Confirmed: Three weeks from now, the main parade of Walt Disney Studios will cease production for good. After 5 years 10 months and 2129 performances (or thereabouts), Disney Cinema Parade will call out "That's a wrap!" for the final time. ,
The rumours began circulating late in 2007 that the movie production-themed parade might not be seen by guests beyond the early months of 2008, and now it’s final. Disney Cinema Parade will officially “wrap” production on Monday, 31st March 2008. But do “find your seats” early, if you want to experience the event, since a wrap on the Sunday could also become a possibility at short notice.
And this is an event that might well be worth experiencing. Not only is it the final chance to see the Studios’ first parade in “action”, according to trusted sources within the entertainment department, it will be a wrap party to remember with extra dancers and characters making the most of all its costumes and floats, giving the parade a proper send-off into “the can”.
Not yet, and certainly not for a few of the floats, at least. Tipped to be saved for future use are Tinkerbell’s Camera, Mary Poppins’ Movie Can and the final Cinema float itself. The black van (carrying the “latest characters”) which has preceded the parade for several years will also be kept for other events, itself a relic from the days of the original Wonderful World of Disney Parade in 1998.
Launched on 1st June 2002, Disney Cinema Parade was designed by Dragone, a Belgian design studio known for their work on the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. Whilst colourful, fun and populated with many Disney characters, its floats and running order have recently become somewhat tired — especially since the premiere of the vastly superior Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade last year, which also clashes by having most of the Cinema Parade characters featured in both parades.
So, from 1st April 2008, the park will officially be parade-free for the second time in its life, including the brief months after its opening. Now, that’s not a great thing to shout about, but when you factor in the two different High School Musical shows this year, a new show for Place des Stars Stage and several smaller entertainments — look out for the return of the “Toon Train” photo trailer-sets — 2008 should have more than enough to keep the movie magic rolling.
In the long term, as we’ve known for some time, Disney’s Stars and Motor Cars Parade will be rolling across the Atlantic to the park from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, where it has just closed to make way for California’s Block Party Bash to move in, completing the sudden East-wards moving of parades. The Stars and Motor Cars parade was originally pencilled in for a debut this Spring, to follow-up the 15th Anniversary.
Since the anniversary and all its entertainment have been extended, and the Studios’ two new attractions for 2008 are more than enough to get guests excited — the parade will now enjoy its official Paris premiere around this time next year, 2009.
But for now — take your places for one final journey through the movie-making process, courtesy of Disney Cinema Parade. From the first idea to the final script, the hectic movie set to the cinema premiere. When the curtains close and the lights flicker back to life, all we’ll have are the memories…