50% Off Select Disney Cruise Deposits!

Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade

Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-016

March 9, 2024, will mark the 10th anniversary of Magic Kingdom’s afternoon parade, Festival of Fantasy, which has created magical moments throughout the park thanks to its catchy theme song, elaborate floats, and a collection of characters whose stories you’ll discover best in Magic Kingdom.



It all started after Celebrate A Dream Come True – the parade that ran from 2001 to 2014, in three different variations – took its final ride through the park on January 4, 2014 and the Magic Kingdom parade route took a two-month hiatus as the park geared up for the completion of New Fantasyland.

With this expansion of Fantasyland including brand new rides like The Little Mermaid-themed dark ride Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and the Snow White-themed thrill ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant Be Our Guest, and the Tangled bathrooms, the park’s new parade planned to celebrate all the characters from these beloved movies full of fantasy.



Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-018
Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade FestivalofFantasyFrozen

During its debut on March 9, 2014, guests left no spot unfilled along the parade route from Frontierland to Main Street, U.S.A. The parade consisted of eight floats and dozens of characters, starting with Princess Garden – a redesigned float from Tokyo Disneyland’s parade Jubilation!, which ended its run in 2013 – featuring Cinderella and Prince Charming, Belle and Beast, Tiana and Naveen and Anna and Elsa while versions of Beauty and the Beast, A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, For The First Time In Forever and Once Upon A Dream played. Less than two months later, however, Once Upon A Dream was replaced by Let It Go due to the popularity of Frozen.

If you notice the parade’s title track has a familiar hint of magic, that’s because it was composed by Mark Hammond, who also composed the music for EPCOT’s Harmonious and Disney California Adventure’s World of Color.



Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-039
Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-067

The princesses are followed by fantastical floats like Rapunzel and her Tangled friends swinging on pendulums, Ariel atop a seashell with her friends under the sea, and Peter Pan and Wendy on the Jolly Roger pirate ship with Tinker Bell tagging along at the back. A larger-than-life Tick-Tock once followed the float, but temporarily disappeared in Summer 2016 after a fatal alligator attack took place on Walt Disney World property. Tick-Tock returned mid-summer up until the parade’s final run before the park’s temporary 2020 closure.



Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-072

The Neverland unit was originally followed by Merida touching the sky on a big Celtic bagpipe, but the Brave unit also hasn’t been seen since the parade’s post-pandemic return in 2022. The Pixar princess later left her meet-and-greet spot in Fairytale Gardens and moved to spontaneous appearances in Liberty Square, leaving the only remnant of Brave during the park’s fireworks show Happily Ever After.



Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-080

Next, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather lead a 26-foot-tall, steampunk-inspired Maleficent, who strolls down the route in dragon form and breathes fire alongside stilt walkers. The most famous of the parade’s floats, Maleficent hasn’t always appeared upon a dream. In Spring 2018, the float caught fire and Maleficent’s head was damaged, leaving her missing from the parade for eight months and replaced by Aurora and Prince Phillip on the gazebo float that eagle-eyed guests remembered from the park’s Rainy Day Cavalcade.

Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-099

The parade concludes with what’s called a “caravan of characters,” featuring classics like Pinocchio, Dumbo and familiar faces from Fantasia on an extravagant, colorful float, while favorites like Jiminy Cricket, Snow White and the seven dwarfs and Alice and her friends from Wonderland walk along the parade route greeting guests.

Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-108
Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-114

Finishing things off are Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Chip ‘n’ Dale leading a hot air balloon called Mickey’s Airship – also recycled from Tokyo Disneyland’s Jubilation! – carrying the main mice themselves, Mickey and Minnie, all dressed in their fantastical ‘fits.

Looking Back on 10 Years of Festival of Fantasy Parade WDWINFO-Festival-Of-Fantasy-123

Festival of Fantasy currently runs through Magic Kingdom every day at 3 pm.


 | Website

Ashley Amber is a former Disney cast member who rediscovered her love of writing when the 2020 pandemic ended her time making magic. When she's not bringing the magic to The DIS articles, Ashley works as a writer for Happy Productions and a live-blogger at MJ's Big Blog, and previously published over 300 articles with Collider. Ashley also authored a self-published fantasy/romance series of novelettes, and made her poetry debut in 2021's LGBTQIA+ anthology Deviant: Chronicles of Pride by InkFeathers Publishing. As a former pro ballroom dancer, when she's not writing, you can find Ashley on Youtube and TikTok where she posts dance videos featuring her own choreography and tutorials.




















GET A DISNEY VACATION QUOTE


Our travel agents will assist you in booking the perfect Disney getaway, all at no extra cost to you. Get the most out of your Disney vacation by letting us assist you with dining and park reservations, provide expert advice, answer any questions, and continuously search for discounts to ensure you get the best deal possible.

CLICK HERE