In our previous post, we looked at Tony’s Merriest Town Square Party and the reserved prime viewing location it offered for the 2nd showing of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. In that post concluded that while you need to book the Tony’s party for the very best spot, you could still get a very good spot on Main Street if your willing to grab a spot about an hour in advance of the 2nd parade.
In this post, we are going to do live more dangerously and look at what we were able to grab roughly 15-20 minutes prior to the parade arriving at Main Street. Typically, your best bet for a last minute location that still has the feel of Main Street USA is at the outer perimeter of the Town Square area, opposite of the reserved viewing areas which are in the middle by the flag pole and Christmas tree.
All the photos in this post were taken from a spot we grabbed just after 11 pm. The 2nd parade reaches this area right around 11:20 pm typically. This spot was right in front of Town Square Theater where Mickey and Tink meet, right behind a couple of garbage cans. Besides the obvious benefit of not having to wait long for the parade to arrive, this spot also provided some decent photo opportunities using the Christmas tree to produce some nice bokeh. It was also close enough to get at least some “snow” in the area. If we were more over by the train station we would not see much snow at all.
I’m gonna throw a personal disclaimer out there that I’m not really happy with most of these photos. This was my first day shooting in the parks with my mirrorless Sony a7Rii which I recently purchased as an occasional lighter alternative to my typical heavy Nikon gear. I admittedly struggled quite a bit with settings this time out, so much that I stuck to my Nikon gear every other day of the trip. Hopefully by the time my next visit rolls along I will be much more familiar with the Sony gear and will be able to save my back some pain.
Still, I wanted to share these photos with you all just so you can see the kind of view you can expect to get if grabbing a last minute spot for the 2nd parade. I strongly encourage you to check out my previous post for what I consider to be much better photos of the parade.
With that said, lets take a look at what we were able to experience with a limited wait:
Overall, I was pleased with the spot we were able to grab considering it required a minimal wait time for the parade. No, its not as good as what you would get if you staked out an hour in advance or paid up for Tony’s, but it was still a really good spot. We could still see Main Street in the distance, and got just enough snow to add to the atmosphere. More importantly, we had a great view of all the floats and performers. I would absolutely aim to grab this spot again in the future.