13 Must See 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 Walt 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: 3:00pm

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.  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.

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

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.

Walt Disney World Shows

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.

4. Swotu Wayä Na’vi Drum Ceremony

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.

5.  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.

6.  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.

7.  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.

8.  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.

Sword and the Stone Magic Kingdom
The Sword and the Stone, with The royal Majesty Makers, is a fun show to catch at Magic Kingdom.

9.  Royal Majesty Makers

Location: Fantasyland between Cinderella Castle and Prince Charming Regal Carousel

Duration: 10 minutes

Time: Throughout the day. Check the Times guide in the park for exact show times.

Details: Only those worthy are capable of pulling the sword from the stone (usually a young child!) but the fun is watching the others (usually big, strong men) give it a go. The Royal Majesty Makers put on a fun, quick show and we always love the magic behind Excalibur.

10.  Rivers of Light

Rivers of Light preview

Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Discovery Island

Duration: 15 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.

11. 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.

12.  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.

13.  Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial

Pirate tutorial

Location: Magic Kingdom, Adventureland

Duration: 25 minutes

Time: Generally once an hour through dinner. Please check Visitor’s Guide for exact times when you arrive.

Details: Captain Jack and his crew give a fun pirate tutorial to recruit wannabe pirates. Visitors that are picked get an official scroll (what a souvenir!) Definitely worth it to catch the show at least once.

Must See Walt Disney World Parades and Shows

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One Thought to “13 Must See 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?

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