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Best Spots to View the Magic Kingdom Parade, Festival of Fantasy (It's Back!)

by Mommy Frog on March 9, 2022 Orlando

Best Spots to View the Parade at Magic Kingdom - PinterestWhen you think of Disney World, you probably think of rides, characters, and of course, parades! Ever since Disney World reopened in July 2020, we've been entertained with unique distanced character sightings and character cavalcades, allowing us to see our magical friends in a new and safe way.

After nearly two years, we are extremely excited that the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade IS BACK at Magic Kingdom! As entertainment continues to return to the resort, we were waiting for this moment for a long time. Though there are a few small modifications, it's so wonderful to have the parade back. You can just feel the joy from the cast members and guests. Best yet, the cavalcades still remain on the schedule along with the parade. This means you have even more chances to see your favorite characters!

While the cavalcades are a quick and simple way to see characters, a parade requires a little more planning in your day. We have some tips for the best places to watch, which also work for the cavalcades. Read on for our froggy tips and tricks to view the parade at Magic Kingdom!

How to View the Magic Kingdom Parade

Festival of Fantasy opening float

Many parades have journeyed down the streets of Magic Kingdom over the years. The current version is the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade, which debuted in 2014. Celebrating the beauty and enchantment of Fantasyland, you can see characters from films, including "Tangled," "The Little Mermaid" and "Peter Pan." For frogs who love Disney royalty, you can see the majority of the princesses throughout the parade. With intricate floats and gorgeous costumes, this parade is sure to wow frogs of all ages!

The parade begins in Frontierland, travels through Liberty Square, turns right onto the Liberty Square Bridge, circles the castle hub and ends in Main Street, U.S.A. The parade usually completes the circle in Town Square before finishing, but sometimes the cavalcades may just turn right off Main Street.

Festival of Fantasy Parade - Peter Pan float

The parade takes about 12 minutes to see from beginning float to end float but may take some time to make it to your spot. Remember if the parade is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and you're standing at Main Street, you'll be waiting until about 3:15 p.m. for the parade to appear, as it needs to make its way from Frontierland.

Tips for Viewing the Magic Kingdom Parade

Best Spots to View the Parade at Magic Kingdom - Rapunzel

  • With the parade currently hoppening twice a day (though during off-peak times, it may only hoppen once a day), you can imagine the crowds form well ahead of time. Main Street and the hub in front of the castle are often the most popular spots, so we recommend grabbing a spot at least 30 minutes before. Sometimes during peak times, you may need to get there an hour before, especially if you want a chance for a "front-row" view.
  • Make sure that everyone uses the restroom beforehand, or that you'd be able to take turns and swap. Plus, as it gets closer to parade time and other frogs are filling in, it's harder to leave or come back to your spot, and you risk staying separated from your group. You could also pair your wait with food or snacks to keep spirits hoppy! We like to munch on corn dog nuggets from Casey's while we wait and watch the parade.
  • Choosing between Frontierland or Main Street depends on your family's priorities. If you want to get the full ambiance and picturesque setting, view the parade on Main Street or by the castle. If you want to limit waiting, view it in Frontierland or Liberty Square and get back to riding some rides. Since many people will be waiting for the parade, you can be one of the first to hop in line at Splash Mountain or Big Thunder. Likewise, if you don't want to watch the parade, this is a great time to take advantage of low wait times for rides!
  • Look out for white tape on the ground indicating where you can and cannot stand for the parade. There may be spots taped off for walkways or for wheelchair access. You also shouldn't sit right in front of a trash can. If you stay in any of these blocked-off areas, a cast member will tell you to move, and you'll likely miss the opportunity to find another good spot.
  • Special viewing areas for the parade may be available for booking through Disney Genie+.
  • Sometimes parades or cavalcades may be delayed or canceled for rainy and severe weather. However, there is a special Rainy Day cavalcade if it's only lightly raining without thunder nearby!
  • When the parade hoppens twice a day, the second parade usually has lower crowds since many watch the first one.

Cavalcades and Other Character Sightings at Magic Kingdom

Best Spots to View the Parade at Magic Kingdom – Mickey's Celebration Cavalcade

Cavalcades debuted in 2020 as mini-parades that occurred randomly throughout the day. They have a specific theme and a limited amount of characters. Now the cavalcade times are listed in the My Disney Experience app or in the paper times guide, so you can take the guesswork out of when they should appear. Here are the current cavalcades available (subject to change):

  • Mickey's Celebration Cavalcade: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, Chip, Dale (in their EARidescent outfits)
  • Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade: Nick and Judy from "Zootopia," Baloo and King Louie from "The Jungle Book," José and Panchito from "The Three Caballeros," Miguel from "Coco," Merida, Moana, Pocahontas, Mary Poppins and Bert, Aladdin and Jasmine, The Incredibles and more

Best Spots to View the Parade at Magic Kingdom - Princess Fairytale Hall

Distanced indoor character sightings have also returned to some locations throughout the resort. At Magic Kingdom, you can catch Mickey Mouse in his new EARidescent anniversary outfit at Town Square Theater. At Princess Fairytale Hall, visit Cinderella, Elena, Rapunzel and Tiana.

Characters can pop up randomly at outdoor locations, typically at the top of the train station. Throughout the park, you may see characters such as Belle near her cottage, Chip 'n' Dale floating by in Frontierland, Stitch in Tomorrowland and more.

Where is your go-to spot to watch the parade at Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!

Related: The Very Best Places to Watch Fireworks at Magic Kingdom

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Disney World Characters

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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