Walt Disney World has announced more live entertainment, and the return of several long-standing favorites, as part of the resort’s ongoing 50th Anniversary celebration.
The big birthday bash kicked off last October and is slated to run through March 2023, and Disney’s latest news highlights more parade fun for the Magic Kingdom, plus a revived and enhanced show in front of Cinderella Castle.
The latest highlight is the “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade,” a super-sized procession along the main parade route, starting in Frontierland and proceeding through Liberty Square and down Main Street USA, and it will feature almost 30 characters from classic and recent Disney and Pixar movies. It kicks off on February 11 and will run several times a day.
Among the sparkling caravan characters will be the likes of Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Jose Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” and Merida from “Brave,” as well as the stars of “Moana” and “The Incredibles.”
Making his first appearance at the Magic Kingdom will also be Miguel from the wonderful film “Coco,” wearing his Mariachi outfit, while there will be still more characters to delight families throughout the cavalcade’s lively 20-minute duration.
The Castle Forecourt Stage will then welcome the return of “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” on February 25, another performance that runs several times a day.
Newly enhanced for the resort’s big anniversary, it will feature a reimagined opening and an updated finale with Mickey and friends in their special “EARidescent” costumes.
In addition, the show will also incorporate a specially-written theme song, “Where the Magic Feels Like Home,” to add even more Disney emotion to the occasion.
March 9 is the next date for your diary, as the long-awaited return of the major daily highlight, the Festival of Fantasy Parade, takes place on the anniversary of its debut in 2014.
This undoubted show-stopper features a superb array of floats, dancers, and characters that haven’t been seen since the park’s Covid-enforced closure in March 2020.
Disney has been cautious about bringing all its large-scale live entertainment back to the parks, as it gradually adjusts its attendance capacity back to 100 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and the resumption of the Festival of Fantasy parade marks a big milestone in this process.
The magnificent spectacle features floats for “The Princess and the Frog,” “Peter Pan”, and “Tangled,” among many others, as well as the show-stopping appearance of the fire-breathing Maleficent dragon that looms 26 feet above the parade route.
The latest experiences come on top of all the large-scale entertainment offerings Walt Disney World unveiled as part of the anniversary’s opening on October 1, 2021, including the Magic Kingdom’s dazzling “Disney Enchantment” fireworks extravaganza and the stunning “Harmonious” special effects spectacular at Epcot.
There is more to come, too, as this summer should see the debut of the completely enhanced live show, “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!” which updates the traditional live musical performance at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as the return of the fabulous “Fantasmic!” nightly highlight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.