Welcome to #SundaysOnParade!
If you’ve been with us since the beginning, welcome back and if this is your first Parade Trip with us then I hope you have a blast and join us again next week. 😀 If you have memories from seeing any of these parades in person, please feel free to share the memories with us. And as always, if you know someone who would enjoy these posts because they love parades, Disney, time travel or history please share with them.
This week is another one I expect some of our more experienced Disney fans will remember. It’s from EPCOT in 1985 and features a President and local high school bands. Do you have an idea as to which parade we’re traveling to yet?
If you guessed Ronald Regan’s Inaugural Parade then you are 100% correct. Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration on January 21, 1985 was moved inside due to the bitter cold temperatures in Washington, D.C. The parade was to feature more than 50 high school bands that briefly played before the President and Mrs. Reagan at the Capital Center. Knowing there were some very disappointed high school bands and realizing an opportunity, representatives from Walt Disney World invited the bands and President Reagan to Disney’s Epcot for a streamlined version of the cancelled inaugural parade. Per the Secret Service’s instructions, President Reagan arrived on property around noon aboard Marine One which then landed out behind Epcot’s American Adventure. The President and his wife then exited that helicopter and were taken by limousine to a brief reception which was held inside of this World Showcase pavilion.
After meeting with senior Disney officials as well as key Florida politicians, the presidential party reboarded that limousine and were then … Well, the motorcade then drove all the way around World Showcase Lagoon. As I understand it, Reagan himself requested that his team be driven all the way around that 1.3 mile-long promenade so that he and the First Lady could then see all of the high school band members who’d journeyed to Washington D.C. & Orlando to serenade them on their special day.
After making a full circuit of World Showcase Lagoon, the presidential party exited their limo at the American Gardens Theater. Where — after Ronald & Nancy Reagan gamely posed for pictures with Mickey & Minnie Mouse — they then entered their specially constructed reviewing stand.