WDWNT: The Magazine – The “Festival of Fantasy” Heads to Walt Disney World


Since 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort has delighted guests with many memorable parades. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park is the quintessential home for these theatrical shows which incorporate beloved Disney characters and movies. There have been little-known daytime parades in the past such as the Surprise Celebration, and widely-known night-time parades such as SpectroMagic; each had the responsibility of entertaining Magic Kingdom visitors for their respective periods of time. Now that the most recently running daytime parade, Celebrate a Dream Come True, has ended, its long-anticipated replacement, Festival of Fantasy Parade, is set to make its debut next month.

Spectro Magic Parade

Many devoted fans of Walt Disney World will argue that the greatest Disney parade of all time was SpectroMagic. This show encompassed all that typically comes to mind when the word “Disney” is mentioned. Full of excitement, sparkling lights, Disney characters, and an enchanting musical score, this adored parade seemed to fit its role perfectly.

Main Street Electrical  Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade

Leaving the Magic Kingdom in 2010 to be replaced by the currently active Main Street Electrical Parade, Disney stated that SpectroMagic would eventually make its return. In the summer of 2013, Disney extinguished any hopes for this parade to once again be a part of the experience of the Magic Kingdom, which shocked its fans. Although the ‘Electrical Parade’ is still greatly loved by guests, it has been unable to reach the extremely high level of success that SpectroMagic attained with guests. Now with the Festival of Fantasy Parade on its way to the Magic Kingdom, one can only wonder if the void left by SpectroMagic will soon be filled.


Festival of Fantasy will be a daytime spectacular with visually stunning and elaborate floats. Through images and the above video released by Disney, we know that the float designs will include the movies Brave, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Tangled, The Little Mermaid, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Pinocchio. To the delight of the many Frozen fans, characters Anna and Elsa have been announced to be on the “Princess Garden” float.

Given that the Festival of Fantasy Parade is themed according to New Fantasyland, there is limitless creativity to be incorporated in the design of the costumes. New techniques used by the creative costuming team, such as 3D printing and 3D origami, give a unique overall appearance to the performers’ costumes. In comparison to costumes seen in other Walt Disney World parades, the remarkably innovative styles seen in the Festival of Fantasy are unprecedented. This modern look that appears throughout the entertainers’ attire and the floats is similar in style to that of Tokyo Disneyland’s Happiness is Here Parade. The modernization of both parades shows a growing trend in Disney productions to radiate contemporary feelings while simultaneously satisfying audiences by the use of cutting-edge technology and designs.

What has been your favorite Disney parade?  What are you looking forward to seeing in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade?

Here is a sneak peak that Disney shared with us on the upcoming parade:


In memory of a fellow Disney fan and friend, Monique Tartt (1995-2014)

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Cara Rose
Cara Rose
6 years ago

Agreed that Spectromagic was the best parade ever! Can't wait to see Festival of Fantasy! And awesome article!! Very informative and exciting :)

the Coach
the Coach
6 years ago

Your post has me so excited for the Festival of Fantasy Parade! The word "Festival" immediately made me think of the Hunchback, so we'll see if Quasimodo makes an appearance! My fav to this point has been Spectro… so I share in your excitement for the FoFP!
Thanks again Mr. McBride… and I look forward to your next post!