When you go to Disneyland, be sure not to miss their afternoon Magic Happens Parade. Created for the 100th anniversary of Disney celebration, Mickey Mouse leads a cavalcade of floats featuring all your favorite Disney characters!
The parade happens daily and you will want to know some of our Disneyland parade tips so that you can make the most of your parade experience!
Disneyland Parade Map
As you can see from the Disney parade map above, the parade begins near It’s a Small World and comes down past the back of Matterhorn, and then just to the right of Sleeping Beauty castle, before heading down Main Street USA.
Magic Happens Parade Facts
- Mickey Mouse starts the parade, gliding along on his magical float with 300 shimmering LED lights and accompanied by Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale who dance alongside performers.
- Moana uses the magic of the ocean to power her float. It is the first full-scale “Moana”-inspired float to be created for a Disney park.
- Maui travels on his own magical island with Moana’s adorable pet pig, Pua.
- In the first Disney parade float inspired by Disney and Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel celebrates the magic of music. This float connects the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead with a vibrant bridge decorated by more than 30,000 marigolds.
- Anna and Elsa explore the magic of the Enchanted Forest, as their friends Kristoff, Sven and Olaf tag along. The “Frozen 2” float is the longest in the parade.
- The regal grand finale of “Magic Happens” celebrates with many iconic magical characters, including Genie, Aladdin, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Blue Fairy, Pinocchio and Fairy Godmother.
- Cinderella arrives inside a large pumpkin that magically transforms into a glistening carriage to whisk her off to the ball.
- Merlin wisely leads the way for young Arthur, who finds the magic within himself as he pulls the sword from the stone.
- Tiana and Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog” are seen amidst a swirl of golden flowers where they share a kiss, completing their transformation back into human forms.
- “Sleeping Beauty” float features the three Good Fairies and Prince Phillip dancing with Princess Aurora. The Sleeping Beauty float is the tallest float in the parade, with the top turret reaching approximately 30 feet tall.
5 Disneyland Parade Tips
1. Get a Parade Spot Early
There are typically two Disneyland parades each day. One begins at 3:30 pm and the next starts at 6:30 pm. People will begin finding spots nearly an hour ahead of it!
The most popular place to view the Disneyland parade is on Main Street USA. This is because you do not have trees blocking the view or weird angles.
Many people will line up here nearly an hour before the parade, so know this in advance when you plan your day at the park.
2. Choose a Shady Spot if Possible
It can be hard for kids to sit still comfortably if they are in the hot sun.
There aren’t a lot of shady areas in the park, but if you are going to watch the parade on Main Street USA, choose the west side of the street (this would be the right when walking toward the exit).
3. Reapply Sunscreen
If you can’t find a spot in the shade to wait, make sure that you reapply your sunscreen!
Even if you are in the shade, it is a great time to put on another layer of sunscreen to protect you for the rest of the day!
4. Have a Snack
While the parade may begin at 3:30, if you are on Main Street USA, you might not see it until 4pm. So, if you are going to have to sit in one place for that long of a period of time, grab a snack!
You will find popcorn, pretzel and churros carts throughout the park, so head to one before going to your parade spot! Don’t forget to get a drink!
5. Pack a Towel
Kids should be able to get the best view possible so make sure you either push their stroller to the rope or better yet, bring them a small hand towel to sit on the pavement.
Not only does it make a spot for your kids to sit, it also keeps their little legs from the hot pavement.
Characters will come up to the kids who are near the rope to give high fives and waves and you will be able to get the best photo or video of the encounter!
The parades at Disneyland are certainly something you won’t want to miss. Hopefully. these tips will help you score a great spot that allows you to enjoy all the amazing floats and characters!
Disneyland Planning Information
There is so much to think about when it comes to planning your Disney vacation. We encourage you to check out our entire site, but if you are just getting started with planning, we have some posts you should begin with.
If it’s your first trip to Disneyland, you will want to know things like what to pack for your Disneyland trip, where to find Hidden Mickeys or whether or not you should purchase Genie+ and Lightning Lane.
Bringing little kids to Disneyland? We have some great tips for bringing toddlers to Disneyland including a guide to Disney Toon Town, a list of where to meet characters and the best rides for little ones.
Lastly, if you want to get the best deal on your trip, we can show you not only how to travel to Disneyland on a budget, but we can give you ideas on how to save on Disneyland tickets and where to book your vacation so that you get the best price.
Remember that we aren’t travel agents, we are regular Disney travelers just like you, but have been blessed with the opportunity to visit the parks regularly. Because we’ve been so much, we’ve learned many valuable Disney insider tips that we can share with others.
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