For months we’ve been waiting for the return of daytime parades to Disney Parks and today we have a date for just that! Festival of Fantasy will return to Magic Kingdom’s streets on March 9th. This was announced along with the news that other entertainment will coming to the park. In this post, we’ll cover the news before adding our thoughts about the additions.
Outside of a few holiday parades, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World have strayed away from daytime parades since reopening post the pandemic shutdown. At first, the reasoning was that the parks were trying to stay away from crowds gathering. That reason went out the window a bit when they brought back nighttime spectaculars, which are generally a more crowded affair than parade viewing. During the holiday season, Christmas parades were running so it seemed like only a matter of time before other daytime parades are back. We’re happy to see them return, as they are an integral part of a castle park experience.
As for Festival of Fantasy itself, we like the parade a decent amount. The Maleficent float and unique character costumes are what stand out about it, as it adds some excitement and life to Magic Kingdom. There’s a nice blend of modern and historic Disney IP involved along with some show stopping moments. We absolutely recommend taking time to see it when it comes back on March 9th.
There was some thought that Magic Kingdom would receive either a new daytime or nighttime parade for the 50th anniversary. We’ll never know the veracity of those rumors thanks to how pared-down the celebration is due to COVID. I’d guess that a new nighttime parade is/was more likely but March 9th will mark the 8th anniversary of Festival of Fantasy. While that’s not very old, I would love to see Disney be a little more active in replacing and trading parades throughout their resorts. Having a new daytime and nighttime parade at least once every decade is one of the best ways to give fresh energy to a castle park. Every five years would be ideal!
As for what this means for a daytime parade at Disneyland Resort, that remains to be seen. We want Magic Happens back on the streets as soon as possible and there’s nothing practical standing in its way. At this point, it’s hard to think that anything other than cost of running the parade is the sticking point. If that’s the case, then bringing it back before the spring break crowds makes sense. I obviously don’t know the details but I have a hard time thinking that the cost of running Magic Happens is significantly more than Festival of Fantasy. Along with that, Main Street Electrical Parade will be running in the future at Disneyland. Having two parades going per day would be wonderful but I do have my doubts on that.
Moving on to the other entertainment coming to Magic Kingdom! Kicking off the fun on Feb. 11 is the brand-new “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade!” Starring nearly 30 Disney and Pixar characters, this giant cavalcade features Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” José Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” plus Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and more – including the Magic Kingdom debut of Miguel from “Coco” in his mariachi best.
I don’t have a lot of thoughts on character cavalcades, they aren’t up my alley as they are other peoples. But, Baloo, King Louie, José Carioca, Panchito and Miguel is a superb quintet of characters. Moana and The Incredibles are wonderful, as well. 30 is a lot of characters and I’m curious how long this cavalcade will run. The information doesn’t specifically say that it will run throughout the rest of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary but that would be my guess.
“Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will make its debut on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage Feb. 25! The show, newly enhanced for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration, will incorporate scenes inspired by “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “The Princess and the Frog” – plus a new opening and finale with Mickey Mouse and all his friends in their sparkling, EARidescent fashions. Presented multiple times a day, the show will also include an all-new, original song entitled “Where the Magic Feels Like Home.”
Friendship Faire is a fine stage show, with some fun musical numbers. Adding a few songs featuring Mickey in their new threads is an easy way to incorporate the anniversary. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to see the show, I’m also not the target audience for it. Kids and character lovers shouldn’t miss it.
All in all, this is great news. I’m hopeful that the 50th anniversary will have a big push this summer with even more additions coming to Walt Disney World! For now, we look forward to a few more character interactions and the return of a daytime parade!
What do you think of these entertainment additions? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! If you are planning a trip to Disney World, then check out our planning guide. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. You can do all of that on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!