We’ll be honest, there were a few modifications we were already a feeling a little apprehensive about before we arrived at Magic Kingdom yesterday.
One of the biggest changes we were having a hard time wrapping our heads around was the new Character Cavalcades at Disney World. A while ago, Disney told us they would be replacing their standard entertainment offerings with these unscheduled performances since character meet and greets, parades, and firework shows will be returning at a later time.
Disney assured us characters would still be “very present” even though they’ve had to modify several guest experiences — including character dining as well. We totally get why Disney has had to make these necessary changes and how important they are to the health and safety of Cast Members and guests alike — but would Disney World still be FUN without parades or character meet and greets?
We’ve seen from afar how other Disney parks have incorporated characters into their phased reopening plans in other parks like Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and most recently Toyko Disneyland. Characters typically wave to guests from balconies or moving vehicles to give folks a glance of their favorite pals in passing instead of character greetings, parades, and shows.
Yesterday was our first chance to experience a few of the new Character Cavalcades at Magic Kingdom for ourselves! While the Festival of Fantasy Parade and Move It! Shake It! Mousekedance It! Street Party left some pretty big shoes to fill, we actually feel like the new Character Cavalcades turned out…pretty great!
That’s right — consider us SWAYED! We were finally able to put our nervous feelings aside when we saw just how frequently and, frankly, pretty impressive these new Character Cavalcades turned out to be! There were even a few rare Disney characters thrown in the mix like Winnie the Pooh’s pal, Rabbit!
To us, many of these new Character Cavalcades felt like mini-impromptu parades! Yup — they actually LOOKED and FELT like tiny parades and were happening through the park — even if they were just baby versions of the real thing! There was plenty of pageantry, music, and TONS of Disney characters to watch go by! The mixture of characters on the Fantasyland Cavalcade was an interesting mix up — Alice, Peter Pan, Pooh Bear, Alladin, and Mary Poppins! Wow!
And we even saw some unusual stuff we weren’t expecting to see — like when Merida and Gaston rode by us on HORSES!
Originally, Disney gave us a list of Character Cavalcades to be on the lookout for throughout the day. We were told a Royal Princess Processional would be roaming Magic Kingdom’s parade route sporadically along with Tinker Bell, Goofy, Fantasyland Friends, Mickey-themed caravans. Performances would be unscheduled so that crowds wouldn’t congregate.
But we spotted way more Disney characters than just those dudes and dudettes. Captain Jack Sparrow was out in Adventureland looking for treasure — or rum. On second thought, probably BOTH!
Experiment 626 was yucking it up with Stitch fans over in Tomorrowland — Buzz Lightyear also stopped by!
Plus the Main Street Philharmonic is still drummin’ and blowing up a storm! We spotted them heading out through Frontierland.
And although we didn’t have a chance to make it over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom yet, our reader @allisonxella on Instagram sent us this pic of Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto going for a boat ride! Ah — this is AMAZING!!! Watercraft and Disney characters?!? She also spotted Chip, Dale, and Goofy in their dino best floating by to music later in the day!
Because the new Character Cavalcades are incorporating lots of unexpected elements (so far we’ve got rare characters, horses, and boats [oh my!], but we’re sure they’ll be even more surprises thrown into the mix!) and can seemingly happen at any time, we’re pretty into these Cavalcades right now! Not having to stake out a parade spot or wait in line to meet some of these characters is also a major upside too!
Even though you can’t run up and hug your favorite Disney characters right now or ask them to sign your autograph book, most of the characters we saw were super attentive and will happily wave back at you (or blow a kiss or two!). Until normal character meet and greets and parades can safely resume, these new Character Cavalcades will do us just fine and we’d like to know what you guys think of them too! Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned as we scope out even more!
Click here to learn more about our overall impression of the Magic Kingdom Cast Member preview we attended yesterday!
Have you been to any of the Disney parks yet? Let us know which changes you’re worried about liking the most in the comments below!