By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Parade and Show Viewing Etiquette at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

(This is an entry in a series on Disney World Controversies.)

After my experience with last night’s Celebrate the Season, A Frozen Holiday Wish, and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I feel compelled to republish this material…

Frozen Holiday Wish from


This post focuses on etiquette for parades and shows at Disney World, and suggests two points for the well-mannered:

  • The only way to save a spot for viewing a is to be in the spot
  • The fact that you wish you had a better spot gives you no right to push your kids–or yourself–ahead of others who have sacrificed their own time to get the spot you wish you had…


There’s currently two four parades at Disney World:

During the times of year this site recommends you go, there’s usually plenty of good viewing spots available up until about 30 minutes before the parades begin.  See the links for details.

If your kids–or anyone else in your party–are shorter than the typical adult, you’ll want to grab a spot right at the edge of the parade route so that no one is front of you, and if this may be your only visit, it’s worth perching on such a spot even earlier than thirty minutes before.

The way you do this is you stand…or sit…in the spot you want.  You don’t put down a towel, bedspread, thong, or anything else to claim your spot.  The investment in claiming a spot is your time, not your bedding.

And what if you are late?  And your kids are short?  So they can’t see? Don’t you have a right to push your kids in front of other, taller, children and adults, who have been waiting in their spots, so that they can see the parades better? Disney World is about the kids, after all, isn’t it, and don’t we all care about kids?


Frankly, we’re just not that into your kids. The consequences of your failure to plan, or your failure to execute your plan, are yours to bear, not yours to impose on others.

The way to handle this is the same way that you should handle all other etiquette questions–to ask yourself whether, in the circumstances you face, if everyone else followed the principle you are following, if life would be in sum better or worse?

Spots with un-blocked views of the parades are everywhere along the parade route, but even so there simply aren’t enough of them that every kid waiting for the parade can have one.  So there’s no way it could work for people to push their kids to the front–there just aren’t enough spots for all the kids.

Scarcity is always allocated by a “price.”  This price could be literal–Disney could charge for good viewing spots–or the price could be willingness of people to “spend” something else of value.  Right now, good parade viewing spots are allocated by people willing to spend time waiting. This is true even if you have FastPass+ for the parade. That just puts you in an area–you need to arrive early to grab a good spot within it.

If your kids are near the front, and the people right in front of them are taller, you should always feel free to ask if your kids can step in front so they can see better.  But don’t push them forward without asking–and don’t block the view yourself!

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1 comment

1 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 11.11.14 at 10:02 pm }

Thanks for these parade viewing pointers. Ultimately everyone needs to be respectful of others and remember that it’s all about creating memories.

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