The Three O’Clock Parade Returns To Walt Disney World Today At Magic Kingdom

After months of the three o’clock parade not happening, it has now returned.

Danny Cox

All Disney fans know that there is the overly familiar and odd question which asks “When is the three o’clock parade?” Early in 2017, word got around that the Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom would be changing times for the fall and winter, and that messed up everyone’s routine. There were even rumors that the parade was going away or that a new nighttime spectacular was arriving, but neither happened and the “Three O’Clock Parade” is now returning.

It was in May that the Festival of Fantasy Parade started showing a change in run times from 3 p.m. to 2 p.m. That was shown to begin in late August and run through the final four months of the year, and that’s exactly what happened.

Walt Disney World fans didn’t find a lot of problem with this change, but it did mess up one of their favorite ironic questions. No longer could anyone ask when the three o’clock parade would run and get the overly obvious answer from any cast member they presented it to.

During those months, the parade still ran almost every single day, but it simply ran an hour earlier. Well, for those wanting things to go back to how they were, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is heading back to its usual timeslot.

As shown on the official website for Walt Disney World, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is heading back where it belongs. Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, it will once again run the route through Magic Kingdom beginning at 3 p.m. and no longer at 2 p.m.

The reason that the parade’s scheduled run time was changed for the latter part of 2017 was that it really helped Disney’s time crunch and crowd control. With so many dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the earlier parade actually helped a lot with getting party guests in and non-party guests out in a quicker fashion.

That became obviously noticeable for the Christmas parties which required non-party guests to start leaving the park at 6 p.m. in 2017 as opposed to 7 p.m. like in previous years.

walt disney world magic kingdom three o'clock parade festival of fantasy
Featured image credit: Danny Cox

For all published times, which currently go through June 30, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is scheduled for 3 p.m. It is possible that the time could change again once the holiday season arrives at Walt Disney World in late August, but that remains to be seen. Guests visiting Magic Kingdom anytime soon will be able to joke about and enjoy the three o’clock parade as it is back in its usual spot.