Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade is not currently being offered. There are, however, Character Cavalcades at Magic Kingdom that you can experience throughout the day. When the Festival of Fantasy parade returns, this review will be updated to provide any new details. In the meantime, feel free to scroll through the photos below if you like.
Dare I say that the Festival of Fantasy Parade might be the highlight of your Walt Disney World vacation? As a person who spends a large amount of time visiting and collecting information at Walt Disney World, I am constantly in shock at the number of people who are not aware of the daily parade!
Within the past few years, I’ve met many people visiting the Magic Kingdom. When I ask if they are going to the parade on that given day, the common reply is, “what parade?” Or they mention the Main Street Electrical Parade and want to know what time they have it. That Disney parade hasn’t been at the theme park in over four years.
They have no idea that a newer parade called the Festival of Fantasy debuted in Magic Kingdom several years ago.
For me, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is the #1 must-do event for everyone! It’s a fun time to take a break, spend time with your family, and it leaves a smile on everyone’s face. Plus, it will leave you singing a cute song in your heart!
This review will cover all the details of the Festival of Fantasy Parade, including the daily performance times and parade routes. I’ll also add some of my favorite parade tips with ideal viewing locations and how to maximize your time after the parade ends.
Festival of Fantasy Parade Times
Normally, Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade steps off daily in Frontierland at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. The best way to confirm the time on the day of your visit is to check the My Disney Experience App.
You can also pick up a daily times guide when you enter the park. These are printed for each day of the week and will give you accurate timing for that day as well. As bad as I hate to say it, the single times sheet does provide the most accurate information.
Note: The 3:00 p.m. time stated above is subject to change. The time does change to 2:00 p.m. during the holiday season. At Disney World, that’s mid-August through the first week of January.
Additionally, you might find yourself at Magic Kingdom on a holiday like Easter or Independence day and find that the parade is offered twice, and the times are altered to accommodate both performances.
Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade Route
If you do so happen to pick up a Magic Kingdom pamphlet (folded one) on the day of your visit, it will display a red dotted line showing the parade’s footprint on the map. Here is a look at the online version.
The map above shows the Festival of Fantasy parade route indicated with the dark blue line. The point on the far left-hand side in Frontierland is where the parade starts daily.
This is also the regular Disney World parade route for all the different parades.
As you can see, it makes a turn at Liberty Square to cross the bridge and head into the hub area. Then circles around the hub at Cinderella Castle before it continues down Main St USA. Toward the end, the parade circles partially through Town Square in front of the train station before retreating behind the Emporium.
Guests can stand along any of the walkways of the parade route and get an up-close view. However, there are some benefits to specific viewing areas. For instance, the Festival of Fantasy parade steps off in Frontierland. If you were to see it here from the beginning, you will also be one of the first to finish viewing it.
There are two benefits, in my opinion, to watching the parade here in Frontierland. The first is there are several places on the left-hand side to get a spot in the shade. The second tip is being able to head straight to Adventureland after the parade passes your area. You can go straight to Pirates of the Caribbean for less than normal wait times!
I recommend grabbing a Dole Whip in Adventureland and getting a spot about thirty minutes before the parade starts. And yes, you really want to try your best to be on the front row when possible. A lot of times, the walking characters come up and interact with the guests. This is a great way for children to see many Disney characters in one location. Plus, the interaction feels up close and personal. Trust me; they won’t forget these special moments.
Below we have a view of the Festival of Fantasy parade from Liberty Square. At this point in the picture, I’m standing diagonally across from the Hall of Presidents.
If you intend to follow the parade on into the hub, this might be a good location for you. This is also probably one of the easiest places to walk up and get a last-minute spot.
It does get a bit crowded in this area when the parade passes. That’s because the walkway up ahead coming from Fantasyland will immediately re-open, and by that time, a large crowd will have formed, waiting for the parade to pass so they can move forward. If you are this far up into the crowd, I suggest waiting a few minutes for everyone to disperse after the parade passes.
Another option for viewing the parade is around the hub of Cinderella Castle. Please don’t let your children stand or climb on these light poles, though. I didn’t realize until I took a look at these pictures that there were children way high up here. Nothing says ruin your vacation more than a broken limb at Disney!
Additionally, you can view the parade coming from Cinderella Castle on Main St USA. This is a special location because of the castle in the distance and the overall presence of Main St USA.
If you decide you want to view the parade here, I would recommend getting a spot on the curb about 45 minutes before the parade starts. This area is trendy and fills up quickly. There also isn’t much shade on either side of the street. Make sure to have ample sunscreen applied!
Lastly, the Festival of Fantasy Parade can be viewed from the center of Town Square. The flag pole interior is usually reserved for guests who have purchased a special dining package with parade viewing privileges.
If you opt to view the parade from Town Square, I recommend meeting the characters at Town Square Theater. When the parade concludes, head on over for a visit with Mickey Mouse or Tinker Bell.
Festival of Fantasy Parade Floats
The Disney Festival of Fantasy parade has some of the most eye-catching floats and the performer’s costumes are absolutely exquisite. You will be glad for taking the time out of your day to experience this event.
Here we have the Swan dancers in full costume as they kick off the parade in Frontierland. They are ahead of the magnificent princess float!
The first float features Beauty and the Beast on the very front as they invite you to “Join the Celebration.” The music lyrics start by saying, “It’s the Festival of Fantasy!”
The middle of this float has the design of the birds and mice making Cinderella’s dress for the ball. It actually spins and on the opposite side is Cinderella herself and Prince Charming! The design allows both sides of the parade to be able to see the characters.
