Parades at Disney are absolutely magical. They incorporate live music, dancing, and all of the most beloved characters. There are several special parades at the Disney Parks to enjoy, so in order for you to catch them all, check out my eight tips for getting the most out of Disney’s parades!
8. Arrive Early
This is probably the biggest tip I can give you. Parades are very popular and space is limited. Your best bet is to show up at least 30 minutes prior to the start time. In some cases, you may even want to show up an hour before. Do not expect to grab a great viewing area with your party at the start of the parade. It’s not going to happen.
7. View the Second Showing
There are some parades that are put on twice a day. The first showing is always the most crowded! If you can, you should attend the second showing. This one is always less crowded than the first, leaving more room for you to find to enjoy the parade.
6. Follow the Rules and Be Courteous To Others
In order for cast members to have a smooth parade showing, rules need to be adhered to. As guests, it can be frustrating when things don’t always go your way, but there is a reason for following the rules. For example, one of the major rules is two feet or two cheeks on the curb. If you are standing or siting on the curb at all times, you are fine. There are several people that try to cross right through the parade route which is not only dangerous, but it is rude to others. If you are not viewing the parade, you will need to move continuously down the pathways that are separated for those traveling. Stopping in these walkways can cause a ‘traffic jam’ and cast members will not be happy. Etiquette is also a big concern at parades.
5. Grab a Fastpass
If you don’t want to wait around prior to the parade starting, you may benefit from using a fastpass. Those who reserve fastpasses for parades are given a certain area that has been blocked off to all other guests, to sit or stand in to watch the parade. While you don’t necessarily have to arrive super early to grab your seat, you should show up at least 15 minutes prior to the parade starting. The fastpass viewing area is first come first serve, so if others with fastpasses arrive earlier than you do, chances are they will be sitting in the front row and you will be left standing. Check out “Disney’s FastPass+ 101 – Everything You Need To Know.”
4. Place Children In Front of You
It can be so challenging (and heartbreaking at times) when children can’t see their favorite characters in the parades. Adults are very tall and this can be a challenge. It is helpful to place children in front of you so that they can get a better view. It is not polite, however, to place children on your shoulders. Some guests may be upset that they have been waiting a while to see the parade, and now a child is blocking their view. I know how badly parents want to make their kids happy, but keep in mind the feelings of others that have been waiting to see the parade too. Not only is this not proper parade etiquette, it is also dangerous. Slipping and falling with a child can be a very risky incident, and it isn’t worth the risk.
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3. Take Pictures and Video!
There are so many rides and attractions that don’t allow photography or video recording, so why not take advantage of being able to do so at the parades? The parades are a great opportunity to take pictures and video of characters in different settings. Often times, they will look right at you while you are waving at them. There are also characters that interact with audiences and these can be great pictures, especially with the little ones. This is also a great way for you to see characters that you may have not had time to have a meet and greet in the park with.
2. Ride the Rides
OK, I know what you’re thinking…..how is this getting the most out of the parades? Well, if you already saw the parade earlier in the day, or plan to see the second showing, now is the time to head over to the rides. Since the parades attract a plethora of guests, lines get shorter giving you a better opportunity to accomplish more attractions! Parades help alleviate the rides a bit, so you are still getting most out of the parade.
1. Be Prepared For the Florida Heat
One thing is certain, chances are, you are visiting or watching the parades during the day when the heat is shining at its peak. Dress in light, airy clothing and make sure you have plenty of water to keep hydrated since you will be in the sun for a while. If you have sunscreen or a hat, I recommend using it at this time. You can even use a small fan to help keep you cool. While they can be pricy, there are great fans sold at Disney that have a cold mister attached to them. This is a great investment if you are going to be in the parks for a while and want to keep cool.
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