Annual Passholder Soundsational Parade

Boy am I tired! Last night we went to the special Annual Passholder Soundsational Parade event. It was an RSVP-only event held after park hours from 8pm to Midnight. The highlight was our very own viewing of the Soundsational Parade. Most of the Fantasyland and Tomorrowland attractions were open (except Autopia) and four of the restaurants offered a special Soundsational treat only to those with Soundsational wristbands.  The treat at the Refreshment Corner was a hot dog, the one at Blue Ribbon Bakery was a pumpkin muffin, and there were also ones at Tomorrowland Terrace and Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port that we didn’t get to.

The highlight, aside from only having less than 5,000 people in the park, was the Soundsational Parade. Soundsational is Disneyland’s newest parade, just opening this summer. I’ve already seen it (twice, actually) but Kevin and Theo hadn’t, so the AP night was the perfect opportunity.

And let me tell you ladies and gentlemice, I thought the parade was fantastic in the sunlight? It is absolutely stunning at night. S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G. The lights, colors, and music are really amazing, vivid, and enchanting. There are nine floats and each float is preceded by a group of dancers and often followed by a comedy hangers-on.

We got this prime parade seating right by Alice approximately 5 minutes before the parade started. If you’ve ever waited for a parade at Disneyland, you’ll understand how remarkable this is. And incidentally, the best places to watch the parades in my opinion are back toward Small World. You don’t have to stake your spot out hours in advance and it’s the same parade that goes right through Main Street where people DO wait.

Right in front with tons of space

It’s always exciting getting your first glimpse of a parade float. Mickey and Minnie kicked us off

The lights and color here are just a small treat for what's to come

They started off with a fun drumline

Reminded me of my old marching band days

The float itself is emblematic of what they all look like. The word “kinetic” comes to mind. I’m not sure why, since I don’t 100% know the meaning of that word, but it seems like it should apply. Plus it makes me sound pretentious.

And who doesn't love a pretentious blogger?

Mickey and Minnie were onboard being all musical and stuff. Theo loved that part.

Mickey, I mean Minnie

Mickey, I mean Minnie

The little details were fantastic

I can't remember what this guy is called or what he's from

Goofy had his own little float

The drum and cymbals are Mickey shaped!

Chip and Dale danced along with him.

Next came Aladdin with his dancers. Check out that fabulous color!!!

I've always thought the Genie costume looked a little weird

Aladdin is up on top with his riches.

Looks kind of like Vegas!

And Abu had a comical guy driving him around

Wearing a banana necklace

The Little Mermaid’s dancers came up next

The big, flowy ones had these amazing wings

Ariel’s float was also… (lemme think of another pretentious word)… radiant!


Here she is!

And their silly hanger-on was a crab

He stopped and talked to us. I swear to god, with his eyes!

Next, I’ll be honest, was probably my least favorite Disney movie of all, the Three Caballeros

I'm just not a fan, sorry

The characters were all really great at reaching over and giving high fives to the kids in our little section.

Even the somewhat scary parrot dude

Now I’ll just take a moment here and say that I think I enjoyed the parade  so much more at night and from this spot because it wasn’t polluted with a bunch of visual noise (how’s THAT for pretentious???). I mean, usually the surrounding area is also full of color and movement and traffic, particularly on Main Street, but from both our vantage point (which I’m becoming more and more a fan of) and the fact that it was dark made the floats really stand out.


The princess coterie (pretentious!) looked like they just came from court.

Can you imagine trying to slow-dance at prom in one of those dresses?

And here was another favorite part of mine–the many princesses in one float. Five on this one to be exact. For those of us who aren’t completely into princesses, it is nice to see them sort of bunched together rather than all on their separate floats.


It's fun to stay at the...

This special picture is just for Jessica

Now you're asking "How do I get my own special picture on MYWTM?"

And just when you thought the princesses were all done, there’s Cinderella and Belle on the back!

Belle says "I'd rather be sitting"

The Lion King came next. It had a group of dancing acrobatic monkeys first. Doesn’t that sound cool? Unfortunately, they were human.

One of Simba's extremely rare appearances in Disneyland

The Lion King float also had very cool dancers on stilts. See what I mean about the colors?

How come they never bring out the stilts for the princess floats?

The Princess and the Frog came next. There was an awesome group of flappers-style dancers. It was hard to take a picture since they were all, you know, dancing, but I did get this one. And at first I thought it was an AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER shot but now I think it’s actually really cool.

"I took the picture like this on purpose" she said pretentiously

There were also dancing masquerade masks, which were just gorgeous.

"And what do you do?" "I'm a mask in a parade"

Not quite centered there. Tiana’s float was also really beautiful and a good example of what I mean by how much better it looked in the dark.

The lights!

