Home Disney Planning Tips I joined the Magic Kingdom parade and had the best day ever

I joined the Magic Kingdom parade and had the best day ever

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I joined the Magic Kingdom parade and had the best day ever
Credit: Donna

There is something magical about a trip to Walt Disney World. Join the processional as we jump into the magic of the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Credit: Susan

Magic Kingdom is home to Festival a Fantasy – an enchanting tribute to the tales of Fantasyland. See your favorite characters from movies like Tangled, Peter Pan, and The Little Mermaid. We also cannot forget that Mickey and Minnie Mouse appear in the parade as well as fan-favorite Maleficent (in dragon form). There are so many beloved characters to spot in this fun show.

The parade began in 2014, but Disney temporarily cut the show during the initial reopening phase. In its place, Disney created cavalcades. These cavalcades allowed guests to interact with various characters while remaining socially distant.

Credit: Maggie

To the delight of guests, the Festival of Fantasy Parade returned on March 9, 2022. Guests can still enjoy a few Character Cavalcades throughout the day at Magic Kingdom in addition to this great parade. On most dates, the Festival of Fantasy Parade can be enjoyed at two showtimes at both 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm.

Be sure to check the entertainment schedule on Character Locator to see showtimes for all daily entertainment throughout the parks.

You may be wondering, “what could be even more magical than watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade?” Well being in it, of course. Join me on the most magical journey through the Magic Kingdom ever.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour

Credit: Donna


Back in December 2021, many of the “Enchanting Extra” tours returned, including the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. During this tour, Guests are invited to unlock the fascinating history of Magic Kingdom Park, where fantasy reigns, and gain backstage access to legendary hidden areas on this five-hour walking tour!

Access the underground “Utilidor” service tunnels, learn hidden secrets of classic attractions, enjoy a delicious lunch and so much more on this backstage tour of the most iconic theme park at Walt Disney World Resort.

During this tour, they pull back the magical velvety ropes to show you the magic behind the Magic Kingdom. Due to the nature of this tour, guests must be 16 years and older. You can read a review of the Keys to the Kingdom tour HERE.

Credit: Donna

Since our children could not enjoy this tour, my husband and I (Donna) enjoyed this tour during an anniversary trip. He was a history major in college and loves to learn about the hidden treasures around the parks.

Guests participating in this tour are not allowed to take photos or take any recordings, but our tour guide made one exception. She arranged for our tour group to participate in the 12:00 pm Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Joining the Festival of Fantasy Parade

Credit: Monica

The tour was set at a very comfortable walking pace. We enjoyed all of Main Street, USA, and made our way towards Adventureland and then into Frontierland. Lunch is included in the price of the tour. At the time we checked in for the tour, we made our selections for lunch at Pecos Bill. With our tour starting at 8:30 am, we were ready for our lunch at 11:15 am.

Many of the Keys to the Kingdom Tours have one tour guide. On the day of our tour, we had two amazing guides. One of the guides was still “earning her ears” as a tour guide. She served in many roles at Walt Disney World, and she still assists with selecting the Grand Marshalls for the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Our tour guides shared that we would be on a tight schedule for lunch. We assumed this was due to the busy touring schedule. What we didn’t realize was that they had a BIG surprise planned for us. Although we were not the Grand Marshalls of this parade, our guide was able to pull a few strings to allow us to walk in the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Stepping into the Magic

Credit: Donna

As many guests are aware, the Festival of Fantasy parade actually begins in Frontierland near Splash Mountain. We made our way from Pecos Bill to the start of the parade route. Our Keys to the Kingdom guide surprised us that we could each have our Princess Mia moment to walk in the parade just as she did in Princess Diaries 2.

The Grand Marshall’s car preceded us. As we stepped into place the overhead announcement sounded, “In honor of Walt Disney’s 50th anniversary, the Magic Kingdom invites you to Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade.”

The Festival of Fantasy Parade is one of my favorites and one that I enjoy every trip to the Magic Kingdom. As I walked along the path of Frontierland, I cried happy tears as we all waved to guests. Guests were waving to us and we truly felt as though we were part of the magic of the parade this day.

Credit: Donna

From my understanding, not all Keys of the Kingdom Tours experience this bit of magic. Ours was unique based upon the start time of our tour (8:30 am) and that we had a Festival of Fantasy Cast Members assisting with our tour. Although we could not take photos during the tour, we were allowed to take photos along the parade route.

During our Keys to the Kingdom Tour, we were able to walk the Festival of Fantasy Parade route behind the Grand Marshalls.

The entire Keys to the Kingdom tour is amazing and well worth the time and cost involved. The proverbial icing on the cake for this tour was joining the Festival of Fantasy parade. This is truly a memory that I will treasure for many years to come.

Do you love to learn about the hidden treasures of the parks? Be sure to check out my guide to Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Have you ever joined the Festival of Fantasy Parade? Have you ever participated in the Keys to the Kingdom Tour? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

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