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View Full Version : Is it worth it to waiting around for 1 hour+ to see parade/fireworks?


jumparound
05-19-2012, 11:49 AM
I'm wondering if it's really worth it to wait around for so long to see parades/shows/fireworks. Every time I do there are rude people that shove their way in front of me, put their kids on their shoulders, etc. I'm short (5' 1/2") and have a 6 year old so once someone steps in front of us it's pretty hard to see, and I spend the entire time POed. So what are your opinions on this?

letitsnow
05-19-2012, 11:53 AM
I used to stake out spots hours before fireworks and no i don't think its worth it. Now we just run to find a spot last minute.

For parades, F! and World of Color yes it is definitely worth it as long as you get a front row spot!

btw..i'm like 2 inches shorter than you...

nannyz
05-19-2012, 11:59 AM
We put the little ones in front and Papa stands behind them. Papa is 6'5", 250 lbs. No one dares to push in front of him!!

Maleficent53
05-19-2012, 12:08 PM
When we had kids along we would get to our spot early and camp out. You do have to be firm with people who arrive late and think it's okay to push in front of you. Not rude, but firm. We usually had 3-4 adults and 3-4 kids so we could position the kids in front with a ring of adults behind and close ranks....:crowded:

Now we prefer to go on rides during parades and will watch the fireworks from whereever we happen to be in the park.

EmmersIsTheMommy
05-19-2012, 12:09 PM
haha the only parade we ever really enjoyed was the one we got to view from the 'premium view' area when we won the dream suite. Every other time was painful. LOL

I'd say run up and find a spot too. Staking out just doesn't work for me :\

2boysmom1998
05-19-2012, 01:08 PM
I don't care for the parades. It's a really good time to ride the rides during the parade and I just don't like them. I do love the fireworks though, one of my favorite parts! I will put up with the big crowd of nasty people to watch them.

mrswh
05-19-2012, 02:45 PM
I say no, not worth it at all. You can get a perfectly good view of fireworks from anywhere on Main Street, so there is no point (IMO) of showing up any more than 5 minutes early. We actually prefer to watch from the end of Main Street so we can escape quickly when they are over instead of becoming part of the pushing and shoving herd. I have not done it at DL but at MK we liked to watch from the back of FL occasionally for a different view. (Works well if you plan to stay in the park after fireworks are over.) I think I must be in the minority, though, because I see people camped out 2 hrs. in advance all the time.

We will try to stake out a spot about 30 minutes in advance of the Pixar Pals parade (not a big fan of the Mickey's Soundastic or whatever it's called nowadays at DL - we will watch but will just walk up when it starts and take whatever spot we can get). It works well if it's time for a little rest and a snack or dinner (we like to get sandwiches to go from La Brea), and when the kids are done eating if they are antsy they can hop around in the parade route for a few minutes.

I will *NOT* wait a long time for WOC ever again. I think you can get a perfectly fine view without waiting for hours on end, and the difference in view you get from waiting for hours does not justify the time wasted. And if you are short (I am 5'3"), I'm not convinced there is anywhere to go or any amount of time to wait that will guarantee you a great view.

If the electrical parade ever comes back to DCA (not DL), I would probably invest up to 45 minutes waiting so I could get a good spot.

I think a good rule of thumb is to wait no longer than you would for a ride you like equally well.

Mugglemama
05-19-2012, 03:01 PM
Last Friday, for the first time ever, we staked out a spot early for fireworks. 90 minutes early, to be exact.

I have mixed feelings about waiting that long. It turned out, we had a great viewing spot (on the curb of the hub across from the entrance to Tomorrowland), and the fireworks were REALLY fun to watch from there, once the show began.

We had three family groups surrounding us while we waited, all with very young children. Fortunately, they were not children who behaved terribly (although I admit I had to dole out some extra lollipops and friendly attention to the little girls sitting next to me because they were getting pretty rowdy and their responsible adult was not making any effort to keep them from repeatedly swinging their arms into my son's head :rolleyes2).

