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

HomeTips and tricks for parades and nighttime shows at Disney World – PREP064
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.

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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


  • 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 spotsepcot map walt disney world

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).


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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Band Fan

Thursday 8th of December 2016

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?


Thursday 2nd of June 2016

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.


Sunday 24th of January 2016

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 on this. Thanks for the "heads up." I had heard it was more like May, not March.


Friday 25th of September 2015

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!

Shannon Albert

Friday 25th of September 2015

Yes, the station will be open. You view from the second level which overlooks the street.

Katharine M

Monday 13th of July 2015

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 area to watch celebrate the magic and then wishes? I've got it worked out that we won't need FPP at all for other things that day so using them for this will be ok. Thanks for you insight!!