Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Snow White Parade (50th Anniversary - 1987)

Snow White's "Golden Anniversary Celebration" at Disneyland included a twice daily 12 minute royal parade that ran down Main Street USA from early summer until fall. The lineup began with banner-carriers on horseback followed by Donald Duck and a host of dancing lords and ladies.

Banner-Carriers (Screen capture via home video shot by haborhouse55)

Banner Float followed closely by Donald Duck

Banner Float close-up. Image courtesy of the Raymond Collection. Used with permission.

Riding alone atop a float of topiaries with a "Once upon a time" banner behind him, Goofy read the proclamation handbill from the previous post. In another video, Mickey and Minnie are on this float with Goofy. This addition to the lineup may have occurred later in the year. It appears that Mickey and Minnie were originally located near the end of the parade in their own horse-drawn carriage.

No mice...



Goofy, Mickey, Minnie.

Dancing mirror-carriers proceeded the Evil Queen's float where she conversed with the Magic Mirror. Dopey followed in a giant washtub.

Dancing Mirrors

Evil Queen Float

Dopey Float

More dancers led the way for Chip and Dale with Daisy Duck who were busy cleaning a "cottage" float.

Cottage Float

Three dancing wheelbarrow pushers came next, followed by the rest of the Dwarfs--either on or marching in front of a diamond mine float.


Dwarf Mine Float. Image courtesy of the Raymond Collection.

It's interesting that this section also included six dancing and spinning diamonds. However, after a couple of weeks, they were removed from the parade. Have not heard the reason why.

Dancing Diamonds

Accompanied by the Pinocchio gang, two cast members pulled a diamond cart behind the Dwarfs' float.

Diamond Cart

Heel-Kicking Good Times

Dancing crows pranced in front of the Old Witch and her smoking cauldron float.

Dancing Crows

Witch's Cauldron Float

If Mickey and Minnie weren't at the front of the parade with Goofy, they would be here in a horse-draw carriage. In close pursuit were additional dancing characters including Alice. Then more lords and ladies.

Mickey and Minnie

Dancing Alice

Lords and Ladies

This was of course way before the time of Jasmine, Tiana, and Rapunzel, and it even predates Ariel and Belle. So for the finale, the only other Disney princesses, Aurora and Cinderella, danced with their princes in front of Snow White and the Prince who waved from their float.

The Other Royal Couples (Photo copyright ThemeFabrication. Used with permission.)

Snow White Float

Prince and Snow close-up

Parade in two parts...

Parade in three parts. Features the Dancing Diamonds that were taken out of parade after only a couple weeks...


While most of the Snow White hoopla seemed to occur at Disneyland, the first princess was included in some Florida celebrations too. Themed paper plates and cups were used at many of the food stops, and she and dwarfs did appear in the Walt Disney World 15 Years of Magic parade.

15 Years of Magic Parade

Commemorating the theme park's Crystal Anniversary milestone, the parade began in October 1986 and continued until September 1987. In the new year, to kill two birds with one stone so to speak, Snow White was inserted near the front of the lineup as a way to commemorate the 50th year of the film too.

A blurb in the July/August 1987 issue of Tampa Bay Magazine mentions the new parade sequence and tells of a Wishing Well float that they would be riding on.

July/August 1987 Tampa Bay Magazine, p.14

In my online search, I was able to locate video clips from both the 1986 pre-Snow White parade and also the 1987 version with the princess and dwarfs. However, there's no sign of the Wishing Well float. It's pictured in the publicity shot above, so it did exist at some point, but nothing has surfaced on video so far.

In the 1986 parade, you will see Mickey and Minnie start it off followed by a group of dancers. Next comes a giant birthday present, then a character float with Pluto, Chip and Dale and others. No Snow White.
Excerpt from video originally posted by mcrtnyfan.

In this April 1987 clip, Snow White and the Dwarfs have been inserted into the parade between the first Mickey/Minnie and the Pluto/Chip and Dale floats. But the princess and her seven friends are walking the route without a vehicle of their own...

Excerpt from video originally posted by drummerboy74.

Another short 1987 clip shows Snow White and the Dwarfs still walking "floatless" behind Mickey and Minnie...

Excerpt from video originally posted by awesoman.

So Snow White did make an appearance in the WDW parade, but it really felt like more of an afterthought. Without question, the Disneyland parade commemorated the 50th anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in a much more authentic way.


  1. I love the vintage DL parades, but I did not go to the park once during that part of 1987, so unfortunately I completely missed this one.

  2. love it--and again--can't wait to see what they will do next year for the 75th anniversary!

  3. I remember that parade! I was lucky enough to be able to visit Disneyland a few times that summer. So I got to see the parade on a couple of occasions, even one with the diamonds, which my sister and I thought were funny looking.

    It brings back memories. Thanks for posting those vids. :-)

  4. great pics and video clips! these are priceless.