4 ‘Must See’ Entertainment Experiences at Magic Kingdom

Festival Of Fantasy Parade
Festival Of Fantasy Parade

The Magic Kingdom has no shortage of rides and attractions, but it also has some of the most popular entertainment in all four of the parks. All of the Magic Kingdom’s entertainment options are spectacular. Three of the best, “Celebrate the Magic”, “Wishes”, and the “Main Street Electrical Parade” occur after dark. Plan an evening in the Magic Kingdom (preferably after an afternoon break) to take advantage of these amazing, not to be missed shows.

4. Festival of Fantasy Parade

I saw this parade 3 times in 2 days, and it still didn’t feel like enough. Festival of Fantasy is Disney’s newest parade. Every afternoon in the Magic Kingdom, the parade makes its way from Frontierland to Liberty Square, through the hub in front of Cinderella Castle, and down Main Street. If you don’t have a FastPass for this parade, try to snag a spot on the porch of one of the shops or restaurants in Frontierland.

Disney is all about details, and this parade is certainly no exception. From the very first dancer’s pale yellow and white feather-adorned dress to the last performers’ circus-inspired frocks, you’ll be blown away by the costuming work that went into this parade. The floats themselves are marvels as well, with turning platforms allowing everyone to get great views of characters on both sides. The steampunk inspired Malificent Dragon is most impressive – it even breathes fire.

Seeing the Festival of Fantasy Parade also offers a great opportunity for spotting a TON of your favorite characters. Look carefully, and you’ll see Belle, Beast, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Ana and Elsa from Frozen, Tiana and Naveen, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, and Ariel and her under the sea friends. You’ll also see the full crew from Peter Pan (Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Smee, the Lost Boys, and Tinkerbell) as well as Merida and the bear cubs from Brave. Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather make their entrance right in front of Maleficient in dragon form, Jiminiy Cricket, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Alice, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter. And here comes the circus- watch for Pinocchio, Daisy and Donald, Dumbo, Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale, Minnie, and Mickey!

3. Celebrate the Magic Castle Projection Show

In this unique show, Cinderella Castle is transformed into a magical canvas. You’ll be in awe as you watch both classic animated films and new favorites come to life right on the castle’s surface. You’ll see the castle transformed into the Cheshire Cat, as well as Ralph “wrecking” the castle. Ever wonder what the castle would look like striped, or with polka dots, or painted in a rainbow of colors? You’ll see that, too. While the animation is incredible on it’s own, what’s a show without music? Celebrate the Magic includes favorite Disney songs as well. Depending on the time of year that you see the show, you may see some seasonal variations.

Timing is everything. Wishes begins immediately following Celebrate the Magic, so don’t leave the great spot you’ve staked out!

2. Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

Wishes is the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime fireworks show, set to narration by beloved Disney characters. Wishes combines many classic Disney songs and characters with a story of good vs. evil. The show is full of highs and lows. There are moments when fireworks are lighting the entire sky, as well as quiet moments when a single spark lights the sky. If you look carefully, you’ll even get to see Tinkerbell fly from the castle to a perch in Tomorrowland (weather and wind permitting). You’ll be moved by the combination of music and the beauty of the fireworks. Even adults will be convinced- if you believe, wishes do come true. For prime viewing, consider reserving a spot at the Wishes Dessert Party in advance of your trip.

1. Main Street Electrical Parade

Your day in the Magic Kingdom is coming to an end, and hopefully you’ve seen a marvelous parade as well as two nighttime spectacles. Before you hop on the bus or monorail, make sure you stay for the Main Street Electrical Parade! Although perhaps not as technically advanced as some of the other entertainment, you can’t miss this feel-good parade.

A true Disney classic, the Main Street Electrical Parade made its debut at the Magic Kingdom in 1977. It has travelled down Main Street from 1977-1991, again from 1999-2001, and from 2010 to the present. Set to an electronic soundtrack, the parade is comprised of several elaborately lit floats, including the iconic Pete’s Dragon, Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, and new Seven Dwarves mine cars. The parade enters its route on Main Street and exits in Frontierland, next to Splash Mountain. If you want to snag a great, less crowded spot where you can snap pictures, try waiting right by the parade entrance. If you stand just outside Main Street Emporium facing the fire station you’ll be able to see the floats head-on as they make their entrance.

I love all four of these shows and parades so much that it’s hard to pick a favorite. I can’t imagine going to Disney and missing any of these! Which one is your favorite? Where are your favorite viewing spots? Tell us in the comments section below!

Photos courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper

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About Meredith Smisek

Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart who works as an elementary school counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and corgi. Meredith is a DVC member who loves music, podcasts, crafting, and "talking Disney" with anyone and everyone.

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