History of the Electrical Water Pageant -


The Electrical Water Pageant's history actually began in late 1971 as a specially created show for the Luau party of a Pepsi-Cola Convention, (or else for a Coca-Cola Convention), being held on the shores of the Polynesian Village Resort. It was an immediate hit with the guests. It was so popular, that it was decided to keep it afterwards for 1972, as a nighttime event. It's been one of the longest running nighttime spectacles at Disney World ever since that time. The early Lightshow barges with the sea-creature characters were gradually updated in 1974.

In the Watercraft Dept., working the Lightshow is considered a source of great pride, and honor. Although it's not actually a vessel per se, It's considered one of the top positions to be on the team rotation that operates the show. It's the equivalent of the popular "Main Street Electrical Parade" in the Magic Kingdom, which only runs during extended park hours for the summer and holiday seasons, except this show is on water, and travels much further across.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Refitted during the 1980's-

In the early 1980's, all of the barges and equipment underwent a total replacement, and was redesigned for a more permanent arrangement. In addition, there were 8 new Mercury outboard engines installed to provide extra horsepower and added maneuverability. It was still King Neptune and his nightly procession of sea creatures.

From 1975 through 1990, the original synthesized music of the Electrical Water Pageant, was a symphonic version of Handel's "Water Music", which was always an immense crowd-pleaser to hear, when blasted from giant Altec Lansing box-speaker arrays, mounted on the 2 strings of show barges. Additional music could be added, whenever a special event required it.

The moving animation on the Lightshow screens is created with a synchronized sequence of changing lights.There is also synchronized parade music which changes as each "sea creature" appears.

Now, (since the late 1990's), it begins with the opening music from the classic 1989 Disney animated feature film, "The Little Mermaid". Then, the music changes with more "Little Mermaid" musical themes as each creature becomes part of King Triton's procession. The finale sequence wraps up with a patriotic stars and stripes show to the tunes of "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Dixieland".

King Triton's Procession -

Each night, King Triton and his procession of sea creatures makes its nightly appearance along the calm waters, off the shores of Walt Disney World's Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. It's definitely an experience for the people staying or dining at the Disney resorts, as well as the people traveling by boat, across the water. It can also be seen from the front of the Magic Kingdom theme park. During long extended park operating hours, the Pageant passes the Magic Kingdom twice a night.

The lightshow is first performed off the beach of the Polynesian Village Resort at 9:05 PM, then after the show is done, the Lightshow Barges travels stealthfully with just the barge navigation lights on, over to Bay Lake. The Watercraft pilots then do a lightshow for the guests waiting over at the Ft. Wilderness beach and marina area. Then the two strings of barges loop across, and do a lightshow for the guests at the Contemporary Resort marina and towers at 10:20 PM. The last lightshow is presented for guests along the front entrance of the Magic Kingdom, and the Grand Floridian Beach Resort.

New Musical theme during the late 1990's-

Sometime during the late 1990's, perhaps around 1997, the musical theme of the Electrical Water Pageant was updated to incorporate the stunning musical success of Disney's beloved 1989 animated movie, "The Little Mermaid". Soundtrack music and score from the movie was written to fit the timing of the lightshow, and though the overall Lightshow itself didn't change that much, certain animation lights on the large barge screens, were replaced, with new characters, like "Flounder" and "Ursula".

This re-theming of the lightshow music and character recognition, will assure that the Electrical Water Pageant continues to be popular, and resonants with the new generation of Walt Disney World theme park visitors.

 

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