We’ll take a brief look at Magic Kingdom’s new Festival of Fantasy parade, which debuted on March 9th, 2k14.
For more up-to-the-moment updates, you’re welcome to try following the website on the Twitter via http://www.twitter.com/easywdw. The day’s pictures, in addition to some of its most dimwitted commentary, usually go up there long before a post is ready(?) to go.
Unlike Celebrate A Dream Come True, Festival of Fantasy usually runs from Frontierland to Main Street, beginning to the left of Splash Mountain.
This is good news because Frontierland is typically less crowded than Main Street, where guests start staking out spots on the curb 90 minutes to three hours before the parade steps off at 3pm. I like to see the parade in Frontierland near Pecos Bill, which typically fills in 30 to 45 minutes before the parade steps off, particularly when crowds are heavy as they are here in the midst of spring break. Expect more interest with the newness of the parade. Arriving at your desired parade viewing location early will only result in a greater chance that you’ll be belly-up to the rope.
The FastPass+ viewing area for the parade is the same as Main Street Electrical Parade pictured above. At some point in the future, it will return as an excellent place to watch the parade.
At the moment, the waterways are completely drained, there are four cranes up all around Cinderella Castle, and walls cover much of the rest of the area as Disney ramps up Hub refurbishment work. Unlike the Electrical Parade, when FastPass+ offers a great view of not only the parade, but also the Celebrate the Magic projection show, FP+ only buys you a view of the parade. FP+ at Festival of Fantasy has a return time of 2:40pm – 3:05pm and it’s going to be necessary to arrive by 2:25pm to guarantee a first row spot on the curb. From there, the parade isn’t going to arrive in the area until about 3:20pm. That’s an entire hour of waiting with FP+, which is about as long as you’d wait in Frontierland if you were to arrive at 2pm. Like the Electrical Parade, it also looks like FP+ for Festival of Fantasy won’t open up until about a month before a given date. At the moment, Festival of Fantasy FP+ is only available through March 31st.
The size and scope of the parade otherwise obliterates its predecessor.
The axes on the Rapunzel unit swing from side to side while performers interact with the audience and other characters on the float.
This video from The DIS shows better examples of the kinetic energy radiating from the performers and the floats they’re riding, in addition to the music which isn’t captured particularly well in stills.
A few more pix:
Anna and Elsa pretty clearly replaced Aurora at the last moment, but it’s fun to see them and Olaf.
The mime from Tangled is one of the creepier and more obscure characters present.
One other thing the video better illustrates is the number of performers walking the route in intricate, unique costumes.
Just look at how high Peter Pan and Wendy are as Hook (theoretically) swings back and forth on the anchor below.
The pirate ship cannons fire.
Watch the backs of the floats as they glide by or you might miss characters like Tinker Bell, who just found out Magic Kingdom is not a recommended park.
One of the more intense performers, this guy looked like he had about four minutes to make an it’s a small world FP+. Bro, there is a 15-minute automatic cushion built in. Relax.
The fire breathing dragon steals the show.
Dumbo turns his head and points his trunk.
Overall, the parade is a lot of fun and fits a ton of characters into the 16-minute, six-float procession. I am not exactly the target demographic for a daytime parade, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw and was impressed by many of the floats, the performers, and the attention to detail. It’s worth seeing if you can fit it in, whether your group includes youngsters or not.