How to attend the taping of the disney park’s christmas day parade

Jan. 15 2020, Updated 3:12 p.m. ET

Watching the Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade is a holiday tradition for many — because who better to see on your television screen on Christmas morning than Mickey and Minnie Mouse?

However, some viewers often wonder if the annual parade is actually taped on Christmas — or if it’s just a little TV magic. Hint: don’t believe everything you see.

So, is the Disney Christmas Day Parade live?

Unfortunately, no. The parade does not actually take place on December 25 — but viewers have the illusion thanks to the magic of Disney. In 2018, the show was actually taped sometime in mid-November, and hosts Jordan Fisher and Sarah Hyland provided the clues.

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Jordan posted a photo with the Modern Family star on Nov. 21 at the theme park — nearly one month ahead of the holiday. One eagle-eyed Disney goer revealed the parade was seemingly taped on Nov. 15, thanks to a minor parade schedule switch up.

“A Christmas Fantasy parade is being taped at Disneyland on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Just because I saw the schedule on that day where the parade is at 11:30 and 3:30. The normal time would be at 3:30 and 6:00 or 1:00 and 3:15,” they wrote online. “Only that day is when the parade is at that time. Which means they are taping that day. Disneyland will do the whole parade because Disneyland has a longer parade route down Main Street U.S.A than Magic Kingdom in Florida.”

So, if you want to attend a taping, you can start planning your Disney vacation ahead of next year’s taping.

by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Happy holidays, everyone!

Who’s excited to tune in to the “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” this weekend? It’s set to air here on the East coast Dec. 25, at noon, and I know my family and I will be watching.

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Earlier in December, our photographers attended the tapings here at the Walt Disney World Resort, and at Disneyland Resort. Check out the photo gallery below for an inside look at the fun that is in store.

And again, happy holidays!

Comments

Very disappointed in the parade this year. Hardly saw any of the parade since they seemed to show more of Mario and the ‘entertainment’ than they did of the actual parade. Also they seemed more interested in showing off everything else Disney has to offer. Why bother calling it a parade if you’re not going to bother showing us the parade? At least next year I’ll be at Disney in December and can see the parade for myself in person! I hate to say it but bring back KELLY! At least she showed us the parade!

Very Sad!! Got email saying parade on 12 to 2. Noon comes no Parade. It was on 10 to 12..very sad:(

With the day’s excitement, we could not turn on the television. Is it available to watch on-line somewhere??

We were there last year for the taping but somehow missed the parade on tv. Wish I could have seen it to see if we we photographed.

Cant wait to see this years parade! Wish I could be there for the actual parade some year!

Can’t wait. I love the Disney Parade. Watch it every year. It just gets better and better. We would love to be there in person one year to see it live. But watching it on tv with my granddaughter is just as good.

The jake and the neverland pirates costume scares me a little bit :/

Woo hoo! I’m in the picture of the taping of the Phineas and Ferb number. ? I can’t wait to watch it Christmas Day!

Great pics, but I’m so mad at the photographer who took that shot of the Phineas and Ferb flash mob. Me and my girlfriend were right there on the sidewalk outside of the Blue Ribbon Bakery and Ferb is blocking me in the photo! LOL.

Cannot wait to see it!! Hoping my family back home will be able to see me!

Comments are closed.

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How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

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Christmas at Disney World is a truly merry affair. This world-renowned resort goes all out in terms of decorating during the holiday season, and the tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party go fast. Other events, such as the Candlelight Procession at Epcot, also sell out fast, and arranging everything in advance is recommended if you want to attend the magical Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. If you miss out on the chance to see the parade in person, worry not, as it is aired on TV on Christmas Day. You can also try to catch one of the more general holiday parades, which are held on select dates in December.

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Christmas 2021 at Disney World is more than just a one-day affair. The resort and its various theme parks around Orlando start celebrating the holiday season in early November, and the fun doesn’t stop until early January with the ushering in of the New Year. As for the famed Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade, it is taped in late January or early December, depending on the year, and it then airs on Christmas Day. Tickets are made available for people who want to attend the live taping, though they are hard to get. Thankfully, the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade airs on Christmas Day, so you don’t have to miss Mickey, Santa, and all the stars who provide live entertainment throughout the celebration.

