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Disneyland Article
How These 3 Families Ended Up Working Together On Main Street Electrical Parade

ID:TMS-3639
Source:Orange County Register
Author:Mark Eades
Dateline:August 1, 2017
Posted:August 6, 2017
 
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Identical twin sisters, a father and son, and a mother and daughter all have one thing in common, they are all cast members associated with the current run of Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade.

Twins

The twin sisters, Hailey and Taylor Benson, started dancing at the age of three. Now in college, they decided to try out as dancers for the parade.

"We auditioned, and both got the same thing," Hailey said, with Taylor nodding in agreement. Like many identical twins, they dress alike - and frequently finish each other's sentence.

"I think they were like, they're twins," Taylor said. "That's cool," Hailey said. " and we danced alike," Taylor said. "Yeah," Hailey said.

They were cast as fairies in the Peter Pan unit, which requires them to wear fairy wings with electrical lights outlining the wings.

"It was pretty tricky in the beginning to get used to all the wires and everything," Hailey said. "Yeah, but now we're used to it," said Taylor.

The twins learned their dance moves from the Disneyland Resort's choreographer, Tracy Halas.

"Some sections are a little slower, some are a little more melodic and some have a more aggressive tone to them," Tracy said.

The music for the parade is the famous "Baroque Hoedown," but each parade unit has its own musical motif mixed in with the electronic synthesizer music.

"I have to find the dancers, then figure out their dance moves," Tracy said. "That includes allowing for the costumes, and the electrical wires."

Mother and daughter

One of the dancers Tracy found was her own daughter Justine Halas, who dances down Main Street U.S.A. alongside the patriotic American float. Justine first learned her steps from her mother in a rehearsal hall, then moved outside onto the street to figure out how to do the dance steps, while marching along with the parade.

"You start from count one in the rehearsal hall, review then get it down. Then we moved onto the street and add the forward motion to it," Justine said.

Father and son

Driving the long American float is experienced float driver, and parade support technician Kenneth Endow. While he drives a float now, that is not how he started with the Disneyland Resort.

"Believe it or not, I was a performer in Eureka, the first parade at Disney California Adventure," Kenneth said.

When that short-lived parade ended and the Electrical Parade was brought to the younger park, he auditioned again, but this time got a job as a float driver. Now he's driving the longest float in the parade, the patriotic American finale float. Then his mom stepped in with a request, to get his dad, Jack Endow, a job too.

"I kept saying I can do that," Jack said.

Succumbing to his mother's pressure, Kenneth got his dad a job, only he got the fun float to drive, the snail in the Alice in Wonderland unit.

"The fun part for the snail is the head moves, and you can go up to the people and nod or spin in front of them. They laugh and clap," Jack said.

Meanwhile, Kenneth brings up the rear of the parade, keeping the long American float centered on the parade route.

"There are performers alongside it," Kenneth said. "But the performers help out."

Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade debuted at the theme park in 1972 and was brought back this year as a replacement for the "Paint the Night" parade that ran as part of Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration. It has not been down Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. since "glowing away" in1996, though it was brought back to run at Disney California Adventure from 2001 to 2010. After that, it was sent to the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World, where it ended its run last year.

It returned to its original home park earlier in 2017 for a limited engagement. The parade is scheduled to end its run August 20.

The "Pixar Play Parade," will be moved over to Disneyland when the Electrical Parade leaves, while the "Paint the Night" parade will move to Disney California Adventure. Then the twin sisters, father and son float drivers, mother and daughter, will look to snag a role in the next parade, either Paint the Night when it returns at Disney California Adventure, or another Disneyland parade or show.
 

 
 
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Main Street Electrical Light Parade
 
 
 
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