Honestly though, the worst part of the experience for me was when hoards of people started scrambling into place last minute, bumping into, shoving, and pushing into the space of people who had been waiting a very long time.:crowded:

I'm glad we saw the fireworks from that spot one time (it was my DD's boyfriend's very first visit to Disneyland and I went through the trouble of getting a great viewing spot because I wanted him to get to see them really well - and I definitely feel that our viewing experience seriously added to the "magic" for him) ....but I wouldn't do it again.

As for parades...I guess it depends on the parade as to whether or not staking out a spot early is worth it. I personally don't like the current parade *at all*, so I would never go through any extra trouble to view it, myself. However, I feel like the Christmas parade, and parades as good as say, the Lion King one they had years ago, are worth the extra effort to get a curbside veiwing spot.

If you just want to get to see some of the current parade...I accidentally found that the seating around the planters right outside the It's a Small World shop that you exit through when you get off the ride are good places to stand and see the parade fairly well.

hootey
05-19-2012, 03:40 PM
Shove their way in front of you? That is Assault, shove back! Stand your ground, I do. When we watch one of the parades or any of the outdoor activities, I will usually let someone in if the ask nicely. If the try to cut in, shove in, or try the Cuse-Me routine, I give them a firm NO. We always make a point to arrive early to get a good viewing area, if someone is ssso ssstupid ttthey can't do the same and then think because they are ssso ssstupid, I will let them if they are rude, I do not want them near me. The stupid might be contageous. It is called Stand Your Ground, some states have laws for it...:cool1:

HydroGuy
05-19-2012, 04:18 PM
We have never waited an hour for a parade so not sure where you are getting that. Usually 30 minutes is fine and often far shorter.

If you want to get benches to sit on then 60 minutes might be a good idea. A good place to do this at DLR is along the path from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland between the Matterhorn and the castle. People are required to sit in this area so if you score one of the benches you have a great and comfortable view of the parade.

For fireworks the longest we have waited was about an hour - and that was when we had young kids and it was the 50th anniversary summer with the new fireworks show. We found a spot in the hub on a curb with no trees blocking the castle. Now we usually wait 20-30 minutes.

It is frustrating when folks try to push in at the last minute. You do need to stand your ground if you want to hold your spot.

Is it all worth it? Depends on the show. For the newish SoundSational parade then yes. For Remember Dreams Come True? Yes for 30 minutes. No if an hour unless you have never seen them then yes it is worth it once.

:wizard:

PigletSeeker
05-19-2012, 05:29 PM
We don't wait for parades or Fireworks. For World of Color, we show up about 5 min before they tell you to. I've got little kids and they've always been able to see fine. Our favorite parade spot is by IASW...it's never crowded there. We've seen the fireworks from various spots and our favorite is from Tomorrowland, near the Autopia exit. There's a low wall by the Innovations building that we sit on and there are hardly any people at all around. Then, as soon as they're over we walk over to the Tomorrowland station and hop on the train to go to the park exit, bypassing the Main Street crowds. We did watch from the hub once. It is a neat perspective, but it was sooo crowded and my kids couldn't see.

lroger01
05-19-2012, 11:35 PM
.. We've seen the fireworks from various spots and our favorite is from Tomorrowland, near the Autopia exit. There's a low wall by the Innovations building that we sit on and there are hardly any people at all around.

About a month from now my family will be seeing the fireworks at DL for the first time. Is this spot good enough for a first viewing? Can you see Tink and Dumbo from here? My parents are coming with us and so finding a place to sit that isn't on on the ground or curb while waiting and an easy exit, sounds wonderful. But, only if we can see the "show" and hear the music enough to enjoy it. If it's just fireworks bursting in the sky then braving the hords at the hub might be necessary.

jumparound
05-20-2012, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the replies. It seems like the general consensus is it's not worth it to wait. Overall I get stressed out by large crowds (yet I come to DLR almost every summer lol) and I don't want to start anything when people are being rude b/c after all we're at the happiest place on earth. So I think for me personally it's not worth the wait.

