Best Spots for Parades & Fireworks at WDW

Walt Disney World

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One of the best parts of a Disney vacation is the entertainment that the different parks offer. Some of my favorite shows are located at the Magic Kingdom, which kind of makes sense since it is my favorite park!  Their recent parade addition, the Festival of Fantasy, is the best Disney parade I’ve seen in a really long time, and one that I try to see every time we visit.

Six of the best spots for parades & fireworks shows at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom!

On our last trip in December I wanted to try out a few different spots for the parades and Christmas special events.  There are a ton of great locations to view the entertainment around the park, and today I’m sharing a few of my favorites.

Train Station

Six of the best spots for parades & fireworks shows at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom!

Chris and I like to stake out a good spot on the train station to watch parades and fireworks because, not only are you above everyone else, but you have a great view of everything that’s going on.  They also have chairs and tables so it’s quite comfortable to hang out up there for an hour as you wait for everything to start!  We try to get up to the spot an hour early during the regular season and about two hours early during the holiday seasons to get the seats we want.

Parade viewing: Best
Photography Opportunities: Best

Main Street USA

Definitely the most crowded area for parade and fireworks viewing, but also one of the best if you want a good view of the castle during the shows.  You must stake out your spot early if you want a good one, but Chris and I can usually get there about an hour early and grab a clear view of the street and the castle.

If this is the spot you choose, be mindful of those around you.  Don’t try to push people out of the way who have been there longer than you, don’t try to shove children up to the front, and be mindful of the Cast Members and the ropes so that you aren’t standing in a non-parade area.

Parade viewing: Best
Photography Opportunities: Best

The Hub

Six of the best spots for parades & fireworks shows at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom!

The hub is the the area where the Partner’s statue is and the area right in front of the castle. This is a great place to watch the parade from, but not a good place for fireworks.  Most of the hub is reserved for Fastpass+ reservations, but you can grab a spot around the outside area if you get there early enough!  If you’re unsure of where to stand, there will be Cast Members around that area to ask and they are more than willing to help!

Parade viewing: Great
Photography Opportunities: Great (parades), Bad (fireworks)

New Fantasyland

While you can’t see any parades from New Fantasyland, this spot offers one of my favorite areas for viewing fireworks.  It’s usually not very crowded and, you can get a great view of the back of the castle and can sometimes see fireworks over the Be Our Guest restaurant!

Once the fireworks are over you can jump on Ariel’s Under the Sea Adventure or head over to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train before the crowds from Main Street and Frontierland make their way over to those rides.

Parade viewing: None
Photography Opportunities: Good (fireworks)

Frontierland

Six of the best spots for parades & fireworks shows at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom!

If you don’t want to deal with large crowds during the parade then Frontierland is the perfect place to watch.  The lighting is pretty dark back there, so it’s not the best place to take pictures, however, if you want to watch a parade and then jump on a few rides, Frontierland gives you one of the best opportunities to do that!

Parade viewing: Good
Photography Opportunities: Okay (parade)

Boat Dock at the Ticket and Transportation Center

If you want to beat the crowds out of the parks but still watch the fireworks show, head over to the ticket and transportation center.  This is one spot I haven’t had the chance to take pictures from, but other Disney photographers rave about this picture location.  Disney plays the music from the fireworks show at the boat dock so you can still experience all the magic even when you’re not in the parks.

And once the show is over you can beat the crowds back out to the buses back to your resort or your car to head home.

Parade viewing: None
Photography Opportunities: Best (fireworks)

Do you like to take the time to watch all the parades and fireworks shows that Disney has to offer?  What is your favorite place to watch the shows from?  Did I miss any spots?

4 Comments

  1. Great post! I have found the fountain in front of Gaston’s Tavern to be a wonderful place to sit and watch! It’s so quiet there by the time the fireworks start. You can see pretty much everything from there, except the lasers on the castle of course, but everyone’s there for the big sparklies, anyway! 🙂

    1. I love that area as well! I’d love to photograph the fireworks that area the next time we go! And I agree, the lasers on the castle are cool but the fireworks are what everyone really cares about!

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