If you’re heading to Walt Disney World, visiting the parades is a fun experience. Since I’ve visited other theme parks, it’s made me realize how much effort Walt Disney World puts into making the parades a very special experience. From the seemingly endless stream of characters waltzing by to the incredible energy, visiting a parade is one of the best parts of your time at the theme park.
How To Enjoy A Walt Disney World Parade
After a long day of waiting in lines and walking long distances, you should take the opportunity to relax and watch a parade. If you want to make the most of your experience, follow a few tips.
1.) Check the times on your My Disney Experience app.
Use the Itinerary feature on the My Disney Experience mobile app. You can go to the Add Plans tab, and click Add Parades & Fireworks. Check out all the times that the parade is happening the day you will visit. Then, you can either add one or multiple times to your itinerary. These will serve as great reminders of where you want to be as you go and enjoy the park.
On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, I added the 3:00 pm Disney Festival of Fantasy parade to my itinerary. When I lucked out and got a FastPass+ to Splash mountain an hour before, I was super excited to go. Still I wondered, how would I find the parade afterwards? Where do parades start and stop at Walt Disney World, and where should you be to make sure you don’t miss them?
When we got out of Splash Mountain, we were just in time for the Festival of Fantasy Parade, but I still didn’t know where to go! I noticed that someone had set up ropes around the walkways near the Splash Mountain ride.
Leaning over, I asked a helpful looking mom. Remember how in my Huffington Post article I mentioned how awesome moms at Walt Disney World are? They truly are! She explained that a huge parade was about to start. In order to get a good view, she was waiting ahead of time. As an awesome twist of fate, she had just enough room next to her for Samantha and I to get a good view too!
2.) Find a spot well in advance, and check that it is stroller-friendly if you have little kids.
Although the spot we squeezed in was fine for the two of us, it didn’t have enough space for the BOB Revolution stroller. If you wait until the last minute to find a spot to watch a parade, you may not end up with a place at all! Get there well ahead of time, especially if you are traveling with a big stroller.
As a side note, the Festival of Fantasy parade was so much fun! The characters were super lively and put on a great show for the audience.
Finding a good place to watch the parade can be difficult, depending on which parade you’re watching and where you are at the park. When I watched the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party parade near Main Street, the sidewalks were so big that we had an easy time getting a good view. Scout out the area in advance to get a good idea of whether you need to wait in order to get the best view of the parade.
3.) Take pictures!
One of the first parades I visited was the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party parade. At this parade, the announcer urges the crowd to take pictures, upload them to social media, and tag the photos with #MoveitShakeitPics. I loved the reminder! In my short time at Walt Disney World, I hadn’t taken nearly enough photos. Remember, your vacation will end soon, and you should document the fun while it lasts.
Even getting photos of the characters is exciting! Remember when I had a big, family movie night with Zootopia? (Read about it here). We had a blast seeing the characters Judy and Nick. Throughout the three parks we visited – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot – there wasn’t another time that we saw the Zootopia characters.
Another good reason to take photos is that you might not have another opportunity to see the parade! When I watched the Main Street Electrical Parade, I knew it was the first and last time I would see it. Since the parade ends in October, I’m glad I have a photo to remember it by for years to come.
If you create an itinerary with the app, get to your location ahead of time, and take pictures, you’ll have a great time visiting a Walt Disney World parade! For readers who are major Disney fans, do you have any tips to add? Leave them in the comments!
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