PigletSeeker
05-20-2012, 03:13 PM
About a month from now my family will be seeing the fireworks at DL for the first time. Is this spot good enough for a first viewing? Can you see Tink and Dumbo from here? My parents are coming with us and so finding a place to sit that isn't on on the ground or curb while waiting and an easy exit, sounds wonderful. But, only if we can see the "show" and hear the music enough to enjoy it. If it's just fireworks bursting in the sky then braving the hords at the hub might be necessary.

You can hear the music here, but can't see Dumbo. Can't remember if you can see Tink, not great if at all. We've also watched from Fantasyland behind the castle. You get a GREAT view of Tink here..I mean she's really low and close, but you can't really hear the music, if I recall correctly. There are trade offs to each spot. When we were in the Hub, there was a tree that blocked our view of Tink...so no guarantees there either. But, even if you miss some of the effects, the fireworks themselves are pretty spectacular.

disneychrista
05-20-2012, 04:24 PM
I do not stake my spot more than 30mins for fireworks & parades.

This last trip we walked up to get a spot for fireworks 10 mins before and we glad we did because they were cancelled. Would have hated to have wasted 30+ mins for nothing.

milan15
05-20-2012, 04:43 PM
If you haven't liked waiting in the past just to have people cut in front of you, why would that suddenly change?

Don't bother waiting for parades or fireworks. Its simply not worth it. The best place I've found to watch fireworks (least stressful and still can see) is while shopping in DTD.

I can understand waiting a little for something like WOC. However, I'd purchase the dinner package to alleviate a lot of the stress there. Yeah, the prices are steep, but if you go in realizing that you are pretty much buying a nicer seat while also getting some dinner, it's not anywhere near as bad. I'm a tall guy (6'2") but my wife is rather short (5'2") so finding the right spot is always a battle. But we pull it off.

Lastly, just relax and be polite.

mvf-m11c
05-20-2012, 04:51 PM
I do stake out spots for the fireworks, WoC, F!, & parades. I do that for getting a good spot to videotape and take pictures of the shows. I know that it isn't worth waiting that long just for a show and I could use that time to do things around the park. But I like to do those kind of things when I am at the park and get the best spot to see the show.

There is no question that it is frustrating that last second people try to get in the area at the last second. You just stand firm and if any people that try to force there way in your spot just tell them that this area is for my group.

NovemberMom
05-21-2012, 02:30 AM
We don't wait for fireworks... We just cut in front of people a few minutes before the firework show starts....
Just kidding ;)
We actually watch the fireworks in front of the Main Street train station and as soon as the show is over we head out and avoid crowds. We have waited for parades a few times by IASW but only 10-15 minutes. My kids start getting ansy after 15 minutes then they decide they have to go potty, need a drink of water, etc. :)

fctiger
05-21-2012, 05:20 AM
Yeah most people said it, its not really worth it UNLESS you want the best spot in the place and you are patient.

I think the ONLY parade I waited an hour for was Soundsational, but it was only the second weekend it started playing so me and a friend scouted it early on MS since that was our main priority along with TLM and Star Tours which also opened that weekend! Now I wait maybe 15 mins before, but I know EXACTLY where to watch it to get a great view and never have to wait long for it. Same for fireworks, nearly anywhere along MS you are going to get a great show and you can show up 20 mins before it starts. Now if you want a 'premium' view then I guess you will have to get there an hour or even two early but I'm happy doing the 'cheap seats' and yeah you still get 95% of the show the others stood in line for hours while you spent 10-20 mins to get and probably did a lot more in that time as well. Fantasmic, yeah just do the second show! I never understand why people wait 4-5 hours for the 'good seats' when they only need to spend an hour or less for the second show. And you can easily get a decent view for the second show if you show up just 20-30 mins before.

