One of the things that you most look forward to when you visit Disneyland is seeing the parades I think! Both my friend and I were so excited to be able to see the parades and thankfully we managed to fit them all in over the few days that we spent in the parks. I will try and go through our experience of each of them in a little detail! When you visit Disneyland it is really important to pick up one of the park guides which changes weekly and will keep you updated with the times of parades, character meet and greets and such like. This was a real help when we were in the parks and we managed to use these to ensure we saw each of the parades at least once.
==20th anniversary celebration train==
This was the first parade that we actually saw in the park and we stumbled upon it by chance actually the first time and so it was quite lucky. Basically loud music comes on and then a lovely bright colourful train starts moving around Main Street and there are lots of characters on there dancing and waving at the people lining the street. The characters that can be found on this train are basically Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Goofy, Chip and Dale and such like and this actually happens every hour on the hour (or did when we were there at least!) so there are plenty of opportunities to see it.
Characters will get off the train after the short parade and this tends to result in masses of people diving around them wanting a photo with the characters. One thing that I will say though for the bulk of the characters we met is that they won't choose those diving around them and pushing and shoving to get a picture with them but will choose those that are standing nicely waiting and as such my son did manage to meet Goofy and Chip (or Dale?!) as a result. We didn't try and meet any further characters from this parade as we had met Mickey and Minnie in the hotel a few times. We would have liked to Meet Donald Duck but he was nowhere to be seen!
There is also a nice photo opportunity when the train is stopped and the characters are off it just to take a picture in front of the 20th anniversary train which is something I would recommend.
==Disney magic on parade==
We saw this show on the weekend and so it was on in the middle afternoon as oppposed to 5pm during the week. This is what I think my friend and I classed as the "proper" Disneyland parade and I would recommend that everyone who comes to Disneyland sees this parade. The pavements of Main Street will get really busy and so we made sure that we arrived around forty minutes before the parade was due to begin and just picked a spot on the curb of the pavement and sat down to rest our legs. Being there were two adults we were able to save our spot should one of us want to pop in one of the shops or whatever and I would definitely recommend getting there early to get a perfect spot to get a great view and wonderful photos.
This parade begins down at the bottom of Main Street near the Disney castle and works it way up Main Street. This parade is the one that I think most people would see as the main event and I for one really loved it. It begins with fairies skirting around and dancing and they are soon followed by beautifully decorated floats featuring characters such as the Disney Princesses with their Princes, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion King, Peter Pan and Fantasia as well as many more. There are some characters which dance around and sing in between the floats and this just makes it a real feast for the eyes.
I actually got really emotional when the Lion King float came along as it is my son and I's most favourite Disney film and seeing his face as he saw the characters there in front of him was just priceless. In fact seeing my friends little girls face when she saw the Disney Princesses that she loves so much was equally as moving.
The show is fun, loud and entertaining and whilst the whole thing is probably over in around fifteen or twenty minutes it really was worth the long wait to make sure that we had a brilliant space in which to view the show. People say Disneyland really know how to do magical and I think in this case this really reminded us of why we had saved so hard to be able to take our children there.
Disney dreams is the special 20th anniversary night time show which I was really looking forward to seeing. I would have liked to have seen it more than once but as it was so very cold when it went dark in France we decided to not put the children through it! The show begins not long after the park closes so the time of this does depend on the season really. They have extended the 20th anniversary celebrations again and so I think that this show will probably continue too.
The show is popular and in a way I wish we had turned up earlier and got a better spot because sadly there are a lot of adults who will happily come and stand right in front of a child! I did try to pick my son up for some of the show but he is almost eight now and heavy!
Basically this show is a spectacular event in which lights are projected on to the Disney castle and it tells a story about Disney. I really wasn't prepared for how amazing this show would be and I loved the Disney songs which were being blasted out. Some of them were in English, others in French I think but the enjoyment was still there anyway. Along side the lights projected on the castle there were amazing fireworks, lights and water fountains being sprayed out. As I watched this show I found myself becoming really emotional on a few occasions and really tearing up at the sheer amazement at how wonderful the show was. The only word to really describe it is spectacular and if there was only one thing I could choose to do again in Disneyland I think it would be to see this show again. If you have plans to go to Disneyland see it....if you don't check out you tube because it is bound to be on there and it is beautiful!
