The first full parade to return following the COVID-19 shutdowns is Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. This is the first proper parade to run at Walt Disney World in more than 600 days. We first want to give kudos to the entertainment teams and to the performers who were able to bring the parade back. It’s a huge step as Disney World looks to return to normal, and while cavalcades still rule the day here in Orlando, we hope the tide is turning towards big parade productions.
That said, we should note that there were some changes to the parade – most notably the number of performers in it.
In total, we counted 89 performers cut from the 2021 version of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. It’s a SIGNIFICANT cut that is noticeable to longtime parks fans but might not be as bad for first-time viewers.
Here’s the 2019 version…
…and here’s the 2021 version that debuted last night. Note that we had to make a few edits in the video when snow would hit the lens, but all characters in the parade are still seen in the video.
Three parade units were cut out of the show, including the Goofy’s Gumball Machine Float, the festive ballroom dancers, and Santa’s Workshop. In addition to the parade unit cuts, the remaining units generally had fewer performers in each unit. The biggest cut came in the Toy Soldiers unit that saw the entire band removed.
It’s unclear if the cuts were due to COVID-19 concerns, budget concerns, or the inability to find performers. That said, there were no public auditions spotted for the parade and no current open auditions are listed at all for the entire Walt Disney World Resort.
We’ll have more thoughts on our experience at the first Disney Very Merriest After Hours event later today.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news and photos from around the Disney Parks!