The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will debut in March energizing the streets of the Magic Kingdom with an infectious, whimsical, and contemporary spirit, and I can’t wait!
Festival of Fantasy will celebrate the worlds of new and classic Disney and Pixar stories on a scale that is beyond belief, as nearly 100 performers on floats that will soar as tall as three stories bring some of our favorite (and not so favorite) characters to life in a dramatic and artistic way.
“The parade celebrates and pays homage to what the Magic Kingdom is all about,” said Randy Wojcik, senior show director Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment. “It has the most beautiful floats, enchanting characters, vibrant costumes that come to life; and the choreography is just glorious. Yet, it is also very kinetic, relevant and powerful on a scale never seen before at Walt Disney World.”
Seven unique units comprised of nine spectacular floats of the Festival of Fantasy will travel accompanied by an original soundtrack inspired by Disney film favorites, composed by Mark Hammond (World of Color at Disney California Adventure and Flights of Fantasy parade at Hong Kong Disneyland) to have a distinct voice that is customized by parade float, theme, and mood
Here is the float-by-float Festival of Fantasy line-up!
The Princess Garden – This pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty. Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds and more. Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature, “Frozen.”
Tangled – A massive long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure and another Best. Day. Ever! Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float decked out with swaying pendulums carrying dastardly thugs.
Little Mermaid – Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee. There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float with conga dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore. Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired.
Peter Pan – Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship complete with smoke effects and special surprises. A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor. “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography.
Brave – Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney*Pixar film, “Brave.”
Sleeping Beauty – The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float. With fiery eyes and glowing effects the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades. This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry. There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather glide along the parade route.
Finale and Mickey’s Airship – The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto and more in a splashy carnival of color. There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Sporting zany new costumes Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Here is video of the floats arriving at the Magic Kingdom from the Disney Parks Blog.
The costumes for the Festival of Fantasy were constructed with new and innovative technology, and are absolutely mind-blowing! The attention to detail, over-the-top glitz, and sheer size are overwhelming in the best possible ways!
Here are some of my favorite ‘Fun Facts’ about the Festival of Fantasy costumes:
- Elaborate costumes are being crafted by 10 different costume houses, in eight cities, in two countries — including Creative Costuming facilities in both Florida and California.
- Some 27 separate custom designed fabrics were designed by Mirena Rada in collaboration with Creative Costuming Graphic Artist Paul Jordan.
- Counting interfacings and trims, it takes 28 separate fabrics to make up one Swing Thug #1 Costume (Tangled unit). His vest requires vinyl to be cut into 75 separate diamond shapes and then stitched onto cool max fabric.
- Some pieces, including the Seashell Girl (Little Mermaid unit) headpiece, were digitally sculpted and then grown to size with a 3D printer.
- It takes 30 yards of fabric to make one Seashell Girl costume which includes 12 different colors of Nitex Mesh.
- The coral pieces for the Coral Twins (Little Mermaid unit) were custom designed. They are being hand poured in three separate colors by the artisans of the Creative Costuming Craft Team and baked and finished for 16 hours each in an oven.
- The socks worn by the Lost Boys (Peter Pan unit) are custom designs that were knitted to order in Hong Kong.
- Minnie Mouse’s Dress and Hat (finale unit) uses 95 gold lame dots that are cut out, “blinged out,” and then sewn on.
- The Bubble Girl (finale unit) headpiece is made from three separate clown wigs that are blended together by the Creative Costuming Millinery Team.
- Cha Cha Girl (finale unit) – Her wig was designed with 148 yards of horsehair in four colors, that is then rolled, pressed and curled by hand.
I have missed the energy that the afternoon parade brought to the Magic Kingdom, and I truly cannot wait to see the Festival of Fantasy in person! March can’t get here soon enough!!!
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