We love the parades at Walt Disney World as much as we love the attractions and characters. But have you ever been edged out of watching the parades or fireworks due to large crowds? It can be a bummer to watch these special events with an obstructed view. Here are our tips for getting the best spot for maximum special event enjoyment.
We stake our claim on the sidewalk of Main Street, U.S.A. at least 1 hour before the parade or fireworks. Yes, you heard me: 1 full hour. You will NOT be alone in this endeavor. Cast Members begin to tape off the grounds and put up barriers at this time. Park guests will also start filling in the street, and pre-show entertainers will begin selling snacks, light-up toys, and balloons. Younger Cast Members will come around with signs for special parade photo-ops. There is plenty to keep you entertained for that period of time.
Grab as much space as you think you will need for all members in your party:
I highly recommend using coats, backpacks, bags, and the like, to set up your parade/fireworks viewing camp. If you don’t grab a spot for every member of your party, you will lose that spot. People will fill in around you in EVERY little nook and cranny. My kids have sat on the curb, only to have people try to move in front of them. Sit only in spaces designated for parade viewing. Be kind, follow the rules, and stay politely assertive if other guests try to edge you out. ALWAYS follow the rules of the Cast Members and Disney Parks. If they ask you to move or direct you to a new area, be polite and follow what they say.
Bring an umbrella, even if it’s not raining:
Wait, what are you saying??? Yes, I am telling you to bring an umbrella, even when it’s sunny. If you are a parade fan, many of the best spots are in the sun. If you plan to sit for any length of time in the sun, I highly recommend this little trick. We bring a small bumbershoot-style umbrella that is light-weight and easy to place in our day pack. It provides much needed instant shade and prevents sunburns, eye fatigue and extended sun exposure. It is a life saver!
Hydrate and take turns getting snacks:
Sitting for a hour before a parade can be tough on everyone, especially your little ones. We make camp near the shops on Main Street, U.S.A. so that we can take turns roaming in the shops. We also use that time to hit The Confectionary for snacks. It is our planned time to enjoy the street vendors and to grab a bit of cooling A/C on hotter days. We also use the time to take an annual parade family selfie.
Do you have tips for parade and firework viewing? We would love to hear them!
(Photos from the author’s personal collection. Logo property of WDW Radio.)
To learn more about Kristin and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.