Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant

in Disney, Entertainment, Walt Disney World

Electrical Water Pageant_feature image

Credit: Disney

Every evening, along the waters of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney World, a unique procession of lighted displays makes its rounds. It is the one and only Disney World Electrical Water Pageant—an ongoing tradition spanning more than five decades.

Despite its long-lasting endurance as a beloved Disney World mainstay, the Electrical Water Pageant is a surprisingly underrated nighttime spectacle. It often gets missed altogether by Guests not staying in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area specifically or those not fortunate enough to be at one of its other few vantage points at just the right time. Furthermore, being a more subtle and low-key occurrence, it doesn’t even receive much fanfare. That’s pretty sad, considering the Electrical Water Pageant’s fascinating history. So, to give it the credit it’s due, we at Inside the Magic are sharing some interesting facts most folks probably never even knew about Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant.

Whale in Electrical Water Pageant
Credit: D23

Oldest Parade in Disney World

The Electrical Water Pageant has been around since October 1971, having premiered only weeks following the grand opening of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. That technically makes it the oldest continuing Disney World parade procession.

Contains Some of the Originals

While it’s common for Disney to update attractions, the Electrical Water Pageant still features several of its original floats, which premiered on the scene back in 1971. These floats include three jumping dolphins, a turtle, four seahorses, a whale, and Neptune/King Triton.

Original floats in the procession for the Electrical Water Pageant
Credit: Disney

Related: Iconic Aspects Noticeably Missing From Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant

So Many Lights!

The procession comprises 14 different floats, all illuminated by more than 50,000 lights! Two strings of seven barges each sail across the waters, carrying a 25-foot-tall screen of lights. The individual floats themselves contain various scenes depicting different sea creatures—mythical and real—before they all transform into the American Flag and Stars during the grand finale.

The Stars and Stripes finale of the Electrical Water Pageant
Credit: Taste of Disney

It Takes Teamwork

Faithfully carrying out this nightly ritual is a team effort. It calls on the assistance of five people in total. There’s a safety boat operator, two copilots seated in each barge’s first float, and two others positioned in the last float. It’s vital for the crew to maintain just the correct positions before and throughout the show, as copilots manually flip each light switch at a precisely indicated time.

Related: Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant Gets New Celebratory Scenes

It Inspired a Disney Parade

This on-the-waters-wonder actually served as the inspiration for the Main Street Electrical Parade—the first Disney nighttime parade featuring glowing lighted displays. The Main Street Electrical Parade first premiered at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in 1972 before arriving at Magic Kingdom Park in 1977.

Main Street Electrical Parade
Credit: D23

Related: The Main Street Electrical Parade Returns to Walt Disney World For One Night Only

A Musical History

Rather than creating an all-new musical score, Disney purchased the rights to Baroque Hoedown by Gershon Kingsley and Jean-Jacques Perrey to serve as the theme for the Electrical Water Pageant. Musician Paul Beaver then remade a newer version of the song.

When the Baroque Hoedown also started being used for Disney World’s rendition of the Main Street Electrical Parade, the soundtrack was discontinued for the Electrical Water Pageant. Instead, the Pageant received a unique musical setup in which each float would have its own themed soundtrack. Of course, there have been changes in song options throughout the years, however.

Same Time and Place

Believe it or not, Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant schedule 2023 adheres to the same route it’s been following since 1971. Venturing along Disney World Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, it runs like clockwork every evening between 8:25 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and can be seen from several vantage points (which we will get into later). Do take note, however, that while the parade route is constant, showtimes have been known to vary based on Magic Kingdom Park’s scheduled fireworks. The Water Pageant may also be canceled on occasion due to inclement weather.

Best Viewing Recommendations

As mentioned, there are many excellent spots to watch the Electrical Water Pageant from. The Magic Kingdom Resort Area, in particular, offers some of the best vantage points, especially from the beaches at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Ft. Wilderness, and the Contemporary. These are optimal Resort recommendations for where to stay at Walt Disney World if you want to catch the procession nightly. You can also see it from certain parts of the Magic Kingdom or while dining at Narcoossee’s (at the Grand Floridian).

Sea Monster in front of Contemporary Resort
Credit: Disney

Related: Where to Watch the Electrical Water Pageant at Disney World

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in Disney, Entertainment, Walt Disney World

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