Yes! For those of you who don't like Disney (to each his own) I promise that this has a tie-in to Illustration! :)
The newest parade at Disneyland Park was designed by the Illustrator team of Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. Both have an extensive amount of previous work that has been available at the park. Besides the parade they've had a lot of acknowledgment for their sculptures of past Disneyland merchandise and attractions. The parade floats you'll see in the pictures below were designed first as paper sculptures! That's right... no clay, no plaster... only paper! Then obviously they were built to full size after "fine tuning" (haha!) everything.
The whole of the parade is based off of percussion instruments mostly. It kicks off with a drumline doing all kinds of tricks and beats as they walk down the route. Most of the performers in this part were actually in the film "Drumline" that came out a bit ago. You can also see in the picture below that Mickey has a set of drums too! Disney hired professional musicians for a lot of this parade.
|drumline, Mickey & Minnie|
Aladdin comes up next, which is pretty much the typical float and belly dancers, I didn't get a very good shot of it. But the best part is the little monkey Abu who follows behind. He clashes his symbols in time to the music. I don't think Abu has been a part of any Aladdin attractions before.
|Ariel and Friends|
Next up was a tribute to The Three Caballeros! They haven't been a part of a Disney attraction in a really long time. I love their costumes and little bubble butts with tail feathers! (is that weird? ... probably...)
Then came the token Princess float. The only real difference I saw in the float design was the addition of Rupunzel's tower. But really, how many princess floats can one design before they all start to flow together? (I was always secretly glad Ariel gets her own float ;P)
Simba followed suit with his entourage of African dancers, Turk, and King Louie. It was fairly simple in this section, but cool to see a throwback to the Lion King parade. Simba's drum float is similar to the one you'll see Tinkerbell has in a bit.
Tiana and her showboat came right behind. This one was pretty cool! The boat is modeled after the Mark Twain and included musical instruments in the architecture. The "water" reflected on the underside of the boat too.
Next up was Tinkerbell and some generic fairies. Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Smee, and some pirates also danced around her float. Tinkerbell, I'm pretty sure was a drummer too. She had some bongo type looking mushrooms at the top of her drum.
Last, but not least, comes my favorite float of them all! Which probably is exactly why its the big finale section. Mary Poppins comes through with her gang of Chimney Sweeps and the most magnificently designed float I've ever seen. It's so intricate and amazing.
The Chimney sweeps come through with their dance number and then Mary and Bert ride around on their carousel horses!
|it's a BIKE!|
Here's the rest of Mary Poppins's float .....
It was so good! Some parades are hit and miss (the ones you run to the attractions during) but this one definitely works for me. I wouldn't mind standing and watching it more than once.
Now after all this, it makes me laugh about how many times uninformed people automatically think "books" when the word Illustrator comes up in conversation. Now you can add "parade float design" to the list of examples to give them ;)
If you would like to see more pictures i took of the parade, here's a public link to the album on my facebook: