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Best Restaurants for Magic Kingdom Parade Viewing

The Magic Kingdom Parade is a rite of passage for every Walt Disney World guest, and with a little planning, you can save time by dining and watching the parade at the same time!

Move it Shake it Celebrate it Parade

Here are a few of my favorite ways to combine two “must-do” activities — eating and parade viewing — in the Magic Kingdom:

Casey's Corner Outdoor Tables

Grab a Hot Dog at Casey’s
The location of Casey’s Corner, a counter-service restaurant specializing in hot dogs, is just about perfect for parade viewing. Situated on the end of Main Street right next to the hub and the Castle, the main outdoor dining area of Casey’s will provide a fantastic view of the parade floats going by.

You’ll need to snag a spot early, so head over to Casey’s about 15-30 minutes before the parade is scheduled to begin, order your food, and commandeer your red-and-white striped umbrella table. The closer you are to Main Street, the better. While crowds of people might block your view of some of the characters on the street, this is nice, shaded spot from which to see the floats. I especially like this spot for watching SpectroMagic (or the Main Street Electrical Parade). Keep your spot to watch Wishes.

If you don’t like the idea of holding a table, grab your dogs and dine while holding your spot on the curb!

Get an Outdoor Table at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
…but it has the be one of the correct outdoor tables! This counter-service eatery located in Frontierland has several outdoor dining areas, but the one you want will be closest to the front door. This dining area butts up against a slatted fence, which you’ll be able to look through to view the parade. Another option, of course, is to get your grub from Pecos Bill’s and have a seat on the curb — chow down while you wait for the parade!

Sleepy Hollow Seating

Snag a Seat at Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow counter-service is a great spot to order up some snacks and wait for the parade. This is a prime location for viewing (no obstructions, really), and you’re right next to the castle!

My suggestion would be to grab a spot close to the parade route and fence about an hour prior to the parade’s start time. Bring a book, have a snack (I recommend the ice cream cookie sandwiches or chicken and rice soup), and enjoy the show!

Bogart a Table at the Main Street Bakery or outside The Plaza Restaurant
If possible, order up some goodies at the Main Street Bakery and commandeer one of the tables right outside the front door. While you’ll have crowds lined up in front of you, you’ll still be able to see the floats.

But even better might be one of the several yellow-and-white-striped umbrella tables just outside the Plaza Restaurant. This is overflow seating for the bakery and the Ice Cream Parlor and can also provide some nice, relaxing, shaded parade viewing.

Tony's Town Square Porch Seating

Sit on the Porch at Tony’s Town Square
You’ve heard me gush about the porch at Tony’s Town Square before when discussing the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party’s Boo to You Parade, but it’s also a great place to catch other Magic Kingdom parades. In fact, I might go as far as to say it’s the best place to catch these parades!

Book your advanced dining reservation about 30 minutes before the parade begins when it starts in Frontierland, and about an hour before the parade begins when it starts on Main Street USA. When you check in at the podium, request a table on the patio and let them know you’ll wait until one is available. They still can’t guarantee it, but it’s well worth the shot.

Not Recommended
While some folks may say that you can see the parades from Liberty Tree Tavern, Crystal Palace, and the Plaza Restaurant (proper), I’d argue that those window seats are too few and far between for more than one or two families to be lucky enough to see the parade while dining. Also, the vantage points can be a bit skewed from these restaurants.

What’s Your Experience?
This is one of those topics that tends to be very controversial — many families have had wonderful experiences viewing the parades from the locations suggested, but others have had very negative experiences when it comes to crowds and not being able to see the whole parade. Let me know what you think — where have you had a great dining + parade viewing experience? We’d love to hear your suggestions!


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24 Comments

  1. Gray says:

    What I love about this is with time being of the essence at WDW (so much to do, so little time), this is a great way to multi-task. Grab a bite to eat and watch the parade at the same time, then you’re ready to move on to the next thing. Also, no jockeying for a position along the parade route, getting their half an hour ahead of time only to have some family push in front of you at the last minute. Great ideas, AJ!

  2. Sarah says:

    I’ll be honest: I’m one of the guests that takes advantage of the shorter waits on attractions during parade times. :) But I’ll have to consider these options during MNSSHP, because I LOVE that parade!

  3. Alicia says:

    I might have to disagree with you a little bit on viewing from Liberty Tree Tavern. Last August, we watched Spectromagic from the Liberty Tree, albeit from the porch. We simply got up from our table and moved outside as soon as the parade passed by, then came back in for desert (we let our waiter know, of course). The porch was pretty packed and you had to look over a mass of people lining the street, but it was definitely a lot more convenient than saving a seat on the curb for half an hour! I do agree, though, that it would be very difficult to watch a parade from inside, through a window (and isn’t the glass cloudy, anyway?).

  4. Janna says:

    LOL, Sarah! I am the exact same way. the last time we saw a parade at Disney, it was completely by accident!

  5. Nancy says:

    Another fan of Tony’s porch….for parade viewing and people viewing!! :)

  6. Allison says:

    Or, grab a monorail over to the Poly, eat a few wings and an Aloha roll at the Tambu Lounge (Mai Tais, as well, obviously. :-)). You can catch the parade near the statue of Minnie Mouse and Roy Disney on Main Street when you get back. ;-)

  7. Michele says:

    I got myself an ADR for Tony’s during parade time for MNSSP. I can only hope!

    Though, I did stand in front of Sleepy Hollow last trip for Spectro & I had no idea it was a good one! Go me! I just wanted to find a spot next to a lamppost! It was a most excellent spot. Tho, quite a few people wanted to get to Sleepy Hollow right before parade made of ra tight squeeze.

  8. Elisabeth says:

    We just happened upon a table at Tony’s one year for the Spectromagic parade, and we will always request one from now on. By far the bext view of any parade.

    Didn’t know about the outside seating at Pecos Bill’s for some reason…where are those at?

  9. AJ says:

    Gray — I’m all about killing as many birds as possible with one stone ;-) (Sounds a little morbid, eh?)

    Sarah and Janna — That’s usually how we are these days, but there’s something so magical about the Disney parades :-)

    Alicia — Great point on heading out to the porch of LTT as the parade passes by!

    Nancy — That’s the best, I think.

    Allison — YUM!

    Michele — Woo!! All kinds of pixie dust and good luck to you for this Fall!

    Elisabeth — Lucky you! Isn’t that the best memory? The Pecos Bill’s tables are right outside the main dining room — they’re the ones farthest away from Splash Mountain.

  10. Susan says:

    Tony’s on the porch is wonderful. We had an end table. Perfect for the kids to play if they got bored because they could go up and down the side steps.

    Food is also wonderful and waiters are some of the best at MK.

  11. Cody says:

    Very cool suggestions AJ. My fave isthe Sleepy Hollow Refreshments… Its kinda quiet (surprisingly), and if you see the Electrical Parade at night, you can stay for a GREAT view of the fireworks.

    But to tell you the truth, i normally walk with the parade.. i know weird… the last parade i watched was Boo to YOu (MY FAVE!!!)

  12. AJ says:

    Susan — Thanks for the great review and table recommendation!

    Cody — Ha ha! I’ve never thought about walking with the parade!

  13. Cody says:

    Its fun.. trying to stay with the floats… haha and dodging the people… its a blast :)

  14. [...] the outdoor dining area of Tony’s Town Square restaurant.  AJ over at the Disney Food Blog has some tips for making your dining reservations to maximize your chances for getting a table at this [...]

  15. Marty says:

    Just last week, made reservations at Tony’s Town Square for 8:00, we arrived a 7:30 and requested a table on the patio just like you said. From our outdoor table we had a great view of the parade, which started at 9:00. You have to be careful, Tony’s only has 10 tables on the patio. Thanks

  16. AJ says:

    Marty — Thanks for the review and warning! 10 tables! Yipes!

  17. Joy says:

    thanks for your info. I have made our ADR for Tony’s on 11/13. The Main Street Electrical parade is set to start at 9pm and I made them for 8pm is this good? When I made them it was suppose to be the Spectromagic parade I think but I just looked and this is what is says now.

  18. JoAnn says:

    I’m going to try Tony’s this year. I’ll have to check the parade schedule before making my ADR. thanks

  19. Charlotte says:

    I am really interested in eating at Tony’s to see a parade, b/c I can usually never get my family to sit and wait- this way they’ll be a captive audience! ;)

    I can’t decide between having dinner on our first night for MSEP or during the MNSSHP… any thoughts one way or another?

  20. Jill says:

    I’d recommend going right above the railroad station. I know sometimes they use that for parts of the parade but they usually mark off what they are going to use. It’s a great, shady, little-less crowded, and neat spot to see the parades. You can get some great photos!

  21. Angela says:

    Our outdoor seating at Pecos Bill was below the parade. WDW workers wouldn’t even let the 5 or so kids in the area sit on the wall to see better. The wall was not that high and no one was complaining. This was our first event at Magic Kingdom – ever. Not a magical moment.

  22. Laura says:

    Just got back from Disney World, and we were thinking of utilizing your tips for dinner and parade viewing, but the parades were moved back an hour the day before we arrived, and the 9:00 start time is just too late for our little one.

    But thought you might like to know that there was a some kind of green lattice fence right next to the patios of both Casey’s Corner and the Plaza ice cream parlor. The Plaza restaurant is currently closed for renovation, but I don’t think these fences are part of that – why would one be in front of Casey’s patio, across the street? I think they were put there to discourage people from getting tables on the patio and lingering for the parade and fireworks – they certainly looked tall enough to block views of the street and the castle.

  23. AJ says:

    Laura — Casey’s is undergoing some construction. The walls will be removed soon.

  24. Laura says:

    Oh, that’s good news! I see now that I missed the post about the expanded outdoor seating at both Casey’s and the Plaza. The walls certainly didn’t look very permanent.

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