==Stars and Cars==
Stars and Cars is a parade in the Studios part of the Park and again we managed to time it quite well that we arrived just in time to see the Parade go by. In this parade you get to see characters such as Donald, Snow White, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, some baddies, Toy Story two, Monsters Inc and Ratatouille in respective cars. They all have little extra characters in plastic or whatever in the cars too and it makes it a really fun parade to watch. We managed to get a spot close to the edge of the pavement and put the children in front of us so they could see well because again some adults really do not consider children when they are in Disneyland!
I really enjoyed watching this parade to be honest as we got to see a few characters that we didn't see in the main parade so that was nice to see. I do love Sully from Monsters Inc so I was over the moon at seeing him!
You can't go to Disneyland Paris without taking in the parades and I would totally recommend seeing all of the parades that are on offer. We have so many photos to look back on now from our holiday and I know the memories will last a life time.
Thank you for reading my review!
I thought I would review one of my personal highlights of my recent Disneyland Paris holiday - The parades.
In the Disneyland park there are two parades the Minnies party train and the 'once upon a dream' parade. Here is what we thought of them.
Minnies party train - This is a fun and lively train full of loveable Disney characters, these can change each time so the characters you see one day may be different the next. It always has Minnie mouse and about 8-9 other characters such as Donald duck and captain hook, there are no princesses on the party train. It begins its journey next to the Discovery arcade which is right at the entrance of the park, it makes its way down main street USA, around the central plaza and back again, it is quite a short route and probably takes about ten-fifteen minutes to complete.
Minnies party train appears five times a day so there was never a crowd and you are bound to see it whilst you are there without even planning for it, We saw it about seven times during our four day stay.
The music is catchy and the train is colourful and full of energy. The characters wave and blow kisses. Great for small children who don't want to wait for a long time watching the parades.
Once upon a dream parade - this is every little (and big) girls dream, it is full of handsome princes, beautiful princesses and happy ever after endings. This parade appears at five o'clock every day, it starts on the same route as Minnies train but instead of coming back down Main street USA, it continues on into fantasy land. We watched this just before catching our train back home at half seven, it was a beautiful ending to a fabulous holiday.
There are about 10 different floats, the typical princess ones plus fabulous ones from toy story, the lion king and Minnie and Mickey in a hot air balloon.
You need to get there early to get a space, people started lining the route at about 4:15. So it is quite a long wait for little children especially in February and freezing temperatures, but once the parade starts your heart will warm up, this is definitely a must do in Disney item.
DisneyLand Paris just seems to have everything. It really is a magical Kingdom of all sorts. You know those carnivals that in most places you get once a year? Well in Disney they are a million times better and happen mulitple times a day, they are free and everyone can come and enjoy them. That, in my opinion is what makes Disney so magical and amazing.
In Disney Parades are themed and what they are and what they look like varies for each season. At Christmas they have a lighting the castle pararde with fireworks, at Halloween they have a more scary parade, and in the summer they have a Tinkerbelles light parade. If you are planning on going it is always best to check the website to find out which one they are planning on doing, not that it matters they are all amazing.
Parades follow the same general theme. Moving vehicles with platforms on the back are shaped as themed houses or carriages which contain disney characters. For example on the Lion King vehicle it is shaped like a tree. The vehicles move very slowly so you have every chance to have a good look at them as they go past. In between vehicles are walking charcters, they normally do some kind of acting or dancing and sometimes even acrobatics. Walking charcters are quite happy to greet people and those on vehicles wave a lot!
The parade covers most of the park, and when it is on the park literally comes to a standstill. You cannot cross the parade, so do not attempt to move around the park. If you are not interested it is a good time to go on a busy ride. In peak times make sure you get to the front early as good parade spots fill up fast!
