#38: Festival of Fantasy

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Walt Disney

That famous quote holds true not only at Disneyland, but at every Disney Park around the globe.   With all of the recent changes in Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, I was recently able to do something not possible just a few short months ago.  Sure I experienced the all new “Festival of Fantasy Parade” at Magic Kingdom but more interesting, I experienced it with a reserved viewing location via FastPass+.  I love the parade, and I love FastPass+.  Now remember, I’m not Media.  I have no special access.  I’m just a fan like all of you, so my best bet to get a good spot for the parade?  FastPass+

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #38… the Blog Continues after the video

Fire Breathing Dragons in front of Cinderella's Castle.  Perfect!
Fire Breathing Dragons in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Perfect!

Let’s start with FasPass+.  With the new and evolving, advanced attraction reservation system you have the ability to schedule up to 3 FastPass+ attractions per day.  Staying on-site, off-site or as an annual passholder, all qualify for FastPass+, as long as you have a pre-purchased park ticket, register at www.mydisneyexperience.com and start reserving your favorite attraction..   Or in my case, your favorite experience such as Festival of Fantasy.    The system is still in “testing” but getting closer to its final form every day.  Just recently Disney announced the ability to select additional FastPass+ reservations after you have used your three (based on availability)  (By the Way – The original Fast Pass paper tickets have all been retired, you won’t find any in WDW…  you need to head to Disneyland if you want one 😉

Bell and Beast lead the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Bell and Beast lead the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Having never experienced Festival of Fantasy, I wanted to be sure to select it as one of my three.  My other option is to line up on Main Street hours before the parade start time, that’s valuable park time in my book.  Location is everything, and the location for the FastPass+ parade viewing is outstanding.  Located directly in front of Cinderella Castle, behind the partner statue…  a perfect backdrop for the beautiful Festival of Fantasy floats.  If you haven’t seen the parade it’s a must do for your next trip.  I would recommend grabbing the FastPass+ for the 3:00 parade, and early FastPass+ for the mine train, and pick your third favorite.  Then after the parade head to a Kiosk for your fourth selection… or head to another park for your fourth selection, lots of options.

Captain Hook , under the Peter Pan Float
Captain Hook , under the Peter Pan Float

So… what about “Festival of Fantasy”, the “ALL NEW” afternoon parade replaced “Celebrate the Magic” as the staple 3:00 parade… but be sure to check the times guide.  During busy weeks the parade runs twice, and the times vary usually 12:30 and 3:30 (i.e. NOT 3:00).  Remember, the times guide is your friend.

I purposely waited a few months before seeing the parade.  Disney literally rolled out the Red Carpet for a media event when the parade premiered, you can see the “red” carpet in lots of internet pictures.  I don’t want to see what Disney can do for the media, I wanted to see what they produce for the average park guest.   And even with a missing float (the Mickey/Minnie hot air balloon did not take part in the parade) the parade is outstanding.

Anna and Elsa, part of the lead float.
Anna and Elsa, part of the lead float.

With over 100 performances and countless Disney Characters, the best part of this parade?  It’s all new!  No recycled floats, none imported from California.. It’s all new and designed to fit Magic Kingdom.  The floats are noticeably bigger and taller than any parade in WDW history.  So tall, being in the first row can be distracting… almost as if the parade was designed for the person standing a few people deep… lots of activity above 6 feet in the air.

The parade is designed to represent the attractions and themes of Walt Disney Worlds Fantasyland, hence “Festival of Fantasy”.   The floats are specifically designed to represent the stories of Fantasyland.  “Tangled”, “Peter Pan”, “Brave”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Storybook Circus”, “Little Mermaid and lots of Princesses… even a prince and a “Fire Breathing Dragon”

For all of the videos, subscribe to the YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/samsdisneydiary.  Like the show on facebook www.facebook.com/samsdisneydiary, Instagram.com/SamsDisneyDiary follow the blog at www.samsdisneydiary.com follow me on twitter @SamsDisneyDiaryand be sure to subscribe to the Disney Nerds Podcast http://thedisneynerdspodcast.podbean.com/feed/