I like to say that if you like Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade, then you’ll really like Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. I also like to say that if you like Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade, then you’ll really like Mickey’s Jammin’ Jingle Jungle. Of course, the hilarious joke here is that Mickey’s Jammin’ and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parades are very similar. In fact, the Jingle Jungle Parade is basically the exact same Parade as the Jammin’ Jungle Parade, only with the characters and vehicles dressed up for the holidays. Expect a lot of wreaths, garland, scarfs, and holiday lights. I’ll save the pictures for the end of this post should you wish to see the Parade in person without the pictures ruining the surprise.
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade is scheduled every day at 3:45pm through January 3rd. Last year, Disney extended the Jingle Jungle Parade for a couple additional days into January. With the other holiday shows (Osborne Lights/Castle Dream Lights) being extended to January 7th, we may see the Jingle Jungle Parade dates extended as well.
Seeing Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade
Mickey’s Parades at Animal Kingdom are the only ones that start and end in the same location. Specifically, Mickey’s Jammin’ and Jingle Jungle Parades begin and end in Africa in front of the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Should you wish to, you can set up shop along the Parade route in Africa and see the Parade twice – once at 3:45pm and then again when it returns to Africa around 4:05pm. Unfortunately, Africa is usually the most crowded viewing location, along with much of the Parade route around Discovery Island. This is due to the number of people exiting the very popular Kilimanjaro Safaris, as well as people returning from Rafiki’s Planet Watch via the Wildlife Express and those walking the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
The least crowded viewing locations are along the path that connects Africa and Asia in the back of Animal Kingdom. Because the Parade arrives here near the end of its run, you won’t see the first floats until around 4pm. Alternatively, you can also wait to see the Parade in Africa after it returns. For one reason or another, people love following the Parade and most people will instinctively follow it to the exit or over to DinoLand USA or Camp Minnie-Mickey after it passes through. Personally, my favorite thing to do is walk the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail from about 3:30pm to about 4pm, exit the Trail, and find a spot to see the Parade as it returns to Africa. Because the Parade inhibits traffic flow into and out of Africa, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail will be virtually deserted during the Parade. Because it can be difficult to move around the Animal Kingdom during the Parade anyway, it’s also a nice way to get away from the congestion of the Park.
This is the Africa section right before the Parade begins. As you can see, people here are four, five, and even six people deep. Had they simply turned the corner and walked down past Tamu Tamu Refreshments on the way over to Asia, they would find that the area is nearly empty.
After the Parade
Leaving Animal Kingdom immediately after the Parade is a mistake.
This is the crowd of people following the Parade from Africa through Discovery Island. It’s a slow, frustrating experience. You don’t want to be part of this group. Because so many people are headed to the exit, the first and second buses that arrive to take guests back to their Disney resorts after the Parade will also be packed with people. Plan to do something – anything – for at least 20 minutes after the Parade ends. Shopping, eating, walking a Jungle Trek, hopping on a ride with a short wait, seeing a show are all good choices. Eating, especially.
If for some reason you must exit Animal Kingdom from Africa (or Asia), plan to skip ahead of a lot of people by walking through one of the major stores. Here, we’re headed into Island Mercantile.
Walk straight through and you’ll exit right in front of the bridge that takes you toward the Park exit.
Skipping hundreds of people, if not more.
Here’s the Parade:
The good news is that the turkey float makes a lot more sense around now. I also love the Donald Duck jeep with the snow blowing over the Christmas Tree and the quacker (bill) out front. Mickey’s Jingle/Jammin’ Jungle Parade is actually my favorite of the usual daytime Parades. That’s not saying much, but it’s worth seeing. Because you can easily see it along the path that connects Africa and Asia, it’s also easier to see than the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade at Magic Kingdom or the Pixar Pals Parade at Hollywood Studios.