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parade-tip

The “Private” Parade Viewing Spot That’s Completely Free

With theme park entertainment like Disney Enchantment, Harmonious, and the Festival of Fantasy parade at Walt Disney World, there’s always something to put a smile on the faces of Guests young and old.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw many experiences like this at Disney Parks close for the health and safety of both Cast Members and Guests. But with all these magical Disney Park entertainment offerings returning at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’re seeing crowds come back to their pre-pandemic level.

It can be difficult finding the best place to watch a famous Disney World parade without the worry of crowds, so here’s our top tip on where to stand to catch that magical glimpse of Mickey Mouse.

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Credit: Disney

Disney’s beloved Festival of Fantasy Parade started celebrating Disney magic again down Main Street, U.S.A. when it returned to the Magic Kingdom Park on March 9, 2022.

The Festival of Fantasy Parade celebrates Disney’s classic stories in a series of beautiful floats and amazing costumes. Disney Guests can wave to their favorite characters including Disney princesses Cinderella, Tiana, and Belle; Anna and Else from Frozen (2013); Flynn Rider and Rapunzel; Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989); Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinker Bell; Merida from Pixar’s Brave (2012), and characters from the classic 1959 movie Sleeping Beauty. 

This Sleeping Beauty float is one of the most iconic floats in the parade, with Prince Phillip battling a fiery dragon version of Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall!

And where best to watch Magic Kingdom’s parades? Well, it doesn’t have Cinderella Castle as the backdrop but Liberty Square has a practically “private” parade viewing spot that many Guests don’t think about.

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Credit: Disney Tips

Situated close to Sleepy Hollow and The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square, the viewing location is the perfect spot to get those magical character interactions and photos during the parade.

With no crowd around, we truly felt like each and every Disney character gave us attention as we were the only ones standing there! Mary Poppins, Moana, Mulan, Baloo, Woody, Buzz, Miguel, and even Tarzan‘s Terk either waved to us, acknowledged our outfits, or blew us a kiss.

The area is situated in between Sleepy Hollow and the Liberty Square Parasol Cart and has always been empty – even 2 minutes before a parade is about to begin.

Opposite Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, the spot offers calmer crowds, a wider space, and a feeling of having a “private” viewing of the parades and cavalcade. Next to the Sleepy Hollow quick-service food line, we were able to snag some great pictures of the parade and feel like we were the only ones watching it.

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Credit: Disney Tips

We caught the new Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade!, which debuted at the Magic Kingdom Park on February 11 this year, and got to this spot only a few seconds before the floats and Disney characters went by. It was empty!

This super-sized cavalcade features an incredible array of characters, with Moana, Merida, The Incredibles, Baloo and King Louie from The Jungle Book (1967), José Carioca and Panchito from The Three Caballeros (1944), and Nick and Judy from Zootopia (2016) all dancing along to the cavalcade’s fun soundtrack.

Miguel from Pixar’s Coco (2017) also made his Magic Kingdom debut in the show. The huge cavalcade has four performances during the day at 11:15 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:05 p.m., and 5:50 p.m.

Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom opened back 1971, and is themed after colonial America. The area features the famous Haunted Mansion attraction, the audio-animatronic show Hall of Presidents, and the Liberty Belle Riverboat steam paddleboat on the Rivers of America. The land at Walt Disney World features a “river of poop” embedded into the pavement – a great historical reference from Disney Imagineers.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book