Tips and tricks for parades and nighttime shows at Disney World – PREP064

There are several parades and nighttime shows that you can see during a a Disney World trip, but are they worth seeing, worth a FastPass+ and where you should watch them? I have answers and tips for you on each of those things.

I also have a quick tip that will help when you want to split charges on your Disney resort room.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

Tips and tricks for parades and nighttime shows

Magic Kingdom

  • Festival of Fantasy parade - afternoon parade at Magic Kingdom that begins at 3:00 daily, has a FastPass+ option (viewing is in The Hub area) but not recommended, definitely worth your time to see, recommend viewing from the train station at the front of Magic Kingdom
  • Main Street Electrical Parade - nighttime parade, has a FastPass+ available (viewing in The Hub area) but not recommended and often not available until 30 or fewer days beforehand (or not at all), watch from front of the park for easy exit or watch from Frontierland along the parade route
  • Celebrate the Magic - projection show on the castle held in the evenings, watch from The Hub or near Casey's Corner, does not offer a FastPass+, worth seeing
  • Wishes - fireworks at Magic Kingdom, has a FastPass+ available (viewing is in grassy area off to the side of The Hub area) but not recommended and often not available until 30 or fewer days beforehand (or not at all), watch from the front of the park for easy exit, Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party is an option ($27/adult) which gives you an assigned table to sit and watch fireworks

Epcot

  • Illuminations - nighttime show on the water in the World Showcase, FastPass+ is available but not recommended (viewing area doesn't provide a good view), Illuminations dessert party is available but I don't recommend it, the Norway side of the World Showcase often offers a less smoky view, see this map for recommended viewing spots

    epcotfireworksviewing - Tips and tricks for parades and nighttime shows at Disney World - PREP064

Hollywood Studios

  • Fantasmic - nighttime show held in a large outdoor theater, can attend by waiting in standby line, FastPass+ available (only recommended if you can get it as a 4th FastPass+ option), Fantasmic Dinner Package is an option, recommend sitting further back, there's an exit at the top right part of the theater that allows you to exit to the front of the park more quickly, more tips in my Fantasmic article
  • Fireworks - only available on special occasions such as Star Wars Weekends, suggest viewing from the front of the park or even outside the park

Animal Kingdom
No nighttime show right now but "Rivers of Light" is speculated to be coming in March 2016 (side note: I said 2015 in the podcast but it's actually 2016).

riversoflight - Tips and tricks for parades and nighttime shows at Disney World - PREP064

Quick tip of the day

Although you can only store 1 credit card in your My Disney Experience account online, you can go to the front desk or concierge at your Disney resort and have them assign different cards to different people.

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15 Comments on "Tips and tricks for parades and nighttime shows at Disney World – PREP064"

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Our school’s marching band is performing in the parade on Main Street this spring…. All I want to do is watch the band..not pay the park fee… any suggestions?

We watched the Parade from the Train Station. We enjoyed it, but the music from the floats get mixed together. When we watched the videos the sound was a disaster.
Next year we watched from Liberty Square and the difference in the video sound is big. The sound from this spot was much better. From now on, we will go to the back of the park to watch any parade.

Oh no! I just read where the “Rivers of Light” show at AK might be opening March 2016. Does Disney ever give a definite opening time for upcoming attractions? I have already chosen my fastpasses and made reservations for our upcoming Spring Break trip the week of March 13th. We have in past years and this year as well, left AK as our last park and 1/2 day park on our day of departure. If I could find concrete info that Rivers of Light will be open by then, I would switch things up!! I will search for more info… Read more »

Hi!
I have a quick question about watching the Festival of Fantasy parade from the train station.We are going the second week in October and have never watched a parade from this spot. The train will be under refurbishment on 10/12 which is the day we are wanting to view the parade. Will the station still be open? If so, how early should we arrive to watch from here? Also, do you like to stand on the street level in front of the train station or from the second level overlooking the street?
Thank you!

I am planning our April 2016 trip (yes I know I have a ways to go). I was thinking of getting a FPP for the night parade and for Wishes but would like to stay in once place to watch parade, celebrate the magic, and wishes. I’m going to be alone with 3 small kids so sitting in one place for all 3 would be easier. So my questions is, get a fpp for wishes and hope they let us in for the parade? Or get a FPP for parade, watch the parade and then book it to wishes FPP… Read more »

I’d like to try to get a wishes fastpass. Usually I watch the Electrical Light Parade from the train station, but I’m concerned about making it to the wishes FP area from the train station after the parade. Does anyone have advice about this? Can you see the parade from the wishes fp area? Does the EL Parade always start in Frontierland? Thanks!

What do you think of the new viewing spot for Electrical Parade in Town Square? Do you think it’s better to do a FP for the Electrical Parade or for Wishes?

The quick tip is huge!! I’m going this summer with three girls, and we are all on our own separate accounts but rooming together, and I was so wanting to be able to just use my magic band for the trip, I didn’t want to carry around stuff, but we didn’t want to accidentally end up charging to the one person’s card who holds the reservation. Knowing this tip, I’ll DEFINITELY mention it at check in!! Thank you!

Regarding the different credit cards for different people in your group — if you add a credit card at the time of check in– will it update to each individual’s Magic Band at that same time? Do you know how quickly they will be updated to reflect the individual credit cards?

hi! we went last year and assigned 1 credit card to one couple in the room and another credit card to the other couple in the same room , when we checked in we just had to set it up, pretty easy and we used a different one then to one saved on our disney experience account , hope this helped! and everything was charged correctly too!

I just read on the DISboards site that FP+ for parades and fireworks are now available 60 days out. Can anyone confirm this? I also called Disney and they said that the FP+ are all available at the same time, even for parades, fireworks, etc. but I know that the Disney phone people don’t always have accurate information. I am currently 54 days away from my trip, and I made my FP+ reservations last week. My group is going to MK on our first night, January 18, and I was intending to get MSEP and Wishes FP+s, since we won’t… Read more »
From what I have read on other websites, it seems that parade FP+ are indeed released at the 60-day mark along with all the other FP+, but today, at my 29-day mark (I forgot to check yesterday), I was able to get FP+ for the Main Street Electrical Parade! Yay! So it’s quite likely that they release more FP+ at the 30-day mark. The announced park hours and the parade time didn’t change, and I guess I could have just gotten lucky, but I wasn’t particularly fast about it and I was making the reservation for 5 people, so it… Read more »

at disneyland, much is missed wathcing the fireworks from far away as dumbo and tinkerbelll fly adn there are projections. you said you can see the fireworks from the near exit. what will be missed if anything? i dont want to waste time literally just seeing fireworks. what shoudl i do?

Hello,
I notice the festival of the lion king is not listed anywhere. Do they still have it? Can I use the fast pass thing thats new or can I fore go it because its confusing and changes too often. Also the websites never work for disney. I cnat get their official refurb sched. I want to do Splash, will be there jan 4. SOme sites say one thing, other sites say they close the 5th. (fingers crossed.)

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