If you are planning to visit Disneyland Paris (which if you book before 15th July 2009, you get 40% off!) a must see in the day is one of the Disney Parades, there is a day parade held everyday, and also a night lights parade during the summer period.
I decided to write this review to give you a little bit of information on the parades and also some tips on getting a good view.
Disney Parades take place daily, in both parks i.e. The Magic Kingdom and MGM Studios, they commence at a set time, so check out park information on your free disney maps that are located at the entrances of each park.
They are basically a range of different floats that are designed to pay tribute to a range of different cartoons and disney charactors e.g. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, Aladin, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast and many more, and are a great chance to see the disney charactors up close without having to interact directly with them which some children (and adults) can be uncomfortable with.
If you have a chance when visiting the park I recommend watching one of the parades, the night light parade held in the summer period in the Magic Kingdom is amazing, this parade is followed by an impressive fireworks display at the Cinderella Castle, though this parade is on quite late and some children may be restless after a full day in the park. The parades in the MGM Studios are much smaller than the Magic Kingdom ones, and are only during the day so may be more kid friendly, if your children get restless and tired easily.
Parade watching tips:
1.) Go to the parade area early (especially Magic Kingdom parades which can be busier) to get a good seat or standing area and the kids settled down before it begins, 15 to 30 minutes is early enough as you dont want to bore yourself or children waiting about.
2.) Make use of curbs for seats, youll notice a lot of people have this same idea, though only do so if your kids dont mind being close to charactors or in crowded areas, if they are more nervous stay nearer to shops where you can get a good view from a distance.
3.) The train station is a great place to veiw the night parade and fireworks at a higher position, however go early as it is such a great spot and can become crowded early!
Disney Parades are great to watch, they are worth watching and I recommend you check them out if you are planning a visit to Disney Paris, especially if you have kids.
The Disney Parades are out of this world, ive been lucky enough to see several of them during my visits.
The size and scale of the parades is breathtaking, the floats are HUGE and the characters are all instantly recognizable. There is music and dancing which all fits in with the themes if the float and the film.
The best parade in my opinion is the summer Candlebration parade, which last year was followed by the birthday celebrations and then a stunning fireworks display, this was the disney parade id always imagined seeing, since being a child. The warm summer evenings make it even more pleasant.
Downsides of the parades (especailly in the peak seasons) is the fact that to be near the front you need to stake your place very early and then be prepared to defend it! But it is so worth it especially if you have children to see the parade through their eyes.
These parades really are like nothing ive ever seen before and the extra summer parades make the crowds all seem worthwhile. I will remember them for years to come.
Have visited eurodisney twice now,with the last being in jan 2008 which was still with the xmas parades and xmas theme.
It was bitterly cold there with the wind going straight through you but was still a magical place.
The parades thereself where excellent and with Main street Usa being so busy,especially for the evening parades,it was a case of trying to find a good spot to stand to see it.Also was carrying my young daughter on my shoulders!
You cant help but get captivated by the disney magic as we're all kids at heart.
The full range of disney characters where on show with lots of dancers etc and even fake snow being shot up into the air.
The night time parade is spectacular and much larger with lots of vehicles with all different disney characters and themes based from the disney films.
You also get smaller 2 or 3 vehicle mini parades throughout the complex during the day so plenty of chances to take photos of all different types of characters.
The shows are on at different times of the day so some busier than others so its a case of finding which suits you as you try to cram everything in as the days go so quick.
Lots of rides there to but be prepared for big queues especially in holiday times,rides have size restrictions so check them before you get in the queue.
Be aware that our european friends dont queue for rides in a civilised manner like us so be prepared for queue jumpers and thats on everything out there.
I loved Disneyland Paris,expensive,but well worth a visit.
From our first visit to Disneyland we all knew we wanted to see the parades again, they are truly unmissable. Firstly the High School Musical parades in the studio on throughout the day are a must for any visitor, they get up and dance and sing and the kids really love it.
