15 Best Disney World Parades and Shows

Festival of Fantasy Cinderella

If you’re planning a visit to Walt Disney World just to check out its attractions, you’d be missing out. Yes, the thrill rides and classic ones as well are definitely not to be missed, but have you considered the parades and shows in all four theme parks and scheduled them into your plans? We’ve got 13 must see Disney World parades and shows on our short list- and you should put them on yours as well!

Festival of Fantasy Parade Ariel

Walt Disney World Parades

1.  Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Location: Magic Kingdom

Duration: 12 minutes

Parade Route: Frontierland (close to Splash Mountain) down to the end of Main Street, U.S.A.

Time: 2:00pm

Details: There’s only one Festival of Fantasy Parade per day so, if you really want a decent view, you’re going to have to score a spot along the parade route at least 30 minutes prior. The route tends to be less crowded in Frontierland which is an option if you’re running late. Fastpass+ Selections offered.

Ready for your next visit to Walt Disney World but not sure which parades and shows to check out? Her'es our 13 favorite must-see shows and parades at Disney World including locations, lengths, and times.

2. Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Once Upon a Christmastime Parade in Magic Kingdom. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World News

Location: Magic Kingdom

Parade Route: From Frontierland to Main Street, U.S.A.

Time: Starting a week or so before Christmas, it runs a couple of times a day through Christmas. 

Details: Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is one of our favorite parades during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. But, a few days before Christmas, you can catch it a couple of times a day for free. Make sure to check the Times Guide when you’re in the park. 

3.  Rainy Day Calvacade

 

Location: Magic Kingdom

Parade Route: From Frontierland to Main Street, U.S.A.

Time: In place of regular parades during inclement weather

Details: When it’s a rainy day in Magic Kingdom, most folks head for the exit turnstiles but not us: we love watching the Rainy Day Cavalcade! The parade isn’t one that you’ll have the opportunity to see everyday and, not only is the music fun, but the characters are all piled up into Main Street, U.S.A. vehicles.

4. Move it! Shake it! Dance & Play it!

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Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World News

Location: Magic Kingdom, Sunset Boulevard

Duration: 35 minutes

Parade Route: From Town Square to The Hub at Cinderella Castle, stops for the show, and then back to Town Square

Time: Check the Times Guide. It’s generally three or four times per day. 

Details: Move it! Shake it! Dance & Play it! is a fun parade/show for younger kids (I have to admit, I always have a good time watching!) and uses the power of social media to get visitors engaged.

Use the hashtag #MoveitShakeitPics on Twitter during the parade and your pic might end up on the side of a float! Zootopia characters have recently been added to the party, too.

 

For a complete list of all Disney World parades, head to its official parade listing

Walt Disney World Shows

5. Wonderful World of Animation

Best Disney World parades and shows: The Wonderful World of Animation

Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Chinese Theater

Duration: 12 minutes

Time: Once immediately before Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

Details: A tribute to all-things Disney movies, the show takes you through 90 years of Disney and Pixar animation. Tip: grab a spot right at the end of Hollywood Boulevard for the best view. 

 

6.  Fantasmic!

Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World News

Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Duration: 30 minutes long

Time: Once nightly (show time is dependent on season and date)

Details: Mickey Mouse is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice fighting evil in this colorful show. Filled with Disney Princesses, Villains, fireworks, music, and eye-popping scenes, it’s our favorite show at DHS. Fastpass+ Selections offered for Fantasmic! and dinner packages including premium seating is as well.

7.  Festival of the Lion King

 

Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Africa

Duration: 30 minutes

Time: On the top of each hour beginning at 10:00am

Details: Festival of the Lion King gets all visitors involved and singing. Each area of the indoor stadium has its own character to root for and the acrobatics and costuming is worth a watch at least once. Fastpass+ Selections offered.

8.  Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire

Royal Friendship Faire
Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World News

Location: Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle

Duration: 22 minutes

Time: At least six times a day. Check visitor guide for exact times.

Details: Tiana and Nasreen, Rapunzel and Flynn, and Elsa and Anna sing and dance on the Castle Stage along with Sir Mickey, Lady Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and even Olaf join in on the sing-along. Tip: if you visit during different seasons, the costumes and song will be different.

9.  Finding Nemo- The Musical

Finding Nemo- The Musical
Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World News

Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Dinoland, U.S.A.

Duration: 40 minutes

Time: Up to six times a day. Check Visitor’s Guide for exact show times when you enter the park.

Details: Based on the movie, Finding Nemo, the show brings to life with puppets the fun characters including Nemo and Dory.  14 original songs composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, along with advanced lighting concepts and a beautiful backdrop. Fastpass+ Selections offered.

10. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!

Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular

Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Echo Lake

Duration: 30 minutes

Time: Several times a day starting at noon

Details: It’s part homage to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” movies, part special effects and action scene demonstration. Act courageous enough and sit near the front of the stage and you may get picked to be part of the show- I did. 

11.  Rivers of Light: We Are One

Rivers of Light preview

Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Discovery Island

Duration: 17 minutes

Time: At least once per night

Details: Floating set pieces, all inspired by nature, make this 15-minute show worth every second. The soundtrack is just as lovely. Super popular, so if you don’t have a FastPass+ for it, queue up early. Newly added: touches from The Lion King including movie clips and music. 

12. Matsuriza

Taiko Drummers Epcot

Location: Epcot World Showcase, Japan Pavilion

Duration: 10 minutes

Time: At least once an hour until around dinner time. Please check Visitor’s Guide for exact times when you arrive.

Details: Japanese Taiko Drumming sounds fill the air (and your chest. What a boom!) surrounding the Japan Pavilion, and the quick show highlights the drummer’s skills. We’re always impressed with the energy and skill.

 

13.  Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

Location: Epcot World Showcase, China Pavilion

Duration: 20 minutes

Time: Multiple daily shows. Please check Visitor’s Guide for exact times when you arrive.

Details: Chinese acrobats show off their balancing skills and feats of strength and agility. The acrobats range from young children to adults and it’s so worthwhile to catch a show at least once.

 

14. Swotu Wayä Na’vi Drum Ceremony

Swotu Wayä Na'vi Drum Ceremony at Pandora - The World of Avatar in Magic Kingdom.
Swotu Wayä Na’vi Drum Ceremony at Pandora – The World of Avatar in Magic Kingdom.

Location – the Valley of Mo’ara at Pandora – The World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom

Duration – Around 10 minutes

Time – Several times throughout the day. Check the Park Guide for exact times as they vary.

Details – Three local musicians perform a traditional Na’vi Drum Ceremony. The air is filled with drumming and rhythm and guests are encouraged to drum along. Definitely worth catching at least once.

 

15. Jammitors

Location: Epcot Future World

Duration: 10 minutes

Time: Throughout the day starting in the morning 

Details: In a nutshell, they’re Disney World janitors with the skill of syncopation. Each show highlights their drumming skills and it upbeat and lively. also, on crowed rope drop mornings, Jammitors perform for the guests waiting for Epcot to open. 

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2 Thoughts to “15 Best Disney World Parades and Shows”

  1. Fawn

    Hi my name is Fawn Sterling and I am the director of the Washington Diamonds Award-Winning Drill Team and Drumline from Federal Way Washington. I am inquiring about participating in any of your parades that you have. Can you give me information on how to be a part of any of the parades?

  2. […] things. Firstly, parades and nighttime shows will not be available. I can understand why, too. Most guests crowd the center of the parks to get […]

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