Disney Makes Changes to ‘Happily Ever After’ Ahead of Its Return to the Magic Kingdom

Disney's Happily EVer After Fireworks
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Happily Ever is returning soon to the Magic Kingdom after a nearly two-year hiatus, and the return of these iconic fireworks will come with some big changes.

The current Magic Kingdom fireworks show, Disney Enchantment, debuted on October 1, 2021, as a special presentation during the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Walt Disney World Resort. While this nighttime fireworks spectacular is beloved by some fans, many have been anxiously awaiting for the return of its predecessor, Happily Ever After.

Disney's Happily Ever After Fireworks

Credit: Disney

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Happily Ever After made its Magic Kingdom debut in 2017 after Wishes, the Park’s previous show came to an end. The Magic Kingdom has actually only had four regular fireworks shows since the Park opened in 1971! Fantasy in the Sky ran from 1971 to 2003, then Wishes replaced the original show running until 2017. Happily Ever After continued from 2017 until the global shutdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and once fireworks were able to start again, the show ran briefly until it was replaced by Disney Enchantment in 2021.

With just days until Happily Ever After once again graces the skies above Cinderella Castle, Disney has shared some additional details on what’s changed about the beloved performance.

Disney's Happily Ever After Fireworks

Credit: Disney

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We previously reported that upon its return, Happily Ever After will take some cues from Disney Enchantment as the show will feature projections on the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. for the first time. Disney Enchantment followed the trends we’ve seen in Disneyland’s fireworks in recent years of using Main Street, U.S.A. for additional projection mapping, and while Happily Ever After may largely be the preferred show, there is no question that this element impressed Guests.

Within the new projections on Main Street, U.S.A., Walt Disney Imagineering has had the opportunity to add new characters to the fireworks show who were not included in its original 2017 format. We already knew (thanks to the above photo from Disney) that Miguel from Coco (2017) and Mirabel and Bruno from Encanto (2021) would be featured, but further details on the updates had not been available until now.

Disney recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at the updates to Happily Ever After:


We’re giving you a BTS look at Happily Ever After with Katrina, Creative Director from Disney Live Entertainment! 🎇🎆🏰#AllTheDisneyThrills #DisneyCastLife #DisneyParks #Disney #Fireworks #DisneyWorld #Show #Castle #Emotional

♬ original sound – Disney Parks

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Disney confirmed that Mirabel, Bruno, and Miguel are just a handful of the 32 characters added to the show thanks to the new projection sequences and that other characters not seen in the photo above will include Meilin Lee from Turning Red (2022), Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon (2021), Elena from Elena of Avalor, Rapunzel from Tangled (2010), Luca from Luca (2021) and more.

The projections on Main Street, U.S.A., will also offer a totally different experience for Guests who are used to seeing the show from right in front of Cinderella Castle. (And it will offer an incentive for some of the crowds to spread out, as you would miss many of the new projections if you are watching from the Park’s hub.)

Happily Ever After returns with its full experience featuring fireworks, projection mapping, lasers, and an iconic soundtrack performed by Jordan Fisher and Angie Keilhauer on April 3, 2023. Be sure to check out the new character projections the next time you see the fireworks show, and have a magical time!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."