Yesterland
 
Aladdin’s Royal Caravan
 
Make way for Prince Ali!
Say hey! It’s Prince Ali!

 
Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Mike McKiernan, 1993

Do you remember the part of the movie Aladdin when the title character uses his first wish? “Genie, I wish for you to make me a prince!”

Thanks to the Genie’s power, Aladdin becomes Prince Ali Ababwa. Abu, the diminutive monkey sidekick, becomes a mighty elephant, still recognizable because of the unruly auburn hair on the top of his head.


But that’s not all. The Genie creates an extravagant royal procession. Prince Ali’s entrance is meant to impress Princess Jasmine. Perhaps you remember some of the lyrics from the song.

He’s got seventy-five golden camels,
Purple peacocks, he’s got fifty-three!
When it comes to exotic-type mammals…
Has he got a zoo? I’m telling you,
It’s a world-class menagerie!

Ah, to see such a grand parade!

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Main Street, U.S.A.

Think of Main Street, U.S.A. as the main street of Agrabah. The cymbals crash! Aladdin’s Royal Caravan approaches. To the tune of “Prince Ali,” you’re treated to a very clever spectacle as the disguised “street rat” Aladdin and his royal entourage make their grand entrance.

It’s not a literal duplication of the movie sequence. The folks who designed this parade have their own magic, different from the Genie’s. There’s the blurring of real parade performers with puppets and Disney’s first use of lightweight, inflatable costumes.

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

32-foot Genie

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Mike McKiernan, 1993

Entering Town Square

Maybe this should be called the Genie Parade. He’s everywhere. There’s bathtub Genie, split-in-two Genie, and 32-foot tall Genie, to name a few.

There’s a whole cast of colorful characters including harem dancers, a snake charmer, and used lamp salesmen.

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Macy’s-style balloon ape with Genie in a treasure chest

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Bathtub Genie

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Sitting on a bed of Nails

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Spitting camels

Watch out! That camel is turning toward you and spitting! Your face is now all wet. Don’t worry, it’s just water… not real camel spit.

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Dancing camels

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Mike McKiernan, 1993

Incredible riches

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Mike McKiernan, 1993

Split-in-two Genie

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Mike McKiernan, 1993

Elephant Abu with Aladdin

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Elephant Abu with Aladdin and Jasmine

For some reason, Jasmine sometimes rides on Elephant Abu with Aladdin. That’s not how it was in the movie, but it makes for a better Disney theme park parade.

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Mike McKiernan, 1993

Street sweeper Jafar

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 1993

Genie is “outta here”—but not Jafar

Jafar is relegated to being a street sweeper at the end of the parade. Iago’s grating voice emerges from inside the wheeled refuse bucket. Iago is not happy.

But the audience is very happy. They just watched a terrific parade.


Aladdin’s Royal Caravan premiered at Disneyland on April 2, 1993, almost a half year after the U.S. release of Disney’s animated feature, Aladdin on November 25, 1992.

It was the first parade at any Disney park based on a single movie.

In June 1994, Disneyland guests saw the royal procession for the last time as Prince Ali and Princess Jasmine made way for different royalty—the July 1994 debut of The Lion King Celebration.

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park

Photo by Peter Dutton, 1995, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at Disney-MGM Studios

The parade delighted guests not only at Disneyland, but also at Walt Disney World, where the parade made its way down Hollywood Boulevard at Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Compared to its California run of just over a year, the parade’s Florida run was much longer—from December 21, 1992 (about a month after the movie opened) to August 27, 1995.


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Updated October 23, 2020