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I love parades! There is just something about them. I have enjoyed watching them my whole life. I especially love the parades at Disney World. It is a requirement for us to watch every parade there at least once. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t care for parades. He hates showing up early to get a good viewing spot, and he hates waiting for them to start. Usually, he feels that watching a parade is a complete waste of his time. The newest addition to the parade lineup at Disney World is Festival of Fantasy. Assuming your family falls somewhere between me and my husband on the parade loving scale, you may be asking yourself if the Festival of Fantasy Parade is worth taking time to see on your next trip to Disney World. This article will help you to answer that question.
What is the Festival of Fantasy Parade?
The Festival of Fantasy Parade is the afternoon parade at the Magic Kingdom. It runs daily, weather permitting. The parade kicks off at 3:00 pm each day. It starts in Frontierland near Splash Mountain. The parade then makes its way through Frontierland and into Liberty Square before heading towards Cinderella Castle. It circles around the Tomorrowland side of the Central Hub and then continues down Main Street USA. It ends in Town Square near City Hall and the Fire Station.
The parade features several floats and many classic Disney characters. You will see appearances by Ariel, Goofy, Rapunzel, Belle, Pinocchio, Anna, Elsa, and of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. There are also lots of dancers to round out the parade lineup.
What is so special about this parade?
This parade is unlike any other parade I’ve ever seen. The entire parade is a feast of color and fun. The all-new floats are huge and engaging. They each incorporate movement into their design and are very detailed. For instance, the Peter Pan float is a large rainbow with Skull Rock on one end and a giant sunflower on the other end. Tinkerbell is sitting on the sunflower. On the top of the rainbow is a pirate ship with Peter Pan and Wendy waving from high up. Under the rainbow is a swinging anchor with Captain Hook on it. The float designers redefined what a parade float should look like with these floats.
The dancers and characters that walk along side the floats are all dressed in over-the-top custom costumes as well. The costumes are as dramatic as the floats. It is as if they are an extension of the floats. There is an abundance of color and movement conveyed through the costumes as well. This just adds to the lively feel that this entire parade has.
The most spectacular part of this parade, however, is the steampunk dragon! It is gigantic and breathes real fire! How cool is that?!?! Impressive is the only word that I can use to describe this dragon. It is unbelievable.
Where are good spots to view the parade?
There are numerous places to find a good spot to watch this parade. Most people prefer to find a spot on Main Street USA so they can see the castle in the background as the parade approaches them. Other popular spots are Town Square and the Central Hub. To get a good viewing spot in any of these locations, you will need to grab a seat a good hour in advance of the parade, depending on the crowd level in the park on the day of your visit.
Our favorite place to watch the parades in the Magic Kingdom is actually near the border between Liberty Square and Frontierland. Across from Liberty Tree Tavern and the Diamond Horseshoe, there is a low retaining wall. We love watching the parades from this wall. It is not as popular, so we can show up 20-30 minutes prior to the start of the parade and still find a wonderful spot.
Is it worth your time?
You have probably figured out by now that my answer to this question is “Absolutely yes!” However, I will tell you that even my husband enjoyed this parade. He was blown away by the dragon. Who doesn’t love seeing a real fire-breathing dragon? Your kids will love watching this parade. You should definitely take time out during your trip to Disney World to watch this parade at least once. I promise: you won’t be disappointed! Happy travels and have a magical day!