Disneyland cracks down on saving spaces for parades

March 1, 2017, 6:20 PM · Forget about camping out on the streets of Disneyland for a prime viewing position for the Main Street Electrical Parade. Disneyland is now cracking down on people who try to save spaces to watch the park's daily parades.

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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Replies (14)

March 1, 2017 at 6:28 PM · I often go by myself so never had a chance to get a front row view
March 1, 2017 at 6:36 PM · 30 to 60 minutes I don't mind that so much, it's the 3 and 4 hours (maybe more) that are a pain with them blocking the walkway.
March 1, 2017 at 8:29 PM · Will Magic Kingdom also be doing this?
March 1, 2017 at 9:53 PM · This is a good move. I was astounded by how long people were camping out along Main Street when I visited in January
March 1, 2017 at 11:57 PM · This is long, long overdue.
March 2, 2017 at 12:17 AM · I'm glad to see Disneyland is finally addressing a problem that needed to be tackled years ago. Until the ropes go up, Main Street is a walkway, not a parade viewing area, so camping out would be equivalent to parking your car in the middle of the road. I'm also glad they are addressing people who try to save an excess of space as that is no different than line jumping. This change should benefit virtually every visitor, and anyone who feels it is a bad move was likely part of the problem in the first place.
March 2, 2017 at 12:37 AM · Parades are ok but waiting for hours to see one? Seems like a waste of valuable park time to me.
March 2, 2017 at 8:47 AM · Parade viewing was unbearable. Impossible to find a space. This is a vast improvement. I'm glad this occurred during the Main Street Electrical Parade, which is a limited time event. Wish it happened during the Paint The Night parade.
March 2, 2017 at 9:40 AM · @James, I HOPE the Magic Kingdom does this as well! PLEASE!
March 2, 2017 at 11:39 AM · I don't understand - who are these people who are willing to wait 3-4 hours for a parade?

If they're APers, I assume they've watched the parade multiple times, and are satisfied with just experiencing the ambience of the parade route, maybe surfing on their smart phones.

I have an AP and go to Disneyland every week, but I don't want to spend 3-4 hours just sitting there waiting, I try to catch a spot maybe a half hour before the parade starts. It may not be a front row seat, but if I've seen the parade umpteen times, it's usually good enough for me.

If they're day guests, then why waste 3-4 hours when you could be experiencing the rest of the park? Unless they're a parent or grandparent who doesn't want to ride anything, I guess the no-saving spaces policy will take care of that.

March 2, 2017 at 6:59 PM · Its about time Disney is addressing this issue....I'm not an annual pass holder and spent a ton of money to get in the park...and didnt even have an opportunity to enjoy the parades due to tons of strollers and blankets taking up space.....Thank You Disney...
March 2, 2017 at 11:15 PM · It is usually an older parent/grandparent that did the waiting. It used to bother me to see Grandma just sitting there while everyone else is having fun. Good for Disneyland, Grandma wants wants to go ride Space Mountain.
March 4, 2017 at 6:53 AM · Aplaus, Aplaus, Aplaus, Support, Support, Support - LOVE IT!

Was so anoying to need to waste 3 valuable hours !

I watch the 2 nd Screening near Small World

March 4, 2017 at 1:21 PM · Speaking of saving spaces for a parade I hope they enforce the same policy at Rivers of America for Fantasmic.
The worst dining experience my family has ever had was when we decided to have dinner at River Belle Terrace. After purcahsing our meals we tried to find a table to eat at and numerous tables were being "saved" by one person for the show that was still 2 hours away from starting. We finally sat on a planter and balanced our plates on our knees. During our search for a table I asked a CM that was bussing tables about the people "saving" tables and he told me he could not ask them to leave. Afterward we compained at the Town Hall and we were met with little concern. I sent a letter explaining our disappointment over the incident and we ended up getting some compensation. But for several years we chose to leave the Disney property proper to eat dinner.

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