Unobstructed Bench Seating for Main Street Electrical Parade?

Hi Disneyland experts! Here’s one for you. Me and two friends are going to DL this Sunday specifically to have dinner and watch the Main Street Electrical Parade (8:40p show). I will most likely get there at least 4 hours early to secure a spot, but we are looking for unobstructed bench seating for the show (no curbs, which will be too uncomfortable for one of my guests). And I am also very short, so standing during the parade is a bad option for me since the tallest people in the world always stand in front of me, guaranteed.

Can anyone recommend any great spots? I can get there as early as necessary to wait, since this is our sole activity for the day. For dinner, I figured we’d just run off from the spot, get what we want, and come back and eat at the spot. Or if you feel like we could have a sit-down all together somewhere and still get to the spot in time, I’m open to suggestions on that too. I’m doing research as well, but you have all helped me so much in the past that I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.

I don’t believe any of us are interested in reserved seating, since we’re all fine with sitting around and waiting (on a bench. Ha!). Shade is always nice too, but I don’t mind bringing an umbrella if I’m just sitting and waiting.

Thanks in advance!!!

I enjoy parade viewing from the benches near the Main Street Train station. Up the stairs there is a group of benches, and though they’re a bit away from the action, they do provide a great view, in my opinion.

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I’ve thought of that area as well. Do you feel that the parade is better seen from there or up close, say, from the built in benches by the bathrooms by Alice (across from the Matterhorn)? Not sure if we want the panoramic view or the up close and personal view. I’m thinking up close and personal for this trip, but sometimes up close is too close, so I’m open to suggestion. Thanks for the input! :smiley:

There are concrete benches along the planters by the Fantasyland bathrooms (closest to the Matterhorn). We watched the parade sitting on the ground right in front of them. So the folks sitting on the benches had a nice view. But if people stand, it might not be so great. Also … concrete so hard on the tushie.

Great points, Julianne. So maybe that’s not the best spot. However, the parade itself is only 20 minutes long. What if we stood on the concrete benches during the actual show, and thus would be able to see over anyone standing in front of the benches? And as for tushie consideration, are the real benches any better? We will most likely take turns going on rides while someone holds the spot, so we’re not confined to sitting the entire time while we wait, luckily.

True! And the other nice thing is if the parade is originating near It’s a Small World, you’re at the front of the parade so can move on to other things faster once it’s done. This last trip was the first time we’ve watched the parade from that area (Aug. 30th) and I really enjoyed it.

I was thinking about that too, although I think we’ll all just be leaving the park after the parade is over (we all have to work the next day). They need to have express exits from the park! (although I did see something I’ve never seen the last time I was there. My in laws and I were trying to escape a very packed Main Street before the fireworks blew–my niece has noise sensitivities–and the CMs were directing people BEHIND the Main Street shops. We didn’t get to take advantage of this because we had to get stuff out of the MS lockers, but I need to look into that again to see if I was hallucinating, cuz if not, it was, indeed, an express exit out of the park to the trams. I so hope that’s what it was because we might be able to take advantage of it Sunday night.)

I remember reading your recap of the trip and seeing this! Have to look for that next time. Sounded like an amazing trip. We just came back from our trip also. It was myself, my two daughters (16 and 19) and three of my older daughters’ friends. We had such a fun time and I couldn’t believe how low the crowd levels were! The three friends were Disneyland newbies so it was cool to show them the parks, although I was surprised what they liked/didn’t like. For instance Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree was a huge hit and they were not thrilled by Radiator Springs Racers. Go figure!

We are front row parade people so we will camp out early for anything we really want to see but I also dislike spending more than 2 hrs looking for a spot so we rarely do traditional benches as those tend to go first & early (they are mostly lined up along the parade route at either end of Main St in the hub & town square), also the curbing all along Main St is very popular as well as the benches near the Alice bathrooms that you mention. If you are willing to camp out for as long as 4 hrs then you could go for any of these.

Just keep in mind, technically they have a policy (that is rarely enforced) that you can’t save spots/camp out prior to 2 hrs before the parade when they begin to set-up the route with ropes/re-arrange the benches to face the parade & that any blankets you pull out must only have enough space for all the people present & not extend beyond that (i.e. one person cannot sit on a blanket with space for rest of your party staked out to come back to). This is very lightly enforced & the last time we were there (also specifically to see Main St. Electrical Parade), the route was already filling up 2 hours before the parade, with spots scarce 1 hr before and definitely any bench seats were gone long before we started looking 2 hours in advance.

One nice thing about the benches: because most of these are directly along the parade route cast members do usually enforce that anyone in front of the bench sits & (if there is a section behind the bench) depending on how full the area is, everyone else would have to stand. So no one should come try to stand in front of your bench and obstruct your view. Because for sure if you did stand up and a cast member was able to spot you they would ask you to not stand on the bench, but they also usually will enforce that those directly along the parade route who are in the first row remain seated.

If you were looking for a less of a wait but also potentially farther back view then the benches @Ms.BarbsWildRide mentioned are fantastic. Also, all along the it’s a small world area there are planters that are bench-like & while they aren’t necessarily front row, if everyone cooperates & sits in front of you it can be a great view (although usually here because the planters are farther back than front row it isn’t enforced by cast members).

As for a quick exit, the behind the Main Street shops walkways don’t open every night but yes if there is a large gridlock they will open them up so you can definitely look for that as a quick escape. My favorite though for a quick exit is to watch from town square so that as soon as the parade is done we are right there & just have to get out the gate.

