Walt Disney World Is Finally Bringing Back Daytime Parades, So What's Taking So Long At Disneyland?

Mickey Mouse in Magic Happens parade at Disneyland
(Image credit: Disney Parks)

When the Disney Parks reopened after their respective pandemic closures, they were a fraction of their former selves. While most of the attractions, the immersive environments, and a lot of the delicious food were all still there, a lot was also missing. Any event that tended to create crowds of people close together was left out of the reopening. Over time, most of those items, like fireworks shows and character meet-and-greets, have returned. Soon parades will also be coming back to Walt Disney World, but somehow, we’re still waiting on Disneyland.

Yesterday Walt Disney World announced that one of the last pieces of the puzzle, a daytime parade, will soon be returning to Magic Kingdom. It’s part of a lot of live entertainment set to arrive at Disney World in 2022. It’s wonderful to see, but honestly, seeing the return of an updated Festival of Fantasy parade, as cool as it is, just reminds us of the excellent Disneyland parade that was barely given a chance to debut, and is still missing in action., Magic Happens.

Magic Happens only started running at Disneyland park at the end of February 2020, which means that it got about a two week run before the entire Disneyland Resort shut down in the middle of March. It was, by all accounts, an excellent parade with remarkable floats, fun characters we don’t often get to see, and an absolutely banging soundtrack. It was a passion project for show director Jordan Peterson that was steeped in Disney history. This show needs more love.  

Parades had returned to both Disney World and Disneyland previously, but they had been part of special ticketed events that limited the capacity of the parks; they weren’t available to everybody who bought a regular park ticket. Festival of Fantasy will be the first parade at a domestic Disney Park that anybody who enters Magic Kingdom gets to see.

One certainly hopes that when Disneyland is ready to do the same, and it needs to be soon, we’ll see the return of Magic Happens. This parade was barely given a chance to be seen, and the longer we go without it, the more we have to be afraid that we may never see it again. Even considering the investment that was made to make Magic Happens in the first place, we might get to a point where somebody in a position of authority thinks it would be easier to just move on.

That would be a terrible decision. We need to see Magic Happens back, and preferably soon. We know that a full parade is going to come back to Disneyland Resort at some point this year as the Main Street Electrical Parade has been officially confirmed to return in 2022. If it’s time for parades to come back for the masses at Disney World, then it’s probably time at Disneyland. It’s time for Magic Happens. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.