One of the reasons for selecting our park days in the order we did was to possibly see some of the Christmas party entertainment during the daytime. We were late to the party, pun intended, when it came to buying party ticket passes. We were still discussing whether we should do a party night for our MK day when the only day that would have worked for us sold out.
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Having followed other blogs, I knew in years past, the day after the last party, some options moved to the daytime, so as soon as we got our tickets purchased through Undercover Tourist, I made our Wednesday December 22nd park selection for the Magic Kingdom.
Leading up to our trip, I did see the announcement that the parade would definitely be happening, starting on the day we selected! Unfortunately that would be the only entertainment from the party to be announced, so we definitely knew we needed to make time for it, not that we would have missed it.
So finally on our Magic Kingdom day, I woke up and scrolled through the Genie+ tip board to plan my first selection of the day. Having watched the passes to see what sold out early, I was definitely selecting Jungle Cruise, for several reasons – of all our 3 trips to Disney World and Disneyland, we have never gone on the cruise, I definitely wanted to experience Jingle Cruise and third, those passes were usually gone before second selection could be made.
But, when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a Lightning Lane pass to see a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer! I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick we must Bolt to go see! Sorry, had to use a little Night before Christmas fun.
So yes, our first Lightning Lane pass of the day would be to watch the parade.
We waited until about 10:30 to leave our hotel. I tried to be patient with the family, but also wanted to make sure we had time to get to the TTC parking lot, hop on the monorail and get into the park in plenty of time to head to the reserved viewing spot.
All of that didn’t take too long as we were on Main Street USA by 11:15. Enough time to use the restroom and get in place. However, my wife wanted a coffee. We go past Starbucks and the line is crazy long so looked on Mobile Order for another coffee spot and found some available at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Great, it’s really close to where we need to be for the parade! So we head to pick it up. She goes in alone while my daughter and I wait… And wait… And wait… Seemed like she was in there forever! Though it was probably only 15 minutes, that’s a long time when you’re trying to get to something with a specific start time.
Finally, she’s done, we head back to the castle area and spot a cast member holding a Lightning Lane sign right in the middle of the hub! (Marked with the red dot below) By now we’re beyond excited.
After we check in, and I guess we were fortunate, apparently Disney gave away too many passes to the parade and cancelled some unexpectedly, we moved around to the front between the Partners statue and the castle, marked by the blue dot above.
I needed a 360 picture of this great spot, so I pulled out the Panono 360 ball cam and it would not connect. All I could get was spinning, trying to connect, cannot find device, etc. After the frustrations from the day before, I was done with it, that was the last time I would try the camera on the trip. So I pulled out my phone and got this pic:
The parade itself was a lot of fun. There were so many characters to see, many of them dancing through the street while some were riding atop floats.
At the parade lead were numerous Fantasyland characters including Peter Pan and Wendy, Donald and Daisy, Alice and The Mad Hatter, as well as Pinocchio and Geppetto with Mickey and Minnie sharing a float.
Next up were the characters from Arendelle. Olaf led the way in a cute log cabin float while Anna and Kristoff walked behind and Elsa rode on her own float.
They were followed by the baking crew. Goofy led in an adorable Gingerbread house float while chefs Chip and Dale and gingerbread men cookies danced behind. Clarabelle was busy working hard in her kitchen themed float.
Next, we saw the princess floats come through. One was in a gazebo shape while the other loosely resembled the castle. The princesses, including Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine, Cinderella and many more, all riding in one of the two floats, danced and waved to the crowds.
Following the princesses came the toys of Toy Story! Teddy Bears, Luxo Balls and Toy Soldiers danced in the streets while Woody, Jessie and Forky rode on a toy themed float.
And finally, for the big finale, 8 tiny reindeer danced their way to the street, pulling along a giant Santa Sleigh float! Santa, in a sleigh filled with presents, was flying over a town coming in for a landing along a row of rooftops.
See the full parade below! I used my iPhone to record this, which doesn’t have image stabilization, so my apologies for an at times slightly bumpy view.
This parade was so much fun. High quality decorations and theming throughout. There were so many characters waving and dancing their way through the streets. In my opinion, it was definitely an effective use of a Lightning Lane pass. Having gone to celebrate Christmas, we wanted to be involved in everything Christmas themed, so when we saw it available on Genie+, it was a no brainer, let’s do it.
We’ve been in positions before where we just couldn’t find a spot to squeeze in trying to watch a parade, so was glad to not experience that this time. Also, it was our first trip of 2021 where we had so many entertainment options available. We definitely wanted to see as many shows as possible, so we were ready to use LL passes to see anything we could fit into the schedule.
Did you get to enjoy the Christmas parade during the day? Did you use Lightning Lane or just line up along Main Street USA? Would love to hear your thoughts on the parade, so leave your comments below!
If you’re ready to start exploring a Walt Disney World or Disneyland family vacation, I recommend checking out Undercover Tourist for your ticket options. I’ve already used them twice, once at Disneyland and once at Disney World and will plan to continue comparing their prices with other sites, however I usually come back to UT because they have the best deals and their instructions make it easy to add your tickets to the Disney apps.