Oh yeah, that’s right. I remember your post about bringing your daughters and their friends to the parks. So glad you had a great time!!!

Mater’s over RSR??? Yes, go figure indeed! :laughing:

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Excellent advice as always, @lolabear_la! Maybe I just shouldn’t shower for a few days and then sit in the middle of the bench. :laughing:

Which benches are these? I don’t see the post mentioning them.

Ahhh, so they DO exist. Sunday is supposed to be a really low crowd level day, but I’ll look for them just in case, cuz why not? :smiley:

Thanks as always lolabear! You’re definitely one of the Disneyland Yoda’s around here. :grin:

Well, I hope I can pull this off. It’s starting to stress me out a bit. Short people and people who can’t sit on curbs are already one down when it comes to parade watching. :persevere:

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She is THE Yoda of DL!

We were on the curb across the way from the Jolly Holiday and there were benches across from us that were right on the parade route. We were there 2.5 hours and those seats were already taken. We got a curb seat…but barely.

Thanks for the input, kady! Great info! :+1:

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if you look at those benches that are along the fantasy land outside, they curve in towards the kings and queens bathrooms. Right at that spot you can sit on a higher ledge above the seat. Its not precarious at all. JUst make sure you put bags ans stuff where your feet are because sometimes people get a little desperate and will sit right on the bench that you are clearly using. Basically instead of standing on the bench during the parade you can sit. Also, no one is allowed along the Matterhorn fence there as so its a great spot to take pictures of the parade. (no random people facing you across the street) the only down side (not one for us) is that you cant see all the way down the street with it approaching from that vantage. But you get an amazing view.

Ah, great tip! That would be perfect for me, sitting on the ledge above the bench just a head above anyone who might be standing in front of us (if anyone does). Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly tomorrow. I’m so sick of watching parades (and concerts, comedy shows, movies, etc) through the cracks between the silhouettes of taller people’s heads and shoulders (and be able to sit in the shade while we wait for an unreasonable amount of time!)

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Yes! those are the concrete benches I was talking about! We sat right in front of them and I was jealous of the people who had the benches. Ha ha!

So everything went according to plan last night. Me and my friends got there at 5pm for the 8:40pm MSEP. It was total overkill, but it was Sunday and if we weren’t sitting there, we’d be sitting at home in front of the TV :smile: The last bench seat got snatched up at about 7pm, but there was massive amounts of ground space for anyone who wanted it.

Me and my friends took turns going out to grab food and snacks. No one really felt like going on any rides, so we just talked the whole time. We’re all still getting to know each other so it was fun. The time went faster than we anticipated.

During the parade, I ended up sitting on the ledge along top of the bench to get some stroller handles out of my view. I could tell a CM was eyeballing me, but when he saw I was sitting and not standing on the bench, he went back to monitoring the rest of the crowd. No one even blinked that we were sitting there for so long, probably because we were all there the entire time and didn’t take up more room than we needed.

The only thing I didn’t anticipate was ANTS. There was a steady trickle of ants along the edge of the bench and a few wanderers would come over and explore US occasionally. Not a deal breaker, but something to keep in mind. Maybe those of you who carry wipes could give the bench a quick swipe and breakup their scent trails or clean up whatever sugary goodies attracted them in the first place and they wouldn’t bother you. My house gets infested with ants on a regular basis, so I just brushed off the occasional arm tickle and got on with it.

And, yes, sitting on concrete for so long, even if it’s a bench, is hard on the behind. I should’ve gotten up and walked around more or folded up the small blanket I brought with me (but didn’t use) and sat on that for a while.

(Oh, and trying to find parking on the top level at 4pm is a pain. They need to work out a better system for that. I wasted about 15 minutes trying to find a spot.)

So, yeah, it was a success. And one thing my friend pointed out that she really liked about that area is that it’s darker than Main Street because you don’t get the ambient light from the shops dimming the lights of on the floats. She thought they had put in all new bulbs or something, but she figured it was just a higher contrast area.

One thing to note, though, is that you CAN’T watch the fireworks from that area. They move you afterwards. That was fine, because we all wanted to head home anyway. Oh, and the MS shortcut to the left of Jolly Holiday was open, so we used that on the way out. I thought it went all the way outside, but it only gets you behind the MS shops and dumps you out by Town Hall, which is fine. It’s still nice to be able to not have to walk through the MS chaos during a parade.

So thanks again everyone! I got to relive some childhood memories and all with an unobstructed view and a place to sit! That’s as good as it gets. I think that will be my go-to parade watching spot from now on.

Cheers everyone! See you at the parks!

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So glad you were able to see it and connect to some childhood nostalgia! We made a promise to our little girl (who fell in love with it during its “Farewell Tour” 2 years ago) that if it ever did come back we would do everything we could to be there for it & so we were there opening weekend for her to see it again. The kids have a three-day break from school coming up before it ends so we are considering one last weekend to send it off, but we’ll see… we’re so non-committal when it comes to these kinds of trips :crazy_face:

Also, very happy you were able to use the walkways to avoid the chaos of Main St. because, absolutely yes, speaking as one who has navigated it many times, you don’t want to be in Main St after parade/fireworks if you can help it (I often love to watch the fireworks from Main St. but every time recently we’ve done it, we questioned the value of watching FWs from Main St after having to schlep through crowds one way way or another).