I was just looking through some old pictures I had in a box and came across a blast from the recet past. Almost 10 years ago we witnessed one of the most tragic events in Disney history. The replacement of the Main Street Electrical Parade with the stunning, innovative, state of the art.....Light Magic.
When I first heard of the show and saw the billboards I was actually excited. I thought "Wow, this show must be really good in order for it to be able to replace the electrical parade". Now don't get me wrong. I loved the MSEP and was sorry to see it go but this was a new parade. They promised it to be a one of a kind parade, with fiber optic lights and these million dollar floats that would feature an all new cast of characters plus familiar favorites. When I received the special invite to attend an exclusive AP "preview" event, I immediately bought my tickets and eagerly awaited the premier.
The night of the premier, my friends and I were very excited. We wanted to be the first to see this fantastical new parade and got spots up near the start of the parade route near It's A Small World. Soon the parade route became crowded with eager and anxious AP holders who were ready to see Light Magic. Minutes before the parade was to begin, Paul Pressler comes out and he welcomes us to the first REHEARSAL of Light Magic. Wait, did I hear that right? We all looked at each other and repeated it to each other "Rehearsal?" We thought we were watching a premier! That's what the flier told us. We were promised an exclusive preview of Light Magic and now they were telling us it was a rehearsal? Hmmm...Something didn't seem quite right.
Soon, the lights dimmed, the stage lights came on and music began to blare from the speakers. Are those bagpipes I hear? Are we listening to the Braveheart soundtrack all of a sudden. We looked at each other with a puzzles look on our faces. The Baroque Hoedown it was not....but bagpipes? O.k...this is certainly going to be new. Soon, the first float comes rolling out. Oh look! Its a huge cluster of trees! Nice. Then the next float starts comming into view. Hey, isn't that the same float as the first one? The third float comes out. Same cluster of trees. Finally, the fourth and final float. Yup, same trees. O.k. so these floats are all identical. No big deal. The music was kinda catchy. At least we thought it was for the first ten minutes of listening to it. 20 minutes later, the same music continues....over and over.....we knew the words by heart "We can dream our dreams together....dream our dreams forever..." Finally, by the mercy of some audio god, the music stopped and the crowd broke into a thunderous applaus. A few minutes later the music was back and the actual show started.
I'm not going to lie and say the pixies were cute. I'm telling you they were scary, disfigured burn victims. They danced around and tried to get little kids to dance with them but kids recoiled in terror. Who wants to dance with Freddy Kreuger? I sure don't. They danced and danced and danced. A few minutes into the performance the real characters come out to save us from the disfigured pixies. And then, out of the blue, these screens come down in between the trees. Oh! A movie! Well, there was supposed to be a movie but none of the floats had the movies playing. Oh well.
The music gets more energetic and more frenzied, the finally is getting close. Suddenly the music changed to something familiar. It's the baroque hoedown! Wow! the floats came alive with millons of fiber optic lights. This was what I had expected to see....lights....not pixies. Then, the show ended and there was a mixture of both polite applaus and even some booing. The parade was over and so were our expectations for a fantastical new parade. We left in stunned silence and were not sure what to think. I really wanted to like it but part of me still prefered the MSEP over this new replacement.
We saw Light Magic several more times that season, hoping that maybe be repeated viewings it would be more likeable but it never happened. The only thing I ended up liking about Light Magic was the soundtrack.
So there's my story. I'd like to hear other peoples stories too. Did you attend the "premier" also? Did you ever enjoy it after a while? Where you in that line of guests that snaked down Main Street to get a refund from City Hall? Lets chat!