Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(Happy Anniversary, Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade!)

During the month of October, Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade is celebrating its 10th anniversary. TENTH! That's amazing to me, as many daytime parades often go through changes, and I have seen many favorites come and go.

Despite my many trips to Disney World and my eagerness to explore every aspect, I had never seen Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade. Finally, I saw it for the first time last year, May 2010. It was a very hot day, and it felt like I had my own private piece of sunshine beaming down on me. I could feel my skin start to burn and wished that I could find some shade. The problem was where we were standing - towards the middle of the parade route, closest to the entrance to Animal Kingdom. It was very crowded, and I didn't want to move for fear of losing the great view. This is a great parade, and I couldn't believe what I had been missing all these years. The floats are whimsical and exotic; the characters come right up to you and dance; there are bubbles (BUBBLES!) and the music makes you wanna shake it!

The parade lasts about 15 minutes from start to finish, and can be seen from many points in the park. It starts in Africa, then goes on to Discovery Island, then to Asia and then back to Africa. Animal Kingdom wasn't really built for a parade, so it does tend to get really hard to move around during showtime. Even if you're not wanting to watch the parade, you have to sometimes take an alternate route to get where you want to go. We were ready to leave the park and couldn't even get out in a direct fashion - we had to go all the way around because the parade just stops all foot traffic going anywhere.

The parade is led by Rafiki, everyone's favorite blue-butted monkey from Disney's The Lion King. The parade just wouldn't be complete without Mickey and the gang, and true to Disney Detail, each vehicle is themed appropriately to each beloved character. Goofy's safari vehicle, for example, is a bit well, goofy.
The larger than life puppets are my favorite element of the parade, with great attention to detail and flawless movement. There are also cast members on stilts doing their part to get the crowd moving and grooving, and much more. All in all, there are 60 cast members that participate in the 15-minute party spectacular.

It may have taken me a long time to see it, but I would suggest not missing out on this fun island-style street party. It's really incredible to stop and appreciate the detail put into each vehicle and character that you see in the parade. Kids are sure to be pleased with the selection of characters present, and the interaction with the cast members is unforgettable. If you're lucky, your family may be selected to ride in the parade - up to 25 people are picked at random throughout the day. What a way to remember your vacation!

So here's to ten years of Disney working its magic, Jungle style! I'm sure that we can expect more of the same for many years to come!

What do you think of Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade? Have you ever been selected to participate? Tell me about it!

Happy Jammin'!

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