Using FastPass+ for Parade and Fireworks Viewing
The Magic Kingdom began using FastPass+ exclusively in January 2014 and you can now use FastPass+ for both parade and fireworks viewing. Three of the selections available for guests are Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, the Festival of Fantasy Parade, and the Main Street Electrical Parade. Recently, two new areas in the hub were opened for fireworks viewing and the spot to view the parade was moved. Finding a spot for any of these can be stressful at times and even more so when someone in your party uses a wheelchair. We tried out both viewing areas last year but recently two new areas in the hub were opened for fireworks viewing for FastPass+ and the spot for the parades was moved. First I’ll give you an overview of each and where they are located. Then we’ll discuss whether or not I think it’s worth using a FastPass+ selection for them.
Wishes FastPass+ Viewing Area
The viewing location for Wishes and other fireworks at the Magic Kingdom is located between Main Street USA and Cinderella Castle. Plaza Gardens East is in front of the Plaza Restaurant on towards Tomorrowland and Plaza Gardens West is located in front of Crystal Palace. Both areas are open to all guests until 8:00 pm when only guests with FastPass+ reservations are allowed inside. When you are choosing a spot you can pick either the east or west garden. The views from both sides seem to be similar so I don’t know if one is better than the other yet. Mousesteps has a great overview of both locations.
There are scanners at both locations for you to scan your MagicBand and Cast Members that will help you into the area. I already think this area is better for wheelchair users since it’s nice and float. The previous location was area on a hill and the grass could be problematic if it rained. The new areas have a turf that looks like real grass but looks to be much easier to navigate.
While we haven’t utilized the new FastPass+ area yet, I think the view will be similar to the photos above that were taken near Crystal Palace and First Aid. Your view will be off center but it’s far enough back to have a great view of everything.
Is it worth it?
In my opinion, yes. There isn’t a fireworks viewing area set up for wheelchair users so it can be stressful trying to find a spot.( And I tend to get overwhelmed when there are people just standing all around me) You can either try to show up early and hope that no one gets in front of you and blocks your view, head to the end of Main Street where there are typically fewer people, or just wait and try to find a spot where you can.
With FastPass+ you can arrive right when they are letting guests in and get a great spot. When we used the previous FastPass+ area the people in front of us sat the entire time and there wasn’t a huge crowd around me. It was the first time I’ve been able to enjoy Celebrate the Magic, the castle projection show, in a while. The fact that there was no stress involved makes it worth it to me but our situation is a little different than most families. If you are able to grab a spot where ever you can and especially if you are going to be visiting the Magic Kingdom for a limited amount of time I would save your FastPass+ spots for attractions and then see if you can get a FastPass+ reservation later in the day. You can find more recommended spots at Disney Tourist Blog.
Festival of Fantasy & Main Street Electrical Parade FastPass+ Viewing Area
The viewing area for the Festival of Fantasy Parade and the Main Street Electrical Parade is now located in front of the flag pole on at the beginning of Main Street USA.
Depending on when you get there you could have a nice view straight down Main Street USA.
Is it worth it?
Not really. I think you are better off using your FastPass+ reservations for attractions for a few reasons. Since the Festival of Fantasy Parade is in the middle of the day you end up wasting a spot and time. The parade starts at 3:00 but they start allowing guests into the area early so you still need to claim a spot early and the parade starts in Frontierland so you end up waiting a long time. And in the heat that is not fun. Same goes for the Main Street Electrical Parade although depending on what time you see it it may start on Main Street.
I think Frontierland is a great spot to catch both parades since the crowds are usually smaller and you still find spots close to the parade start time, unlike Main Street. There are also three dedicated spots for wheelchair users to view the parade. You still need to show up a early but you get a nice, unobstructed view of the parades without using a FastPass.
Have you used FastPass+ to view Wishes or the Main Street Electrical Parade? Where is your favorite spot to watch the Nighttime Spectaculars at the Magic Kingdom?