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Magical Moments Launch: Interactive show stops added to Once Upon a Dream Parade

Monday, 11th April 2011 at 18:35

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade

Now in its fifth year with roughly 1,470 performances behind it, Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade has just been given probably its biggest daily update so far. Whilst 2010 saw Tiana push Belle from the prime spot on the Dreams of Romance: Finale float, 2011 sees children (and in some cases, red-faced adults) pulled into the parade route to take part in new “interactive” show stops. Even if you’re more of a Disney parade spectator, there are still some new costumes and added extras to appreciate…

The idea is similar to that which launched The Wonderful World of Disney Parade in 1998 — stopping the parade mid-flow and inviting a small number of children to play along with special costumes or accessories. For Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade, the only regular daily parade in either Disneyland Paris park (if you don’t count the more show-based Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars), it means losing the tightly-choreographed short dance numbers previously used for show stops and instead watching as children roam the parade route for several minutes, invariably looking a little lost.

Here’s an official video of the new additions:

The Dreams of Friendship float, for example, gives wooden stick horses and lassos to children to play along with as the “Just Like Dreamed It” theme song plays out:

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade

While following behind are two giant bumble bees pulling a bees nest on wheels:

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade

The bonus of the “interactive” moments is that they require these extra dancers to organise the stops, with props and costumes carried in their pull-along carts. Behind the Mary Poppins half of Dreams of Fantasy, for example, are a brand new gang of Pearly Kings and Queens from the East End of London with some vibrant new costumes and drums for children to beat in time to the music.

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade

The choreography for other float stops is less defined. Dreams of Imagination, the opening float, simply has umbrellas for children to hold as they walk around in circles, whilst the opening days didn’t see the Queen of Hearts’ sandwich board costumes going down too well with some disobedient subjects:

For the romantic finale, the Princes and Princesses invite adults to hold the floral arches as they dance underneath with children from the audience:

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade

Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade

You can find many more videos of the show stops’ first days on the Characters Photos Blog YouTube channel, showing mixed results. Would you prefer to see the parade just as it was “dreamed” or are these new stops and dancers a welcome update?

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  • Back to the original version please, this is very boring to watch.

  • It’s okay for those at the beginning of the parade but if you are at the end of the route it get’s boring for the children having to wait for the parade to reach them. Also not fair on the children who don’t get picked to join in. We were there in 2002 when this happened too and quite a few children ended in tears because they weren’t picked.

  • Interaction can be nice, but as you said: The disappointment of those not picked maybe paying off the joy of those who were picked. And, many of these kids seem to be “victims” of their parents who think they do their kids a favor by letting them participate in the parade (Oh, how I hated such parental actions when I was kid myself – I just always wanted to watch and enjoy and not entertain others :-))

  • This is really unkind to children who are disabled and totally unable to join in.

  • I was there last week and i only saw two of the show stops – Peter Pan and the Princesses.
    I did quite like the Princess one, but it’s being targeted towards all of the younger children. Older children might like to be picked. I certainly do – being 16 years old and a huge child at heart I’d honestly love the chance to be able to dance with a Disney Prince.
    I think they should (after this festival at least) change them back.

  • I agree with the other comments – I also remember this from the early days. It never really worked. Some kids being chosen, others being pushed forward by parents – some looking rather confused or bored and disinterested with the whole thing.
    Fine for parents to video or photograph their own kids joining in ( as I did many times ) but rather boring for others. I agree that this is unfair on disabled kids as well.
    Bring back the dancing – much better for everyone.

  • I agree. When I went to Disney with my family I thought I was going to relax and enjoy the parade, how wrong I was. Children were wailing when they weren’t picked, parents were forcing their kids out there and they were also having a go at the performers. Firstly it is not the performers fault. They only have a certain amount of time to perform the show stop. Second the old one was much better.

  • Oh yes – keep it how it was without the show stops! Hope they’re not doing this when we go next year x

  • I’m there on the 26th May with my 5-Year old daughter so would love to see her picked! I’d worked out the best places to stand for stops on the old parade, anyone know where the princess float stops now????

  • @Ian
    Normally they stop at the start of the parade and right at the end. Depends on different things though like how fast they floats move and how long the show stops take.
    You may have to stand right at the front in the hope of getting picked

  • This is disney and all about the ‘magic’, does it really matter if your little one wasn’t picked for the parade? Enjoy it for what it is, not what you think it should be for your children. We visited in April with our three year old and i was so impressed, she loved every minute and totally believed in the magic that is disney. We’ll be back next year and will enjoy the parade no matter what – get a grip people and enjoy disney for what it is!

  • Carys Humphreys  21st September 2011, 21:36

    I hope they do it for the enchanted christmas once upon a dream parade and I hope i get pick.

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