The "A Christmas Fantasy Parade" is an annual parade presented at Disneyland Park in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The parade is a holiday parade that runs (usually) from the weekend before Thanksgiving until the Sunday after New Years. It debuted during the 1995 Holiday Season, replacing the "Very Merry Christmas Parade". The name of the parade was inspired by similar name at Tokyo Disneyland.
Earlier versions of the parade included Scrooge McDuck, Roger Rabbit, Max Goof, characters from Lilo & Stitch, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Aladdin, and the elves were played by actual children instead of Cast Members, which likely changed due to child labor laws.
The Parade Units
When the parade originally debuted in November 1995, It was vastly different, with all the units arranged in a different order then it went today. It would go from the Opening, Santa's Mail Room, Santa's Toy Factory, A Recipe for Gingerbread Treats, Greetings from a Winter Wonderland, The Candlelight Christmas Ball, and Christmas Homecoming. Many of the floats in the original version were reused from the Very Merry Christmas Parade and the characters on the floats would very (such as Pluto pushing Santa's Sleigh in the grand finale for many years).
The current version of the parade used since 2008 described here has seven units, each consisting of at least one float. The following are descriptions of each of the seven units:
- Opening Unit:
- Music box float, with a dancing ballerina atop a revolving platform, and a stuffed Teddy bear sitting beside her. (Duffy the Disney Bear in 2011 and 2012)
- Toy soldiers from Babes in Toyland marching that play trumpets and snare drums (in early years, there was also a bass drum and cymbals)
- Santa's Mail Room Unit:
- Mailroom float, Mickey, Minnie, and Chip and Dale. greeting park guests. (This float used to have Mrs. Claus, but she no longer appears in the parade.)
- Donald (Pluto until 2013; Duffy the Disney Bear in 2014) sits atop the roof of the mailroom, trying to place the star on the top of the Christmas tree.
- 4 Female Mailroom Elves and 2 Male Mailroom Elves perform with mail bags along and atop the float.
- Welcome to A Winter Wonderland Unit:
- Tigger and Winnie the Pooh ride on sleighs, while Eeyore pulls a sleigh. Four skiers swing around them.
- 8 snowpeople scurry along, 4 male, 4 female.
- A snowy Christmas Tree rolls down the parade route.
- 6 skaters skate down the parade route on roller skates.
- Elsa and Anna stand atop an ice-themed float with an Olaf figure.
- A Recipe for Gingerbread Treats Unit:
- Candlelight Christmas Ball Unit:
- Lady Tremaine, Drizella Tremaine, and Anastasia Tremaine (Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters) are not invited and therefore walk in front of the unit while playing with guests.
- 4 Ball Dancers dance beautifully in front of the Candlelight Ball float accompanied by Snow White and her prince.
- Tiana, Prince Naveen, Cinderella, Prince Charming, Aurora, Prince Phillip, Belle, and Beast dance on a ballroom float.
- 4 Ball Dancers dance beautifully behind the Candlelight Ball float accompanied by Ariel and Prince Eric.
- Santa's Toyland Unit:
- Jessie and a Green Army Man ride in a military hum-dinger.
- Woody from Toy Story on a rocking horse is atop a Toy Block float.
- The Green Army Men ride on top the giant Toy Factory float making toys.
- 6 Toy Factory Elves dance alongside the float.
- Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story in a spaceship is atop a Toy Block float.
- Until 2010, there used to be two Toy Block floats featuring characters from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid.
- Santa's Finale Unit:
- 8 Finale Dancers (4 male, 4 female) dance and sing to Christmas carols in front of a moving Christmas Tree adorned with jewels.
- Santa Claus sits atop his sleigh on the Finale float led by the 8 Reindeer.
- Two Finale Elves dance on the back of the Finale float.
- Two or Three Rope Carriers end the parade.
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
- Disney Christmas Stories
- La Parade de Noël Disney
- Santa Mickey's Toy-riffic Street Party