If you’re casually strolling along an idyllic street and a fire-breathing dragon suddenly turns the corner, staring you down, you’re at Walt Disney World and have stumbled upon an epic, perennial favorite of Disney entertainment: the parade.
Of course, parades have currently been replaced by character cavalcades and character flotillas and character motorcades in order to promote social distancing and to fill the gap left by the suspension of character meet and greets. But if you crave a parade, we’ve got a list for you — straight from the social media responses of our AllEars readers!
AllEars Readers, these are the best parades in all of Disney World according to you!
Share A Dream Come True
The 100 Years of Magic celebration began in 2001 honoring what would have been Walt Disney’s 100th birthday, and Disney knew Magic Kingdom’s parade had to go big in celebration. The designers did not disappoint, crafting a parade that featured uniquely detailed snowglobe floats.
This parade was such a hit that it ran for thirteen years going through a couple of name changes and aesthetic alterations. Most of the snowglobes were removed from the floats, and the character costumes would rotate out, but the theme of celebrating dreams remained the same.
Stars and Motor Cars
We’ve got a two-way tie for fifth place, and both parades originating from the 100 Years of Magic celebration. The Stars and Motor Cars Parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios featured famous Disney characters riding in — you guessed it — decked out motorcars rolling from Star Tours all the way down Hollywood Boulevard.
While the premise may seem incredibly simple for a Disney parade, the cars themselves were actually very well designed and perfectly encapsulated whatever character would be riding it.
Boo-To-You Halloween Parade
What’s the best part about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Wait… we forgot about the candy. Okay, what’s the second best part about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Oh, right, you do get to be in the park after hours. Okay, look, the point is the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade is absolutely fabulous and a huge selling point of the annual celebration.
The biggest thing this parade has going for it that separates it from all the others is atmosphere. Name another parade where you can watch ghostly gravediggers make sparks fly and see the Headless Horseman trot down Main Street?
Tapestry of Nations
EPCOT has never really been a “parade” kind of park, evidenced by the fact that the park has only ever two of these. Probably the more well-known and beloved of these parades is the Tapestry of Nations, a celebration of the world that heavily featured some beautiful puppetry.
Begun in order to celebrate the turn of the millennium, Tapestry of Nations would actually survive until 2003, going through a rebrand into the Tapestry of Dreams. The parade was unique for Disney World in that it did not feature a single Disney IP or character, which is almost sacrilegious when you compare it to the history of Disney parades. But the artistry and the moving music made this parade a guest favorite.
Main Street Electrical Parade
You all ready for a hot take? The Main Street Electrical Parade is one of the most beloved parades that Disney has ever produced. It is iconic not only for the parade’s jovial, bit-crushed musical theme, but also for the exquisite, brilliantly lit floats inspired by Disney’s massive library of films.
Magic Kingdom’s version began running in the 70s until the 90s, when it would be replaced for a time by another parade on your list (no spoilers). It would play a limited run from 1999 to 2001, and then for the last time (for now) in Disney World from 2010 to 2016.
It was a really close debate for awhile, but in the end SpectroMagic reigned supreme as your favorite Disney World parade. The parade took what the Main Street Electrical Parade was already doing so well, added a dash of sci-fi/fantasy, and then let the magic roll.
From the start of the parade, the tone has this ethereal quality as you watch the Spectro Men and eventually Mickey Mouse ride in on the LED and fiber optic floats with the sound bopping and the fog… doing its billowing fog thing. RIP SpectroMagic; thanks for the memories.
Do you agree with this ranking? Let us hear it in the comments!