So its all relative, but there is nothing I stand more than 30 mins for anymore. WOC is still a bigger time spender, but I give that an hour tops and I dont even bother with the viewing area much anymore. I just stand in the standby line 10 mins before it starts and love that just as much to be honest!

DisneytheKid
05-21-2012, 01:33 PM
Honestly, for DW and I, its prime ride time. I'm sure once we have kids that will change but for now we gladly trade the parade and show for shorter ride times.

adorelc
05-21-2012, 02:33 PM
We just went a few weeks ago and picked a spot for F! about an hour and 15 minutes before the show started. We were happy to sit for a while after a long day of walking. We were right behind the light tower that raises before the show so we had no one crowd us until when it raised. We were pushed, but I had my kids right up against the fence so we could protect them. We had a great view, but it was just about ruined by a woman who showed up right behind us as the show started and complained the entire time about how she could not see over us. I tried my best to ignore her, but I was so upset. Did she really expect that I would move so she could have the good spot? I am all for waiting for a spot, you just need to be prepared for the people that will push in all around you!

jennilouwho
05-21-2012, 03:49 PM
We finally discovered the spot for fireworks where the walkway gets roped off and people aren't allowed to walk in front of you during the show. We really needed that spot so our 3 and 5 year old could see, they are getting too old and heavy for us to hold them. We grabbed a snack and just waited in the street for an hour and it worked out really well. We always do the 2nd Fantasmic and get a spot at the light tower about 20-30 min beforehand and then our kids can see at the railing.

LAWalz23
05-21-2012, 07:05 PM
Is there anywhere outside the parks whre you could sit and watch the fireworks? We are staying atthe Grand Californian. Being a WDW vet, my favorite place to watch the fireworks is the Polynesian beach with the music piped in. Thanks for any info.

nannyz
05-21-2012, 07:51 PM
I watched a documentary once about kids in Anaheim who never get to go to DLR. They sit in the parking lots and watch the fireworks. I also have seen them going off as we walked out of DLR.
I am sure there are better places.

HydroGuy
05-21-2012, 08:25 PM
Is there anywhere outside the parks whre you could sit and watch the fireworks? We are staying atthe Grand Californian. Being a WDW vet, my favorite place to watch the fireworks is the Polynesian beach with the music piped in. Thanks for any info.First, when are you going? This will relate to which fireworks you see.

Be advised that some of the fireworks shows - especially Remember Dreams Come True - were designed not only to be viewed inside the park but inside the hub of the park - and Main Street. There are many special effects that work around the hub. If viewed from outside you will miss 80% of the show.

If you want to see fireworks from outside, many of the GCH rooms that face DTD will allow you to see fireworks. You can also them well from the Esplanade between DL and DCA.

Good luck!

:wizard:

Blue32
05-21-2012, 09:21 PM
We finally discovered the spot for fireworks where the walkway gets roped off and people aren't allowed to walk in front of you during the show. We really needed that spot so our 3 and 5 year old could see, they are getting too old and heavy for us to hold them. We grabbed a snack and just waited in the street for an hour and it worked out really well. We always do the 2nd Fantasmic and get a spot at the light tower about 20-30 min beforehand and then our kids can see at the railing.

Would you care to share where this area is? I'd really my kids to be able to see the fireworks without us holding them up. We will be there at the end of Nov. so the huge tree will be blocking the views from the train station. Are kids aloud to stand on the cement ledge surrounding the partners statue?

:earsboy: :earsgirl: princess: :littleangel:

Judy from Boise
05-23-2012, 07:40 PM
I am not a waiter ! I will invest 30 minutes for shows, parades, and fireworks (at both DL and WDW) but no more than that. The one exception is if I have something else to "do" during an hour wait.....for sample I would show up the hour prior for a dessert buffet viewing.
I am very willing to give up on the "perfect" view to have a happy experience . Happy experiences can't be built on the back of an hour wait, where I still have no control on the behaviors of others to ruin my investment of time.

