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Disney to Remove Magic Kingdom Classic...But is a Replacement in the Pipeline?

3. Disneyland gets two nighttime parades and the Magic Kingdom is left with...none? 

Though parades in general have been on the decline at Walt Disney World (Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and most recently, Disney’s Hollywood Studios have all closed their mid-day parades with no replacement), it looks like the Magic Kingdom will be without a regular nighttime parade once the Main Street Electrical Parade departs the park later this fall.

Though this won’t be an immediate issue as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will bring the Boo to You parade to event nights (and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will bring Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade to the park during the holidays), once these seasonal parades conclude in December, the Magic Kingdom will be left without any nighttime parade at all as we head into 2017. 

This seems like a very unfortunate development for this park, especially as Walt Disney World has been confirmed to be grappling with some serious attendance drops in 2016, which probably won't get better before the end of the year (and won't be helped by diminishing options at the Magic Kingdom after dark). 

However, though this ostensibly seems like some pretty bad news for Walt Disney World guests planning a visit later this year or in 2017, some are hoping that this development  might mean that Disney is working on creating something new for evenings at the Magic Kingdom. Though the milestone 50th anniversary of the resort is still five years away, The Magic Kingdom is celebrating its 45th anniversary this fall, which might be a perfect opportunity for Disney to announce (but probably not debut) a new evening parade for this park. While we've heard absolutely nothing to support this theory, it seems like one of the only really good reasons why Disney would double up the parades at Disneyland and then leave the Magic Kingdom with no parade at all.

Of course, on the flip side, there's also the possibility that the removal of nighttime parades at the Magic Kingdom is actually a cost-saving measure. Disney confirmed earlier this week that budget cuts are indeed coming to the parks, and while it will certainly be costly to ship the Main Street Electrical Parade out to Anaheim later this year, there will likely be a substantial saving at Walt Disney World from not needing to run this parade once (or twice) a night at the Magic Kingdom, and unless Disney announces something new soon, this saving will extend into the new year. And if Disney sees that attendance stays at least level while there is no parade, this cost-cutting measure could remain permanent as Disney looks for new ways to run its parks as efficiently as possible. 

While it is certainly exciting to see the Main Street Electrical Parade return to its home at Disneyland before being retired forever on an unspecified date, this move is bittersweet as it does leave the Magic Kingdom in an unfortunate situation without any evening entertainment beyond seasonal parades and the nightly Wishes fireworks display.

Do you think that Disney will announce a brand new parade for the Magic Kingdom in the near future? Or are evening parades going to become a thing of the past (for now) at Walt Disney World thanks to budget cuts? Let us know what you think about these interesting developments in the comments below! 

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There are 12 comments.

This is sad news for Magic Kingdom if nothing replaces this year.
The only good news to come from this is that maybe the Wishes show might be run a little earlier which means we all get to bed sooner ready for the early start yet again the next day! :-)

I've heard no mention of the possibility of SpectroMagic returning - is it dead? Did they dismantle it? Is it overseas? If we aren't getting Paint the Night, and they don't have the $$$ to build a new parade, it would seem to me that Spectro would be the logical choice. No night-time parade at MK seems a foolish route to go IMHO.

Sadly, Spectro is no more. It was permanently damaged after being improperly stored outdoors. It was my all time favorite parade. It's so sad that it became trash :(

Well thats certainly a bummer. This is (was) something my family looks forward to every trip. Next trip is in November, so looks like I will only be seeing this parade again on home video. Where is Spectromagic? (I know, if they are cutting costs, why would they bring that back)
Very disappointing Disney.

Return of SpectroMagic?

I miss spectromagic, I hope they are bringing that back in the interim!

The reason is obvious if you've been to MK in the evenings over the last few years. MK is inundated with evening crowds looking for night time entertainment. Until recently your only choice at night was fantasmic at HS and illuminations at Epcot. Both of which are very tired, old shows. While electrical parade isn't much better, at least with Wishes it's sort of a package deal and you get a 2 for 1. WDW has been working diligently at adding new nighttime entertainment at HS with its Star Wars fireworks and AK by keeping the park open later and with its new shows. If the goal is to spread the crowds among the new offerings to relieve the congestion at MK, the next step is to get rid of its evening entertainment in hopes the crowds go to the other parks.

I agree. Well said.

Spectromagic is dead. it was supposed to return after a year long run of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Unfortunately though they didn't have the foresight to take care of the already worn out floats and left them in the Florida sun to bake for that year. When they realized their mistake it was too late and most of the floats were damaged beyond repair. Instead of fixing or recreating the floats, they decided to spend the money on an all new parade. Hence why we have the Festival of Fantasy parade.

they should do what is required to bring back spectromagic, best parade by a mile, never been the same since

What a terrible idea...the Electric Light Parade is my family's favorite part of Disney. Seeing it confirms that we're really at Disney. I certainly hope they plan on replacing it with something at least as good !

The parade was always a highlight for us. It is so different than anything we can see elsewhere. Fingers are crossed that they replace it with another parade before we go back in 2018.

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