We have a very special Christmas article for you today. Last weekend, MiceChat held a holiday event at a theater in Silverlake, CA. During the show, Director and star, James Gray, shared memories of his time working at Disneyland in various Christmas roles. These images are like a portal in time. Much thanks to James for sharing these wonderful images with us.
The Fruitcake Follies
The follies is a fun, fast-paced, Christmas themed variety show written and directed by James Gray. MiceChat rented out an entire performance which took place at the world famous Casita Del Campo. The show was two full acts of carols, comedy and chaos.
The Very First Very Merry Christmas Parade
During the course of the show, host James Gray shared his memories of being a performer at Disneyland, along with lots of wonderful photos. James has agreed to let us share these images with the MiceChat readers.
James actually ran a very successful blog of his own for a few years called “Disney on Parole”. As we go through these shots you may see a few watermarked with that name. First, before we get into the pics, however, we want to show you how Disney introduced the new parade to the cast members in the park.
The parade began to run December 17th, 1977. Christmas in the parks was big, but nothing at all like it is now, with Holiday overlays like Haunted Mansion Holiday reaching all the way into September and Holidays at the resort beginning in mid-November. What’s more, the run time for the parade is clocked at a scant 15 minutes.
The large cast of 204 young, energetic cast members posed for a picture backstage
As with anything new at Disneyland, Special artwork was produced for the souvenir park guide to announce the new offering.
Opening day came and the cast was ready and in place backstage. The atmosphere was festive as they were about to start a tradition that would stretch to today. Disney even presented the group with a cake to mark the occasion.
The parade left the gate and became an instant hit with the crowds. Below are a few pictures of the parade during its first year.