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Pixar Play Parade

Posted by Club 33 , 11 March 2009 · 2,282 views

Disney's California Adventure Parades
In 2008 Disney shipped off Block Party Bash, the Pixar-themed street show/parade which had played at DCA since 2005, to Disney's Hollywood Studios. For its replacement they created a new parade, also Pixar themed, but this time incorporating characters from every Pixar movie to date (BPB had not featured Finding Nemo, Cars, or Ratatouille). The parade would feature the gimmick of water jets on nearly every float to soak guests, as well as bubblemakers all along the parade route.

The main theme for the parade was announced as being the "new" song "Countdown to Fun", a song that was actually imported from Hong Kong Disneyland's Mickey's Waterworks parade with a few minor lyrical changes. The song was written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil, who also wrote the music for the High School Musical films. The two wrote another song, "The Party's On", that also plays in the parade.

Most significantly, however, the parade would forgo the usual parade music format, which usually features a constant underliner of music playing along the parade route and then additional audio played from each float, and instead pipe all of the audio including music, sound effects and character dialog through the main parade route speakers. No doubt some interesting technology goes into synchronizing all of the music as the floats pass by each zone of the parade route.

The parade starts with an introduction by Mike from Monsters Inc, and then after a countdown of 5-4-3-2-1 launches into the main Countdown to Fun theme. The music than segues into a song, different for each float, before segueing back into the main theme. Ideally each song would play once or so and the main theme would serve to bridge the gas between floats. In reality things aren't quite so well timed, and usually songs must crossfade into the main theme midway through. Sometimes the gap between floats in large enough that there will be 10 or 15 seconds of complete silence before fading in to the next floats audio.

Each float features a cover of a popular song, some with lyrical changes:

Monsters Inc - Bang the Drum All Day by Todd Rundgren
The Incredibles - Don't Stop Me Now by Queen
Ratatouille - Yummy Yummy Yummy by Ohio Express
Finding Nemo - Sea Cruise by Fankie Ford
A Bug's Life - Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper (sung as "Bugs Just Wanna Have Fun")
Toy Story - You've Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman

"The Party's On", the other original song featured in the parade besides "Countdown to Fun", was originally to be used as a show stop track. In the end, however, the showstops were cut from the parade and the track instead plays after the parade is over as bubbles rain down on the parade route.

Some other music was recorded for the parade but never used. The Toy Story float was originally to be accompanied by "The Toys are Back in Town" (The Boys are Back in Town). A Wall*E float was to have been accompanied by a version of Mr. Roboto by Styx, and a Cars float was to have been accompanied by a version of "Life is a Highway" by Rascal Flatts (as it is, Lightning McQueen and Mater begin and end the parade respectively, though without their own music).

The parade runs between 18 and 20 minutes from start to finish, including the "The Party's On" ending.

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