Walt Disney World Parade Pointers

Parades can be slightly chaotic at Disney. Some people stake out spots very early, while others try to wait until the last minute. If you want to see the Parades, up close, then I have developed some strategies for you:

Try this:

  • Decide where you want to watch the parade from.  If it is a prime spot, you will need to get there no later than 35 minutes prior to the start of the parade. (If it is a very busy season, like the Holidays, arrive 55 minutes early.)
  • You can sit on the curb, but not in the street.  If you are unsure if where you want to sit/stand is ok, ask a Cast Member.
  • All of your group should be there when staking out the spot.  If some need to hit the restroom or get some snacks that should be ok, but don’t leave grandma alone to hold spaces for everyone else.  Also, don’t expect to be able to hold more than three spaces per person waiting.
  • You took the time to stake out a space, so arrange yourselves however you want within that space.
  • Watch out for your children. Especially at night.  Careless adults have been known to knock little ones down, or step on them to get to a better viewing spot.

Not a good idea:

  • I found standing near a walkway where people were supposed to be crossing the street would push in next to the rope forcing whoever was there to move over or move behind them.  If you can, avoid these areas so you can enjoy the parade without all the distraction of rude guests.
  • Some of you cannot help allowing children, any children, step in front of you: if you do this, make it clear to the adult asking you that you are only allowing a child in front of you. Please keep in mind that you saying yes to this request means all the people behind you are being forced back even farther. When at this parade in the photos I was not asked if children could sit up front with me, but literally moments before the beginning four children I did not see prior were suddenly sharing my space.  Then the father moved in, shoving his own kids into the street so he could get better pictures.   There is also a man who was repeatedly found standing in front of a trash can, on the street.
  • Don’t argue with the Cast Members that ask you to move.  If they do ask, it is only because of your safety. Always stay behind the parade ropes/barriers.  If you are along a street, keep back off the street.  When you step out into the street you are blocking the view, and ruining the photos of others who are staying where they belong.
  • Don’t have a couple of people there holding spaces for a dozen or so of your party.
  • Warning: If you try to arrive when the parade is beginning and try to force your way in for a better view, other guests who spent their also valuable time waiting in their space will let you know they are not happy with you.
  • Don’t use your stroller to try and push people out of your way to get a better spot.
  • Don’t roll over other people in your ECV or with your strollers and wheelchairs.

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  • Don’t ask other people to allow your child to move in front of them so they can see. Yes, the parade is especially designed for children, but when those guests in front of you were there giving up their time to stake out the spot, where were you? Enjoying something else in the park? If you want your child to stand in the front, then take the time to stake out a spot for your group. Enjoy the parade with your child.
  • Don’t tell people in front of you to sit down so you can see.  If you wanted to see better, you should have looked for and staked out a better spot before the parade began.
  • The Parade Imagineers took into account that most watchers would have to look above someone else’s head.  That said, do not put your child on your shoulders, which will totally block the view of others behind you.  It is also dangerous with all the people moving and shoving.
  • Don’t try to squeeze into an area that is too small for you/your party. Cast Members will come along and tell you to keep moving so don’t even bother.

If you don’t want to follow the first five suggestions, than just skip the parades or enjoy it from farther back and not ruin the fun for those who do. These are suggestions that are pretty simple to understand, and common courtesy.  These suggestions are equally good for watching the fireworks too!

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.