Disney World is exceptional at many things. The experience at a Walt Disney World parade is no exception. With elaborate floats, high energy performers, and catchy music, Disney parades are a must. Whether it’s your first time seeing a parade or you’re a pro, here are a few things to remember.
10. Don’t Forget Your Camera
There is typically only one showing of any given parade per day. Make sure your camera has a full battery or your phone is charged up. The parade is in constant motion and you may only have a matter of seconds to get that perfect shot. This is a great opportunity to see multiple characters at the same time. The best part? They come to you! So dont miss out! Make sure you have something to capture those memories with!
9. Do Obey All Cast Members
Cast Members have strict protocol when it comes to managing the flow of guests during parades. Due to fire regulations, and procedures to ensure the safety of both guests and cast members, be sure to obey all directions. Certain areas are designated for guests to enjoy the parade, while others are a no stopping zone. If a cast member instructs you to keep moving or to relocate, they are not trying to make you upset. Be patient and help them out.
8. Don’t Forget Your Health
Most viewing locations do not offer much shade. You could be sitting or standing in the Florida heat and humidity for extended periods of time. Make sure you have water on hand. If you have little ones, now would be a good time for a snack to keep their bellies full. It’s a good way to pass the time. Don’t forget about your sunglasses and that sunscreen either. You’ll want your eyes open to see all the fun, so make sure you are prepared.
7. Do Learn The Etiquette
If you are fortunate to get a prime viewing location right along the curb, you can have a seat. When the parade begins, stay seated. You don’t want to jump up and ruin the view for other people who are behind you, especially children. Make sure your party arrives together. It is considered rude to send one person to save a large piece of real estate for your party of 12, and not give others a chance. Parades are crowded. Think before you act. Be considerate of others.
6. Don’t Ruin The Magic
Your eyes are in for a treat with all the characters, floats and magic that takes place. Don’t ruin it for others. Refrain from talking about characters that may be someone dressed up and don’t talk about mechanical details that are not to be noticed. You may not think anything of it, but other guests and little ears pick up on these things. Don’t ruin the magic!
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5. Do Your Planning
Know the time and place of the parade. The most popular, Festival of Fantasy parade takes place each day usually at 3:00PM. It begins near Splash Mountain and makes its way through Frontierland and Liberty Square, around the hub, and down Main Street before concluding in the Town Square. Keep in mind that if you are at the end of the parade route, its going to take upwards of 30 minutes after starting time for the parade to get to your location. Plan accordingly.
4. Don’t Forget To Have Fun
You might be tired, frustrated, hot or hungry. And, there is a good possibly you are all of those at the same time. Let this be the time to stop, relax and regroup. Loosen up and have fun. After all, you’re at Disney World! You don’t want your memory of the parade being one of frustration, and your loved ones dont want that memory either, so enjoy yourself!
3. Do Keep Good Manners
Parades are one of the most popular attractions at Disney World. This means there will be people, lots of people! Keep your good manners in check. This means sharing the space next to you and quite likely in front of you and behind you. Everyone wants to see and everyone wants to have a good time. Please, Thank You, and even an I’m Sorry! goes a long way! Make sure you take full advantage!
2. Don’t Block The View
Its not uncommon for my family and I to be standing and waiting a long time for a performance, when someone, at the last minute, pushes their way through the crowd to get a front row spot, which spoils any chances of our kids being able to see. While this one is closely connected to #3, make sure you are considerate. Thankfully, we have encountered gracious people who make extra room to invite my kids to move up to get a better view. If you are a grown adult, there is no earthly reason why you need to push your way through the crowd only to stand directly in front of a stroller.
1. Do Arrive Early
As previously mentioned, the popularity of parades brings out the crowds. In order to get the best viewing spot, don’t expect to show up as the parade is about to begin. Many people starting lining up 30-45 minutes in advance. If you choose to do this, make sure you heed #8. The most popular and most crowded viewing area is on Main Street. Our suggestion is to grab a spot near the beginning of the parade in Frontierland. It is typically less crowded and the performers are fresh on energy at the beginning. At the conclusion of the parade you can get a jump start on making your way to your next attraction (Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is our suggestion) while the rest of the park is still watching the parade. It’s a nice little trick before the mass of crowds catch up with you.
There you have it! 10 dos and don’ts about the Parades at Walt Disney World. Which do you find to be the most true? Did we forget anything? Let us know in your comments!