, a portion of each of the floats revealed a screen upon which images were projected from equipment hidden in the surrounding buildings. As part of the grand finale, the fairies used their 'magic' to throw pixie dust, confetti fell from the sky, the buildings lit up with a shower of twinkling lights provided by fiber optics embedded in the structures.

Light Magic's music was Celtic-influenced. The songs in the show were:

Criticism[edit]

Annual Passholder premiere[edit]

Light Magic made its debut at a private event for Disneyland Annual Passholders. The premiere night did not go well as technical problems came up with aligning the floats with the projectors, various cues were missed, and sound equipment failed, as well as the fiber-optic lighting not yet being functional. The initial show was prefaced by then-Disneyland President Paul Pressler announcing to the passholder crowd that the show was to be a dress rehearsal and not the show in its finished form.[2]

The passholders' response to Light Magic was negative, with long lines extending from City Hall on Main Street demanding refunds, as passholders had paid $25 each to attend the special event under the impression, based on all of the information that had been distributed, that they would be the first to see the official premiere, not a dress rehearsal.

General public response[edit]

Light Magic played for the remainder of the summer season in 1997 with the majority of the response from the public ranging from lackluster to dislike. Many fans of the Main Street Electrical Parade regarded Light Magic as an unworthy replacement.[citation needed]

Legacy[edit]

Despite the show's short-lived run, much of the infrastructure built for Light Magic – especially in the Fantasyland area – is still used for Disneyland's parades today. These infrastructure improvements included:

  • Painted asphalt along the parade route was replaced with concrete to accommodate the large, heavy show platforms [3]
  • The plaza area in front of It's a Small World was widened and terraced to allow more guests a better view of the parade route, similar to the way some areas of New Orleans Square were terraced for Fantasmic!.
  • A walkway was added parallel to the parade route between Storybook Land Canal Boats and It's A Small World – landscaped to block the view of the parade route from the walkway – in order to allow guests to move in and out of the It's A Small World area during parades. This was added in response to crowded conditions for guests during the final months of the Main Street Electrical Parade's run.
  • Lighting towers constructed for Light Magic on Small World Mall and atop the Main Street, USA buildings allowed Disneyland to run the same parade in the afternoon and in the evening, rather than running separate afternoon and evening parades as was done for several years of the Main Street Electrical Parade's run, such as The Lion King Celebration.

Three towers constructed on Small World Mall for sound and lighting technician use in Light Magic are still standing. Two currently serve no explicit purpose, but their exterior facades are still maintained. One has been returned to service as a projection tower for the Disneyland Forever fireworks show.

Another spiritual successor to the Main Street Electrical Parade, the Paint the Night Parade, which also makes use of "Baroque Hoedown", premiered at Disneyland on May 22, 2015, as part of the park's 60th anniversary celebration.

Soundtrack[edit]

Baroque Hoedown was incorporated into the finale of Light Magic.

A partial soundtrack for the show can be found on:

The Light Magic theme song "Dream Our Dream" was later used in 2002 in a show called "Minnie's Birthday Surprise" at Videopolis theater in the Disneyland Park in Paris.

Production[edit]

  • Produced by Bruce Healey
  • Engineered and Mixed by Paul Freeman
  • Announcer: Randy Crenshaw
  • Dream Our Dreams Opening Play On (Vocals by Ellis Hall)
  • Dream Our Dreams (Vocals by Richard Page)

Show facts[edit]

  • Grand opening: May 23, 1997 (Memorial Day Weekend)
    • Annual Passholder Premiere: May 13, 1997
  • Closing date: September 1, 1997 (Labor Day Weekend)
  • Show length: 20:00
  • Cost: Approximately $20,000,000
  • Fiber Optic Cable Length Used: 4500 Miles
  • Strobe Lights: 1520

References[edit]

  1. ^ "It's All in a Nametag: Disneyland's Light Magic Parade (Disney Dispatch)". www.disneydispatch.com. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Based upon first-hand report from Annual Passholder attendee.
  3. ^ "Disney describes the 55,000-pound, 80-foot (24 m)-long behemoths as 'rolling stages,'") - Source OC Register May 23, 1997

External links[edit]