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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World tips and pictures.

One of the highlights of our recent trip was getting to see the new Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom. It was an absolute must do, and I recommend everyone take the time to see it at least once. Typically the parade is at 3:00pm everyday, however you will want to confirm on your travel dates as they can and do change the parade schedule depending on crowd level, park hours, holidays and other variables. They also have more than one particular parade in a single day, so make sure you go to the right one. The parade times for the day will be posted in the time schedule available at the front of the park and most retail stores in Magic Kingdom. You can also ask a cast member and they will gladly tell you. 

A few tips:
  • Get your Fast pass. Fast pass+ is strongly recommended. Not only will you not have to fight the crowd for some space, but you will have a fantastic viewing spot. 

  • Know where to go. Preferred viewing for fast pass+ is temporarily being moved from in front of the castle to down by the flag pole during the Hub refurbishment construction. Be sure to ask where it is during your visit. 

  • Arrive early. People will start to grab spots for the parade up to two hours early (and more). Even if you use fast pass+ you will want to arrive to the designated preferred viewing area at least 30 minutes ahead of time to get a good spot within the area. 

  • Pay attention to the details. There was so much to see on all the floats and costumes. It really is a magical parade.

  • Interact with the characters. Not only will they wave and talk to you from the float, but those dancing and walking along the street just may come up and interact with you. We had the pleasure of Dopey and the other dwarfs coming up and tickling my daughter and poking fun at my sons. 

  • Take pictures. We got a lot of memorable pictures. Most of the time if a character saw we were snapping a pic they would pose or do something funny. We got a lot of awesome pictures to help us capture our trip during the parade. 

  • Grab a snack and drink. Kids (and adults) are much happier when they are fed and not too thirsty from the Florida sun and heat. Not only will it keep you from getting cranky, but it will help pass the time while you wait for the parade to start.

  • Go Potty. Yes I said it. Nothing spoils a parade like having to leave and fight the crowd to take a 3 year old to find a potty. It is also just as miserable to have to sit there while you yourself are about to burst. If you have little ones, there is a baby care center next to The Crystal Palace for them and you to go potty in. If you don't have little ones, there are plenty of restrooms nearby. 

  • Wear sunscreen. I have to admit I am not a big sunscreen wearer. That being said, the daytime parades are the one time I apply it to myself and family at Disney. The sun will be directly above you and you will be standing still with very little shade. Some of the worst (and only) sunburns we have gotten at Disney were because of the parades. Even my family that lives there and have annual passes have made the mistake of not applying sunscreen and getting completely burnt. Not only will you be miserable and sore the rest of your trip, but you may even develop sun poisoning that leaves you feeling like you have the flu. Apply liberally and don't forget your ears and back of shoulders and neck. 
Now to try to describe the parade. 

We all know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words", well after trying to think of how to describe The Festival of Fantasy I came to the conclusion that I just couldn't do it proper justice. The parade is absolutely fantastic, vibrant and full of life. Below are pictures that I took of the parade in September. I am usually the type of person that will only watch a parade once, but I will be taking the time to see this parade from now on because it had sooooooo much to see. 

Want more than pictures? View the parade in its entirety here: 

This was the view from the fast pass viewing area.

Just before the parade, a marching band makes it's way down the parade route.

Eating snacks while we wait. As you can see the area is roped off and there is plenty of leg room! 

The costumes in the parade are amazing. 

Belle and Beast usher in the parade.

Cinderella and Prince Charming just behind Beast and Belle.

Tiana and Naveen wave to guests.

Anna, Elsa and Olaf make an appearance on an Icy float.

Anna caught me taking her pic. 

This guy from Tangled is sure to put a smile on your face. 

This is by far my favorite float! It has so many moving parts and guys swinging and is really animated.

I don't know how Eugene aka Flynn Rider stays on this thing for the whole parade.

Rupunzel is enjoying getting out of her tower.

Here are some more of the elaborate costumes worn by the dancers.

Ariel arrives atop a tall under the sea float complete with dancing fish.

The Lost Boys get into mischief as Peter Pan and Captain Hook follow.

The Jolly Roger flys off to Never Never Land while Captain Hook plans something dastardly.

Captain Hook is up to no good once again.

Of course you can't have Peter Pan with out Tinkerbell.

Tinkerbell adds a lot of comic relief and whimsy to the parade. 

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock. Watch out Hook 

Merida arrives complete with bagpipes

Here come Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, but who's behind them?

Oh no! Evil bird-men on stilts.

These were by far my favorite costumes in the parade.

The creepy bird-men on stilts summon Maleficent in dragon form.
The steampunk Maleficent dragon appears. 

This thing moves and undulates in a very realistic manner. 

I LOVE this dragon!!!!

Here you can see how this maneuvers down the street.

And yes, it does breathe REAL FIRE. 

The Seven Dwarfs create a little mischief. 

Somebody's a little Grumpy.

High fives from Alice are always awesome. 

Pinocchio anchors the most colorful and animated float in the parade.

Donald and Daisy get to be part of the Fantasia themed float

Not only do all the elements of this float move, but they have live people swinging from them.

It even has bubbles blowing out of it thanks to Dumbo. 
Notice the swinger dangling from the elephant.
Pluto is on the "tail" end of the float ;)

The Dancing Hippos are joined by baby pegasus 

Goofy, Chip and Dale make way for the parade's guest of honor.
If these costumes aren't fanciful, I don't know what is.

And here comes Mickey and Minnie on a hot air balloon reminiscent of turn of the century voyages. 

And then the end of the parade arrived.

I cannot wait to get back to see this parade again. Will this be on your must-do list for your trip?

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