One of my favorite things to do when visiting the Disneyland Resort is see the parade. Currently, the parade is Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. On an average day it makes its way up or down the parade route at 4:00 PM and then again 6:30 PM. Today I thought I’d give you a few tips on surviving this wonderful parade.
1. Pick Your Place: Decide where you want to watch the parade from. Not all places along the parade route are created equally. Here are some things to think about while picking a place to watch a parade:
- As a general rule of thumb, the west side of the street will be more crowded than the east side of the route. Why is this you ask? Generally, that is where the shade is more abundant. If this is something that is important to you, plan on being there early. It is probably safe to look for a spot about an hour early if you want to be sitting in the shade. If you want to stand in the second or third row in the shade…. then you have a lot more flexibility and can show up at the half hour mark or later.
- Remember that generally on a two parade day, the first parade will be leaving “it’s a small world” and making its way South towards Town Square at the end of Main Street, USA and the second parade will do the opposite.
- If you want to have a certain view line in the background for pictures; plan on waiting an hour as well.
- If you are picking a spot where the parade route is making a turn, you probably will want to sit on the outside corner of the turn and not the inside for the best view.
- If you don’t want to wait long for the parade, pick a spot in the sun that doesn’t allow for as good of a view in the distance. Even though you may not see the parade coming from the distance, you will still be able to see it as it goes by just fine.
2. Save Your Spot: One thing you will learn really quickly when watching parades is that it can be very hard to save your spot. Keep a few things in mind:
- Be alert! Watch your spot!
- Be courteous! If someone looks like they are trying to encroach on your place, just politely inform them that you have someone sitting in this space.
- Be punctual. Don’t try to save a big area right up until parade time and have it be empty the whole time. Have your group show up early!
- The only way you can guarantee you have a place saved is to have a person sitting or standing there.
- Blankets and bags will help save a spot but as it gets closer to parade time, they become less effective. You would think this wouldn’t be the case but sometimes kids (and parents) can get a bit excited and push on or over these things.
- Keep a unified front and sit fairly close to those in your party. If you don’t, people will push through the cracks sometimes.
- Your eyes can deceive you. It may seem minutes before that there aren’t many people that are going to watch the parade so you may let your guard down. Once the parade starts however, people will come out of nowhere to see what is going on and the viewing area will fill up quickly!
- Keep the end goal in mind! You are here to see Mickey and the gang! It’s supposed to be fun.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Really, when it comes down you’ll get to see the parade most likely so don’t let a little space encroachment or something get to ya!
- Feed of the enjoyment of others. There are always a ton of kids and adults who are absolutely delighted to see a Disney parade. It can be a blast to watch them experience the magic!
- Stay hydrated! It may seem dumb but this can really have a difference on your attitude and ability to enjoy Disneyland.
- Eat! Same as with being hydrated, if you are sitting in the sun on an empty stomach… it is harder to enjoy your environment.
- Make a choice. Choose to have fun. That’s why you are there right?
- Wave and cheer! The people in the parade and the people providing guest control are all working incredibly hard, why not show them you appreciate them? Also, it’s fun to see people smile when they realize you are rooting for them!