VIDEO: Debut of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at Walt Disney World

Sunday, March 9, Walt Disney World debuted a brand-new daytime spectacular, and over 100 performers danced down Magic Kingdom’s Main Street U.S.A. in the first-ever DISNEY FESTIVAL OF FANTASY Parade.  The whimsical procession featured a cavalcade of Disney characters including favorites from the newer animated films such as “Frozen,” “Brave,” and “Tangled.”  However, the highlight of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade came from a classic Disney animated film when the 53 foot long (and 26 feet tall) “Steampunk” Maleficent Dragon reared its head and blew fire into the air.  The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade surpassed all expectations, and marks the return of a Magic Kingdom daytime parade worth waiting for – continue for our full, multi-angle video of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Here’s a multi-angle view of the much, talked about fire-breathing Maleficent steampunk dragon float.

Walt Disney Imagineer Kris Bunnell, Producer, discusses her reaction to seeing the completed parade for the first time in the daylight.

“The parade celebrates and pays homage to what the Magic Kingdom is all about,” said Randy Wojcik, senior show director Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment.  “It has the most beautiful floats, enchanting characters, vibrant costumes that come to life; and the choreography is just glorious. Yet, it is also very kinetic, relevant and powerful on a scale never seen before at Walt Disney World.”

Seven unique units comprised of nine spectacular floats march down Main Street, U.S.A to the beat of an original soundtrack inspired by favorite Disney films, composed by Mark Hammond, known for his work on World of Color at Disney California Adventure and the Flights of Fantasy parade at Hong Kong Disneyland.

“It’s visually stunning, like mini Broadway shows rolling down the street,” said Wojcik.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Float-by-float lineup, descriptions, and photos courtesy Walt Disney World

The Princess Garden

This pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty.  Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds and more.  Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature, “Frozen.”

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by David Roark, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Tangled

A massive long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure and another Best. Day. Ever!  Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float decked out with swaying pendulums carrying dastardly thugs.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Little Mermaid

Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee.  There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float with conga dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore.  Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Todd Anderson, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Peter Pan

Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship complete with smoke effects and special surprises.  A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor.  “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Brave

Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney∙Pixar film, “Brave.”

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Sleeping Beauty

The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent.  This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float.  With fiery eyes and glowing effects the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades.  This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry.  There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather glide along the parade route.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by David Roark, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Finale and Mickey’s Airship

The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto and more in a splashy carnival of color.  There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland.  Sporting zany new costumes Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Photo by David Roark, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Photo by David Roark, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort © Disney. All Rights Reserved

 

Are you a fan of the daytime parades at Walt Disney World?  Do you have a favorite?  Are you excited about the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade in the Magic Kingdom?  Leave your comments below, and continue the conversation.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About John Saccheri

John Saccheri has been rooted in the Disney culture from childhood. John only had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World once, at the age of 5. After returning home, he never stopped talking about it, yearning to return. His parents were worried about this “obsession,” but John began working at the age of 12 with a focus on saving up for the next Disney trip. He was able to visit Disney World at least once a year from 14 years old onward. Today, a successful entrepreneur, John was able to move from his hometown of Long Island, New York, to Central Florida to be close to the Mouse. Going to the parks still seems like a fantasy to him!