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Disneyland parades are one hot ticket. Growing up in Southern California, I am total parade brat. We had the Main Street Electrical Parade and The Rose Parade all within our reach.
I never saw a “hometown” type of parade until high school and I was thinking, Wait, what? This is a parade? Even though I’ve come to appreciate those down-home kinda parades and entertainment, you truly can’t beat the parades you’ll see at the Disneyland Resort.
Today we are talking Disneyland parades 101. What to expect from the Disneyland parade, where to sit and more.
Updated September 2018 as Paint the Night and Pixar Play Parade are now extended with no official end date announced.
Here’s what parades are showing now at the Disneyland Resort, entertainment offerings can change at any time so be sure to double check which parades will be showing during your visit on the official Disneyland app. Some parades listed may be off the schedule temporarily.
Main Street Electrical Parade (ended 8/20/17)
It is back! The night-time parade that set the standard for generations is coming back to Disneyland park from Walt Disney World for a limited run in 2017. Do you remember the Electrical Parade? Will it still be able to dazzle us now that we’ve seen Paint the Night? One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to hear the electrically synthesized music we all associate with the Electrical Parade.
This classic parade will debut at a separate ticketed event on January 19th, then perform nightly from January 20-August 20, 2017. Reserved seats with a dining package are available. I personally can vouch for these dining packages. They are worth the money and the huge amount of time they save. Read my complete review of the dining packages here.
Christmas Fantasy Parade (Returns 11/9/18)
This parade is set to run down Main Street and more during the holidays usually at 1:30 pm and 4:15 pm. See Santa Claus, marching toy soldiers and your favorite Disney character during the holidays at Disneyland.
Reserved seating for Christmas Fantasy Parade is now available in 2018.
Frightfully Fun Parade (Select nights 9/19-10/31)
Available only for guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party during select nights in September and October complete with the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
Mickey’s Soundsational Parade (returning 2019?)
This daytime Disneyland parade is typically shown daily every afternoon at Disneyland Park.
The sun is shining and the music is rockin’ during this upbeat performance with Mickey and friends, plus Disney princesses and familiar iconic characters.
You can usually grab any seat you’d like an hour before the parade. Less popular spots can even be found up to 15 minutes before the parade during slower park days.
I recommend grabbing a seat on the shady side between the top two stars on our seating guide below which is basically somewhere along the parade route in between Sleeping Beauty Castle and “it’s a small world”.
Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade Parade
If you happen to be at Disneyland during a drizzle, you might get the rare chance to see Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade with some of your favorite Disney characters. Check out our rainy day guide here.
Paint the Night Parade (ends 11/7/18)
Paint the Night Parade debuted to packed crowds during Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration and ended its inaugural run in September 2016. Paint the Night is now showing at California Adventure in 2018 during Pixar Fest and will end its limited run November 7, 2018.
Pixar Play Parade (ends 11/4/18)
This daytime parade (3:30 and 6pm most days) will be showing for the first time at Disneyland Park beginning April 13, 2018 during Pixar Fest and wrapping up just before the holidays on November 4, 2018.
You can usually grab any seat you’d like an hour before the parade. Less popular spots can even be found up to 15 minutes before the parade during slower park days. Reader, Kayla Saavedra snapped these pictures for us of her view she scored just minutes before the parade began!
I recommend grabbing a seat on the shady side between the top two stars on our seating guide below which is basically somewhere along the parade route in between Sleeping Beauty Castle and “it’s a small world”. You can also choose a reserved seating option here.
Disneyland Parades: Seating Guide
I’ve pin-pointed three great spots for parade viewing at Disneyland. Let’s start with the star closest to the top near “it’s a small world”. This area is a great hub for parade seating. You’re close to bathrooms and snacks, you have access to shade, some benches and tiered locations if you show up last-minute.
The middle star is in between Sleeping Beauty Castle and Pixie Hollow. I love this area because there are multiple built-in benches and a narrow area to sit on the floor. This is great because it’s easy to block off your space without people squeezing behind you at the last-minute.
The star on the bottom, near the Main Street, U.S.A. hub is a great last-minute spot. There’s multiple tiered options to get a distant view of parade floats, plus this gives you an easy escape if you’re heading home right after night-time shows.
Disneyland Parades: Bonus Tips
- Bring a small blanket, sheet or a sarong to mark off your space. If you have a stroller, use that on one side as well. People will get in every nook and cranny near you. Block off your space! Don’t expect your body alone to serve as a barrier.
- Hold you space with your blanket or sheet and one other adult from your party. Then bring them a yummy treat as a thank you. Eat snacks and blow bubble while you wait for the parade.
- Still need tickets for your Disneyland trip? Save money with discount tickets from our partner, Get Away Today.
Will you be watching a Disneyland parade during your vacation? What are your favorite Disneyland parades?
Disneyland expert who also loves the beach, flip flops and pink nail polish.