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Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

by Sheila Hagen

Walt Disney World's 100 Years of Magic celebration, which kicked off last October 1 and will run through December, debuted amid resort-wide budget cuts and staff layoffs. The celebration itself is a lavish and loving tribute to Walt Disney and his legacy, and signs celebrating the event are everywhere throughout the theme parks. All four parks have special interactive kiosks for learning about Walt Disney and the history and evolution he sparked, and are also selling Magical Moments interactive pins and a very cool handheld game are for those who want to be part of the fun. Four parades -- three brand new and one makeover -- have been specially created to mark the occasion. There is lots to see and do, so let's get busy!


Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Disney's Animal Kingdom finally gets its afternoon parade because of the 100 Years of Magic celebration. The park is usually empty by 3:00 p.m., but with the new parade every walkway is jammed with park visitors. It's just what the park needed.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade is a high-energy dance party that winds its way along the walkways circling the Tree of Life. It manages to combine the usual Disney characters with a sort of hipness usually lacking from most Disney theme park entertainment offerings.

Music for the parade blends infectiously "up" worldbeat pop songs such as Miriam Makeba's Pata Pata and Mais Que Nada from Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66, along with an upbeat score somewhat reminiscent of The Lion King.

Parade floats are a mix of larger-than-life animal sculptures and customized safari jeeps. There are stilt walkers, Disney characters, dancing safari guides and motorized "rickshaws," which carry park visitors chosen to be "honorary" participants. Visitors chosen to be in the parade are given a Kodak disposable camera to capture the memories of their day.

The animal floats have been designed by Michael Curry, who was responsible for the inventive puppets in the Broadway production of The Lion King. That same ingenuity is readily apparent here.

Some of the highlights of this fun parade are offered here for your viewing pleasure:

The parade opens with, appropriately enough, Rafiki, accompanied with some honorary guests in a customized Jeep.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

The first of the inventive animal floats.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

A giraffe and hippo are next.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Minnie Mouse has brought everything, including her bathtub, on this safari.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Birds, camels and monkeys follow close behind.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

A crocodile nips at their heels.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Goofy waves at the audience.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

If toucan play, so can a fish.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Wildebeests and tigers, oh my!

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Timon, Terk and the Solid Gold Safari Guides get down with their bad selves.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Donald Duck brings along his boat. But why would a duck need a boat?

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

Were off to see the lizard!

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley

A drummer tucked inside a kangaroos pouch.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Finally, the big cheese himself: Mickey waves to the natives.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Photo by Jeff Moxley


If you'd like to write Sheila you can reach her at
showplanet@yahoo.com

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

CREDITS:

Photos on this page, unless otherwise noted, by Sheila Hagen

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