Happy experiences involve me deciding on trade offs, and having some control.

jennilouwho
05-24-2012, 02:12 PM
Would you care to share where this area is? I'd really my kids to be able to see the fireworks without us holding them up. We will be there at the end of Nov. so the huge tree will be blocking the views from the train station. Are kids aloud to stand on the cement ledge surrounding the partners statue?

:earsboy: :earsgirl: princess: :littleangel:

They block off the front half of the hub once the show starts, so you can't stand on the ledge, but we waited in the road where we saw where the ropes were going to go right next to the hub. It will be crowded until the show starts, but once they rope it off they don't let anyone through until the show is over. It was perfect! I'm not sure my description was that great, but ask the castmembers. You just have to make sure you are right at that line when the rope goes up or your kids will be staring at people's behinds instead of the fireworks :)

HydroGuy
05-24-2012, 03:52 PM
They block off the front half of the hub once the show starts, so you can't stand on the ledge, but we waited in the road where we saw where the ropes were going to go right next to the hub. It will be crowded until the show starts, but once they rope it off they don't let anyone through until the show is over. It was perfect! I'm not sure my description was that great, but ask the castmembers. You just have to make sure you are right at that line when the rope goes up or your kids will be staring at people's behinds instead of the fireworks :)When my kids were younger I aimed for spots towards the south side of the hub right on a curb. They then at least got a 4 inch advantage over those in front on the street. Since one looks mostly up at fireworks this was even more advantageous than just 4 inches.

Blue32
05-24-2012, 05:24 PM
When my kids were younger I aimed for spots towards the south side of the hub right on a curb. They then at least got a 4 inch advantage over those in front on the street. Since one looks mostly up at fireworks this was even more advantageous than just 4 inches.

I am having a hard time picturing since we have never seen fireworks at DL. How soon before the show would you need to arrive to secure a curb spot?
THANKS!

HydroGuy
05-24-2012, 05:55 PM
I am having a hard time picturing since we have never seen fireworks at DL. How soon before the show would you need to arrive to secure a curb spot?
THANKS!It always depends on the season and the show and how badly you want the spot.

- An hour early you would get it for sure - usually
- 45 minutes, probably you will get it
- 30 minutes, maybe you will get it

Visit the hub during the day. Scout some potential spots which are not blocked by trees as you view the castle. Consider the curb locations.

Be aware that during fireworks CMs put up ropes to create walkways. So ropes might go up in spots where you think you want to stand. Be ready to be flexible and check with the CMs there before the show if you will be in a walkway or not. If you are on a curb then chances are there will not be a walkway there as it will be dark and the curb will be hard to navigate for the walkers. But it is a good idea to check.

If you have more than one night to try, then go 30 minutes early on the night of the first attempt. If that is too late then try 45 minutes on the next night.

:wizard:

Blue32
05-25-2012, 08:26 AM
Be aware that during fireworks CMs put up ropes to create walkways. So ropes might go up in spots where you think you want to stand. Be ready to be flexible and check with the CMs there before the show if you will be in a walkway or not. If you are on a curb then chances are there will not be a walkway there as it will be dark and the curb will be hard to navigate for the walkers. But it is a good idea to check.

If you have more than one night to try, then go 30 minutes early on the night of the first attempt. If that is too late then try 45 minutes on the next night.

:wizard:

Sorry if I am extending this thread out longer than it needs to be.... :)
I am guessing you COULD stake out a spot on a curb and not have anyone directly in front of you if the CM creates a rope barrier there? This would be ideal with the wee ones.
What spots are people talking about getting at like 2 hours ahead then? Better than a curb spot?
Again... thanks for sharing your knowledge.

