- Get your Fast pass. Fast pass+ is recommended if a particular parade is a high priority of yours. I highly recommend it for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Not only will you not have to fight the crowd for some space, but you will have a fantastic viewing spot. (Not all parades have fast passes, but major ones such as Festival of Fantasy Parade and The Main Street Electrical Parade do.)
- 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 is so much to see on all the floats and costumes. Disney crams a TON of magic into its parades. It tough to catch it all in one viewing. We often watch a parade more than once on our trips.
- Interact with the characters. Not only will they wave and talk to you from the floats, 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 snapped many awesome pictures to help us capture our trip during the parades.
- 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 in the Magic Kingdom, 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.
- Glow Sticks/jewelry. In the evening when crowds gather for parades and fireworks, and the lights are dimmed it can be hard to spot your little ones (or spouse! lol). A good trick is to stock up on glow necklaces and bracelets before your trip and wear them to help spot your family members. I like to buy a bunch at my local dollar store and keep them in my backpack on our trip.
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