We’ve all missed character meet and greets, the magic of live street performers, and incredible shows like Fantasmic! and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
But mostly, Disney Guests have expressed sadness at not seeing parades spread their joy down Main Street, U.S.A., particularly since the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Well, we have some fantastic news. Disney has finally revealed that parades are returning to Walt Disney World!
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the Disney theme park experience, with regulations such as mandatory face masks and social distancing requirements altering the magical ambiance expected in Disney Parks across the globe.
Most significantly, experiences that created crowds, like parades and fireworks, were suspended across Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland when each theme park resort reopened.
Last year, we saw the long-awaited return of parades at Disney Parks after these pandemic closures, with Disneyland Paris launching a brand new holiday parade in November 2021, and fan-favorite Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade returning to Walt Disney World Resort.
Now, Disney’s beloved Festival of Fantasy Parade will be pumping its music once again in Magic Kingdom Park, beginning March 9, 2022. March 9 also happens to be the anniversary of the debut of the parade back in 2014!
Disney Parks Blog writes:
Dazzling guests since its debut, the Disney “Festival of Fantasy” Parade features beloved characters from “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled,” “Peter Pan” and more bringing their individual stories to life on enchanting floats that look as though the characters themselves had a hand in crafting them.
Looming 26 feet above the parade route and 35 feet in length, the fire-breathing Maleficent Dragon float returns just as menacing as ever. We’re delighted to have this show-stopping beauty be a part of our glittering assemblage.
Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade celebrates some of Disney’s iconic stories through a spectacle fleet of fantastical floats.
The Princess Garden float highlights Disney royalty like Cinderella, Tiana, and Belle accompanied by their respective princes in a garden of topiaries, followed by a special appearance by Frozen‘s (2013) Anna and Elsa. This float was recycled from Tokyo Disneyland’s former daytime parade, Jubilation!
Following the Princesses is an amazing float based on Tanged (2010), with Flynn Rider and Rapunzel having adventures on a beautifully designed and energetic unit.
Disney Guests can then catch a glimpse of Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989), Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinker Bell, Merida and Scottish dancers from Pixar’s Brave (2012), and characters from the classic 1959 movie Sleeping Beauty.
This Sleeping Beauty float is one of the most iconic of the parade, with heroic Prince Phillip battling a steampunk-inspired Maleficent in her dragon form. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a spinning wheel at the center.
With fiery eyes and glowing effects, the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades.
Back in 2021, following Walt Disney World’s reopening, Magic Kingdom used the Maleficent float for a new mini-parade called Maleficent’s Fiery Prowl, as part of a new Halloween event, Disney After Hours: BOO Bash, in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration.
The parade ends with a 90-foot-long magical float of characters featuring Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Alice in Wonderland. Mickey and Minnie Mouse also sit high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon.
We don’t know about you, but can’t wait to wave to our favorite characters, sing along to the soundtrack blasting around the theme park, and dance again down Main Street, U.S.A.!