The parades in Disney Park start at the back of the park by Fantasyland and Discoveryland and contiune down Main Street so you will always find somewhere to sit or stand. The best place we found was on the stone seats by the Theater du Chateu, they put a rope around parts of it and reserve the first few rows for kids from about 5pm for the parade around 7pm. It is very magical and the characters really get involved with the audience, and yes the girls were on the front of the row (at the side) Captain Hook came right over to them and teased the one who was booing, went to shake her hand then did the nar nar nar nar thing with his fingers on his nose (if you know what I mean!?) then shaked her sisters hand. The bears and dancers also came right over and they both loved it. The Toy Story float was one of the best for us and it is worth trying to get there for at least a half hour before the parade starts to get a seat, if not along the curbs is also a good place to sit.
The evening Fantaillusion parade which started around the 10.30 mark is also magnificent and can not be missed. The dancers and characters really look wonderful. This is followed by a fireworks display over the castle in Fantasyland which is also wonderful!
We had a 4 day hopper ticket this year and it is a very exhausting day so we decided to save the late parades until the last night there and it made it a bit more magical.
Also a tip for getting out after the parades at after 11pm is spend a bit of time going to some of the shops in Main Street as it is so busy, you will avoid some of the crowds if you wait an extra 20 mins or so and it is still busy with everyone walking to the train station or the car park you just dont get pushed into!
Before I ever visited Disney, I was unaware of the Parades and even when I first visited California a few years ago I was not fully in awe of what Disney were trying to achieve, but since visiting the Walt Disney World Complex I can see the difference and how magical they actually are and when we recently visited Disneyland Paris there really was no exception to this rule especially with the special parade created especially for this park's 15th Anniversary, Once Upon a Dream.
On the 31st March 2007 the Once Upon a Dream parade premiered on Main Street USA, a completely new parade, the first one since the Disneyland Park opened.
The parade runs from Fantasy land through to Main Street USA and its best to get a spot at least 30 minutes before the parades start as they are extremely popular. If you have a good zoom on your camera then head for the ride "It's a Small World" or Main Street Station here you will be able to look down at the parade and get a great view, alternatively get a good place well in advance of the parade beginning on the edges of the pavements on the parade route.
As an adult I find this the most magical part of visiting Disneyland Paris, the combination of music, performances, seeing the characters themselves and the introduction to smells as the parade passes through is fantastic and it really is no wonder that the park tends to stop to watch the parade it is a real photograph moment so getting a good spot nice and early is vital, but be prepared for last minute arrivals who will try to cut into your space!
*~*Float 1: Dreams of Imagination*~*
As the parade begins the music When You Wish upon a Star begins and the characters come into view.
Mickey and Minnie hover high in the sky in a golden air balloon designed as the smiling sun that rotates displaying the message of "Once upon a Dream" in shimmering LED lights.
A storybook float with Donald dancing on the smiling moon and Goofy sat on the collection of books at the rear of the float blowing bubbles to the crowd and Chip 'n' Dale who follow on behind with Pluto interacting with the crowd and handing out some sweets.
New for 2007 each of the floats sprays a scent as it passes by and this float has the scent of Candy and Sweets.
*~*Float 2: Dreams of Laughter & Fun*~*
As the next parade comes into view music from Alice In Wonderland can be heard and the Queen of hearts introduces the next float along with her playing cards along the parade route and the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter run around the crowd in an most unorganised manner!
The float itself is the March Hare's cottage where, in the film, Alice has found herself stuck as she has grown in size holding a pot of tea in one hand and the March Hare on the other and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are holding on to her feet.
To the back of the cottage the image has changed to a giant cuckoo clock and the Cheshire Cat can be seen smiling away. The clock is filled with clockwork toys, puppets and wooden toys and Pinocchio's dancers hang, dive and topple from bungee ropes from a clock tower that Jiminy Cricket watches over the parade route as the wooden scent is given off.
