Christmas Parade Filming

Twelve of the last 36 hours of my life were spent at the Magic Kingdom. I regret nothing because I’m going to be on TV. (Well, probably. Maybe.)

This week is filming week for the Disney Christmas Celebration, formerly known as the Disney Christmas Day parade. For the first time ever, WDW’s filming is in early November. Disneyland’s filming is still scheduled for early December and will no doubt include a huge spectacle regarding Disneyland’s 60th anniversary spectacular.

I remember explaining to a number of Guests during my first CP that the parade wasn’t filmed live and that it couldn’t be filmed live due to simple logistics. So what does filming really entail?

I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and met up with friends at 5:40 in order to get to Magic Kingdom’s gates by 6:30 a.m. My tickets were for 7 a.m., and I wasn’t about to miss my chance at being right next to that castle stage. Once we went through the gates, we were gradually let toward Cinderella’s castle, glistening with lights and a stage filled with art-deco-inspired trees. I had no idea who was performing until someone in the herd of bodies looked it up: Reba, Seal, and Tori Kelley. (Seal?! Heck yeah, I picked the right day!) There was about an hour between each performer, and after the performances, the production team shot the crowd reactions.

Tips for filming:

  • Bring water and snacks! You’ll be outside in the heat for hours on end. It is, after all, Orlando, where 90 degrees in November isn’t surprising. Once you have your spot, you won’t want to leave (especially if you’re like me and snagged one really close to the stage). Snacks help keep blood sugar in check; you don’t want to be remembered as that guy who fainted in front of Ariana Grande.
  • Anticipate crowds. While the crowds won’t be New Years Eve level insane, it will be especially congested in filming areas like the Hub and Main Street. You will bump shoulders with other people. You will be surrounded by strangers. Hang in there, introverts. It’s worth it.
  • Hydrate or die-drate. Please drink water. A nice cold Coke seems tempting, but when you’re sweating water and not sugar, Coke will dehydrate you more. There are new water fountains along Main Street and near the Castle stage. Don’t be afraid to have someone save your spot while you grab a drink. And definitely don’t wait until you feel like you’re about to pass out until you grab some H2O.
  • Be festive! It’s Christmas AKA the best holiday EVER. Be merry! Be bright! Don’t let the haters judge you for celebrating Christmas a little early. Come Christmas morning, you’ll be on TV as a festive gem in a nationally-televised program and everyone else will wish they were as cool as you.

One thought on “Christmas Parade Filming

  1. I was there that day too! I have no idea how you lasted so long. I was there for only a few short hours and was dying of heat exposure. I got there late and missed reba unfortunately. But I saw Seal. Matter of fact I really only saw Seal lol. One thing I like is that it’s possible to get a pretty good spot without getting there too early. Of course, not the FRONT, and probably unlikely to be on camera, but still!

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