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After two long years, Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade returned on February 9, 2022. If you’ve never experienced this iconic Disney parade, it’s definitely something you’ll want to see next time you visit Walt Disney World.
Whether you’re deciding whether you should make time to see the parade, the best place to view the parade, or wondering what time you can see it, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure the best experience.
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What is Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade?
The Festival of Fantasy Parade is a daily parade in Magic Kingdom. The parade features modern floats and a specially curated music selection. You’ll also see talented parade performers in intricately designed costumes and some of your favorite Disney characters.
The parade celebrates the hard-working, creative efforts of Parade Designer Richard Improta, Creative Director Steven Davison, and Director Kris Bunner. However, these are just to name a few. Many others had a hand in creating Disney’s Fantasy Parade.
Festival of Fantasy Parade Floats
Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade is known for its spectacular floats. The costume is exceptional. The celebration commences when a catchy song is played from the front speaker of the princess float, which is usually the first float in the lineup, just behind the Swan Court couples.
This song is “It’s the Festival of Fantasy,” the parade’s unique theme song. You’ll likely catch yourself singing this song absentmindedly for the rest of the afternoon.
The Princess Garden Float
The first float in the parade celebrates Disney royalty, featuring all of your favorite Disney princesses. Beauty and the Beast takes center stage on this float, but you can spot others like Prince Charming and Cinderella. Additionally, you may see Elsa and Anna from Frozen.
This float was reused from Tokyo Disneyland’s former daytime parade, “Jubilation.”
The Tangled Float
Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout a longship that’s about 36 feet long.
The float features unique moving elements that you won’t see in other Disney parades.
The Little Mermaid Float
Next, you’ll see the Little Mermaid unit, followed by fun sea horse performers. This float brings forth a fun and enchanting musical jubilee led by Sebastian. Ariel sits at the top of the float in her clamshell with conga dancing fish beneath her on the colorful seashell.
The Peter Pan Float
A dance performance by the Lost Boys is just before the Peter Pan unit. In the middle of the float, you’ll see Captain Hook under the center of the rainbow arch that begins at Skull Rock. Tinker Bell sits at the back in the center of an enormous flower sprinkling pixie dust.
The Sleeping Beauty Float
The Sleeping Beauty unit is one of the most popular in the lineup. The spectacular dragon stands 26 feet tall and periodically breathes fires into the air throughout the parade.
Mickey’s Airship Float
The final float in the parade is Mickey’s Airship. On this float, you’ll see Mickey and Minnie traveling with the parade on a giant hot air balloon float.
Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade Route
If you get the map of Magic Kingdom when you first arrive at the park, you should notice that dotted lines are displayed. At the top of this map, there is one dark blue dotted line marked for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. You can also find the parade route here.
The Festival of Fantasy Parade route begins in Frontierland. Next, it makes its way to Liberty Square, then turns at Cinderella Castle before finishing up with a run down Main Street.
Where to Watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade
You can easily get a decent view of the Festival of Fantasy parade anywhere along the parade route. You’ll also find designated viewing areas in Frontierland, Town Square, and Central Plaza.
Main Street is usually the most crowded area to watch the parade. You can find a cooler area in the shade to watch the parade if you watch it from somewhere in Frontierland. However, if you need an excellent last-minute spot where you’ll still get a great view, you can usually find one along the parade’s route between Liberty Square and Cinderella Castle.
What Time is Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade?
The parade begins at 3 PM every afternoon, but it’s best to arrive at your chosen location early if you want the best view. Although the floats are tall enough that people standing in front of you won’t block your view, it could interfere with your view of the other performances.
You may also receive interaction from some of the characters in the parade if you manage to be in the front row.
Using your My Disney Experience app to check the exact time is always a good idea. Since the parade is an outdoor event, it’s always subject to rescheduling or cancellation due to inclement weather.
How Long Does the Festival of Fantasy Parade Last?
It takes the parade about thirty minutes to complete its entire route through the Magic Kingdom.
However, once the parade approaches your viewing location, it’ll take about 12 minutes to see the entire show.
Festival of Fantasy Dining Package
If you get the Festival of Fantasy Dining Package, you will be treated to Lady and Tramp-inspired meals before attending Fantasy Parade Festival as VIPs. This package is the ultimate Festival of Fantasy experience.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to book this package until the dining plans are available again. Dining plans were temporarily suspended in 2020 due to the global pandemic and are still unavailable. So far, no one has clearly answered when Disney’s dining plans will return.
How it Works
Before the parade, guests can enjoy delectable Italian food at Tony’s Town Square. When you book this package, it will include an appetizer, entree, and dessert. It will also include one nonalcoholic beverage.
During the meal, you’ll receive a VIP viewing voucher that gives you access to the VIP viewing area to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade. The best part is this voucher is included in the price of your meal. This will allow you to watch the parade from the VIP area near the flag pole on Main Street.
As with most other table service restaurants at Walt Disney World, you must book this and make your reservation ahead of time. For this plan, you make a reservation as early as 11:30 AM.
When you make these lunch reservations, make sure you give yourself time to finish eating at least 15 to 35 minutes before the parade starts. If you arrive at the VIP area less than 15 minutes before the parade begins, you may not be able to enter the area.
If they were to cancel the parade due to inclement weather, a replacement voucher could be provided for a different performance less than five days after the event.
Will Dining Plans be Available in 2023?
Disney has yet to give a definite answer on when dining plans will be available again. However, they are not currently included in the newest packages for 2023, so it’s still unknown whether they’ll return at any point in 2023.