Since I am a friends with a Cast Member I was able to take part in being an audience member for a Disney Parks Parade Special taping and this is my experience. I will also share tips about navigating the parks on taping days.
Being part of a Disney Parks Parade Taping has been on my Disney World Bucket List for a long time and I was excited to be able to attend!
What Gets Filmed at Disney World for Christmas
Disney films their Christmas specials in early November. They film performances of special guest stars for the Thanksgiving Day Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration shown on ABC, a Disney Channel Holiday Party shown on the Disney Channel and DisneyNow app, and Disney Parks Magical Christmas Parade shown on ABC.
My Disney Park Parade Taping Experience
My Cast Member friend had to sign up for a time slot and got the 7:30 to 11 pm time slot. We thought getting to the park at 7 pm would let us get a good spot. We had no idea that 7:30 was the time we could get in line to get in the taping area. Guess what we did for 2 hours? We stood in a line.
We stood in a very boring line not being able to see the castle stage but listening to take after take of whoever was performing. The way it works is that the time slot is when you can enter the taping area, they don’t make you leave so the later your timeslot the more waiting you partake in. I so wish I would have known that.
We did chat with people next to us in line so that was nice.
Once we got in front of the castle it was a fun time. The hosts are funny and we get to see the performers have some fun outside of the performances. I love that they name the crowd camera Wall-E. Wall-E moves in all sorts of directions and is robotic.
We were not allowed to record any of the takes. We could take pictures when they weren’t recording.
Each act has to be taped several times. Each time we applaud on cue. There was even a part that taped elsewhere and we were the crowd. We heard the takes but couldn’t see the stars. It was odd to say the least, lol.
Due to all the standing, I could only stand about another hour before I was done. My friend Julie was with me as well and she stayed much longer. I think she left the park around 12:30 am.
I think taping went until 2:30-3:00 am because once she was done they moved everyone to the Flagpole area and continued to film with fireworks.
Would I do it again? Yes. I think I would opt for an earlier time slot, have some drinks, and snacks with me since you don’t know when you will be allowed in but it was fun. They also sell a Disney pin just for the taping that I got as well.
Being in the parks During a Parade Taping
If at all possible I would avoid the taping parks during your vacation if you can. The park where the taping is taking place is very crowded with people trying to catch a glimpse at a famous person. Thankfully they only film one park a day so you can plan a little. Unfortunately, you don’t know the park schedule until about a week earlier.
If the parade taping is at the Magic Kingdom, more than likely the castle view will be partially obstructed by cameras and hedges. It is extremely busy around the hub.
There will still be a Castle Lighting Show and Happily Ever After Fireworks Show. Check the times guide or My Disney Experience App for the time though as it may be different than the regular time.
Have a great touring plan and make your Fastpasses as soon as you can. Take advantage of Mobile Ordering if doing a quick service meal.
Have you ever been to Disney during a taping session? What did you think about the experience? Let me know in the comments!