There’s a new way to do characters at Magic Kingdom that includes fun interaction with social distancing in mind. It’s called Character Cavalcades! And in this review, we will cover everything you need to know to see your favorite characters around Magic Kingdom park on your next visit.
As you probably know, Magic Kingdom re-opened to the public on July 11th after an extended closure. These types of character interactions below are anticipated to continue at least well on into 2021.
I was fortunate enough to spend time at the Magic Kingdom prior to opening and again on opening day. Spending the majority of the first day observing social distancing queues and how the new processes worked.
On opening day, I mainly spent my time trying to see these character cavalcades and the other character experiences available.
The only differences you might encounter from this review are that some of these cavalcades do change up characters. For instance, I might see Alice in Wonderland during one of these special character interactions today, and you might visit tomorrow and see Piglet instead. You never can tell who you might or might not see in the parks. So I wouldn’t recommend anticipating seeing a specific character.
Character Cavalcades & Experiences
Here are the different Character Cavalcades at Magic Kingdom that you might see during the day.
- The Royal Princess Processional
- Mickey and Friends Cavalcade
- Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade
- A Goofy Cavalcade
- Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
None of these are listed at any specific times and that helps keep crowds from forming. From what I can tell during our initial visits, the character cavalcades happen between every 15-30 minutes. The most common cavalcade we have seen thus far is the Mickey Mouse and Friends.
How to see the Character Cavalcades?
The character cavalcades begin in Frontierland and end on Main Street U.S.A. If you are familiar, they are using the same route or footprint of the normal parades held at Magic Kingdom. There is a large gated area to the far side of Splash Mountain where Frontierland meets Adventureland. This is where the gates open and the new cavalcades step off.
When the cavalcade approaches an area, the background music in the immediate vicinity will suddenly change. If you are anywhere near the area, you’ll notice the difference as the volume is increased as the cavalcade approaches. Therefore, if you are on or around the main Frontierland area, Cinderella Castle hub, or Main Street U.S.A and hear the change of music, you should be able to see it coming in the distance. The closer the cavalcade gets, the louder the music in your area will get until it reaches you.
Below is a look at all of the character cavalcades and a few pictures of what to expect.
The Royal Princess Processional
Probably the most popular character cavalcade is the Royal Princess Processional. From what I have seen to date this cavalcade comes through twice a day. Last Friday it came through around 2:15 p.m. and then later before park closing. Then on Saturday, it came through around 1:30 p.m. and again later in the afternoon.
Merida came through first and is riding one of the larger Patreon horses. Hopefully, this will continue but there was a bit of a shuffle involved between Merida and a horse on opening day. A child accidentally let go of a balloon and between the wind and the balloon weight, it managed to wrap itself around the horse’s leg. Needless to say, the horse didn’t like it one bit, and I don’t blame him. But this is a good reminder that exceptional accidents can happen anywhere. Thankfully, from my understanding, everyone was okay.
Behind Merida comes Rapunzel and Tiana each with their own side of a float.
Rapunzel is deep in thought as always.
After this, you’ll see the large mirror float trailing behind. I haven’t seen this float in quite some time and had forgotten how beautiful it was.
The float is really large and provides the opportunity to see quite a few princesses.
The Royal Princess Processional includes Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Elena, Snow White, Cinderella, and the Fairly Godmother perches on top.
And here we have a closer look at Merida leading the character cavalcade.
The processional is fun to watch from any view point, but coming down Main Street always seems extra magical.
The princesses wave to guests down below.
Cinderella seems okay with the new paint job on her castle.
Ariel still wants to be part of your world, but in a respectfully distant manner.
Snow White appears to still be in quarantine mode, but she is also kind of known for expressions.
Elena might has well been Rapunzel bustin’ up out of her tower. She was overjoyed to see the royal court guests.
And while I’m mildly joking, these new character interactions really made the day special at the Magic Kingdom for us.
Mickey and Friends Character Cavalcade
As mentioned earlier, the Mickey and Friends character cavalcade is the one we saw the most on our visits.
Mickey and Friends include Minnie Mouse, Pluto toward the front, Mickey on top, and then Daisy and Donald Duck on the back.
We even managed to see them one time from the Liberty Belle.
And another time right in front of the castle.
Mickey and Minnie are both back in their birthday suits. Minnie’s birthday dress is always popular.
Daisy was glad to see everyone. We caught her blowing kisses to guests!
Fantasyland Friends Character Cavalcade
Next up, is the Fantasyland Friends Character Cavalcade. There appear to be two different versions. The first comes through at some point in the morning and features characters on the Main Street Trolley. The trolley is pulled by a horse. Character cavalcades on the trolley will only come down Main Street and around the hub where tracks are available.
We caught up with them again in the afternoon where we saw Gaston leading the cavalcade with the Fantasyland Friends not far behind.
This cavalcade includes Gaston, Alice, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, and Aladdin.
Above is the view point at the very end of the parade where it wraps up after passing Main Street station.
Below, Gaston is as beefy as ever, what a guy.
And then Mary Poppins with Aladdin is at the very end of this cavalcade. Time will tell, but I anticipate different characters on these floats on different days moving forward.
A Goofy Cavalcade
Another fun group was the “A Goofy Cavalcade” and this one you will find adorable. We only caught it once so I ended up taking a video instead of photos for this one. As you can see we ran into this on our way to Adventureland from Frontierland. It was perfect timing. You might also notice from the video that it takes a little over a minute for the cavalcade to pass. So if you see one coming, don’t worry about the time commitment. You also won’t have to fight any crowds after it’s over.
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
Lastly, we take a look at the Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure cavalcade. Like the other floats she steps off in Frontierland as she makes her journey to Main Street U.S.A.
Tinker Bell perches on top of the lost treasure. You might remember this float if you have ever visited one of the seasonal parties at Magic Kingdom.
Tinker Bell is her usual moody self, pouting one minute.
And in a better mood the next. You can’t help but love her.
This cavalcade is cute and to the point. She gets this spot all to herself. Which makes it bittersweet and reminds me that it still might be a while before we saw her fly from the castle. One step at a time.
Spending time at Magic Kingdom on initial opening largely overall was an excellent experience. Had it not been from all the fun character interactions, I don’t think I would have enjoyed my time near as much. These cavalcades are something you are going to want to see when you happen upon them. And given the variety and how often they are coming through, you will see them.
It’s great to be able to come to a park and be wowed by what’s going on around you. Especially, going in blind with no plans. Someone like me, who visits the parks on a regular basis (other than the last few months) went into Magic Kingdom not really knowing what to expect. And left feeling really good about social distancing efforts, sanitization, and these new character interactions.
In addition to these cavalcades, there are a few other character experiences you can expect to witness while in the parks. I’ll have more reviews covering these for the different parks over the next few weeks. We are somewhat limited due to acquiring theme park reservations at this time but will report the most important updates as we experience them.
You might also like to learn more about character dining at Disney World. During this time, my top recommendation is the character breakfast at the Riviera’s Topolino’s Terrace.
To experience all the new character interactions in each park, make sure to check out the following reviews:
- Character Promenades at Epcot
- Character Motorcades at Hollywood Studios
- Discovery River Character Cruises at Animal Kingdom
Or you can visit the entire list of Disney World characters.
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