Guide to Disneyland Parades for Families

Welcome to the magical world of Disneyland, where dreams come true and memories are made. As a parent, you want to give your family the best experience possible at the Happiest Place on Earth. With so many parades to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Let me help you plan your perfect parade experience for you and your loved ones.

What Are Disneyland Parades?

Disneyland parades are vibrant processions featuring Disney characters and performers, enchanting guests with music, dance, and elaborate floats. These parades showcase the magic of Disney through captivating storytelling, bringing beloved tales to life along the parade route.

So what exactly are Disneyland parades? They are lively and entertaining performances that showcase the wonder of Disney and its beloved characters. With music, dance, and elaborate floats, these parades bring beloved tales to life for guests to enjoy along the parade route.

What Are the Different Types of Disneyland Parades?

One of the most iconic and beloved traditions at Disneyland is the parades. These lively and colorful processions bring Disney magic to life and are a must-see for families visiting the park. But did you know that there are different types of parades at Disneyland? In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the three main categories of parades: daytime, nighttime, and seasonal. Get ready to be enchanted by the dazzling floats, beloved characters, and catchy tunes that each parade has to offer.

1. Daytime Parades

Daytime parades at Disneyland offer a lively and vibrant experience for visitors of all ages. Here’s a brief guide:

  1. Choose the perfect viewing spot to ensure an unobstructed view.
  2. Check the parade schedule to plan your day around this exciting event.
  3. Get ready to capture stunning photos and videos of the colorful floats and beloved characters.
  4. Prepare to be entertained by energetic dance performances and lively music.
  5. Stay hydrated and don’t forget to wear sunscreen to fully enjoy the parade.

In 1955, Disneyland debuted its first daytime parade, “The Disneyland Band,” which featured a marching band and beloved characters. The parade has since evolved, showcasing iconic Disney characters and themes.

2. Nighttime Parades

  1. Check the Schedule: View the park’s schedule for parade timings to plan your visit to the nighttime parades.
  2. Secure a Good Spot: Arrive early to snag a prime viewing location along the parade route for the nighttime parades.
  3. Manage Wait Times: Utilize the time before the parade by enjoying nearby attractions or dining options for the nighttime parades.
  4. Consider FastPass: Utilize the FastPass system for popular nighttime parades to ensure a good viewing spot.
  5. Enjoy the Atmosphere: Immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of Disneyland’s nighttime parades.

3. Seasonal Parades

  • Disneyland’s seasonal parades offer unique themes and experiences, such as Halloween or Christmas celebrations.
  • These parades typically showcase special floats, costumes, and music to align with the seasonal festivities.
  • Be sure to plan your visit in advance to catch these limited-time parades and add extra magic to your Disneyland experience.

Pro-tip: Stay updated on upcoming seasonal parades by checking the Disneyland schedule for a truly magical and immersive visit.

What Are the Best Spots to Watch Disneyland Parades?

A visit to Disneyland is not complete without experiencing the magical parades that bring beloved Disney characters to life. But with so many prime viewing spots, it can be overwhelming to decide where to watch from. In this section, we will explore the best spots to watch Disneyland parades and help you find the perfect location for your family. From Main Street, U.S.A. to the Rivers of America, each spot offers a unique and enchanting view of the parade. Let’s dive in and discover the best spots for a front-row seat to the magic!

1. Main Street, U.S.A.

  • Arrive early to secure a good spot for the parade on 1. Main Street, U.S.A.

2. It’s a Small World Promenade

  • Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot along the parade route.
  • Consider choosing a spot near the It’s a Small World Promenade for a prime viewing location.
  • Bring along some snacks and drinks to enjoy while waiting for the parade to start.
  • Use FastPass if available to secure a reserved viewing area for the parade.
  • Enjoy the parade from multiple locations to experience different perspectives and enjoy the full spectacle.

The It’s a Small World Promenade is a fantastic spot to enjoy the Disneyland parades, offering a picturesque view and a magical atmosphere for families and visitors of all ages.

3. New Orleans Square

  • Find a spot early to secure a good view of the parade.
  • Consider locations like the balcony of the French Market Restaurant for a unique vantage point in New Orleans Square.
  • Stay mindful of the parade route to select an ideal viewing location in New Orleans Square.
  • Enjoy the ambiance, music, and entertainment of New Orleans Square while waiting for the parade to begin.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of New Orleans Square and savor the rich culture and excitement as you await the magical Disneyland parade.

