Timetables, route, characters and viewing tips

We lined up to see the return of the Festival of Fantasy parade on its first day back at the Magic Kingdom. Scroll down for our review, plus viewing tips and times.

On March 9, 2022, the full Festival of Fantasy parade returned to Magic Kingdom. Below you will find tips on where to watch the show, what to expect and what we think.

Disney enthusiasts have long awaited the return of the familiar – and we felt the holiday of a life-size parade through the streets of Magic Kingdom.

The return of the Festival of Fantasy parade was highly anticipated, but did it live up to the hype?

Fantasy Festival Parade Times

So when East the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom?

This question has a somewhat complicated answer. Before COVID, the 3pm parade was held once a day at (can you guess when?) 3pm. But Disney understood the mission perfectly when scheduling the return of the Festival of Fantasy because now you can see the parade twice a day!

The Festival of Fantasy Parade now runs twice a day. Photo by Ilana Robinson

The first days, the parade took place at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., but these times seem a little fluid. If you look at the Festival of Fantasy schedule now in line, it is always scheduled for 12:00 p.m. and the always familiar 3:00 p.m..

I encourage you to plan ahead and check out the My Disney Experience app for details on departure times on the day of your trip to Magic Kingdom.

Fantasy Festival Parade Route

Of course, the Festival of Fantasy parade times just show what time it will start on the normal parade route, so the time is a bit flexible depending on where you want to catch it.

character_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Make sure you have a front row seat so you can take close-up shots like this! Photo by Ilana Robinson

The parade route begins at Splash Mountaincrossing Frontierland, crossing Liberty Square, past the Hall of Presidents, taking a spin past Cinderella’s Castle, then down Main Street, before disappearing through the must-see Harmony hair salon (no word yet on reopening).

Watching tips for Festival of Fantasy

Where is the best place to watch the Festival of Fantasy parade in Magic Kingdom? It’s up to you!

Here is my hot take: I prefer to see the parade with Cinderella’s castle in the background.

My best viewing spots include closer to the castle itself, around the hub, and again on Main Street with the castle in the distance. The locations I mentioned on Main Street allow for seated viewing.

magic-kingdom-parade_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Main Street is a great viewing spot. Photo by Ilana Robinson

Cast members appear to allow guests to sit on the Main Street sidewalk with their legs in the street itself for this parade. Note: they historically didn’t allow this with cavalcades and required guests to cross their legs on the sidewalk, which seems just as uncomfortable as it was).

Having a seat makes the difference when the parade is longso keep that in mind when choosing a vantage point.

Festival of Fantasy Parade Characters

Wondering which characters you’ll see in the parade? You will have the opportunity to see many of your favorites, that’s for sure!

The Fantasy Festival parade boasts numerous disney princessas well as several other characters, some riding themed floats and others walking along the course.

Here are the tanks and characters you will see:

The parade’s opening float Beautiful on the front, with Cinderella, Tianaand Elsa. Before COVID, this tank also had each of their love interests, but unfortunately they were all removed (Beast, Prince Charming, Prince Naveen and a brother love, Anna).

cinderella_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Cinderella has her own chariot. Photo by Ilana Robinson

tiana_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Tiana’s tank is one of our favorites. Photo by Ilana Robinson

elsa-olaf_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Say hello to Elsa and Olaf! Photo by Ilana Robinson

The next float is the Cozy duckling boat with RapunzelFlynn Rider and various thugs swinging around the seesaw clocks.

rapunzel-flynn_magic-kingdom-parade-photos_robinson

Rapunzel also has her own float. Photo by Ilana Robinson

Then, we have Ariellesitting on top of a clam shell, which in my opinion is the most colorful and beautiful float. It is preceded by dancers dressed in an equally colorful Under the Sea costume.

little-mermaid-float_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

We want to be part of his world! Photo by Ilana Robinson

then, we have Peter Pan as captain of a floating ship at the top of a rainbow. Under the rainbow you have Captain Hook mounted on an anchor, grinning at all the guests. Yoho!

peter-pan_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

The Peter Pan tank is amazing. Photo by Ilana Robinson

captain-hook_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Look for Captain Hook on the anchor. Photo by Ilana Robinson

wendy_magic-kingdom-parade-characters_robinson

We even got to see Wendy. Photo by Ilana Robinson

At the back of this tank, you will see Tinker Bell. And if you don’t know it’s there, you might miss it because it’s facing backwards.

maleficent of Sleeping Beauty then makes its dramatic entrance. For those who haven’t seen it, Maleficent is a giant fire-breathing dragon, and yes, she always spits fire!

maleficent-breathing-fire_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Maleficent spits fire again! Photo by Ilana Robinson

Then we see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfsand Alice and the Mad Hatterwho don’t have a float, but walk the entire parade.

snow-white-seven-dwarfs_magic-kingdom-parade-photos_robinson

The Seven Dwarfs walk the parade route of the Festival of Fantasy. Photo by Ilana Robinson

Characters on foot will have the most opportunity to interact with guests because they will move freely!

The next float is Pinocchio riding a giant whale, with Pluto on the back. This float is colorful and fun and features a bubble maker!

jiminy-cricket_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

In addition to Pinocchio, you can see Jiminy Cricket. Photo by Ilana Robinson

The final section of the parade includes Minnie, Daisy, Goofy and Tic and Tac all dancing on foot in front and Mickey takes a hot air balloon ride! All of their parade gear is special for this parade and 100% worth the view!

minnie_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Hi Minnie! Photo by Ilana Robinson

goofy_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Hello, Dingo! Photo by Ilana Robinson

daisy_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Hello, Margaret! Photo by Ilana Robinson

mickey-hot-air-balloon_festival-of-fantasy-parade-magic-kingdom_robinson

Mickey is the star of the parade, of course. Photo by Ilana Robinson

Review: Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom

The Festival of Fantasy parade is absolutely worthy of being included in your Magic Kingdom day!

We loved the return of the familiar, although it included some adjustments, and omitted some of our favorites. The parade includes entertainment that we sorely missed and that will absolutely bring tears of joy.

the-sleeping-beauty_magic-kingdom-cavalcade_robison

Don’t miss this parade at the Magic Kingdom. Photo by Ilana Robinson

Parades make Disney Days special because they incorporate your favorite characters into your day, without having to hunt them down in various places. I am extremely happy that this parade is finally back. I’m so excited for the return of those beloved floats and familiar music pumped through the park, which then lives free in my head for the rest of my day.

Bravo to the return of the familiar and the beloved.

Not sure where to go? You can simply get more information about a potential Disney vacation.

2021 Travel Destinations Disney World ReservationsDo you know your dates?
Disney travel agent quote
Just need some advice for now?
Disney Vacation Planning Help

Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire: Times, Location & Viewing Tips

Disney Enchantment Fireworks Time, Location, and Tips: A Guide to Magic Kingdom’s Newest Spectacular Show