One of my favorite things to do at Disney World are the parades. Unfortunately, it’s also everyone else’s favorite things to do! With kids, Disney World can get stressful. My husband is not a fan of crowds, and I have extreme anxiety. With both of these in mind, we set out to find ways we can enjoy a parade at the Magic Kingdom, stress free. After trial and error, we have a handful of tips that helped:
Know the Basics:
- No matter which parade you’re looking to go to, know ahead of time when the parade starts and where you would like to watch from. Know ahead of time if you’re ok with being a little further away, or if you want to be right in the action.
- The motto for Magic Kingdom in our house is “hurry up and wait”. With long lines and bottle neck paths, make sure you know how long it can take to get from one area to the next. For the lunchtime parade plan to be 30-45 minutes early. The evening parade and fireworks plan to be at least an hour early.
Plan a Meal or Snack While Waiting:
- It’s hard to keep little ones (and me) occupied waiting for the parade. Especially when you’re looking at 30 or more minutes of waiting. We try to balance this by planning an on-the-go meal or snack as we’re waiting. There are plenty of places around and carts where you can get a meal or a snack.
- Casey’s Corner is our go-to lunch option for the noon parade! We usually pay for the dinning plan, which allows for one quick service, one sit down dinner and one snack per person, per day. With two boys we have to stretch our snacks to keep everyone fueled throughout the day.
- We love Casey’s Corner because the hot dogs are good, and everyone counts as an adult quick service whether they are a child or an adult. When you order a meal from the dinning plan you’ll receive a hot dog, fries, drink and dessert. It’s a lot of food! We will grab our lunch, and find a seat in the grassy area just to the side and eat while waiting for the parade to start. This secures our place and occupies us while we wait. The best part is the dessert options are cotton candy, cracker jacks or a brownie. They are all in to-go form. So, we eat lunch while we wait, we share one or two desserts during the parade and we put the remaining three desserts in our bag for a snack later. This stretches our snack credits and feeds my starving children in an hour or two 😉
Mark Your Territory:
- It never fails, we make our plan, we arrive early, and someone comes up ten minutes before the parade and sits in front of us. Now, most of the time a cast member is patrolling the area and will ask the people to leave, letting them know we’ve been waiting. However, sometimes no one is around. We started taking a small blanket, extra sweatshirt or something in our backpack to lie on the ground and mark off our spot. This makes sure no one sits right in front, or to the side of us. The other thing you can do if you’re sitting on the curb on Main Street is sit beside a trashcan. No one can sit in front of the trashcan, and they can’t squeeze in beside you and the trashcan.
Watch the Parade and Get Excited:
- If you’re at the Magic Kingdom for more than one day I suggest taking one parade and enjoying it. Never mind your camera or trying to get the best shot. Take the time to wave to the characters and get involved with the kids. It’s so important to enjoy your vacation. You worked hard to save up for it, and you should make lasting memories on it!
What are your tips for enjoying the parades at Magic Kingdom? Share in the comments below.