watching on tv is one thing - but seeing these floats up close is breathtaking! the workmanship that goes into the smallest detail is right there - close and personal! i took the kids when they were still in a stroller...a bit of a cluster due to the crowds - but very cool nonetheless! not a fortune to get in. make sure you bring your water!! if i remember - admission wasn't too much - the concessions is where they got me!
We are lucky to live close to where the floats are displayed at the end of the route. We did however make the mistake of going on the first day one year. It was way too crowded and people were super cranky from camping out all night and from partying too hard;) We won’t go again on the first day. The second (or sometimes third day) is much better. It is still crowded…but not nearly as bad.
Overall…this is definitely an event that is wonderful for children and families to see. If you have been watching the parade on TV…you will be AMAZED at what the floats look like up close. When you can actually see all of the plants and plant material up close it is UNBELIEVEABLE!
To sum it up…definitely take your family…it is a must see…just not on the first day of viewing.
This is such an interesting experience! Watching the Rose Parade on TV is one thing, but actually viewing the floats up close is quite another!
The details & artistry are amazing! Be warned - if you don't like crowds, skip this. However, if you don't mind bumping into a few people, this is a must-see.
They have made it very easy & convenient to get to the viewing area. There are shuttles that run from 3 different locations for only $3 per person (5 & under free). It is WELL worth the price of the shuttle!
Shuttles run from 12:30 AM to 2:30 PM on January 1 & from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM January 2. I recommend getting on the earliest one possible., and skipping January 1.
There are uniformed ambassadors at each float to answer any questions you may have. Admission is $10, free for 5 & under. Bring a camera & good walking shoes! Event goes on, rain or shine.
* * * * * * * * 2012 UPDATE * * * * * * * *
Okay, we learned the hard way that going the day of the parade is definitely NOT a good idea! It was an absolute madhouse. The streets were so gridlocked that our 1 mile shuttle trip from the park & ride to the floats took about 45 minutes! It was also 86 degrees that day, so seeing the floats at high noon in that heat was really unpleasant.
We did see news footage of the next day and there were far less people (about 75% less) and the weather was in the high 60's because the showcase opens earlier the day after the parade.
While I still loved it (still 5 stars) and will continue to go every year, I will never again go the day of the parade. Wait until the next day when everyone has returned to work!