Of course, we lived towards the end of the route and things are a little different there then at the beginning where the TV cameras are. At the end of the route, the floats are a little less... dynamic than at the beginning. The trucks underneath the huge, floral creations breakdown causing large breaks in the flow. As I remember, the longest break we had was about 45 minutes long.
On top of that, many of the floats with moving bits are broken by the time the parade is over. One of the floats we saw was a bee, with moving arms and antennas-- very cute and cool. Except that by the end, two of its arms were dangling by its side, completely useless, and one of its antenna was just kind of spastically twitching, instead of swiveling smoothly.
So, a rave for watching the Rose Parade-- good fun, and the announcers aren't too horrible (unlike the New Year's Eve hosts/hostesses). But, an even bigger rave for attending in person. You get to hang with the other New Year's Day celebrants, watch some cool floats, and see some cool floats fall apart. As an additional plus, you can also go see the floats being constructed days in advance of the parade at the Rose Bowl, which is really cool. It's an amazing process.
Some day I hope to go back and see another parade in person. Ideally, I'd like to take my kids with me.