Rose Parade 2013: Float operators make last-minute checks
With less than two hours to go before the start of the 124th Rose Parade, float operators up and down the line began a high-tech version of kicking the tires.
"Ok, we're going to make a loud noise here," said Disneyland Imagineer Chuck Davis.
Sounding like something between an explosion and a train whistle, steam shot out in all directions from the bottom of the Disneyland float, prompting screams and laughter from bystanders.
"OK! It works," said Davis, laughing, his breath puffing in the predawn chill.
The 125-foot long, 90,000-pound float features steam and water effects, 30 moving parts and what Davis calls "a little pyro moment."
It's all controlled by three technicians huddled in a room beneath a miniature cliff representing Radiator Springs from the "Cars" movies. All sound, motion and effects are controlled by Ethernet cable connection.
A team of 30 Imagineers have worked on the float along with 100 people from Artistic Entertainment Services for about three months, Davis said. Several hundred more volunteers pitched in to decorate it.
The float was a popular destination for early risers Tuesday, who had a chance to preview the floats illuminated by street lamps and floodlights. Many posed for pictures as parade staff in scooters and golf carts maneuvered around, tooting their horns repeatedly.
The float celebrates Disneyland's newest addition, "Cars Land," and other renovations around California Adventure.
The theme park hasn't entered a float in the parade since 2006, Davis said, when it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
-- Frank Shyong
Photo: Cars Land float. Credit: Frank Shyong