For years, Disneyland visitors have been laying down blankets, parking strollers and taking shifts waiting on the curbs and pavement to stake out places to see the park's parades and nighttime entertainment. Before Disneyland closed the Rivers of America and put Fantasmic on hiatus for Star Wars land construction last year, the park had introduced Fastpass reservations for the show and divided the pavement along the Rivers into designated viewing areas in order to end the long-standing practice of fans blocking the pathway by laying down blankets hours before the show, to hold their space.
Now, Disneyland cast members are telling people who try to claim space early in the day for the Main Street Electrical Parade that they can't save those spaces, either. Anyone who puts down a blanket, sits down on the curb for an extended period, or otherwise appears to be saving spaces before the parade team rolls out the route is being told to get moving.
And once the parade route is up, and Disney allows people to start claiming space along that route, it's use it or lose it. Disneyland cast members are not allowing people to hold long blocks of empty space, either. You must be present to save your space for the show.
The crackdown should allow traffic to keep moving along the parade route throughout the day. And since no one can claim spaces early anymore, there's no longer any need for people to take shifts sitting around guarding a parade space instead of enjoying their day in the park. The situation had become a sort of arms race, where people kept waiting earlier and earlier to try to get the spaces they wanted. Only Disney could stop the snowball effect, by stepping in to enforce some rules on when people could start waiting.
Of course, this crackdown won't mean anyone will be able to just stroll up and get a prime viewing spot for the parade once it rolls out. With cast members setting up the parade route anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes before its start, expect to see crowds milling about the parade route about an hour in advance, moving around their preferred spot just enough to keep cast members from telling them to go away. Then when the crews start setting up, the land rush is officially on.
But waiting around an hour for the place you really want is far better than having to spend the bulk of the day to claim that spot.
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