On New Year's Day 2011, one of my favorite parts of Disney's Hollywood Studios came to a close. Block Party Bash ran for almost three years after transferring from Disney's California Adventure park on the West Coast to Walt Disney World over the Winter of 2008.
Normally I wouldn't be caught dead at a parade. For me, parades and fireworks were always a good time to hit attractions while everyone else had stopped to wave at the Fab Five. But Block Party Bash was different for me. For those who know me, it could always be the fact that the parade was preceded by *MY* favorite characters: The Citizens of Hollywood, performing a pre-parade radio show all down Hollywood Boulevard. But I think what always drew me in every time was it's uniqueness, in that it wasn't your cookie cutter "wave as they pass by" parade. It was extremely interactive. The Green Army Men leading guests and dancers in the "Army Men Poses". The Scream Meters. Bouncing beach balls back and forth. And the Dancification segment! Up to the final performance, I still could not get my sister to go out there and dance with me. Granted, she's 17 and I'm 20, but the cast members always made it look fun!
So on January 1st of this year I braved the holiday crowds and made my way to the Studios to see my favorite parade off. I met with my friend Banks Lee and we started noticing things right away. There were kids with signs and people whom I recognized Entertainment cast members already lining the streets. I think our favorite group were three women wearing bright lime-colored shirts that said "Green Army Wives". We got our spots early so we could get good video angles. And then it started:
(Thanks to Banks for letting me use his video!)
To our delight, it was the full length soundtrack, not the abridged version they do in high capacity times like this. We were so excited! The dancers and acrobats were really giving it their all, since this would be the last time they would ever be doing it!
The parade ended, and Banks and I dodged our way through the crowd, around Echo Lake, and got set up for what we were sure would be a great finale as the block party would pass through the gates one last time. If you've never followed the parade to the end of the route, I won't ruin what normally happens for you. You can watch the special finale video below. But I will say it was a great surprise to see EVERYONE do an encore dance, and then to share in the emotions that it was finally over.
Thanks for the memories, Block Party Bash! You will be missed! Although, I know you will not be forgotten, as your successor- Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun!- will be graciously recycling some of your floats. I can not wait to see what the future holds for the Studios on January 16th!