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Meet the Sea Dragons of OZ and the Yeti Crab

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Disneyland's Party Gras Parade

In 1990, Disneyland in Anaheim, California celebrated its 35th Birthday in a big way. The Party Gras Parade featured large balloon floats depicting Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Roger Rabbit.

This looks like fun, and it was! I got to skip school for a few days and fly across the country to Disneyland in September of 1990.

They gave away prizes! I did not win anything, though.

I wonder what time the 3:00 parade starts? This question is frequently asked by Disneyland visitors. Luckily, the Party Gras Parade is shown twice a day!

Be sure to note where you parked your car! Disneyland's old parking lot is long gone (it's now a theme park, Disney's California Adventure).

Keep this show guide handy, because you don't want to miss Dick Tracy in "Diamond Double-Cross" or Roger Rabbit (in Adventureland!) with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy in "The Legend of the Island Jewel." I regret not seeing these shows!

In Tomorrowland, you could vote for "The Person of the Century." I wonder who won?

Delta was the official Airline of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Luckily, that's the Airline that got me to California!

Technically, I think Delta was only supposed to give this magazine to young children. I was a freshman in high school at this time, but I asked them really nice for a copy.

Oooh, Disneyland 35th Birthday Games!

Snow White has a message for us! What is she trying to tell us?! I think maybe it's "Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine."

I usually made a point not to mark on items like these, because I thought they might be a collector's item one day. I did deface this "Connect-The-Dots" page:

It's the Party Gras Parade!

The music is loud and lively, and the Disney characters are gigantic!

Mickey and Pluto lead the wild celebration.

The Party Gras Parade uses audience participation, and stops to perform and encourage you to dance and join a conga line.

It's tough to stand still during the Party Gras!

Look, it's Minnie and a Macaw!

Up next is a float with a fish lady riding on a big fish.

That's Ariel, The Little Mermaid, which was a new movie at the time.

Donald Duck appears with the Pluto balloon. I would hate to have to clean up after a dog Pluto's size...

It's Chip and Dale, dancers.

I don't think that any other Rescue Rangers were on this float.

Goofy fits in with the Jokers and Jesters.

Minnie is up next in her Carmen Miranda costume.

Panchito the rooster from "The Three Caballeros" is here, so surely Jose Carioca the parrot was in this parade, too.

Roger Rabbit used to be everywhere.

Roger Rabbit is the last balloon float in the parade. It looked like Roger would be shown regularly with Mickey and his friends, but he was phased out as Disney created characters it completely owned, like Ariel and her friends from The Little Mermaid (Roger Rabbit is co-owned with Amblin Entertainment).

The celebration is over, and Guests and Disney characters close the parade.

This high-energy event featured a terrific soundtrack:

Walt Disney World had a similar parade for its 20th Birthday in 1991.

It was called "Surprise Celebration" and included Disney character balloons that were very similar to Disneyland's (a couple of them, like the one used for Minnie Mouse, looked identical).


  1. Thank you for sharing these, Dan! Unfortunately, I never saw this parade. I was tied up with school and didn't make it to the park even once that year. This is the first time I've ever seen pics of the Minnie and Ariel floats....I like them! Tokyo DL had a similar "large balloon" parade in 1998 for their 15th Anniversary called, "Disney Carnivale". I didn't see their's either, but I have the soundtrack!

  2. Thank you, TokyoMagic! It's too bad you didn't get to see Disneyland or Tokyo Disneyland's balloon parades. I've found that it's pretty easy to find videos of these shows online, but I know it's not the same as actually being there. Maybe they'll bring this back someday...

  3. Aah, I remember when Roger Rabbit was everywhere, too!

    I'm surprised they never did a Roger Rabbit sequel. He was a popular character.

    Anyway, the photos and souveneirs are great. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you, Peyton!

    I do know that a Roger Rabbit sequel was in the works, and there was some test footage online showing off a new production technique for the character animation. I guess cost and maybe the many years that have passed since the original could have been a factor in the sequel not moving forward.

    Disneyland in California (and Tokyo Disneyland in Japan) has a Roger Rabbit ride in the Mickey's Toontown section (Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin). It's nicely done, but even on a slow day, the line for it is really long (it seems to be a low-capacity attraction).