Magic Kingdom Live Entertainment and Parades: It’ s impossible to take in all the many live entertainment offerings at the Magic Kingdom in a single day. To experience both the attractions and the live entertainment, we recommend that you allocate at least two days to this park.
In addition to parades, stage shows, and fireworks, check the daily entertainment schedule (Times Guide) or ask a cast member about concerts in Fantasyland, the Flag Retreat at Town Square, and the appearances of the various bands, singers, and street performers that roam the park daily. WDW live entertainment guru Steve Soares usually posts the Magic Kingdom’s performance schedule about a week in advance.
Following is a short list of daily events with special appeal for families with children:
Meeting Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall: The hottest ticket in the Magic Kingdom is meeting Anna an Elsa of Arendelle. If you are able to get a FastPass+ reservation via MyDisneyExperience.com we recommend go for it as the standby lines are insane. Like celebrities their autograph is so desired that from the moment the ropes drop at the Magic Kingdom huge crowds launch towards Princess Fairytale Hall.
Castle Forecourt Stage: The 20-minute Dream-Along with Mickey live show features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and a peck of princesses and other secondary characters, plus human backup dancers, in a show built around the premise that—quelle horreur!—Donald doesn’t believe in the power of dreams. Crisis is averted through a frenetic whirlwind of song and dance.
Merida Meet and Greet at the Fairytale Garden: The garden, formerly the site of Storytime with Belle and the Tangled play and greet, is a small outdoor theater. It received a Scottish Highlands–inspired makeover and is now the home of Merida, the strong-willed heroine from Brave. The new setting has an area in which those waiting to meet Merida can get archery lessons and participate in other activities until it’s their turn to meet Merida. The activity targets the under-5 age group.
If you plan on meeting Merida, arrive at least 20–30 minutes early to the staging area. Once the area is at capacity (about 20 children and parents), cast members rope it off. Be forewarned that the entire experiencewill take a whole hour out of your day. The play and greet takes place six to eight times a day; check the daily entertainment schedule (Times Guide) for showtimes.
Parades: The afternoon parade is usually staged at 3 p.m., this parade features floats and marching Disney characters. A new afternoon parade is introduced every year or two.
While some of the elements, such as the Disney characters, remain constant, the theme, music, and float design change. Seasonal parades round up the mix.
The new Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade includes new floats based on the stories of Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Tangled, and Brave. It features a brand-new original soundtrack with songs from Disney films in addition to a parade theme song. It is a good way to see the Frozen royals if you where not able to meet that at Princess Fairytale Hall.
Evening parade performances vary by season, happening as often as twice a night during the busy times of year, to two or three times a week during the less busy seasons. We rate the evening parade as not to be missed. The Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) is the current nightly cavalcade at the Magic Kingdom.
In our opinion, the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime parade is always the best in Walt Disney World, and the Electrical Parade is the standard against which everything else is judged. Disney is known to swap out parades (MSEP replaced SpectroMagic in 2010) and may do so at any time. If you’re at Disney World while MSEP is running, make a special trip to see it.
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