The Christmas Day Parade isn’t the only parade that you can hope to enjoy while celebrating Christmas at Disney World. At the Magic Kingdom theme park, Mickey Mouse and a bunch of other famous Disney characters parade down Main Street on select nights between early November and mid-December. The Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and the variety of other holiday season events that are associated with it get started at 7 p.m. and end at midnight. Snow falls on Main Street, adding to the festive holiday atmosphere, and live stage shows featuring Disney characters help to keep the fun going. Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa are on offer, and the chance to meet and greet an array of Disney Characters is just one more perk. There’s also Cinderella’s Castle, which is illuminated in grand fashion by Christmas Lights. All of this is part of the larger Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which is capped off with a spectacular fireworks show.

Orlando Map

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

During the holiday season, Walt Disney World visitors can enjoy any number of fun events and activities. The nightly Candlelight Processional at Epcot is just one more event that gets a lot of attention, namely for the moving way in which it tells the story of Christmas and how it is celebrated around the world. As for fun activities, checking out the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights is a very popular pursuit. This holiday display at Disney’s Hollywood Studios features millions of bulbs and can be enjoyed from November to early January. Over at the Animal Kingdom theme park, checking out the unique Christmas trees, visiting with Goofy, and watching Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade are fun ways to spend time. Goofy dons a Santa costume, thus allowing visitors to Santa Goofy’s Wild Wonderland to enjoy some interesting photo opportunities.

Celebrating Christmas at Disney World is a blast, regardless of which theme park you find yourself at. Of course, visiting all of the resort’s different theme parks is recommended, as they all offer their own allure. You might also keep some of the resort hotels in mind when looking for things to do. At Disney’s Beach Club Resort, for example, holiday season visitors can check out the chocolate and gingerbread carousel in the lobby. It’s life-size. There’s also the lovely-smelling gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Visitors to this savory house can walk inside, and should the temptation to eat some gingerbread treats set in, which it most likely will, various goodies are for sale.

Christmas is a very busy time at Walt Disney World. In fact, it just might be the busiest time of year. As such, arranging everything well in advance is recommended. Various ticket packages are available if you want to celebrate the various events that relate to Christmas at Disney World. It is also possible to book a more complete Orlando Christmas vacation package that includes things like your flight, your stay at one of the Orlando area hotels, and special event tickets for Disney World and other area destinations.

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

For the thousands that eagerly anticipate the ‘Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade,’ I have great news for you. The taping dates for the ‘Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade’ are now out!

Many Disney fans spend Christmas morning tuning in to the ‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ special aired on ABC, however some may not realize that this extraordinary special is taped weeks prior to its airing. Yes, that’s right, as hard as it is to believe, it’s not a live show!

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

With much anticipation, we have been waiting for the release of this year’s taping dates. Today, we have learned that the ‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ special is scheduled to be filmed November 7 to November 10 at the Walt Disney World Resort.

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Keeping with previous years, the parade is scheduled to be filmed at Disneyland while many of the stage performances will be filmed at Walt Disney World. Due to continuing development, a concrete schedule of performances is not yet available.

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Guests, along with crew, cast, and imagineers who have been given the opportunity to as audience members, are welcome to observe the filming.

by Jeanie Winget

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

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How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

The annual tradition of a televised Christmas Day parade at Walt Disney World and Disneyland continues this year and you can be in attendance at the taping.

Contrary to popular belief, the parade is not live on Christmas Day but rather taped weeks in advance. Segments featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Selena Gomez, and Nick Cannon were already taped at Disneyland in California, but the Walt Disney World taping at the Magic Kingdom is next month.

You can sign up on Active.com for free parking and entrance into the Magic Kingdom theme park as well as a spot along Main Street USA or near Cinderella Castle to watch the parade and celebrity performance taping.

Update: While the informational site on Active.com linked in this article still exists, the sign-up form has been removed, likely indicating that all free tickets have been claimed for the tapings.

Update (11/13/10): Some who signed up for the free tickets have received emails letting them know that the free tickets were meant only for Disney cast members and sports volunteers. Regular guests are invited to attend the tapings, but will need to pay for the day’s admission as usual.

Specific taping details, including celebrity line-ups or times have not yet been revealed, but taping could begin as early as 7:30 AM and all signed up to attend are asked to commit to a 4-hour time slot for each shift.

