“Magic Happens” Parade Photos & Video from Early March 2020 at Disneyland

Hi everyone –

In early March I visited Disneyland, heading back to Orlando just days before the temporary – and currently indefinite – closure of the domestic Disney parks. I’ll be sharing photos in the coming weeks from the trip, as well as videos we’ve been posting. One of the highlights of the Disneyland visit for me was the new “Magic Happens” parade, which officially debuted February 28th, 2020 after a one-day soft opening. I really enjoy the parade, which includes a variety of different stories from Disney and Pixar. While I was there, the parade was playing both during the day and just after dark before Daylight Savings Time began. Here are photos and video.

I watched the parade several times – including on the last day of my visit, March 9th. I was able to snag a relatively last-minute place to sit on the ground with a Matterhorn view.

Here is our video that a friend took of the parade during the soft opening a week before I arrived.

There are 90+ performers including characters in “Magic Happens”.

Sorcerer Mickey is on the first of nine newly designed floats. I show this and some of the other floats at night at the end of the article.

Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale follow.

They have their routine down.

And one more photo.

Minnie and Dale entertain the crowd.

The Moana segment is my favorite in the parade. Disney says of these first performers that “The sea of performers who lead the “Moana” float represent ocean waves, bringing the magic of the ocean to life”.

Moana is on her canoe.

The Moana float is more than 32 feet long, 22 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

Disney says that “Gramma Tala represented at the top of the float in her manta ray form, watching over Moana on her journey”.

Maui made his Disneyland debut in “Magic Happens”.

I will show more from the Moana section later in the artice. Next up is the Coco segment.

Disney says that the performers in front of the Coco float represent the beautiful marigold flower petals.

Miguel makes his Disney parks character debut in the parade.

Miguel is not a meet and greet character, but it is nice to see him in the parade.

I will show more of the float later in the article. I was alternating between photos and video for two parade viewings and then only video for another (a small amount of the photos are screen captures). Hector and Imelda are animated figures.

This is a look below the marigolds.

Pepita is impressive with his puppeteers.

The Frozen 2 float is 39 feet long, the longest in the parade.

Disney says that, “This float shows Anna and Elsa exploring the mysteries of The Enchanted Forest protected by the Nokk, the mystical water spirit, as their friends Kristoff, Sven and Olaf tag along”.

Elsa makes it snow.

Anna is with Olaf, below Elsa.

The large snowflake behind Elsa incorporates the four elemental symbols from the film, representing water, fire, earth and wind.

Sven is an animated figure behind the float.

Kristoff is the one character off the float, as he walks the parade route with a wheelbarrow.

Next up are more characters, including Aladdin, Genie and Tinker Bell. The Blue Fairy and Pinocchio are with them as well, which I will show in the evening photos.

Each set of performers between floats have unique costumes.

The Cinderella float reaches 16 feet at the top of Cinderella’s carriage, and is approximately 10 feet in diameter.

This is one of my favorite floats in the parade.

Disney says of the float, “Vines begin to take shape as wheels, while leaves stretch into stained glass, creating a translucent jeweled form of a carriage”.

Merlin and Arthur are up next.

Arthur makes his Disneyland debut in the parade.

This float is approximately 19 feet tall, 15 feet long and 12 feet wide.

Arthur gets ready for the sword.

Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen are on a beautiful float that I will show more in the night photos.

Flora, Fauna and Merryweather are on the Sleeping Beauty float.

This is the tallest float in the parade, with the top turret reaching approximately 30 feet tall. The watefall of the Matterhorn makes such a great backdrop.

Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip wave to guests. Her gown shimmers between pink and blue.

The Cast Members at the end of the parade were really energetic also, it reminded me of Disneyland Paris parades.

My first ever viewing of the parade was after I arrived on March 4th. I watched from the Small World area.

When the parade is able to run at night, the floats really look great. The Sorcerer Mickey float has 300 LED lights.

Minnie interacted with the crowd.

These are the performers in the Moana segment.

Moana is atop her canoe.

Disney says that, “The percussion instruments played on the Kakamora unit that follows the “Moana” float are inspired by traditional Polynesian drums”. Hei Hei is seen below as well.

This whole section is fantastic.

And one last look at the Moana section.

Here is a look at the full float for Coco. The float is 11 feet wide, 19 feet tall and almost 36 feet long – and it has 30,000 marigolds.

You can see how “Magic Happens” really is a vibrant night parade – it is terrific during the day but it is even better in the evening. I hope when it is scheduled again, that Disneyland allows for a later start time in the summer (or whenever the park opening is).

Here is a look from the side.

The eyes of Pepita light up at night.

You can see in the videos how impressive this is.

Impressive also is the float for Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.

The tree on the float is modeled after a real mangrove tree. The Princess and the Frog float is 19 feet tall and 11 feet in diameter.

The float also turns, so guests can see Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen from either side.

Here is a full look at the Cinderella float.

And the Blue Fairy is with Tinker Bell and Pinocchio.

Merlin keeps moving on his float.

I went to Disneyland on my own this trip, usually I take a lot more photos but I was shooting video about half the time over the three performances.

After I left, it rained quite a bit through the week and a friend caught the rainy day version of “Magic Happens”.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!