The Festival of Fantasy Parade has returned to Magic Kingdom in 2022. The parade is now performed twice daily at Magic Kingdom.
In this article, we’ll preview the Festival of Fantasy Parade, its route, and what to expect. We highly recommend taking the time to enjoy the parade on your visit to Magic Kingdom Park.
Dare I say that the Festival of Fantasy Parade might be the highlight of your Walt Disney World vacation? As someone who spends a significant amount of time at Walt Disney World, I am constantly in shock at the number of people who are not aware of the daily parade!
I’ve met many people visiting the Magic Kingdom within the past few years. When I ask if they are going to the parade on that given day, the typical reply is, “what parade?”
Or they mention the Main Street Electrical Parade and want to know what time to see it. That parade hasn’t been at Disney World in years!
Many have never even heard of the Festival of Fantasy parade!
For me, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is the #1 must-do event for everyone! It’s a fun time to take a break and spend time with your family.
Not only that the parade leaves a smile on everyone’s face. Plus, it has a pretty catchy song!
Below we’ll look at the daily performance times, routes, and a few of our favorite parade tips. Additionally, I’ll mention some ideal viewing locations to help maximize your time after the parade ends.
This article was updated on April 11, 2022.
Festival of Fantasy Parade Times
Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade steps off daily in Frontierland at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. 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 bad as I hate to say it, the single time sheets provide the most accurate information.
Note: The 3:00 p.m. time stated above is subject to change. The time will likely change to 2:00 p.m. during the holiday season. At Disney World, the holiday season is from 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 at different times.
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 route is used for all of the parades and cavalcades at Walt Disney World.
As you can see, the parade makes a turn at Liberty Square to cross the bridge and head into the hub area. Then it circles the hub at Cinderella Castle before it continues down Main St U.S.A.
Toward the end, the parade circles through Town Square in front of the train station. Then it retreats 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. So, if you were to see it here from the beginning, you would be one of the first to finish viewing it.
There are two benefits, in my opinion, to watching the parade here in Frontierland. First, there are several places on the left-hand side to get a spot in the shade.
The second tip is to head straight to Adventureland after the parade passes your area. Then, you can ride Pirates of the Caribbean with less of a wait since the walkway has been closed off.
I recommend grabbing a Dole Whip in Adventureland and getting a spot about thirty minutes before the parade starts. And yes, you want to try your best to be on the front row when possible.
Often, the walking characters come up and interact with the guests. The parade 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 view the Festival of Fantasy parade from Liberty Square. I’m standing diagonally across from the Hall of Presidents at this point in the picture.
If you intend to follow the parade into the hub, this might be a good location. In addition, this location is one of the most accessible 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.
If you are this far up into the crowd, I suggest waiting a few minutes for everyone to clear out after the parade passes.
Another option for viewing the parade is around the hub of Cinderella Castle.
Additionally, you can view the parade coming from Cinderella Castle on Main St U.S.A. This is a unique location. You can see Cinderella Castle in the distance as the procession continues.
If you decide to view the parade here, I recommend getting a spot on the curb about 45 minutes before the parade starts. This area is trendy and fills up quickly.
Additionally, there isn’t much shade on either side of the street. So make sure to have ample sunscreen applied!
Lastly, you can view the Festival of Fantasy Parade 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. Then, when the parade concludes, head on over to visit Mickey Mouse.
Related: Meet Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom
Festival of Fantasy Parade Floats
Unfortunately, not all of the characters and floats mentioned below have returned to the parade in 2022.
Disney’s 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 spins and on the opposite side are Cinderella and Prince Charming! The design allows both sides of the parade to see the characters.
Here they are.
The back of the float turns here, presenting Frozen sisters Anna and Elsa. On the other side are Prince Naveen and 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 hard to notice as the floats pass.
Next comes Ariel and The Little Mermaid float, which consists of various dancers and performers surrounding it. This float is bright and cheerful!
As an example in the picture below, you can tell how close the performers are to the front row.
Here we have Ariel resting high above in a clamshell bedazzled with pearls! Sea horse performers follow her.
By the way, it’s a colorful float! In case I haven’t already mentioned that.
Ariel waves down at the crowd below as she sails through the crowd!
Peter Pan comes up next in the Festival of Fantasy Parade!
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!
Peter and Wendy wave from high above!
Of course, don’t forget the evil villain Captain Hook! There’s our love to hate pirate himself, swinging on the ship’s anchor.
And let’s not forget, perhaps, the most important fairy of them all, Tinker Bell!
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.
Irish dancers representing Brave are not far behind.
They put on a fun show as well!
It’s challenging to say which group of performers is the best. They are all truly exceptional. I always marvel at their effort in 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 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 approaching and breathing fire toward the sky! This float 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 move 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 not available for character meet and greets in the Disney park.
For instance, if you are interested in seeing all of the Seven Dwarfs, this would be your chance! Unfortunately, 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 an excellent 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!
Pinocchio is 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!
Pluto is waving toward the end, wearing a fabulous star medal!
Goofy is usually not far behind.
Chip & Dale tend to make an appearance. I’m not sure which one is which, but it’s something about the nose. One has a red nose and one black to differentiate.
Related: Meet Chip and Dale at Disney World
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 headed 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 to head on over to the parade route at Magic Kingdom on your visit.
I hope you enjoyed all the photos of the Festival of Fantasy parade.
If you’re planning a Disney World vacation, you might like to check out some of our resources like the list Walt Disney World Resorts. 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. Usually, we recommend planning at least one Disney World character dining meal and a Disney signature dining reservation.
If you plan to meet characters in the parks, I keep an updated list of Disney World Characters here. That article links to every character 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. We are so happy to see it return in 2022!
Leave a comment below with your thoughts, and let me know if you have a favorite float you look forward to seeing!