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New details about Magic Kingdom's upcoming Festival of Fantasy Parade

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"What time is the 3 o'clock parade?" Cast members and Walt Disney World regulars chuckle about this supposedly common question from first-time guests to the Magic Kingdom. This year, however, the question may not be about when the parade takes place rather what it is all about.

The Magic Kingdom's "Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade" wrapped up a five-year run on Saturday, making way for a brand-new daytime parade to come this year. (Take a look back at Jack Spence's blog from the previous parade's opening day.) The "Festival of Fantasy Parade" is expected to debut in the spring, and Walt Disney World so far has released only a brief description and some of the concept artwork. You can take a peek here.

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2013-2014 Walt Disney World Ambassadors Tye Arnold (left) and Rich Tamayo

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Tye Arnold, one of the 2013-2014 Walt Disney World ambassadors, about the new parade. "There are a lot of new floats that have been designed after New Fantasyland opened [in 2012]," he said. "So a lot of the stories that have come alive there will come alive on the floats throughout the Magic Kingdom."

Specifically, expect to see floats and characters from "The Little Mermaid," "Sleeping Beauty," "Dumbo," "Pinocchio," "Peter Pan," "Tangled" and "Brave." Of course, there will be a signature float for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, as well.

Clearly, the Disney Princesses will be out in full force in this parade. "Rapunzel is a big part of this parade," Arnold said. "It's kind of neat to see a newer character, a recent princess in our line-up of Disney Princesses."

What about Disney's newest unofficial addition to the royal family -- the Ice Queen, Elsa, from "Frozen"?

"We haven't heard if any of the 'Frozen' characters will be in the parade. 'Frozen' just came out, and this parade has been in the works for quite some time," Arnold said. "I don't think, at this time, 'Frozen' will be a part of it."

Although guests might not see the ice spells of Elsa or hear the wacky humor of Olaf the Snowman, they nonetheless will see some amazing feats on the floats.

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"We have some of the largest floats we've ever had in one of our parades. One really interesting one will be Captain Hook's pirate ship. Wendy and Peter will be 28 feet above the buildings on Main Street. It's going to be really impressive," he said. "It's cool enough just to look up and see the buildings on Main Street, but then to have them [the characters] even higher?"

The Walt Disney Co. has a history of moving its parades and shows among its parks worldwide to keep vacations memories fresh for repeat visitors. The "Festival of Fantasy Parade," however, has been created as a new experience with new costumes and music to go with the floats.

"It's a brand-new parade, but it does have some incorporated pieces so some of the floats are coming from our Tokyo park. … Part of a train set is coming from Tokyo. We like to bring in some of the older pieces to add character, but it's also nice to have something fresh," Arnold said.

The "Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade" is not moving to another Disney theme park at this time, he said.

"Festival of Fantasy Parade" is planned to begin at the same time the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction in New Fantasyland opens this spring.



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Comments (9)

Kev:

While a new parade will be immensely popular, I can't help feel that as guests we've been a little caught out by a slightly ill planned improvement.

For many of us that keep fully up to date with events at the parks, though Allears and other great sites, we sometimes easily forget the first-timers that have saved for years to visit the most hallowed of all parks.

The very idea of the '3 o'clock' parade not being there is beyond the imagination of most guests, who have read and dreamed of playing a part in the show for most of their lives.

As you can imagine, I'm a HUGE Disney fan, always try to keep a balanced view, but this time I think they have messed up the Magic for guests visiting over quieter months.

(Can't wait though can you?)


Tim:

No Frozen? Bummer!

chris:

Hi Kristin,

Thanks for the article. Question: you write

"Festival of Fantasy Parade" is planned to begin at the same time the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction in New Fantasyland opens this spring

Is Disney saying they'll open at the same time? Or is this simply the Mine Train has been announced with a "Spring" opening and the parade has been announced with a "Spring" opening, therefore they will open at the same time?

I'm not being nitpicky. Rather, getting excited about Mine Train and wondering if you have more info!

Thanks!

KRISTIN: When I interviewed Tye, he said they both were scheduled to open at the same time. By that, I think he meant the attractions would launch in the same small window of time versus months apart. Of course, there is no official opening date yet, so nothing is set in stone.

Kim:

I agree with Kev. I know that time is needed to rehearse new parades, but for those who can't come to Disney with any frequency a 3-4 month gap with no parade is a pretty big hole in the "magic."

Allison:

We'll be heading to Disney the first week of April. I know "spring" is a pretty wide span of time, but what do you think our chances are of catching the parade? This is our third trip with the kids, but the first time they'll be old enough to skip naps and catch an afternoon parade :) I was at MK fall of 2012 the day they soft-opened Ariel's ride - so I'm hoping that even if they're not officially open, we can at least catch a dress rehearsal of the parade...

KRISTIN: Hard to say at this point. There is a street party/parade on Main Street, USA that young kids will enjoy, even if the Festival of Fantasy Parade is not yet going.

Marian:

Does this mean there will be no parade in feb? We are finally getting to go this year in feb and will be so disappointed

KRISTIN: We don't have a start date yet for the Festival of Fantasy Parade, so it's difficult to answer this question. The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Parade, which is a parade and dance party with characters, will be happening, though.

Jill Hogg:

Are you saying that between now and "spring", there is no daytime parade in MK? Why on earth would they end the "Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade" without anything to replace it right away? Why not keep it running until the "Festival of Fantasy Parade" is ready to go? If I were visiting during this time, I would be truly disappointed to not have that 3:00 parade.

KRISTIN: Correct - there is no traditional afternoon parade until Festival of Fantasy starts. The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party, which is a parade that stops at several points on Main Street, USA, happens several times each day, though.

Ann:

Hi, can you tell me if the new parade will run at 3:00 the end of July, early August? My family and I look forward to the parade at 3:00 and I know my daughter will absolutly love to see the Princess floats.

KRISTIN: I would expect it to be going to your visit since it launches in the spring. Please check our section on AllEars.Net for rehabs and temporary closings before your trip!

Melissa:

Love the street party on Main Street, the Dream Along with Mickey castle forecourt stage show, and let's not forget the Main Street Electrical Parade! I'd like to think that the Disney folks have very good reason why there would be a couple months without a parade, and with all the new attractions I don't think any "Magic" will be lost at all. Excited for this new parade and the opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! Thanks for the great blog posts!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 7, 2014 5:39 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Tips for visiting Walt Disney World and SeaWorld when it's cold outside.

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