Advice on parades and shows for the different parks

We are traveling over Thanksgiving week. Our kids will be between 4.5-10 years old. We went for a quick trip 5 years ago. This trip will be our “big trip”. We are doing 4 full park days and a 1/2 MK day with an after lunch arrival. What is the suggestion for shows and parades? Are there times that we should skip because it is generally more crowded and the ride lines will be shorter?

It kind of depends on your family vibe. At MK, we tend to skip shows/parades because it is prime time to get in rides. But we are more inclined to do shows at the other parks, partly because there aren’t as many rides anyhow…but also because some of the shows are really good. Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo are both great productions at AK (although if you choose to skip one, I’d skip Nemo…FOTLK edges out Nemo overall).

We did the fireworks our last trip because we’d always skipped it before. I’m not sure it was worth it. Crowds were unbearable and rude, despite us finding our spot a good hour ahead of time. But many find the fireworks the perfect ending to a perfect trip. So again, it is about family vibe.

My kids will like the shows, parades and fireworks. We only need to see them once. We will be at MK for a full day and an afternoon. We would only do a parade and fireworks one of the days. My kids will be excited to see the characters in the parades. Are there different parades in a given day? Not multiple times, completely different parades?

TP has all the parades and shows under ‘diversions’. If you put them all in a tp they will list out all the times. Then I’d recommend looking the shows up on youtube to see what you think your family will like the most.
For us, the Festival of Fantasy parade (3pm daily - the REAL parade) is a must as well as the new Mouseke Dance Street Party (this is a walk up and experience thing. Not a wait around for it thing.) We aren’t interested in the Royal Friendship Faire stage show. We’re doing both FOLK and Nemo at AK and only B&tB at HS because of time.

We only did Beauty and the Beast at HS last time and the Disney Junior. We did Crush at Epcot. That’s it. I don’t even know what else is there. It was only a 2 day trip. We have never been to Animal Kingdom

This is how we see things, often. For example, last trip, while we were at Epcot going from one thing to another, there was a street percussion group that performed. They were using a portable “kitchen” setup where all the instruments were from the kitchen utensils, pots, pans, etc. It was really good. This was during the F&W Festival. But we wouldn’t have gone out of way to see it…but since we happened upon it, we stopped, watched, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Same was true for the March of the First Order at HS. We didn’t plan on it. But we happened to be along the street when the March began, so we stuck around to watch. So if you see a crowd of people standing around as a group, it might be worth stopping to see what’s happening.