Light Magic
Light Magic
Daily through Labor Day
8:50 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
on Small World corridor
9:20 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
on Main Street, U.S.A.

Are you ready to see the follow-up to the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade?

Light Magic
A sign for Light Magic features Pixies and flowers.

Then find a spot along the traditional parade route for Light Magic. But don’t expect a parade. If you’ve picked your spot properly, one of four huge rolling stages will stop in front of you.

Light Magic
Bashful the Dwarf is in striped pajamas because it’s all a dream; get it?

Now it’s time to watch the 14-minute show featuring step-dancing Pixies, Disney characters, video projection, and high-tech lighting effects.

Light Magic
Chip and some Light Magic Pixies.

The score features a new original tune, “Dream our Dreams,” with plenty of old Disney favorites blended in—even a bit of music from the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Light Magic
Daisy Duck atop giant flowers.

Those step-dancing Pixies are sure working hard to put on a good show. The folks in Entertainment really hope you’ll enjoy Light Magic.

Light Magic
A Light Magic Pixie and Goofy greet you.

Perhaps you should consider that Light Magic uses 4,500 miles of fiber optic strands, 1,520 strobe lights, and 23 computers. Or realize that each stage is 80 feet long and weighs 55,000 pounds. Or count the 24 performers on the rolling stage, multiply by four to calculate that 32 Disney characters and 64 Pixies are performing simultaneously.

Light Magic
Confetti rains from the rooftops of Main Street.

And now comes the Mylar confetti, shot from 185 air cannons. Watch out. The Mylar squares can be slippery.

Light Magic
The colorful Mylar squares float through the air.

Aren’t you glad you’re not responsible for cleaning up the mess?

Light Magic
Light Magic ends with a vacuum parade.

Although the crew works hard to get rid of the mess, those Mylar squares don’t want to cooperate. They get caught in landscaping and all sorts of other places.

Did you enjoy Light Magic? Did you find it to be a worthy successor to the Main Street Electrical Parade? Did you notice how many people around you left before the Light Magic presentation was done?

When guests visited Disneyland in 1996 for the final summer of the Main Street Electrical Parade, they were greeted by illuminated signs at the park entrances and at the Disneyland Hotel. Light Magic would be opening in 1997!

Light Magic
“Light Magic, a Spectacular Journey, Opening 1997.”

Light Magic, Disneyland’s big-budget “streetacular,” ran from May 1997 through Labor Day 1997.

Disneyland Annual Passholders who paid $25 for the Light Magic “premiere” event saw the first public presentation on May 13, 1997. Once there, the Passholders were told they would be seeing a dress rehearsal. It turned out that the Light Magic was not quite ready. It was a bad start.

Ten days later, Light Magic opened for the general public at Disneyland.

Light Magic
The fake nose, cheeks, and ears make the Pixies look a bit scary.

To put it nicely, the guest reaction to Light Magic was mixed.

  • The Long Beach Press Telegram (May 24, 1997) reported, “Disneyland’s Light Magic street show was unveiled Friday night to overflow crowds and a lukewarm reception.”
  • The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 15, 1997) called it “the $20-million dud.”
  • The Orange County Register (Oct. 16, 1997) wrote, “It failed to attract much of a following.”

Disneyland tried to make improvements over the course of summer 1997. The pixies lost the masks that scared children. But Light Magic could not be saved.

After Labor Day 1997. Disneyland officials announced that Light Magic would be “on hiatus” until the year 2000.

The year 2000 came and went without the reappearance of Light Magic. It’s highly unlikely that anything resembling the 1997 edition will ever be back. And it’s doubtful that even the name “Light Magic” will ever be reused by The Walt Disney Company—for anything.

Light Magic
Light and projection towers lined the Light Magic route in 1997.

For Summer 1998, Disneyland used the lights that had been installed for Light Magic. By illuminating the park’s new daytime parade, it did double duty as the nighttime parade. The Mulan Parade was based on Disney’s 1998 animated feature, Mulan, about a courageous young woman in ancient China who distinguishes herself in the army, disguised as a man, in place of her ailing father.

If Light Magic left a lasting legacy, it was the collection of parade infrastructure improvements that Disneyland continues to use.

Light Magic
The Parade of Dreams passes some towers from Light Magic in 2007.

Hunchback Procession
Lion King Celebration

© 1997-2017 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated December 28, 2017.

All photographs of Light Magic on this page: 1997 by Allen Huffman.
Photograph of Light Magic “Opening 1997” sign: 1996 by Werner Weiss.
Photograph of Parade of Dreams: 2007 by Werner Weiss.