Princess Tiana herself

This costume makes me want to run up and give him a giant hug

Tinkerbell came next. Given her current popularity, I was actually kind of surprised by how low-key her float–I mean drum–looked. Smee and the other pirates, Captain Hook, and Peter Pan all danced along ahead.

Why is Smee like twice the size of Captain Hook?

I was too busy enjoying Peter Pan’s antics with our little group to take a picture of Tink.

I did, however, get this beautiful shot of a butterfly in advance of the last float

The detail is positively exquisite (pretentious!)

The last float was from Mary Poppins. There were difficult-to-photograph chimney sweeps, like a chimney sweep drill team, and then Mary and Bert came along on these little mini-floats like carousel horses that actually went up and down.

"It's a Jolly Holiday!" "I know, right???"

The float was just resplendent (pretentious!)


even the chimney sweep on the moon


As you can see, the parade was just gorgeous. I highly recommend watching it at  night if you can, or watching it from the vantage point of the least amount of visual noise. It really was stunning.


20 responses to “Annual Passholder Soundsational Parade

  1. RebeccaL October 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I agree, it was awesome! BTW, the freebie at Tomorrowland Terrace was a Soundsational-themed cupcake with purchase. It was bright yellow/blue/red cake + frosting with a little white chocolate piece on top with Mickey on it. I walked RIGHT by you looking for a good spot to watch and ended up at the front of main street where I took an obscene number of pictures which are still in my camera. 🙂

    • Shelby October 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      How funny that you walked right past us! I’m glad you enjoyed the parade as much as we did. Were the Soundsational Treats really free? I didn’t know that!

  2. Melissa October 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I believe that the owl on the side of the Mickey float is Professor Owl from the Sing Along DVDs. We have the Disneyland Fun DVD and my daughter (age 2) always begs (owl, owl, owl…) every time the DVD gets to the end.

  3. Linus V October 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    That parrot is José Carioca from The Three Caballeros and also from The Enchanted Tiki Room. Frankly, i have always found parrots with their grossly over-sized beaks to be somewhat scary.

  4. susan October 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    It was an awesome event and the parade floats were gorgeous! I’m actually not usually to into the parades but this one was really good. The princess float was definitely my dd’s favorite. Walking on to star tours, buzz, dumbo, rockets,etc was also pretty great! Did you stick around for any of the float photo ops at the end? the lines were long but moved really fast.

    • Shelby October 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      We caught some of the photo ops at the end and it was great getting a close-up look, but the characters weren’t out yet and Theo was d.o.n.e for the night so we went home. I’m not usually one who gets into parades either, but this was so amazing.

  5. Amber October 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Looks good in the dark. We saw the parade this summer. We saw part of it again in September while waiting in line (and then riding) Alice.
    Kinesthetics has to do with movement, so I’d say it fits pretty well. My husband’s degree is in Kinesiology, which is basically the study of how the body moves (throught different ages). We talk about kinesthetics as teachers because some kids learn better when they move and interact.

  6. Casey October 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    This is my first comment though I have been enjoying reading for a while now…I have to completely agree that the best place to watch parades is by Small World. Growing up, that is where my family would stake a claim for the Electric Light Parade. You watched the parade as it entered the park and then were done before anyone else and got to go enjoy rides while folks were still waiting for the parade to reach them. Way better than waiting on Main Street for hours.

    • Shelby October 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks for the first comment! The bonus too, as you pointed out, is that while everyone else is waiting on Main Street, the Fantasyland rides are often not crowded at all!

  7. Lynsey Goodrich October 14, 2011 at 8:05 am

    We (husband & I) saw this last month and we thought it was a great parade. Being that it was his first time in Disneyland, I’m happy he was up for watching it. He did not know that Mary Poppins was a Disney movie. We were actually near the huge Mickey pumpkin in front to watch it, and after the ropes came by, we left and headed to MouseNextDoor to watch World of Color.

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  9. Karlie October 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Yup, the owl is the guy that hosts all of Disney’s Sing-Along-Songs! My sister had one of the VHS tapes. I *think* he might also be from the old TV show, because her tape had a song that was a clip from the old TV show hosted by Walt that featured the owl as a professor (his debut, mayhap?).

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  11. Karisa August 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    You were in marching band too??????

    • Shelby August 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Yep, I played the flag! (Colorguard ;)) My talent knows no end.

    • Shelby August 6, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Oh, even better–as part of a marching band in a Southern California high school, I actually marched in DISNEYLAND down Main Street, back when they allowed visiting band to do that. They wouldn’t let us twirl our flags though, lest we accidentally bean someone.

  12. Pingback: What I Learned From MYWTM That Made My Visit Awesome (A Guest Post Of Sorts) « My Year With The Mouse

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