If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for a good parade and if you’re not a fan, let Disney change your mind! On most days, Magic Kingdom has 2 parades each day: Festival of Fantasy and Main Street Electric Parade. The showing of both of this parades can vary by year and sometimes you may see additional parades or changes to the current parade.
If you want the best spot, follow these few helpful tips:
Arrive Early! If you want a front row spot, you’ll need to arrive early and camp out for your spot, especially if you want a spot on Main Street USA! If you want to keep your kiddos in their stroller to catch a quick snooze, plan on arriving 30-45 minutes prior to the start of the show.
Find the best spot for your family. Think about what you plan on doing after the parade ends. Do you want to head back to your resort for a break or are you coming back for the afternoon parade and then hit some attractions. It makes most sense to watch from the end of Main Street if you want to head out and more toward Frontierland/Liberty Square if you want to stay in the parks. The most logical place to go from Liberty Square is either Haunted Mansion or make a quick run for Fantasyland. If it’s hot out, don’t attempt to go to Splash Mountain – you and several hundred of your friends will have the same idea!
Know how to navigate the park. Be careful if you want to to make a quick exit or travel from one land to the next. Your path may be blocked. Look at the Magic Kingdom map for the exact parade route. If you want to avoid the parades, spend some time in Tomorrowland. Contrary to popular belief, the parades don’t lower crowds that much. Fireworks, however, will!
Think about the second parade (if applicable). If there are 2 parades on the schedule, the second is always less crowded. Don’t try and overstress your kids and wrech bed time because of a second parade. You will often get a better view and you won’t have to show up as early to snag a great spot. I walked up to the Main Street Electric Parade as it was starting and ended up with a front row seat.
A word about special parades. During the Halloween and Christmas parties, you’ll often see 2 parade times. The second parade is again, less crowded, but you’ll still need to stake out your spot a bit in advance. If you’re going during a sold out party, plan on 15-30 minutes. During Christmas, you’ll have the Christmas parade in the afternoon instead of Festival of Fantasy. Since this is the peak of peak travel time, make sure you get there early. Lines for everything are long, so it’s not like you’ll have a ton of time to ride attractions.
Using a FastPass? Lucky guests can get a FastPass for their favorite parade. The area to sit is small so choices are limited. It’s definitely useful for on site guests only. I don’t really recommend it unless you’re spending 3+ days in Magic Kingdom or parades are the most important part of your trip.
Planning FastPasses around parades. For on site guests, take advantage of the parade times and plan your bonus 4th or even 5th FastPass around the parade time and where you want to watch. Skipping over to one of Fantasyland’s many attractions might be a good suggestion. There’s a nice air-conditioned/indoor FP+ kiosk available in Liberty Square as you wait. Remember, only one member of your party needs to book those passes.
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