I’m going to WDW with my DD(Age 4) and DS(Age 2). The parade is something my daughter is really looking forward to, is getting a fast pass worth it or are the other viewing locations fine? I definitely am looking for something I can just get to 30-45 mins before it starts, don’t want to wait for over an hour to save a spot.
I don’t think they offer FP+ for the parade anymore, but I did the dining package a couple of weeks ago, and the viewing area was very good, but I didn’t get the sense that I wouldn’t have been able to find a good view without it.
We always start about 45 min to an hour before in Frontierland and just make our way down the parade route looking for a good spot. You can usually find something unless it’s just an exceptionally busy day. As Banjoman pointed out, the safest bet is to do the dining package since they no longer offer FP+ viewing but if you’re not willing to spend the cash, I would recommend trekking the parade route about an hour before it starts to hunt down a place. Our favorite spot is in Liberty Square, right by the bridge that crosses into the hub.
Even though Main Street USA is the classic place for viewing, and therefore the most crowded, you can see it as it passes through Frontierland (it starts here) and Liberty Square with a lot less people, less waiting time, and often with shade and a bench!
We arrived around 2:35 last Sunday and had no trouble finding a shady spot with great sightlines directly across from Sleepy Hollow. Main St was decidedly more crowded the following Tuesday (we were running down it ahead of the parade trying to exit the park).
Where is the seating area for the dining package people?
By the flag pole.
You do not need an hour by any stretch of the imagination. Frontierland has some fantastic (and even shaded) spots that you could grab even 20 minutes before. And on our last visit (CL7) we got a spot in Town Square at just minutes before 3:00 - in front of the Chamber of Commerce also under a shady tree. Granted, it took until about 3:20 for the parade to reach us, but still you’re looking at a 20 minute wait in a prime location (CURBSIDE!) much much less than an hour ahead on a fairly busy park day.
30-45 minutes is plenty doable. And quite honestly I would recommend AGAINST the dining package as it puts you in full sun for the duration (it’s under the flagpole).
Yep, it’s in the circular area in the middle of Town Square, by the flag. Great spot but it seemed like I could have gotten a good spot elsewhere too. And this was in March so it wasn’t blazing hot.