March 31, 2012

Nitetime Pageantry

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Disneyland proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds."

The Main Street Electrical Parade is my favorite parade in the world. I saw it when I was a kid at the Magic Kingdom and was completely entranced. And it holds some other special, sentimental value to me but I can't really talk about it here...

It opened in 1972 and has been sponsored by General Electric and Energizer. The Music (Baroque Hoedown), was created in 1967 by synthesizer pioneers Gershon Kingsley and Jean-Jacques Perrey. In 1977, it was updated and arranged by Don Dorsey and Jack Wagner.

Supposedly Don used the following synthesizers to create the updated soundtrack: Moog Model III, Mini-Moog, Steiner-Parker Synthacon, Oberheim 8-voice, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Fender Rhodes Piano, New England Digital Synclavier II, Bode 7702 Vocoder, Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter, Yamaha DX7 and Yamaha TX7. But as most of these synthesizers were made after 1977, some bit of information floating around is incorrect. Who can you trust?

Here's a great article about designing the parade:

And here's a very interesting article about ambient sounds at the Disney parks:

I think this is a good halfway point between where we are now and the fourth element I'm about to introduce to Mild Slopes. Synthesizers, Quakerism, C.S. Lewis and Epcot!

Stay tuned.......


  1. The Mr. Q article is really wonderful. I've always wanted to create and hide secret ambient music machines around large cities. Subtle and beautiful sounds just floating around at all times. The best I've done is projecting those sounds our various apartment windows.

    Not sure what's more fascinating: Epcot, or your total fascination with it.

  2. Tona, I accidentally deleted your comment when I meant to publish it! Hope you still see this! Anyway, you said...

    "Hey! I was wondering, what's IllumiNations actually?

    Lately I've heard quite a few things about it and saw a photo and it seemed to be wonderful, and I just went really curious about it and thought that maybe you would know. Thank you and sorry for bothering.."

    I say: no bother at all! IllumiNations is the fireworks show that happens at Epcot. It also incorporates water fountains, lasers, and it even incorporates lights on the buildings in the world's showcase. It's almost like the whole part is synchronized to this fireworks show! The music is amazing too. Huge, patriotic orchestral stuff. Once you see IllumiNations, all other fireworks shows will seem inferior.... or at least strangely quiet.

  3. no worries! I got to see it :)

    It seems to be delightful! though now I don't know if I wanna see it. The way you described it sounds wonderful! but it also sounds as if then I'll be missing it each day I'm not able to see it.

    I believe, anyway, that it would be completely well worth seeing. I bet it's one of those things that always has a special place in the heart..
    Though I don't know, I'm thinking of all the little lights, the music... the fireworks topping it all and maybe I'm just letting my imagination flow.

  4. I don't think I ever took them for granted... but I did see Disney fireworks hundreds of times (maybe thousands...?), in the near decade that I worked there. But I always stopped to watch them, even if I was just in the parking lot. I never thought I'd miss them as much as I do. it's strange that something like fireworks, you could grow accustom to seeing almost every night. Maybe that's why I'm so in love with Travelogue's Fireworks album.

  5. oh, I know.. I love Travelogue's Fireworks too. Whenever I listen to the very first notes in Aside I get hooked, as when you're walking by, and suddently some fireworks start happening in the sky. No matter what I'm doing or how many times I've seen fireworks, I just stop and look up, feeling as if my heart could explode as the sound of the fireworks goes by, and I stand there, trapped in colours and sound, till they are finished.

    But still, I've never seen such fireworks that I could miss as much as you do miss the Disney's ones, but I guess, I've never seen anything that can compare with them.