We’ll be at WDW at the end of this month, so OUAT will take place before HEA. Everyone talks about being 30 minutes early for the fireworks show. How does this change when OUAT is first? Do we need to be 30 minutes early to OUAT? Is 10-15 minutes ok? That just seems like a long time to stand around with DS2.
In my experience, 30 minutes early is never enough time. People line up for things like this at minimum an hour in advance. So if OUAT is also happening, they may line up an hour or more before THAT starts. I guess it depends on where you want to be for viewing, too, though. If you don’t mind not being near the castle, but just seeing what you can, then it doesn’t really matter I suppose. My daughter was five when we were shoved off of a sidewalk and our spots taken by an angry family in Nov 2017 who didn’t want to wait, and we’d been sitting about 40 minutes. I’d stake out a spot as soon as you can manage it. Just my 2 cents.
This is why, since I have never seen HEA, we are splurging for a dessert party. I’ll never wait for a parade ever again, and HEA is grouped in that category to me.
With two adults and without any particular need to watch from a specific location, husband and I slipped in about halfway up Main Street 15/20 minutes before. This was two summer ago, first summer with HEA.
This time, we have a group of 6 adults + a little one. So my plan is to stake out about 20/30 before. We are still not concerned about specific location, but want to make sure we get a space where we can all stand together comfortably.
I didn’t watch the parade last time (will be doing next time), but I think finding a spot for HEA and OUAT is a little easier because all you need is a good view of the front of the castle, and there are so so many places to get that.
With 3-4 adults and 2 kids we have lined up 20-30 mins at most before whatever the first one was in the last few years with no problem at all finding a good viewing spot. Honestly, people do line up much earlier, but I don’t get it. That a sea of humanity is going to come in and surround you right at the end. Unless you are up against some break point that the CM’s will hold throughout, other people are going to come stand around you and yes in front of you in order to get in the viewing space. That is just expected. So why wait all that time to have the same spot they will have only waiting half the time? We have always lined up on Main St. much closer to the entrance than the hub which a CM recommended to us on our first visit. It has a great view and also allows for a must faster exit if you are leaving the park right after HEA. Never had a problem getting a decent spot in that area even for the special 4th of July fireworks.
To me parades are different because they are coming through the crowd so the curb kind of is a front row seat. I would never wait for it because it just isn’t that high of a priority for us, but what happened to onceabird is just wrong and I hope rare.
Thanks for the responses! We have two nights at MK, so our plan for the first night is to cut it a little closer and if there’s no room at the outskirts or the CMs tell us we can’t stand in the walkway, we’ll just turnaround and ride a few more rides. Then we’ll make more of an effort to be early.
Follow up question, are the walkways kept clear until the show begins? If we’re all beat and decide to head straight to the exit, will we be able to get through? Or if we want to stand on Main St as @MrsWeb suggests, would we be able to get there?
I think it is rare, for sure. I just think that different people have different attitudes about what is THEIRS versus what is not theirs.
I agree though, as an amendment to my post - castle shows and parades are a different can of worms.
Yes that is for sure. And I am so very sorry that happened to you and your daughter. I hope you enjoy every minute of your HEA viewing and dessert party!
In the area we’ve been in, there is a walkway that the CMs valiantly work to keep clear of people standing before and during the show. I am not sure how often those are spaced throughout the whole area. Others who go more often than we do and have tried a bunch of different locations I am sure could give you better info. Main St. is full of people but I have heard others suggest at times like that (during the parade for example) you can get up and down the street faster going through the stores rather than through the outside crowd. I have not tried it so someone else please jump in if that is wrong. I have gone from our place in the sea of humanity that is on Main St. out to make a purchase and back right before the show starts. It was not that big of a deal but it was just me. The rest of our party stayed in our spots.
I’ve seen the recommendation to go through the stores. We’ll have a stroller, but hopefully they plan for that inside the shops. I feel better knowing that we have two chances to see the show.