4. Fantasyland

  • Explore Fantasyland before the parade to enjoy attractions like Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World.
  • Secure a spot early along the parade route near Sleeping Beauty Castle for an optimal view.
  • Consider booking a dining package at one of the many restaurants in Fantasyland for reserved seating.

5. Rivers of America

  • Positioning: Secure a spot along the riverbank of the Rivers of America well in advance to get an unobstructed view of the parade.
  • Arrival Time: Arrive at least 30-45 minutes early to find a good vantage point for watching the parade along the Rivers of America.
  • Comfort: Bring portable chairs or cushions for comfortable seating along the Rivers of America during the parade.
  • Enhanced Experience: Consider booking a dining package at a waterfront restaurant along the Rivers of America for a premium parade viewing experience.

What Are the Must-See Disneyland Parades?

Disneyland is known for its spectacular parades that bring the magic and wonder of Disney to life. If you’re planning a visit to the happiest place on earth with your family, you won’t want to miss these must-see parades. From classic favorites to newer additions, each parade offers its own unique experience. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the enchanting world of Disneyland parades.

1. Main Street Electrical Parade

  • Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot along the parade route for the 1. Main Street Electrical Parade.
  • Consider booking a dining package at a restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A., which offers reserved viewing for the parade.
  • Check the Disneyland app or website for the parade schedule to plan your visit.
  • Ensure that young children have comfortable seating and snacks to enjoy the parade.
  • Stay updated with any changes in the parade schedule or route by asking Disneyland cast members.

2. Paint the Night Parade

  • Arrive Early: Secure a good viewing spot by arriving early at the Paint the Night Parade location.
  • Check Schedule: Confirm the parade timings to plan your day accordingly.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring drinks to stay refreshed during the parade.
  • Charge Devices: Ensure your camera or phone is fully charged for capturing the vibrant Paint the Night Parade.

3. Mickey’s Soundsational Parade

  1. Check the Disneyland schedule for parade timings and plan your visit accordingly.
  2. Find a good viewing spot along the parade route, considering areas like Town Square or near Sleeping Beauty Castle.
  3. Arrive at the chosen spot at least 30 minutes before Mickey’s Soundsational Parade begins to secure a good view.
  4. During the parade, enjoy the vibrant floats, dancing performers, and beloved Disney characters.
  5. Capture the magical moments by taking photos and videos of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade to cherish the experience.

4. A Christmas Fantasy Parade

Arrive Early: Secure a prime viewing spot by arriving well in advance for the A Christmas Fantasy Parade.

Dress Warmly: As the parade is usually held during the holiday season, make sure to dress warmly.

Bring Refreshments: Carry snacks and drinks to stay energized and hydrated while waiting for the parade.

Capture Memories: Have cameras ready to capture the magical moments of the A Christmas Fantasy Parade.

Enjoy the Festivities: Embrace the enchanting atmosphere and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit during the A Christmas Fantasy Parade.

5. Pixar Play Parade

  1. Be sure to check the schedule: Prior to your visit, verify the parade times and locations to plan your day around the Pixar Play Parade event.
  2. Find the perfect spot: Scout for a location with a good view, ideally in a shaded area to avoid the sun’s glare.
  3. Enjoy the pre-parade atmosphere: Get into the spirit of the parade by arriving early and immersing yourself in the music, dancing, and excitement.
  4. Capture the magic: Bring along a camera or smartphone to capture memorable moments during the Pixar Play Parade.
  5. Stay together: If attending with a group, establish a meeting point in case anyone gets separated during the event.

Once, my family and I eagerly awaited the Pixar Play Parade. We secured a prime viewing spot, and as the parade began, the kids were mesmerized, jumping with joy as their favorite characters passed by. The sheer delight on their faces made the experience truly magical.

What Are Tips for Families Attending Disneyland Parades?

If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland with your family, it’s likely that catching one of the iconic parades is high on your list of must-dos. But with large crowds and limited viewing spots, it’s important to have a game plan. In this section, we’ll discuss five essential tips for families attending Disneyland parades. From securing a good spot to keeping your little ones entertained, these tips will help ensure that your parade experience is a magical one.

