8 Foot Inflatable Portable Parade Float




About: With 21 Featured Instructables, and Over 1 Million Views, I think I am doing pretty good here, with my wacky ideas!

You will see a common thread with most of my Instructables, and that is there all "segway" related.
This is one of the challenges I give myself in creating that years parade float / Idea.
But you can easily adapt any of them to a Dolly mount, or get even more creative!

This Is Vampire Mickey, Originally I intended to be Inside the Inflatable, but I ran into safety issues
that I couldn't overcome and decided to tether and walk with him instead.


Step 1: The Build

The concept here was to have a REALLY BIG costume, something that would really stand out from the crowd, (but still be on my segway) So I bought a 8' inflatable vampire mickey from ebay ($80)
and cut the back Seam, and glued velcro strips onto the open seam, to act as a quick exit
and keep the air in (duh) - I used the Blower that came with the inflatable and made a air pump
station mounted on the side, along with a 12V car battery, and a Power converter
(that gave me 6 hrs of operation)

Step 2: The Air-station

I Built everything to sit on the side and be hidden by the inflatable (and black contact paper)

Step 3: The Battery

You can see the Battery and the Power converter mounted

Step 4: High Tech Viewer

Because I was behind Mickey, I built a 0 lux camera into the front, and a Viewscreen behind him,
so I could steer him. everything was powered with the same 12v battery

Step 5: Traveling

This is Mickey in travel mode, I was able to take the Subway to the parade

Step 6: The Finished Product

Mickey was a real crowd pleaser, at the parade.
you can see just HOW big he is with this set of pictures.



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    10 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work Mac, What were the safety issues you couldn't over come?  I used to perform inside inflatable walk around characters...  so I might be able to offer some in site. Plus I'd like to know how much danger I was in when I did perform in these !!! :LOL

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Very Interesting idea, there!

    The segway to stay balanced, needs me to adjust both forward and backwards motion (like you would sway when you are standing still) just more magnified by standing on a rolling platform. And you use your peripheral vision to do that.
    being in the costume I could see forward. but not to the side, so I kept rolling
    forward and hitting things, I could not judge my distances
    (not a good thing for being in a parade)

    I tried using technology (camera's and screens inside) but it was not working out



    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    OK, I understand.  The costumes we used had clear plastic around the entire mid section and it was covered up but the sashes which were blue and red Lamee, which looks solid from a distance but is actually really see through when you are up close to it.  The inflatable was about  a foot maybe two feet from our head and we had really good vision...  All but one costume which only had polka dots to see through and of course they weren't in the best places!  If you'd like I could draw up some rough plans as to what they looked like?  It might give you some ideas that might be practical for your next project.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Here's a photo of the ONes I used to perform in not the best photo:

    These were back packs with a portable power supply that was attached to our back packs and the blowers hung between our legs. Which I don't know why that is... when it could have bee mounted to the back pack!!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome instructable. I saw this and originally didn't realize you incorporated the portable inflation mechanism. Wow.

    I wonder if the amount of constant re-inflation could be reduced by filling most of Mickey with sealed bladders like the Instructable guys did with their giant inflatable robot. A bladder system could dramatically extend the inflation lifetime.

    5 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


    It wasn't that bad. Since I had the air station, I had a good supply of air without a problem, and if I REALLY wanted to extend the life, I could have squeezed another 4 hours out of it, by going with a 12V blower, and removing
    the power converter and 110V blower.


    I could cut off his arms and legs, send a ransom note to Disney,
    say send me $10,000 or the next piece of Mickey will be his head,

    ...But Seriously Folks.....

    It was perfect as a inflatable - Sometimes the K.I.S.S principle is the BEST principle.