Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Very Merry Christmas Parade, Part 4

Can it be Christmas Eve already? Guess I'd better hit the stores, I haven't bought anything for anyone. I can always give $1000 bills to everybody like I always do and make it easy. 

Today I am sharing the final "Very Merry Christmas Parade" photos from Irene, Bruce, and James - my guess is that these are at least from the early 1980's, and possibly even the late 1970's. 

Balloo and King Louis have been reduced to wearing frilly tutus; but hey, it's still showbiz, and they're going to give it their all. Behind them is a float with the ringmaster from Dumbo, along with acrobats (I think).

Next is this monkey (one of King Louie's minions?) with a hula hoop. Monkeys love Wham-O products! I like the cute little girl happily waving in the background.

"OK, Mark and Ron, we're going to need you to ride your extra-tall unicycles all the way down Main Street - but you have to hold hands the entire way". "Why?". "JUST DO IT, OR YOU'RE FIRED!".

The dogcatcher is loved by nobody! Why can't he just let Lady, the Tramp, and their rabid friends alone? You can see that some of the pooches have already made a break for it.

Based on the smiles of the faces in the crowd, this was a popular routine. It seems like it would be quite a thing to control at least 10 dogs in the middle of a parade, but it must have worked. 

Next, it is Dumbo himself, in a burning firehouse. He's not worried, since he can soar to safety at any moment. There's some clowns with buckets to put out the blaze; what are the odds that some of the buckets contained confetti to throw into the crowd?

The parade is over, folks! What a show - it used dozens and dozens of floats, and  hundreds of performers, all with props and costumes - Disney did not cheap out with this parade. Pretty impressive. 

Many thanks to the Dream Team for these wonderful vintage photos of the Very Merry Christmas Parade! And I would like to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. 

I am still out of town, but look forward to reading your comments when I can!


Nanook said...

It really was an impressive parade. Thanks again to the Dream Team for sharing these images.

Merry Xmas to all - and to you too, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Awwwww! We had the Dog Catcher's Truck the year that I was in the Christmas parade. The truck was driven by Peg Leg Pete (without the peg leg). Pluto would open the doors to the back of the truck and let the doggies out. The dog's trainer was dressed as a dog catcher and he would try to corral the dogs back into the truck. At some point he would fall down and the dogs would all take turns running over him. It looks like that is what's happening in that one pic.

The driver of that little mini-firetruck (fourth pic) could drive into the firehouse float through an opening in the back of it. He would then come busting out through the doors on the lower level of the float.

Major, you are right about Disney not cheap-ing out on the parades, back then!

Thank you, to Irene, the Dream Team and Major, for all of the wonderful parade pics!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Andrew said...

The firehouse float triggered something in my brain, so I did some online research, and the Dumbo section of the parade went to Florida in 1979. Sometime later, the float was reskinned to look like a barn and carry Clara Cluck, which it still sometimes appears as today. At least one of these floats lives on, but I guess there's no word on what happened to all of the unusual costumes!

Thanks for always posting such great stuff, and I hope that everyone has a great Christmas!

Chuck said...

That Main Street crowd in the last photo looks like any day at Disneyland today.

Andrew, one word - you rock!

Thanks again, Major, Irene, James, and Bruce. And everyone - have a safe and happy Christmas!

JC Shannon said...

Nothing screams Christmas like a hula-hoop toting monkey. I forget who said it. but "never follow dogs or children" is an axiom that still stands. The Dog Catcher routine must have been loved by all. Thanks Major and the Dream Team.

K. Martinez said...

Always enjoyed the dogs and dogcatcher section of this parade. I also loved how this parade featured all the Walt Disney era classics. No Frozen, Beauty and the Beast or modern Disney yet.

Thanks, Irene, James, Bruce and Major. I think this Disney holiday series you've shared with us has been the best I've seen here on GDB.

Merry Christmas to all!

DrGoat said...

Well, this is a great Christmas Eve treat. Now that's a proper Christmas parade. Thanks to all who contribute their pictures like these. Warms the heart, as it were.
Andrew, I agree with Chuck. You do rock. Thanks for the link to that pic.
Thanks and Merry Christmas to you all, and a special thanks to you, Major, for brightening up our life's with this blog.

MRaymond said...

Something disturbing about Baloo in a Tutu. Maybe the same this as the Elf on a Shelf or Golum on a Column.

Anonymous said...

What a fun parade.

I was almost sure for a moment that I was in the last photo, but the big guy in the plaid shirt and camera with his back to us is someone else. I hope he had fun. I'm sure from my vague memories that I saw at least part of this parade way back when.

Thanks to everyone for posting the pictures and doing the research to sort it out.

Merry Christmas to all.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all! That last shot, reflecting a busy day of crowd for the era, pales in comparison to what it looks like almost daily today. KS

Melissa said...

Craziest parade ever!

Melissa said...

Also, if riding unicycles holding hands is good enough for the Monkees, it's good enough for Mark and Ron!


I sorry to inform everyone , but that is NOT the Lady & The Tramp dog catcher wagon , but a Korean BBQ Truck.

There was something about the parades of the 70’s & 80’s : they were a combination of simple and extravagant at the same time. They also were more sincere- they movies and characters were really there to entertain and were not a way to cram-in “synergy” and “cross- promotions”.... or try to advertise unwanted step-parks like DCA.

I think the days of park attractions and parades not directly related to a current film or character property.

Nanook said...


I think you hit the nail square on the head: ... simple and extravagant at the same time. As everything nowadays is more along the lines of 'constant shouting from the rooftops' [along with synergy, tie-ins, and cross-promotions], I'm afraid these days of 'sensible balance' are gone for good.

Anonymous said...

At the WDW Magic Kingdom version of this parade in the early 1980s, Cruella drove the truck full of dogs!