Yesterland
America on Parade
Daily at 3:00 and 9:00 p.m.
throughout the summer season
 
 
Happy American Bicentennial!
America on Parade at Disneyland

Happy birthday to the United States of America! It’s been 200 years since the nation’s founding in 1776.

Celebrate by watching America on Parade—a spectacular tribute to America’s history, people, and traditions. With 50 parade units, 150 character performers, and lasting over a half hour, America on Parade is a grand experience.

America on Parade at Disneyland

“Spirit of ’76,”

The parade starts with the “Spirit of ’76,” featuring Mickey, Goofy, and Donald. Then you won’t see any other traditional Disney characters until the end of the parade.

America on Parade at Disneyland

Columbus sailed to the New World almost 300 years before the USA’s founding.

The first half of the parade is a summary of American history, starting Christopher Columbus.

America on Parade at Disneyland

Marvel at a turkey as tall as the buildings of Main Street.

America on Parade features the “People of America”—eight-foot-tall characters with doll-like heads—including Christopher Columbus, Ben Franklin, Miss Liberty, Uncle Sam, Pilgrims, and giant snack-food vendors.

America on Parade at Disneyland

Benjamin Franklin flies a kite—even though the sky is blue.

Watch as these “People of America” perform to some of the America’s most popular tunes, recorded from a traditional band organ—including “Yankee Doodle,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” and “God Bless America.”

America on Parade at Disneyland

Watch Betsy Ross sew the Stars and Stripes.

The parade floats are towering. For example, eight-foot-tall Betsy Ross is dwarfed by her two-story-tall rocking chair, as she sews the immense, first American flag.

America on Parade at Disneyland

Betsy Ross is sewing to the tune of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.“

The American frontier and the Westward Expansion play a prominent role in America on Parade.

America on Parade at Disneyland

The riverboat captain

For a while, the parade seems to be a Salute to Frontierland—with units that suggest the Mark Twain Riverboat, the steam trains that call on Frontierland Station, the old Stagecoach ride, the old Conestoga Wagons, the Golden Horseshoe Revue, and the Tom Sawyer Island rafts. Let’s take a look.

America on Parade at Disneyland

Elegant “People of America” follow the riverboat.

America on Parade at Disneyland

A gun-toting character travels atop a Western stagecoach.

America on Parade at Disneyland

A steam locomotive follows an old Western saloon with dancing girls.

America on Parade at Disneyland

California, here I come!

America on Parade at Disneyland

Watch Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher “float” down the parade route on their float.

America on Parade at Disneyland

Two steam locomotives commemorate the “Joining of the Rails“ at Promontory Summit, Utah.

America on Parade at Disneyland

America is on the move.

The “Creations of America” unit celebrates inventions and innovations, from the dawn of air travel to the age of space travel.

America on Parade at Disneyland

Those magnificent “People of America” and their flying machine!

You’ll see more just American history. You’ll see contemporary American culture too, consisting primarily of sports, junk food, and Disney characters.

America on Parade at Disneyland

See giant athletes and giant snack foods travelling down the parade route.

America on Parade at Disneyland

What could be more American than the great American sandwich?

America on Parade at Disneyland

Yes, this is still the same parade.

The grand finale of America on Parade features a marching band from a high school or college—the only humans in the parade whose faces aren’t hidden within character costumes.

After the 9 p.m. parade, enjoy an extravaganza in the sky consisting entirely of red, white, and blue fireworks.


At Disneyland—and at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World—America on Parade ran from June 14, 1975, through September 6, 1976. Doing double-duty as Disneyland’s afternoon and evening parade, America on Parade displaced the Main Street Electrical Parade for two summers.

Anyone who is old enough to remember 1976 will remember that the American Bicentennial was celebrated as a really big event—and not just at Disney parks. So America on Parade was a big parade. The floats were impressive and the recorded, amplified band organ tunes provided a fitting accompaniment to the various units of the parade.

The daytime parade, illuminated by California (and Florida) sunshine, was colorful and festive. At night, the parade didn’t measure up to the Main Street Electrical Parade.

The “People of America” must have seemed like a good idea to the parade’s designers. The dolls would be so large that even adults would feel like children. However, the actual results were a bit creepy. The characters were not endearing or lovable. They were like adults with the faces of babies—sometimes babies with facial hair—with their huge eyes staring blankly.

The folks at Disney don’t like to throw things away. The “People of America” characters were reused when EPCOT Center opened in 1982. Instead of having the usual Disney characters wandering through the park, the former “People of America,” dressed in international costumes, inhabited World Showcase.

America on Parade at Disneyland

The “People of America” were a bit creepy.


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© 1995-2011 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated July 1, 2011.

Photo of America on Parade, Mickey, Goofy, and Donald: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, fife and drum unit: 1975 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of America on Parade, Chrisopher Columbus: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, Thanksgiving unit: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, Benjamin Franklin: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, Betsy Ross: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, Betsy Ross with Coke Corner in background: 1975 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of America on Parade, riverboat captain: 1975 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of America on Parade, elegant people: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, stagecoach: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, saloon: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, Conestoga wagon: 1975 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of America on Parade, Tom and Becky: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, locomotives: 1975 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of America on Parade, transportation: 1975 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of America on Parade, airplanes: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, sports: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, sandwich: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, musicians: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of America on Parade, mayor: 1975/1976 by Frank Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.