FAQ - Should you use FastPass+ on parade and fireworks viewing?

I hear this question asked often among friends and in several of the Disney groups that I'm in on Facebook.  We have chosen on some trips to use FastPass+ for viewing parades and fireworks and skipped it other times, so I can speak about the pros and cons here pretty honestly.  And like most answers related to planning a Walt Disney World vacation, the answer truly depends on your family and vacation priorities.

Thank you FastPass+ for the amazing viewing spot of
the Main Street Electrical Parade!
For our family, using FastPass+ to catch great viewing spots for fireworks and parades has been a good choice - especially if we're spending more than one day in that particular park.  As a family with two young children, we find it difficult to get to a prime spot to watch nighttime entertainment up to an hour before it starts.  When we visit the parks, we travel with a double BOB stroller - basically a minivan for kids - so even having one adult go to hold a spot while the rest of the family continues to run around the park can be a challenge.  For this reason, knowing that we can grab a perfect spot to see fireworks and parades while arriving just 10-15 minutes before they start is a great luxury.  We're also fortunate that the cost/benefit is easy for our family to figure out.  Most of the rides and attractions we're interested in with a baby and preschooler don't really *need* FastPass+ because the wait times are rarely longer than 15 minutes or so.

So what are the big questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not to book FastPass+ viewing areas for parades and fireworks?

  • How many days are your going to spend in that park?  If you're spending more than one day you may have some FastPass+ allotments that you don't need to do your favorite attractions.
  • How old are your kids?  If you're traveling with older children or adults, it might be easier to arrive early and hold a spot as opposed to keeping young kids entertained while waiting for the show to start.
  • Are there any other options to get preferred seating for the show?  For example, we always book a Fantastic Dining Package in Hollywood Studios.  We figure that we have to eat anyways, why not book at one of these locations and get the perk of prime seating for Fantasmic so we can save our Tier 1 FastPass+ reservation for Toy Story Mania?  Recently, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have also offered dining packages paired with nighttime parades and shows as well.  
If you do choose to use your FastPass+ options for fireworks and parade viewing, you won't be disappointed in the location.  All of them offer a great spot that's not as crowded as some other areas may be without the stress or worry about saving your spot.  

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