When it comes to holiday parades, Thanksgiving Day may belong to Macy’s in New York City but Christmas day belongs to Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim. While the Thanksgiving Day Parade is filmed live on Thanksgiving day, the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade is filmed in early December.
Disney World Christmas Day Parade Taping
In previous years, Disney had filmed the Disney Parks Christmas parade taping on the first Thursday and Friday in the month of December. In 2014, the dates for the Christmas Day Parade will take place on Monday, December 8th, 2014 and Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 according to the reliable WDWMagic website. Weather may impact performances around the resort. For instance, in 2009 the weather forced Celine Dion to move her performance from in front of Cinderella Castle to the atrium of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (See the video below from her 2009 performance). Mariah Carey was the headliner for the 2010 event performing in front of the castle.
Attending the Magic Kingdom on Parade Tapings
In order to watch the parade perform live, Disney has a selection process that has limited the availability in the last two years to the general public to allow free admission into the park with the agreement that you will participate as a parade spectator for all parade segments. There is a lot of waiting involved as each performance is filmed, especially leading up to the parade start. Guests getting priority to watch the parade enter the park before the official opening when the general public enters so they get the best spots to watch the parade on Main Street.
As an annual pass-holder, we attended the Magic Kingdom during the parade taping in 2010 and spent a majority of our time sitting in front of Cinderella Castle interacting with the Disney characters as they were waiting on-deck for their segment to be taped. The parade taping’s overtake all of Main Street USA for all of the morning and afternoon, but you get to see a lot of classic Disney characters and cheerleading squads participating in the event around the hub in which you can spend 15 – 30 minutes interacting with.
Christmas at Disney World
Celine Dion performs at the Grand Floridian for the 2009 Disney Parks Parade
Magic Kingdom Map