The Magic Happens parade will be returning to Disneyland on February 24, 2023 as part of the Disney100 celebration that kicks off on January 27, 2023. Its highly anticipated return to the Disneyland Resort comes after a very brief run in the spring of 2020. This is an energetic parade that is full of magic, music, and memories from Disney and Pixar stories that are sure to make guests smiles and dance to the beat. The Disneyland Resort has shared some fun facts about Magic Happens ahead of its return next month. Check them out below!
Fun facts about ‘Magic Happens’
- The parade features nine floats created as pieces of moving art, with their lines and aesthetic design working to tell a story along the parade route. Alongside are more than 90 performers, and more than two dozen of them are Disney and Pixar characters.
- Two original songs add to the musical flow of the parade: the main theme, “Magic Happens,” and a special song for the grand finale. The finale score includes musical nods to past Disney entertainment productions that have special meaning to show director Jordan Peterson, weaving in themes from the “Remember the Magic” parade as well as the “Wishes” and “Remember… Dreams Come True” fireworks spectaculars.
- The parade’s costume design draws inspiration directly from modern runways, making each costume look fashion-forward, yet uniquely Disney.
- Featuring a musical score and new songs co-composed by singer-songwriter Todrick Hall, the “Magic Happens” soundtrack and choreography are heavily influenced by today’s pop culture, putting a contemporary spin on classic Disney hits.
- Mickey Mouse leads the way, gliding along on glistening swirls of magic emanating from a giant, iridescent magical hat that stands at nearly 15 feet tall and features 300 shimmering LED lights. Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale dance alongside eclectic and artsy performers representing aspects of magic.
- On her voyager canoe, Moana journeys forth on the crest of a towering wave, inspired by beautiful koa wood carvings and inset with animated glimpses into the magic the ocean holds. This is the first full-scale “Moana”-inspired float to be created for a Disney park. Maui travels along on his own magical piece of the islands with Moana’s adorable pet pig, Pua.
- Guests looking closely at the flow of the ocean may spot a character cameo (or two) from Disney and Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” The heart of Te Fiti may also be spotted under the water.
- The percussion instruments played on the Kakamora unit that follows the “Moana” float are inspired by traditional Polynesian drums.
- In the first Disney Parks parade float inspired by Disney and Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel celebrates the magic that happens when he strums the guitar of Ernesto de la Cruz. This float connects the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead with a vibrant bridge decorated by more than 30,000 marigolds. Fantastical alebrije spirit animals join the procession, along with Miguel’s dog Danté.
- From Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2,” Anna and Elsa explore the mysteries of the Enchanted Forest, as their friends Kristoff, Sven and Olaf tag along. The large snowflake behind Elsa incorporates the four elemental symbols from the film, representing water, fire, earth and wind. At nearly 39 feet long, the “Frozen 2” float is the longest in the parade.
- The regal grand finale of “Magic Happens” celebrates magical moments from several classic Disney stories. The start of the finale brings together many iconic magical characters, including Genie, Aladdin, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Blue Fairy, Pinocchio and Fairy Godmother. These characters lead the way as more floats are introduced, each highlighting the moments of magic that changed the characters’ lives:
- Cinderella is seen inside a grand pumpkin, just as it magically transforms into a glistening carriage to whisk her off to the ball.
- From “The Sword in the Stone,” Merlin wisely leads the way for young Arthur, who finds the magic within himself as he pulls the sword from the stone, claiming his place upon the throne.
- Tiana and Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog” are seen amidst a swirl of golden flowers where they share a kiss, completing their transformation back into human forms.
- The happily-ever-after scene from “Sleeping Beauty” features the three Good Fairies and Prince Phillip dancing with Princess Aurora, whose gown shimmers between hues of pink and blue. The Sleeping Beauty float is the tallest float in the parade, with the top turret reaching approximately 30 feet tall.
Along with sharing these details about the parade, Vin Reilly, Producer for Disney Live Entertainment, talked about the parade saying, “We’re all thrilled to bring ‘Magic Happens’ back to Disneyland Park so more of our guests will get to experience this incredible parade. ‘Magic Happens’ has such a great energy, and it feels as fresh and exciting today as it did when it first debuted.”
Jordan Peterson, Show Director for Disney Live Entertainment, added that “‘Magic Happens’ celebrates magical moments in the lives of our Disney and Pixar characters, all brought to life on a grand scale. I can’t wait for Disneyland Park guests to once again delight in the magic of ‘Coco,’ the transformation of Cinderella, the moment Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and so many more!”
Todrick Hall, who co-wrote the main theme song for the parade shared what it meant to him to work on this parade. He started his career at Walt Disney World Resort in entertainment where he performed in Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. Hall said, “Co-composing the music for ‘Magic Happens’ was a full circle moment for me. I learned how to dance from watching Disney parades, so the fact that I got to create the music that these iconic Disney characters perform to is pretty much the most epic thing that has happened to me in my life!”
Are you excited about the return of Magic Happens? Will you be seeing it? There is also a dining package for this parade, will you be experiencing the parade that way? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!