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Rumors, we got rumors! Get’em while they’re hot. For the past year-plus, we’ve been tracking the idea of a new nighttime Magic Kingdom parade at Walt Disney World. All the signs we’re looking great, then everything was flipped upside down. Or, as we like to say in the DVC Duo house, Thanos “snapped”. With no Avengers to reset time, we’re looking to the future to see how Walt Disney World’s plans may have changed. In this case, regarding a new nighttime Magic Kingdom parade. Strap on your headlamps, we’re talk a walk in the dark!

Dan Cockerell makes mention of a new nighttime Magic Kingdom parade

Original Plan

There’s always a plan. When it comes to a nighttime Magic Kingdom parade, Walt Disney World had a solid plan. According to many sources, including Dan Cockerell (former Vice President of the Magic Kingdom ), Disney longed for the day they could bring a nighttime parade back to the park. Similar to how Paint the Night debuted at the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, the plan called for the new parade to premiere with the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. The parade was slated as one of the “50-new things” for the anniversary, along with an array of new things like Tron Lifecycle Power Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Concept Art for the Epcot Festival Center

The Change

We all know what changed, let’s just say thanks, Thanos. With social distancing the new norm and The Walt Disney Company looking for ways to quickly bounce back from closing the parks, rumors, and announcements starting popping up. It was only a matter of time before we started hearing of different projects being put on hold or canceled altogether, especially after Disney mentioned the $900 million savings on their quarterly board call. The announcements began with the delaying of the Spaceship Earth refurbishment and continued from there. A few days prior to the announcement of the rethinking of Epcot Festival Center and pausing of the Mary Poppins attraction, a few well-known Disney insiders stated a new nighttime Magic Kingdom parade if off the books. It should be noted that no official word regarding the potential of a parade or it being canceled has been made by Disney.

The only confirmation we have is Disney did order 50 new parade floats at the beginning of 2019. Now some of the floats were used in creating the Magic Happens parade for Disneyland, but not all 50.

could the Main Street Electrical parade be the new Magic Kingdom parade?

The Key Word

It’s all in the fine print. Or, in this case, the choice of words. The word we’re talking about is new. All the insiders made it clear to say the new nighttime Magic Kingdom parade is not happening. What they didn’t say is, a nighttime Magic Kingdom parade isn’t happening. We had a thought in the DVC Duo house. It happens from time to time. What if Disney has a new plan. A plan that could still include a nighttime Magic Kingdom parade?

Here’s what we’re thinking. At the moment it does not make sense for Disney to invest in a parade that they may not be able to use for the 50th-anniversary. However, they could use a former nighttime parade. That’s right, we’re looking at you Main Street Electrical parade. If we reach a point where social distancing is more-lax, Disney could bring the framed parade out of retirement. It is something Disney could do as a last-minute option. Or, a less likely parade option would be to bring the Paint the Night parade to Walt Disney World.

Beyond the parades, Disney does have other options for nighttime entertainment. Early reports are showing the new character cavalcades are a huge success. Disney could take this concept and bring it to the night. How great would it be a randomly see character rolling down Main Street USA on a lite up float? The best part, it would be a surprise when it happens every time. Disney has already done nighttime cavalcades during the 2020 Villains Afterhours Events. In the few events that took place, they were very well received.

Our Thoughts

Time will tell. Overall we believe Disney will have some type of nighttime Magic Kingdom parade for the 50th-anniversary. It may be a parade in the loosest form or experiencing a node to the past. Either way, we’ll be excited to see nighttime lights in the Magic Kingdom once again. Alright, it looks like the bulb on the headlamp is starting to burn out!