Absolute BEST way to get and KEEP your parade spot....


DIS Veteran
Oct 11, 1999
With all the talk about people violating "personal space" while in WDW, I thought I'd tell you my sure fire way to get yours without too much trouble.

First of all, get to your spot EARLY-at least 45 minutes to an hour before the parade starts. Then take one or two rain ponchos (depending on how many people you will have) and spread them out on the ground. If its windy place things on them to keep them from blowing around. (A jacket, drink bottle, backpack, etc.) Then plop yourself down in the middle. It really sets up a boundary that few will try and cross. If they do, just politely point out that they are stepping on your raincoat.

In December my friend and I did this. It got extremely crowded while we waited for the rest of our group to show up. No one came near the ponchos. They sure looked at us a lot and we did get some rude stares, but it worked! When the parade started we let several little ones whose parents came late to sit in front of us on the curb. The parents had to stand behind us, otherwise they would have blocked our view.


That sounds like a great idea to mark your spot. I find myself avoiding the parades because I hate crowds and confrontation if someone is rude to us. I don't want to ruin the day by being upset over some rude person. On the other hand, it would be nice to have our little girls experience the parades. Maybe the crowds won't be too bad in late November and we can give it a try.
HI! I never thought of this. It sounds good. Does anyone know if this would work in the busy summer months?

We staked out our front row parade spots 2 hours before the parade started and we were not alone. We took turns one or two at a time walking around the stores and snack areas while the other family members sat at the stake out spot. We even guarded other disney family spots around us while they got up for some shopping or a bite to eat. But watch out!!!!!!-----We sat our backpack in the gutter next to the side walk-even though Disney does do its part to keep the park clean, horse urine or something very evil was soaking into our backpack during the whole parade. By the time we got back to the CSR, I thought we were going to die from the stentch of the back pack. Just be careful to wear you sit and to where you place your belongings-you never know what may be lurking.

The parade is always one of our highlights so we stake out a spot at least and hour before, but what always happens is once the parade starts, people just stand in front of you or try to squeeze in. One time we had been waiting for almost an hour in the 95 degree heat and when the parade was coming by, a group of tourist just barged in on us and blocked all the little kids. Of course, everyone who had been waiting told them to move, but wouldn't you know they didn't speak English! A CM came by and told them to move.

I'm sorry but, this wouldn't work for you with my family and me.

We usually try to pick a place on the parade route 30-45 minutes before a parade. If there is a spot with no humans standing there, I will take it. Not to be rude, I would ask you to please move your raincoat so it doesn't get stepped on. The key is our family waits together. If a hole is only big enough for my kids, then we stand behind them. Otherwise, we will line up on the curb to fit as many of the family that will fit. The way we look at it is; my family is sacrificing their time at other attractions to get a good spot for the parade.

My guess is that a Cast Member would back me up.

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I agree with the Yankee. First come first served should be the rule of thumb here. Saving a spot while somebody runs to the bathroom is one thing, but trying to hold a prime spot in this fashion in order to avoid waiting is rather rude. If you want a good spot for four people, then four people should be waiting.
The rest of my group, 2 kids and 2 dads, showed up 30 minutes before the parade. The CM's saw what I did and said nothing. If anyone had stepped on the ponchos and did not move, I'm sure the CM would have moved them. :) Rude is when people show up 5 minutes before the parade starts and expect to get a prime spot by shoving me out of their way.

Also, if you showed up 30 minutes before the parade I'm sure there would be spaces other than on my poncho to stand. ;)
I can picture it now. This will cause a REVOLUTION in the way we all tour the parks. First stop in Magic Kingdom at 8:30 am? Main Street or the hub--drop off a blanket, poncho, jacket or other "personal" article to save our spot for the 3:00 pm parade. Then just leave it there for the 9:00 pm parade. (Of course, take turns having someone from the group sit with the item). Anyone arriving at the park after about 8:45 am will have no choice but to walk UP Main Street--there will be a sea of of blankets & ponchos on the sidewalks and curbs--but that's okay--Disney doesn't want them in the stores anyway. ;)
I went to Tokyo Disneyland in October and everyone sat on a small tarp or their park maps. The tarps were about 4 feet square and had different things on them. I spent the rest of my vacation looking for one to bring home, but never found one :(.

BTW, I don't see anything wrong with having one family member save a spot for the rest with a tarp or poncho. Personally I would rather have the whiny toddler or roughhousing 10 years old somewhere else than next to me for 45 minutes ;).

-- Robin
lol...I agree with Carolina Yankee, (and not just because I'm a yankee living in Carolina)...Unless there's bodies there, it's an open space.
I`m glad I`m not the only one who has a problem with parades. we did stake out our spot ahead of time, and I disagree with the idea that you should not be able to save a spot for everyone in your group. With four children it`s unreasonable to think they should lose their spot because they have to use the washroom or something.
This year we decided to just wing it, after my children nearly being knocked over by rude people and sick from the heat waiting so long. We just walked along main street and were lucky enough to get a shaded spot right in front. The kids even got to participate in the parade.
I`m finished with the frustration of staking out a spot. If we don`t get to see the parade that`s ok there won`t be line-ups for something else that we can do. I`m there to enjoy myself not get stressed.
I agree!!

As much as I love the parades I will not sit for an hour or more to see it.

I have done this too many times just to have a group of people stand right in front of us before the parade starts. And this gets me mad.

And I hate having a confrontation with people when I'm on vacation, it will just ruin the enjoyment of the parade.

So now we just start looking for a half way decent spot 10 -15 minutes before the parade and we usually have good luck. As long as I can see the parade it good enough for me, I don't have to have front row. And if we can not find a good spot, oh well, we just skip it and go and enjoy something else.
I think the problem is that there are two different groups of people whose ideas radically disagree.

The first group believes it's okay to claim a lot of space with "stuff" as long as someone is there to watch it. Anyone who encroaches into this space is "rude".

The second group is of people who stick together and believe that if a human isn't occupying the space, it's free for the taking. They believe that "stuff" doesn't claim a spot, only a body does and that those who use stuff are "rude".

Of course, there are varying degrees of the two types. The first group ranges from a parent who is saving a spot for spouse and child with a single rain coat all the way to no one watching ten rain coats spread out.

The second group can be people who will politely move on when told that the person occupying the space ran off to the bathroom all the way to people who watch for someone to go to the bathroom so they can move in.

Don't forget that WDW is an international destination and that other countries have different conventions on what is acceptable behavior.

I believe the watchword here is "reasonable". Try to keep your actions reasonable when getting ready to watch the parade or show.

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. -- Soldier's Axiom
No schedule survives first contact with WDW. -- Tourist's Axiom
Reading the above discussion just reinforces for me my battle plan. Simple really - go to Frontierland and sit on a bench! Problem solved!
I've got to say - I would never waste 45 minutes of riding time - let alone 1 1/2 hours staking out a spot for a parade!! The only time I've ever waited longer then 10 minutes was when we were quite tired and found a bench in Frontierland and ate popcorn and rested while waiting. Do you guys wait on Main St.? Is that why it's such a big deal? Or maybe you're going at a time of year when there's only one parade per week so it's crowded? We're almost always there when it's summer so there's 2 night time parades and we go to the late one. We usually watch from Frontierland or at the turn in Liberty Square and never have a problem getting right at the front - and no I don't push or shove other people out of our way or stand in front of someone who's obviously staked out their spot. The parade is just as nice from Frontierland!! :D

Disney Wonder - 1st Time December 16, 2001


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