Here they are.
The back of the float turns here presenting Frozen sisters Anna and Elsa. On the other side is Prince Naveen & Tiana.
Next up are the Tangled dancers! All the performers and their costumes are quite the sight to behold.
Here is a quick video clip of the Tangled float as it passes:
And here’s an up close look at some of the float details. Some of these things are really hard to notice as the floats pass.
Next, comes Ariel and The Little Mermaid float which consists of a variety of dancers and performers surrounding it. Look how bright and cheerful!
As an example in the picture below you can tell how close the performers are with respect to the front row.
Here we have Ariel resting high above in a clamshell bedazzled with pearls! She is followed by sea horse performers.
By the way, it’s a really colorful float! In case I haven’t already mentioned that.
Ariel waves down at the crowd below as she sails by! This is what I call life goals! Meet me at Skull Rock!
Speaking of Skull Rock! Peter Pan comes up next in the Festival of Fantasy Parade! But I digress!
I almost forgot to mention The Lost Boys! They head up this float as they dance through, entertaining the crowd.
These guys are styled perfectly!
As they should be when representing a float caring a real live girl! And a boy who will never grow up! Don’t forget the evil villain Captain Hook!
There’s our love to hate pirate himself! Properly swinging on the ship’s anchor.
And let’s not forget, perhaps, the most important pixie of them all, Tinker Bell! Safely residing in Pixie Hollow until her time to fly comes in the evening from the castle during Happily Ever After!
Mr. Smee can even be seen wandering along behind the Peter Pan Float.
Here is a view of the back of the float as it continues from Frontierland.
Along come the Irish dancers representing Brave in the parade right after Peter Pan’s float.
They put on a fun show as well!
It’s very difficult to say which group of performers is the best, they are all truly exceptional. I always marvel at the effort they put into this parade, especially during the hot temperatures combined with their costumes and performances.
Merida also stands tall, high above, waving to the crowd! Her baby bear brothers can be found on the float as well! Look close!
As previously mentioned, kids can see so many favorite Disney characters, one right after the other during the duration of the parade.
Maleficent’s Dragon in the Festival of Fantasy Parade
One of the things the Festival of Fantasy parade is known for is the Sleeping Beauty segment. The three fairies come zooming in on some sort of motorized roller device. Their movement appears flawless.
Behind them is Prince Phillip prepared to do battle with none other than the Maleficent dragon.
Here is a video of the dragon as it approaches and breathes fire toward the sky! This has been deemed one of the most unique and anticipated floats in the parade.
Maleficent’s fire breathing dragon towers above you in a dominating presence.
Her mechanisms moving as her head tilts toward the sky every few moments to let out a breath of fire! There we go!
The Festival of Fantasy parade offers the opportunity to see a few unique characters that are not actually available for character meet and greets in the Disney park.
For instance, if you have any interest in seeing all of the Seven Dwarfs, this would be your chance! The only other time to meet with them throughout the year is during the Halloween and Christmas parties.
They do a little dance number as they interact with the crowd.
Here is a closer look at Grumpy and the gang!
It’s also a good opportunity to see White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.
The last float before Mickey’s Airship is a combination of the classic movies Fantasia and Pinocchio. These dancers start the party and their outfits are among my favorite costumes.
The ruffles in their bows are full of balloon-like features. They also have flags and balloons extending from their hats!
Here is Pinocchio himself riding on the whale that swallowed him whole in the movie!
He is followed by Fantasia and Dumbo classics.
Daisy Duck even found a spot on the parade float!
You might even see some circus performers doing a balancing act on swings from an elephant’s trunk!
Or Pluto waving toward the end, wearing a fabulous star medal of course!
Goofy is usually not far behind.
Chip & Dale tend to make an appearance. I’m not for sure which one is which, but it’s something about the nose. One has a red nose and one black to differentiate.
Mickey and Minnie round things out at the end by blowing kisses and waving to the crowd. Tucked safely in Mickey’s airship as they float along the route.
They are escorted by a few performers as well!
But wait! There’s more!
Here is a quick video of the parade as it goes down Disney’s World’s Main Street USA.
Final Thoughts on the Festival of Fantasy Parade
Hopefully, this has been enough to solidify your decision to make the Festival of Fantasy parade a must-do on your Walt Disney World vacation.
If not, Ariel sent a message below directly warning everyone not to swim with the tide, and head on over to the parade route at Magic Kingdom on your visit.
I hope you enjoyed the review and pictures! Leave a comment and let me know your favorite float or if you have any questions! Feel free to share, it really helps out and thanks in advance if you do!
If you ever see me out at the parade make sure to say hi! I’ll be the girl with the Canon camera singing and dancing along to the music. Probably somewhere in Frontierland, just spinnin’ away!
You can return to our Magic Kingdom guide for more planning advice. Or you might enjoy these other individual reviews.
Resorts Gal specializes in Disney World Resorts, Characters and Dining. Make sure to check out some of our resources like the list Walt Disney World Resorts with reviews. That article gives a brief overview of every resort at Disney.
For planning dining reservations, we have a full list of our Disney restaurant reviews available. Normally, we recommend planning at least one Disney World character dining meal and a Disney signature dining reservation.
If you are planning to meet characters in the parks, I keep an updated list of Disney World Characters here. That review will like to every meet available in each of the four parks.
When it comes to the Festival of the Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom, it’s 100% a must do at least once during your vacation. Leave a comment below with your thoughts and let me know if you have a favorite float you look forward to seeing!