Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade

Disney World is full of attractions that delight guests, both young and old.  But there are two incredibly popular attractions that WOW guests day after day. One is the incredible Wishes Fireworks show.  The second is Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade.  In this article, we will be discussing the parade. We will give you an overview of what to expect at this popular show, and then provide a little bit of interesting history.  Finally, we’ll give you some tips that can help you locate a great spot to watch the parade.

Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade

Magic Kingdom Electrical Parade Details

The Main Street parade is a nighttime parade with lights, very familiar characters and a soundtrack that people have fallen in love with.  The parade participants are:

  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Snow White
  • Cinderella and Friends
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Pete’s Dragon
  • To Honor America

During the busy season, the parade runs twice a night.  However, in the off-season the parade may only run 3-4 times a week.  The parade begins near the entrance to Disney World, winds down main street and goes in front of the castle., Then the parade heads to Liberty Square and finally completes it’s journey in Frontierland near Splash Mountain.
 

 
Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade

History

The song for the parade is not originally a Disney song.  Disney uses an electronic tune from the 1960’s entitled “Baroque Hoedown”.  You can hear the original song here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax00vnsZPKE

The Main Street Electrical Parade has a long history at Disney World and Disneyland.  The parade began in 1977 and lasted for 14 years. It was then temporarily brought back in 1999 and lasted until 2001.  In 2010 Disney brought the parade back to the Magic Kingdom for what was going to be a summertime run.  But Disney has since announced that the parade is going to be open-ended, and no current plans are in place to stop this parade.  (We’d like to make a petition to leave it open-ended for a long, long time!)

Electrical Parade Fastpass Tips

The parade and fireworks show are extremely popular and will soak up a LARGE portion of guests.  During a large part of the year, the parade runs twice nightly and Wishes occurs between the two parades.  First, we’ll discuss viewing strategy for busy period of the year, then we’ll give you some tips on how to view the parades when they only occur a few nights a week.

Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade

Multiple Parades

You’ll quickly find that the first parade is EXTREMELY crowded. If possible, we recommend skipping it for two reasons.  First, wait times at other rides and attractions are much lower during the parade.  Second, after the fireworks are over, guests will stream out of the park.  The park won’t be empty for the 2nd parade, but there will be far fewer guests to compete with for good parade viewing spots.

Fastpass Plus gives you a unique opportunity to really enhance your touring experience.  Of all the fastpasses we use, the fastpass for the parade is absolutely our favorite. Disney ropes off an area right in front of the castle, and they don’t allow a lot of people in.  You need to book this fastpass early!  It’s becoming more and more popular and difficult to get.  But it’s completely worth it!

If you have a fastpass I’d recommend using it for the FIRST parade and then touring the park for the 2nd parade. You will find wait times get REALLY low during the 2nd parade, and this can be used to your benefit.

Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade

One parade

Disney changes their schedule quite a bit, and it can be hard to keep track of parade times.  In the past, the parades only happened a couple of times a week, but that doesn’t seem to be happening much anymore.   When there is one parade, fastpass plus becomes even MORE important, as the parade route will be very crowded.   Without a second parade to soak up a lot of the guests, Main Street and the Castle area will be almost as crowded as they are during the summer.   But what if you can’t get a fastpass?

Where to Watch the Electrical Parade Without a Fastpass

First, figure out where you want to watch the parade.  If you MUST see it in front of the castle, you may need to get a seat at least an hour beforehand.  Don’t try and save seats for a lot of people, either, as this will annoy other guests.  You need to try and get the majority of your guests seated and waiting ahead of time.   If you can’t get a fastpass and you don’t care about being in the front (where it’s very crowded), try to get a seat in Liberty Square or along the streets in Frontierland.  Typically, you can get seats around 30 minutes ahead of time in these locations.  But if the parks are extra busy, you may need to arrive 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time here as well!

Hopefully these tips can help you to enjoy the parade.  On a personal level, the parade is my favorite event in all of Disney World. I like it even more than the fireworks.  I make finding a great viewing location a big priority when scheduling fastpasses and deciding on my touring plan.  I suggest you do the same, especially if you have small children, as the parade might just be the highlight of their entire vacation.

 

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