It’s likely that we’ll see characters from Disney’s upcoming animated film, Tangled, with possible appearances by the movie’s stars Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi – but nothing has been announced yet. Also likely in attendance hosting the event should be Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, as they have for several years.

The theme parks usually get a jump on the holidays and begin their Christmas celebrations in November, and this year is no different. In addition to the annual tradition of holiday parties, fireworks and parades, The Walt Disney Co. already has begun production on its television special that airs on Dec. 25.

Earlier this week, segments of the Christmas Day show were taped at Disneyland, and that’s when fans first realized some of the changes in store for the production. First, the show has been retitled “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” from the “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.” That should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen all the Frozen-themed entertainment that has been added to the holiday offerings at Walt Disney World this year. (Read more about A Frozen Holiday Wish and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade here.)

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Rob Marciano

Expect those popular attractions to be showcased when the tapings occur here in Orlando. (More on that below.) But in sunny California, it doesn’t appear that any “Frozen”-themed segments were taped. Instead, the West Coast got a new host this year, welcoming ABC News Senior Meteorologist Rob Marciano from “GMA Weekend.”

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Train

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Trey Songz

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Trisha Yearwood

Other performers who taped performances at Disneyland in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle were Grammy-winning musical group Train singing “Shake Up Christmas”; Trey Songz performed “All I Want For Christmas Is You”; and Trisha Yearwood sang “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Lucy Hale

At Disney’s California Adventure Park, Lucy Hale performed “Mistletoe” on a stage in Cars Land. The cast of ABC Family’s “Baby Daddy” — Tahj Mowry, Chelsea Kane, Derek Theler, Jean-Luc Bilodeau and Melissa Peterman — also appeared in Cars Land.

Here in Orlando, taping for the production is expected on Saturday, Dec. 6 through Tuesday, Dec. 9 — twice as long as in most recent years. I’m told that the additional time is needed because all the parade floats are being filmed in Orlando for the first time; in the past, filming of the floats was also done at Disneyland. In addition, celebrity performers’ schedules may have contributed to the extended schedule. Walt Disney World officials do not release the taping dates, but historically production work occurs the first weekend in December. A source also told me that the large-scale dance number on Main Street, U.S.A., still is set for Saturday, and the other days will be used for the celebrity performances and taping of the actual parade floats.

Fans love to speculate who will be performing, but that, too, is a closely guarded secret, for the most part. Presumably, this is to help avoid overwhelming crowds that would be disruptive to other guests’ park experiences.

For years, Walt Disney World invited various groups, such as passholders and sports volunteers — and even the general public, to apply for free tickets to the tapings. In exchange, ticketholders agreed to be in the audience for a block of time. For the last couple of years, however, only cast members were eligible for the tickets.

But even if you don’t have one of the complimentary production tickets, you still may be able to take part in the tapings — or at least see some of the acts. The Magic Kingdom opens to the public at 9 a.m. on Dec. 6, 7, 8 and 9. Passholders and guests who pay admission may enter the park, and if there is room in the roped-off areas for the pre-selected audience — which usually happens later in the afternoon — they may be allowed to join cast members.

A word of warning: This is an actual television production, which means that songs are sung multiple times and individual floats are sent down Main Street over and over again to get the desired image from the correct camera angle. That means you most likely will spend more time waiting than viewing the events, and you shouldn’t expect to see a seamless concert or parade.

I speak from experience when I say this can be a tedious process when you have young children. If you’re determined to take part, though, I’d suggest bringing plenty of snacks, drinks and electronics to occupy the kids during the wait. Still, it can be a unique opportunity. When else would my daughter stand feet away from Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers while they serenaded the crowd with Christmas songs a few years ago?

Now, if Disney could just make her Christmas wish come true and get One Direction to stick around and visit Walt Disney World after their taping at Universal Orlando next week “¦

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

The annual tradition of a televised Christmas Day parade at Walt Disney World and Disneyland continues this year and you can be in attendance at the taping.

Contrary to popular belief, the parade is not live on Christmas Day but rather taped weeks in advance. Segments featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Selena Gomez, and Nick Cannon were already taped at Disneyland in California, but the Walt Disney World taping at the Magic Kingdom is next month.