HydroGuy
05-25-2012, 09:32 AM
Sorry if I am extending this thread out longer than it needs to be.... :)
I am guessing you COULD stake out a spot on a curb and not have anyone directly in front of you if the CM creates a rope barrier there? This would be ideal with the wee ones.
What spots are people talking about getting at like 2 hours ahead then? Better than a curb spot?
Again... thanks for sharing your knowledge.Actually you would NOT want to be standing behind a rope walkway. If you did then there would be a constant stream of people walking in front of you which would be really distracting. Even so, the rope walkways are typically not on the streets but on the sidewalks.

Folks who do the 2 hour wait thing are either trying for one of the few benches in the hub to have a place to sit, or are trying to be up near the castle because they feel that spot is better and worth waiting for. For me there is no way I would wait 2 hours for a show which is subject to cancelation due to winds aloft. If I wait 2 hours (for say WOC) it is because a show is certain to happen - well almost certain. And even then I only waited 2 hours for WOC once during opening summer. It is not uncommon for DL fireworks to get canceled.

:wizard:

jennilouwho
05-25-2012, 10:37 AM
I'm probably not completely understanding Hydroguy, he knows his stuff, but unless this was a new thing in April, there is a "walkway" they block off at the castle side of the hub and no one can walk through during the show. It looks like a walkway, but obviously not since people can't walk it. Then when the show ended we did use it to get over to Fantasmic. Just go on the side of the hub by the castle and ask a CM for help. We were there in slow season and were the first ones there an hour early. A lot more showed up about 45 minutes before. We found out about it because we wanted to grab a bench in front of the statue for the show and the CM let us know that everyone would be cleared of that area before it started, so we couldn't stay there. So we went to the curb by the street to wait and then had a few feet between us and the people in front of us. The kids could see great and our backs were saved! Yay! :)

HydroGuy
05-25-2012, 02:05 PM
I'm probably not completely understanding Hydroguy, he knows his stuff, but unless this was a new thing in April, there is a "walkway" they block off at the castle side of the hub and no one can walk through during the show. It looks like a walkway, but obviously not since people can't walk it. Then when the show ended we did use it to get over to Fantasmic. Just go on the side of the hub by the castle and ask a CM for help. We were there in slow season and were the first ones there an hour early. A lot more showed up about 45 minutes before. We found out about it because we wanted to grab a bench in front of the statue for the show and the CM let us know that everyone would be cleared of that area before it started, so we couldn't stay there. So we went to the curb by the street to wait and then had a few feet between us and the people in front of us. The kids could see great and our backs were saved! Yay! :)I am talking about the south side of the hub opposite the castle. The side near the castle is where many people camp out 2 hours before the show. That is not where you want to go unless you have lots of time. As far as walkways, I can't remember if they are still there or not. They do have walkways right thru the center of the hub. And on the side of the hub away from the castle. I am sure they have emergency walkways near the castle but they may close those off to those just passing thru.

disneegrl4eva
05-25-2012, 02:09 PM
I am talking about the south side of the hub opposite the castle. The side near the castle is where many people camp out 2 hours before the show. That is not where you want to go unless you have lots of time. As far as walkways, I can't remember if they are still there or not. They do have walkways right thru the center of the hub. And on the side of the hub away from the castle. I am sure they have emergency walkways near the castle but they may close those off to those just passing thru.

i am one of the guilty parties that camp out 2 hours before anything :wave2::rotfl:..i want to make sure i get the best spot possible

SomeDude78
05-25-2012, 02:19 PM
IMO 1 hour isn't worth it for the parade or fireworks. For the old Main Street Electrical Parade, yes, but for the current parade, no.

If you do want to see the fireworks though my personal fav spots are by the Matterhorn if you want to see the actual fireworks, but on Main Street (in the grassy areas closest to the castle) if you want to see the castle get lit up. It's kind of an either-or thing ... the fireworks are behind the castle for the most part, but the most dramatic visual effect is when viewing the castle "superimposed" on top of the fireworks.

For WOC and Fantasmic I would say 1 hour is totally worth it if you haven't seen them before.