In August of 2012, our family was chosen to be the Grand Marshals for the Disney Dreams Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom. This was an incredible surprise for our family and a wonderful experience for all of us. With the Disney Dreams Come True Parade now a distant memory, replaced by the new Festival of Fantasy Parade, let’s take a look back at this incredible experience.
We were heading to the Main Street Fire Station to pick up some Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom cards to add to our collection when we were approached by a Cast Member who greeted us and asked our names. She then asked if we liked the afternoon parade and we all said yes. She then asked us if we would like be IN the parade! Needless to say, we replied in the affirmative.
We were told to be back at the Fire Station around 2:30 to prepare for the 3:00 parade step-off (fun fact- the 3:00 parade is at 3:00). We were again greeted by the Cast Member who presented us with a set of personalized Mickey ears before we were directed through the gate behind the Fire Station to where our chariot (well, car) awaited us.
A Photopass photographer took a series of photos for us in the car and then we were greeted by Woody and Jessie from Toy Story for a few moments. When 3:00 came around, the gates opened, the music began to start up, and we were introduced as the honorary Grand Marshals as the car began to roll out on to Main Street USA.
It was an awesome sight, seeing thousands of people waving, cheering, and taking photos. As the parade route took us around Town Square and down Main Street USA toward Cinderella Castle, we once again met our Photopass photographer who snapped off a few more family pictures. The route took us toward the center hub, around the Partners statue and across the Liberty Square bridge. We headed past thousands of more cheering guests, passing by Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and the Hall of Presidents before making the final turn near the Liberty Belle loading dock. The home stretch took us through Frontierland where the crowds seemed thickest of all. We heard the sounds of laughing coming from one side of the car and looked over to see Ryan (then 3) making faces at people in the crowd to their delight. We couldn’t help but laugh ourselves even though it was a definite face palm moment.
Once we reached the area just past Pecos Bill’s where you can turn left from Frontierland to go into Adventureland, we disembarked and were guided to a special roped off “VIP” viewing area to see the rest of the parade. Many characters gave the kids special attention and posed for photos as they passed by to disappear behind the gate on the side of Splash Mountain.
As you can imagine, this was a simply incredible moment for our family and the memories and happiness will never be duplicated. A special thank you to that special Cast Member who made this all happen. Those couple minutes that we got to be front and center were certainly the highlights of the entire trip!
Even though the Disney Dreams Come True Parade has been discontinued in favor of the new (and seemingly incredible) Festival of Fantasy Parade, the Disney Dreams Come True Parade will always have a fond place in our hearts and memories.
Here are the photos from the parade route itself: