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paradeGot a new question today from Amber who writes:

“Hi Diva! I want you to know how much I appreciate your website! One post I haven’t seen, is one giving a run down of the parades. could you talk about them. Which park has what at what times and which you think are the ones to see. I’d also like to know which ones are more suitable to little kids (keeping their attention). Thanks for your site! “

Hi Amber! Thanks so much for reading and for your question. I’ve found that talking about parades is like talking about Thanksgiving dinners, everybody thinks theirs is the best. So take my opinion with a bit of a grain of salt (sea salt if you please, we’re watching cholesterol) and explore the ones that are most interesting to you. **And for those of you out there reading, which I say I hate YOUR favorite parade, don’t feel the need to never read me again or send me hate comments. (you can send NICE comments though, I LOVE them!!) **

First let me say that all of my parade times come from Steve Soares site Walt Disney World Entertainment (http://wdwent.com) which is just BEYOND awesome and really has every kind of entertainment you could be looking for in each of the parks. I bow to the god of WDW who really, honestly, does know what the heck he’s talking about.

I’m going to divide this up a little differently than you might think. The first ones I’m going to talk about are the EVENING parades and then I’ll talk about the MID-DAY parades.

-EVENING PARADES-

I am a fan of the evening parades. As a matter of fact I don’t even go to the mid-day parades anymore. Wanna know why? Because unless its late December, January, or February it is so GOD AWFUL HOT and CROWDED for the Mid-day parades and I just can not tolerate it. Plus we normally have not returned from our mid-day nap, which are non-negotiable in the Diva household, by their start times. Also notice that the mid-day parades are at “The Witching Hour” which is when every person (I would say kids but I’ve seen more parents freaking out than kids) goes into total and utter MELT-DOWN. So for me, thats a no-no/// HOWEVER, I know that some of you don’t go to WDW four times a year, so you don’t want to miss anything. Either way, this Diva ain’t sweating a mid-day parade N-E-MORE…..

Park Parade name Time of Day # of stars (out of 5) View it from Review
Magic Kingdom Main Street Electrical Parade Su-Tu, Fri & Sat 9:00pm/ 11:00pm. Wed & Thurs 9:00pm *** Right in front of the Barbershop/Firestation on Mainstreet. They come very close to you and its great viewing. Its also the beginning of the parade and at the front of the park so if not staying for fireworks can get out fast. MSEP is actually on loan from Disneyland right now. I hope it goes back soon as I much prefer Spectromagic. Great for the kids, family, grandparents as its in the cool of the evening. Favorite float is the Dwarves mine and Pete on Pete’s Dragon ALWAYS says something to my little girl.
Magic Kingdom Mainstreet Electrical Parade will be at same times once returns. ***** Right in front of the Barbershop/Firestation on Mainstreet. Hands down my favorite parade. Cinderella is so lovely, the butterflies are amazing, and the music just FEELS so Disney to me. I love everything about this parade.
Magic Kingdom Party Parades: Halloween, Christmas, Pirate/ Princess Only on party nights with special tickets purchased for the party. ****1/2 Look on the party map and see if the party is starting FROM Frontierland or from the Firestation. You want to be wherever it begins. (we normally are at Frontierland or Liberty square) First off the parties are GREAT(Halloween is the Diva’s favorite one). The parade on a party night is different than the regular parade, so even more fun. LOVE the headless horseman as he rides down the street to kick off the halloween parade & the grave diggers with shovels!

-MID-DAY PARADES-

Park Parade name Time of Day # of stars (out of 5) View it from Review
Magic Kingdom Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade Daily at 3pm (30 min long) + you need to factor in your almost hour wait to “get a spot” *** Right in front of Pecos Bills (Ps you are some kind of loony if you camp-out 2 hrs ahead to be on mainstreet. This parade is kind of blah to me. Don’t like the music, don’t like the way it starts out, and there’s nobody all that special to see. It IS classic Disney World however. The key to me is to watch this somewhere cool where you can sit. You can see the same princess at night when its cooler, but photographing is harder.
Magic Kingdom Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party Daily at 11:00am, 12:30pm, and 5:40pm
(12-15 minutes which is FAR more manageable for small kids)
**** There is about 1.45 inches of shade in one “corner” of the hubcap directly in the front of the castle. That’s where you want to be. But we’ve just walked onto the parade many times and had a blast I really like this parade, its interactive. You can get out and dance with the characters and your kids. The music is catchy (will get stuck in your head) and its great for photographs. Catch the 11am if at all possible.
Animal Kingdom Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade Daily at 3:45pm **** Leaves from right outside of Kilemenjaro Safaris, so find a shady spot around there. have also watched from the patio at Pizzafari and liked that (could sit) MJJP is my favorite mid-day parade. There is a lot more shade in AK for starters, the parade is high energy and the giant puppets are so creative and amazing. Get to see the fab 5 and many other characters. No princesses though.

EPCOT & HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS DO NOT HAVE PARADES!!! (but they are the best place for getting character autographs!)

*Actually the BEST time with the SHORTEST WAITS to ride rides is DURING the parades/fireworks. Why? Cause everybody’s out there watching leaving shorter waits for you. **

As far as which parades can keep the little ones attention I would honestly answer that the closer you can get to them (by where you view) and how hot/ bored from waiting around to watch the parade/ and well-rested they are at that point are what dictates what they will like the best. Getting closer to them increases your chances of having more direct eye contact, blown kisses, and even being spoken too, which is what really makes your parade experiences magical. If I absolutely HAD to pick some I would say to do Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! at Magic Kingdom, Mickeys Jammin’ Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom, and Main Street Electrical/Spectromagic (to get a healthy dose of princesses and villains in there). The main thing I would tell you is make sure your children are well-rested and not over-heated because no amount of Characters will keep them from a melt-down in the middle of a parade.

I hope this helps some!

Have a Magical Day!!

Kristin is the founder and co-director of Tips from the Disney Diva & Devos. She started writing the blog when she realized there were many people going to Disney World and having a miserable time, and it was all from a lack of planning. She knew that she could help and has assembled the finest writing team she can find !