You can sign up on Active.com for free parking and entrance into the Magic Kingdom theme park as well as a spot along Main Street USA or near Cinderella Castle to watch the parade and celebrity performance taping.

Update: While the informational site on Active.com linked in this article still exists, the sign-up form has been removed, likely indicating that all free tickets have been claimed for the tapings.

Update (11/13/10): Some who signed up for the free tickets have received emails letting them know that the free tickets were meant only for Disney cast members and sports volunteers. Regular guests are invited to attend the tapings, but will need to pay for the day’s admission as usual.

Specific taping details, including celebrity line-ups or times have not yet been revealed, but taping could begin as early as 7:30 AM and all signed up to attend are asked to commit to a 4-hour time slot for each shift.

It’s likely that we’ll see characters from Disney’s upcoming animated film, Tangled, with possible appearances by the movie’s stars Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi – but nothing has been announced yet. Also likely in attendance hosting the event should be Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, as they have for several years.

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

By: Jennifer Romano

How to attend the taping of the disney park's christmas day parade

Disney Christmas 2013

Christmas is almost here, and everyone knows that the holiday season cannot be celebrated without viewing the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. This year, we had the opportunity to go to the Magic Kingdom on December 7 th during the filming of the parade. This event is not for the faint of heart; it is an all-day stand in the sun marathon. When we entered the Magic Kingdom, cast members directed the parade audience to Main Street where ropes were set up to mark off the reserved areas. After getting settled on Main Street, the waiting began.

The parade was supposed to start at 9:00 am, but we did not see anything happen until closer to 10:00 am. The first thing we saw was the Main Street trolley getting into position so that Neal Patrick Harris could film his big opening number for the parade. He didn’t actually sing during the filming, but there was a recording of him singing playing in the background. Now, this is a television production, so the same scene was taped several times from several different angles. We saw Neal sing and dance down the street at least ten times before the producers finally decided to move on to another section of the parade. Neal danced with the Main Street Philharmonic and the Dapper Dans as well as had a show down with Darth Vader. While the crew was waiting to film this show down, Vader was being watched over by two stormtroopers who stood guard near a door to the Emporium. When it was Vader’s time to exit, smoke filled the doorway, and he made is dramatic entrance. R2D2 was also in attendance. In addition to these celebrities, there were also many other Disney dancers and characters who participated in this huge musical number. It was so interesting to see all of the different parts of this opening number come together.

During the parade filming, Main Street is littered with cameras and wires, and all of the trashcans are removed so that the audience can be seen without gaps in between. Before the actual parade came down Main Street, a group of dancers performed as well as a huge group of cheerleaders from all over the country. A marching band also played during the filming. Finally, the actual parade made its way down Main Street some time around 3:00 pm. In order for the special events in the parade to happen, the decorations on Main Street had to be adjusted. The garland that runs across Main Street is removed for the filming because the parade is divided into sections. After each section, there are placeholders like a Macy’s parade type balloon and then Christmas flags. These placeholders allow the television production of the parade to cut away to a commercial or to the parade that is also going on in Disneyland. Since the Christmas day parade is celebrated in California and in Florida, certain characters can only be present on one of the coasts. For example, Mickey cannot be in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at the same time, so this year he was in the Magic Kingdom. Stitch was in Florida, and Goofy was in California. However, the biggest surprise was that Darth Vader had commandeered Santa’s sleigh! Who do you think was pulling Darth Vader’s sleigh? Well stormtroopers of course! Santa had already flown to California for Disneyland’s Christmas parade, so Florida got Darth Vader instead. Everyone in the crowd was very surprised when Vader made his arrival!

All in all, we stood on Main Street from 9:00 am until around 5:00 pm. We had to clap and look perky and excited even when the exact same thing happened ten times in a row. This type of event is not for the casual guest; I would avoid Magic Kingdom at all costs on parade taping day, unless you are there for the taping. Every pathway was super clogged, and you cannot walk down Main Street. I hope that we get the chance to go to the filming next year. If I do, I will definitely arrive very early so that I can snag a prime spot. This year, we arrived a little late, and the crowds were pretty intense. As the day wore on, people lost interest, so we were able to make our way nearer to the action. Even though it was a very long day, I though it was very interesting to see how a television production is created. Now I just have to wait until Christmas day to see if I actually made it on camera!