Evening at Disney: Parades & Fireworks

IMG_7464Night time at Disney World can be very special. The parades at night are usually lit so beautifully that it makes you smile the whole time you watch. The fireworks show that Disney puts on, set to its corresponding music, will make every other fireworks show back in the real world leave you wanting something more. Waiting for a parade or fireworks is the perfect time to bring out the glow bracelets and glow toys! Here are my tips for getting the best out of your evenings at the parks.

Main Street Electrical Parade:IMG_7251

In order to get a front row seat on the curb for this parade, you are going to want to set up camp right where you want to sit at least an hour before the parade starts on Main Street. If you don’t want to sit there that long, but still want front row seats, watch the parade in Frontierland instead.

I like to sit so that the parade will pass me first, and this way I know that my kids will be looking in my direction to see the parade and I can get good pictures of their reaction to the characters. At night, I don’t want to blind them during the parade, so I wait until a really bright float lights up their face so that I have the best chance of getting a good picture without my flash.

When your family sits down on the curb, keep spread out a little bit. You will have a little more room to breath once the parade starts, if you do this. I don’t know how it happens, but your family’s personal space will shrink drastically by the time the parade starts!

Your whole group doesn’t need to stay sitting on the curb for that whole hour! Take turns holding your spot, and take the kids shopping on Main Street or send someone to get a snack. Just keep an eye on the time. This is also a great time to play Mickey’s Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card game in the Magic Kingdom. I wouldn’t recommend getting in a line to ride something because you don’t know how long the line actually will end up being.

I like to watch the parade from Main Street, because I like to have the castle in the background of some of my pictures.

Electrical Water Pageant (Parade):This parade is different because it’s on the water. These water floats light up and move and float slowly across the water. They are set to music. You can experience this from several of the Magic Kingdom Resorts. (The Poly, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness and the Floridian) There are times that you can see it from the front of the Magic Kingdom, too.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks:

We usually don’t stake out a spot for watching the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, but instead move out into the street with the masses once it gets close to the start time. If you are on Main Street, you can head right for the exit after the fireworks, and you have a bit of a head start on all of those farther in the park!

You can’t prevent people from putting kids on their shoulders right in front of you, and you can’t avoid balloons, phones and video cameras blocking your view, but you can try to look past it and enjoy the moment. Also, you can try not to be the one blocking the view for those behind you.

Epcot Fireworks: IlluminationsIMG_7806

Stake out a spot for Illuminations at least 45 minutes before the fireworks start if you don’t want anyone in front of you. For this show, you can wait right up against a wall or fence and don’t have to have anyone in front of you, which is the optimal way to watch.

Our favorite spot is near Canada. This way, we can head right out of the park through the rose garden at the end of the night. Also, there is a bathroom conveniently located nearby.IMG_7801

The most important thing when choosing a spot is to make sure there isn’t anything that will obstruct your view, such as trees or torches!

You can take pictures of your kids watching these fireworks without using a flash, because these fireworks are so bright!IMG_7819

Hollywood Studios:IMG_7027

If you head in to Fantasmic early with your kids, I would suggest taking them to the bathroom when it gets closer to show time. You don’t want to miss the show, and it will be very hard to see your way back to your seat once the show starts. It’s a night show after all!

Fantasmic is one of our favorite places to bring light up things to play with while we wait for the show to start.IMG_7123

Photos:

It can be discouraging to try and get good pictures at night. I have a few tips to help, but above all, enjoy the moment and don’t worry about your pictures turning out. Instead, try and lock those moments into your brain. That’s better than any pictures you could capture.

I took these pictures of my kids in front of the castle with a flash: IMG_6470 IMG_6468

Take night parade pics and fireworks without flash if possible.

It’s really neat to take pictures of the castle and spaceship earth at night. Again, turn your flash off for this! IMG_6604

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