*~*Float 3: Dreams of Friendship*~*
My personal favourite featuring the song "you've got a friend in me!" The toy story characters are introduced by the Green Army men as they march along the parade route.
Woody rides Bullseye, Buzz Lightyear, Mr & Mrs Potato Head, Rex and many more can be seen on this parade as it passes by Winnie the Pooh can be seen at 100 acre wood and Tigger bounces behind along with Piglet and Eeyore who both all interact with the crowd. The smell for this float I was unable to make out.
*~*Float 4: Dreams of Fantasy*~*
As Captain Hook and his pirates follow on next performing a flag-throwing routine whilst trying to avoid the ticking crocodile that can be heard passing by closely followed by Peter and Wendy who are soaring above the rooftops of London to the song "You can fly!" and as it passes the rear of the float reveals everybody's favourite Mary Poppins and Bert, on board a carousel ride singing songs from the film including A spoonful of sugar, before the ride comes to a stop and they treat us to a dance routine with the penguins as they interact with guests in the crowd and I have to say that my fiancé was most excited when Mary Poppins came our way.
*~*Float 5: Dreams of Power*~*
The float that all the bad characters from Disney can be seen including Jafar, The Evil Queen from Snow White, Ursula, Scar and more.
Characters dressed as fire before Maleficent appears dressed in dazzling red and yellow flames. Above is Jafar who is sat on the summit of Bald Mountain and Chernbog who can be seen flexing his gothic wingspan stretching out a hand towards the crowd. The aroma of burning and scary music can be heard as this parade flows past.
*~*Float 6: Dreams of Adventure*~*
A giant jungle tree appears as the next float where you will find the Circle of Life in the form of The Lion King and the Jungle Book with characters that include Simba, Timon and Pumba and Rafiki dancing to the Circle of Life song.
The African Tam-Tam bands are entertaining in themselves with the musicians that eyeball you as they ride past.
At the rear of the ride you will begin to hear the songs from the film such as Bare Necessities and I wanna be like you and the Jungle Book characters can be seen by the ruins of King Louie's home where he can be seen munching away on bananas and Baloo dancing away in a coconut shell bikini and grass skirt that he wore in the film and hidden away in the tree you will see Shere Kahn, Giraffes, Zebra, Monkeys and snakes all leaving the scent of the jungle as they pass by.
*~*Float 7: Dreams of Romance*~*
A garden is the theme for the next float that contains Ariel and Jasmine.
Ariel is located on a clamshell balcony with hanging vines and sand coloured bricks and Aladdin and Jasmine can be seen on a fairytale swing to the rear of the float and the scent of flowers flows through the crowd as they pass by and colourful dancers dressed as flowers introduce the float before the next float appears displaying Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
*~*Float 8: Dreams of Romance*~*
This is the finale to the entire parade and contains all four princesses in a rose-covered temple that provides shelter for Belle and the Beast and the fairytale bridge is the location for Snow White and her prince which leads to the hill where Cinderella and her Prince Charming can be found and as the show comes to a brief halt as the Princes and Princesses leave the float to meet the crowds and dance to a beautiful waltz to the music from the parade music of Once Upon a Dream.
The Once upon a Dream parade is lovely and lasts for approximately 20 minutes and you really should allow time to view the parade as it is one of the most magical parts of visiting the park and gives visitors the opportunity to see most of the characters that you may not necessarily see around the park.
The floats are a great moving show featuring acrobats, dancers and of course the characters from all your favourite Disney movies and it's the first time that scents have been used on parades and hopefully it is something that will be used again in other parks on their parades as it adds that extra special touch.
As we visited during the Christmas Celebrations there was an extra float at the back of the parade which was pulled with real reindeer and Santa sits above the back of his sleigh and as it finally reaches Main Street USA snow falls from the buildings a great touch considering its very rare we get snow nowadays and judging by the ages of some of the children visiting the park this could be the first time they have seen snow or even reindeers so Disney that is a lovely touch...I loved it from start to finish!!!