Today Walt Disney World debuted a new daytime parade for the Magic Kingdom theme park for the first time in more than a decade. The new Festival of Fantasy Parade features classic characters mixed with today’s most popular films inspiring high-flying, vibrant floats set to a rousing new musical score.
It’s a much-needed upgrade for the park, leaps and bounds better than the previous parade. It even rivals Disneyland’s current fan favorite Soundsational Parade, quite possibly more extravagant and enjoyable in many ways.
Video: Full Festival of Fantasy Parade debut at the Magic Kingdom
The Festival of Fantasy Parade is sure to impress all Disney fans with massive floats featuring plenty of movement, from swinging weapons from the Snuggly Duckling in “Tangled” to Olaf spinning around Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” to the increbiel sight that is the steampunk-inspired Maleficent dragon that moves its head, tail, and spits fire – evoking audible gasps from the crowd every time.
Festival of Fantasy’s music is dreamy but upbeat, perfectly accompanying the whimsical style of the floats’ designs and new colorful costumes. The supporting cast of performers eagerly dance along sporting eye-catching outfits while Disney’s most famous characters both wave from high atop amazingly elaborate floats and traverse the park’s streets, giving out high-fives.
There are attention-grabbing moments throughout the parade, beginning with Princess Anna from “Frozen” showing up in her coronation dress (a Disney park debut) alongside her sister Elsa at the tail end of the Princess Garden float.
Video: Frozen parade float with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf in Festival of Fantasy at Walt Disney World
Then comes Rapunzel and Flynn Rider along with many “Tangled” characters and easter eggs hidden throughout the huge float inspired by the Snuggly Duckling – another “wow” of the new parade. And it even features a particularly hilarious (and huge!) mime drawing laughs ahead of the float.
The “Sleeping Beauty” unit is unusually dark for a daytime parade, adding balance to an otherwise bright and happy performance. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather wave their winds wildly with worried looks on their faces while Prince Phillip tries to fend of the giant fire-breathing Maleficent dragon along with her eerie henchmen. Watch out when the dragon waves its tail over guests’ heads.
The unquestionably tall “Peter Pan” float features shooting canons atop a pirate ship while Captain Hook dangles underneath, chased by an equally huge crocodile (one of the few elements borrowed from a prior Walt Disney World parade). And the “Newsies” inspired Lost Boys do a great job pumping up the crowd.
The units inspired by “Pinocchio,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Brave” add the most splashes of color to the parade with a highly stylized Monstro leading the wooden boy down the street much like Sebastian pulls Ariel while she sits above guests’ heads on a seashell.
It all wraps up with Mickey and Minnie Mouse along with a cavalcade of characters, making sure everyone sees at least one favorite.
Walt Disney World has succeeded in creating a brilliant new daytime parade that exceeds everyone’s expectations and will definitely draw fans to return day after day to see it again and again.
Check back to Inside the Magic tomorrow for an even closer look at the Festival of Fantasy Parade with details from some of its creators.
More photos from the Festival of Fantasy Parade debut at Walt Disney World: