9. Have your camera ready
If you love photographing your Disney vacation, parades can be the perfect opportunities to get some great photos of your favorite characters. Just remember, a lot of the parade floats for the Festival of Fantasy parade are very tall, so holding up larger photography devices like tablets may obstruct the view of guests behind you. You can always get almost the exact same shot by angling the tablet up while holding it lower in front of you if you must take photos on a tablet.
8. But not too ready
By not being too ready to take pictures, what I mean is don’t make taking pictures the focus of seeing the parade. Focusing too much on watching the parade through the lens of a camera can really take away from the overall experience. If you really want to photograph every detail of the parade, I’d recommend seeing it twice. One time just to enjoy it, and one time to get all the pictures you wanted to get the first time around.
7. Have a backup plan in case of rain
When the parade gets rained out, you might be treated to the Rainy Day Cavalcade, which is pretty cool in itself, but not quite what you were expecting when you planned on seeing the afternoon parade. To avoid disappointment, have a backup option for what you’ll do if the parade gets cancelled. Will you see it again another day? Hit the rides while the lines are hopefully short? Or maybe just head over to a different park?
6. Use this time to go on rides if you want to
If you’re not really interested in seeing the afternoon parade this can be a great time to go on rides with little or no wait. Many guests will be on the parade route waiting for the parade to start, and others will leave for a midday break immediately after the parade finishes. If the parade isn’t too much of a priority for you, this can be the one time in the middle of the day when you can get on your favorite attractions with shorter lines.
5. Don’t leave right after the parade
As the previous point mentioned, many guests follow the parade to the front of the park and head out right as the parade finishes. If you decide to leave right after the parade, not only will you be dealing with a giant crowd, but you’ll end up in long lines for the monorail, bus, and boat, and you’ll be missing out on one of the quieter times of the day. Because so many people decide to leave after the parade, lines for attractions might be shorter during that time.
4. Snack during the parade
If you’re looking to be extra efficient during your vacation, snack during the parade. While many attractions do not allow you to bring in food and drinks, there is no problem having these items during a parade as you are just standing outside. Parades can be great times to snack on some churros or even enjoy a lunch along the parade route.
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3. Don’t forget about Frontierland and Liberty Square
While Main Street U.S.A. might seem like the ideal spot to see the parades from, know that it’s certainly not the only spot. There is definitely something special about seeing the parade with a view of the castle in the background, however if you don’t want to spend your afternoon guarding a spot, Frontierland and Liberty Square are great backup options. These parts of the parade route are much less crowded, and therefore do not require you to stake out a spot long before the parade starts.
2. Know your Disney movies
This might sound crazy, but you’d be surprised at the amount of guests who visit the Disney parks who are really not up to date on Disney movies. If you’re not up on your Disney movies, you probably won’t get much out of seeing the parade. I’d recommend watching at least one Disney movie per week, in the weeks leading up to your trip, especially the newer movies that you might have missed and will be seeing in the parade.
1. Get a good spot
Get a good spot, and know that a good spot does not necessarily mean on Main Street or with a castle view. To get the most out of the parades, I like to be in the front row. Whether or not this means camping out in front of Casey’s Corner, or showing up last minute in front of the Hall of Presidents, make sure you’re at least towards the front of the sidewalk for the best view.