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Disneyland Article
When Will Disneyland Bring Back The Award Winning Magic Happens Parade

Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
November 10, 2021
November 13, 2021
The Magic Happens parade that only ran for a couple weeks before the pandemic closed Disneyland has picked up a prestigious international award for live entertainment excellence that could bode well for fans anxiously awaiting the parade’s eventual return.

Disneyland’s Magic Happens parade just won a Brass Ring Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions — considered one of the top honors given in the themed entertainment industry.

That’s high praise for a parade that measured its brief run in days rather than years.

The short-lived Magic Happens was shuttered along with Disneyland and Disney California Adventure amid the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States that would eventually keep California theme parks closed for more than a year.

Will the Magic Happens parade ever play at Disneyland again?

Disneyland has nothing to share at this time on the Magic Happens parade, according to Disneyland officials.

Don’t expect to see Magic Happens along the Disneyland parade route anytime soon — but that doesn’t mean the award-winning parade won’t eventually return to Main Street U.S.A.

Disneyland spent a lot of money developing the floats, musical score, choreography and costumes for Magic Happens and a lot of time hiring and training the performers. Chances are excellent the well-reviewed parade will once again appear at Disneyland. It’s likely a question of when rather than if as the timeline continues to get pushed further out in the calendar.

Disneyland has been without a daily parade since the park reopened in late April following a 412-day coronavirus closure.

A Christmas Fantasy parade returns to Disneyland on Friday, Nov. 12 as the holiday season kicks off with a two-month celebration that stretches until Jan. 9.

Disneyland has already begun teasing the Main Street Electrical Parade without announcing a return date. The Electrical Parade isn’t expected to return until after the holidays — with A Christmas Fantasy running at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. most days as well as 9:30 p.m. during the Merriest Nites after hours events.

Disneyland could relaunch Magic Happens as the daytime companion to the nighttime Electrical Parade. But Disneyland has taken a slow and cautious approach to bringing back large-scale live entertainment amid the phased reopening of its Anaheim theme park resort.

The “Fantasmic” and “World of Color” nighttime spectaculars remain dark as do the Hyperion and Fantasyland theaters. Disneyland fireworks returned in time for the Fourth of July earlier this year and the Disney Junior children’s theater came back during the Halloween season.

The return of the Frightfully Fun Parade during the Oogie Boogie Bash after-hours event marked the first time DCA or Disneyland hosted a parade in 18 months since the pandemic shuttered the parks in March 2020.

A Christmas Fantasy marks the next step in bringing parades back to the parks during normal operating hours.

When could the award-winning Magic Happens return?

As Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother says: “Even miracles take a little time.”

More than likely Magic Happens will have to wait until after the Main Street Electrical Parade begins its return engagement — whenever that is.

A springtime 2021 relaunch would make sense for an essentially brand new parade that very few Disneyland visitors have ever seen.

Magic Happens — which debuted in late February 2020 with daytime and nighttime performances — featured a new musical score by an “American Idol” alum, nine new floats and more than 90 performers, including two dozen Disney and Pixar characters.

The new Disneyland parade included characters from “Frozen,” “Moana,” “Coco,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” “Aladdin,” “Pinocchio,” “Princess & the Frog” and “The Sword in the Stone” all lead by a float featuring Mickey Mouse. A new song and musical score for the parade was produced by “American Idol” singer-songwriter Todrick Hall.

In the meantime, hardcore Mouseheads will have to satisfy their hunger for more Magic Happens with a professionally-produced video released by Disneyland during the early days of the coronavirus lockdown in late March 2020.

The Disneyland creative teams and performers who put months of heart and soul into Magic Happens will have to bask in the glowing praise of the IAAPA Brass Ring Award as they await the fate of the award-winning parade.

Magic Happens beat out the Marvel superhero heroic encounters in Avengers Campus at Disney’s California Adventure in the category for Best Atmosphere/Street Show Performance/Act of the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards.

The Oogie Boogie Bash after-hours event also won an IAAPA Brass Ring award for Most Creative Halloween Experience.
Attractions Referenced


Parades Referenced

Christmas Fantasy Parade

Frightfully Fun Parade

Magic Happens

Main Street Electrical Light Parade

Lands Referenced

Main Street U.S.A.

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