1. Arrive Early to Secure a Good Spot

  • Make sure to arrive at the parade route at least 30-45 minutes before the scheduled start time to secure a prime viewing spot.
  • To ensure a good spot, consider scouting out the parade route earlier in the day to identify the best vantage points.
  • For a more relaxed viewing experience, take advantage of less crowded areas, such as near restaurants or shops.

2. Bring Snacks and Drinks

  • Be prepared with easy-to-eat snacks like granola bars and fruits for convenience.
  • Bring refillable water bottles to stay hydrated throughout the parade.
  • Consider portable snacks such as trail mix or pretzels for minimal mess.

Pro-tip: Opt for snacks and drinks that are easy to carry and consume while standing to fully enjoy the parade experience.

3. Use FastPass for Popular Parades

Maximize your Disneyland experience by utilizing FastPass for popular parades, guaranteeing a stress-free and enjoyable viewing experience.

  • Arrive at the FastPass distribution point for the parade early to obtain a FastPass ticket.
  • Check the return time on your FastPass ticket, ensuring you return to the parade viewing area during the indicated time slot.
  • While waiting for the parade, use the time to enjoy other attractions or have a meal to optimize your visit.
  • Prepare your camera or phone to capture the best moments during the parade.
  • Relax and enjoy the parade, knowing you have a guaranteed spot.

4. Bring Entertainment for Young Children

  • To keep young children entertained while waiting for the parade to start, bring small toys or coloring books.
  • Consider bringing snacks to satisfy and occupy children during the parade.
  • For added comfort, bring a small blanket or foldable chair for children to use during the parade.
  • Enhance your children’s parade experience by encouraging them to dress up as their favorite Disney characters.
  • Be prepared for unexpected waiting times by having interactive games or storytelling activities on hand for children.

Once, at Disneyland, a young girl created magical moments for her entire family by delightfully interacting with Disney characters during a parade.

5. Watch from Multiple Locations for Different Perspectives

  • Main Street, U.S.A.: Experience the grandeur of parades from the heart of Disneyland.
  • It’s a Small World Promenade: Enjoy a different view with the iconic attraction as the backdrop.
  • New Orleans Square: Immerse in the unique ambiance of this location for a fresh parade perspective.
  • Fantasyland: Delight in the enchanting atmosphere while catching the parade.
  • Rivers of America: Witness the magic against the backdrop of the serene river.

Watching from multiple locations adds depth and variety to your parade experience, providing a unique spectacle each time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best viewing spots for Disneyland parades?

There are several great viewing spots for Disneyland parades, including Main Street USA, it’s a small world area, and near the Sleeping Beauty Castle. These spots offer great views and are close to bathroom and food options.

Are there any special events or parades exclusively for families at Disneyland?

Yes, Disneyland offers a daily parade called “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” which is perfect for families. It features familiar Disney characters and catchy music that is sure to delight both kids and adults.

Is it possible to reserve a spot for a parade at Disneyland?

While it is not possible to make reservations for parade viewing, you can purchase a VIP package that includes reserved seating for parades. These packages can be pricey, so it’s best to plan ahead and reserve in advance.

What is the best time to view a parade at Disneyland?

The best time to view a parade at Disneyland is typically in the afternoon or evening, as these are when the parades are scheduled. However, it’s best to check the park schedule for specific parade times as they may vary.

Are strollers allowed during Disneyland parades?

Yes, strollers are allowed during Disneyland parades. However, it’s important to remember to park your stroller in designated areas and not to block any walkways or viewing spots for other guests.

What should families do if they miss a parade at Disneyland?

If you happen to miss a parade at Disneyland, don’t worry! The parades typically have multiple showings throughout the day, so you can catch it at a later time. Alternatively, you can also watch a live stream of the parade on the official Disneyland app.


  1. Mickey Visit – Disneyland Parades Guide
  2. Disneyland Tour Guide – Parade Tips and Information at Disneyland
  3. Disney Rewards – The Ultimate Guide to Parades at Disney Parks
  4. Disneyland Parade Times and Where to Watch – Disney Dose
  5. Touring Plans – “Magic Happens” Parade | Disneyland Park
  6. Park Savers – Ultimate Disneyland Parades Guide
  7. Disneyland Daily – All About Parades at The Disneyland Resort
  8. Don’t Just Fly – 6 Tips for Taking Kids to Disney’s Evening Parades
  9. Disneyland Resort – Parades at Disneyland & California Adventure
  10. MousePlanet – Kids Love a Parade! by Adrienne Krock

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