Disney’s Wishes Returns for One Night Only

Nighttime spectaculars are a crucial part of any visit to a Disney theme park. Fireworks complete the Disney experience for any Guest. There have been many well-loved Disney fireworks shows over the years, including IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and Happily Ever After at the Walt Disney World Resort and World of Color at Disneyland California Adventure, to name but a few.

Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams

Wishes was another well-loved nighttime spectacular by Disney Guests. The fireworks show would light up the sky above Cinderella Castle every evening from October 2003 through May 2017. Wishes could be enjoyed by Guests of Magic Kingdom Park and the Magic Kingdom Resorts surrounding Seven Seas Lagoon.


Credit: Disney

Developed by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams was hosted by Jimmy Cricket, the character known from Pinocchio (1940). The nighttime spectacular replaced Fantasy in the Sky after a 32-year run. Sponsored by Pandora Jewelry, the Magic Kingdom show explored the wishes of favorite Disney characters, both good and bad. The lights on Cinderella Castle changed colors throughout the show to reflect the character’s wishes showcased by the music at different points. Tinker Bell was the only character to be seen in the show, as she flew from Cinderella Castle.

Different versions of the show were shown in Magic Kingdom throughout the year. HalloWishes was the nighttime spectacular shown during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Meanwhile, Holiday Wishes was the fireworks show during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Wishes ended its long run in Magic Kingdom on May 11, 2017. Its replacement, Happily Ever After, began on May 12, 2017. The new show was an instant hit with Guests, receiving rave reviews for its projections on Cinderella Castle, traditional pyrotechnics, and catchy theme song.


Credit: Yarmama

Until last year, Wishes had only returned to a Disney Park twice since then, during a Cast Member service celebration event in Magic Kingdom last year. Cast Members were treated to an introduction to Disney Enchantment, which featured parts of the Wishes and Happily Ever After soundtracks. But in the previous few days, Wishes returned for Guests to enjoy once more. And this time, a full run-through.

The Sparkling WISHES of Disney’s New Year’s Eve

The Walt Disney World Resort Guests will probably be familiar with Fantasy in the Sky, which takes place on New Year’s Eve. In addition to special fireworks shows in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, Fantasy in the Sky features in Magic Kingdom. The special fireworks show is so popular with Walt Disney World Guests that it is shown twice on New Year’s Eve. Additionally, two performances take place on December 30, to allow more Guests to see.

Fantasy in the Sky is unique to the Walt Disney World Resort, so other Disney Parks have other fireworks shows bringing in the new year. In Disneyland Paris, The Sparkling WISHES of Disney’s New Year’s Eve welcomed in 2023. The show began just seconds before midnight, with a countdown to the new year projected onto Sleeping Beauty Castle. 2023 was projected onto the Castle as fireworks lit the sky above. The iconic Wishes soundtrack followed this.


Credit: DLR Report

Can you hear it now, just like us? ‘Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may; I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight. So make a wish, and do as dreamers do, and all our wishes will come true.’

New to the nighttime spectacular, projection mapping took place on Sleeping Beauty Castle. The projections had Fantasmic! vibes, as bubbles, appeared to float up the Castle, with favorite Disney characters inside, before popping. Fountains, lasers and lighting helped to create additional atmosphere to the beautiful display. The Wishes soundtrack remained the same and Jiminy Cricket spoke in English. The Blue Fairy spoke in French.


Credit: Disneyland Paris

Disney New Year’s Eve Party 

Unlike the Disney theme parks in Walt Disney World, the New Year’s Eve event at Disneyland Park in Disneyland Paris was a ticketed event. As expected, the event was a sell-out, but it is easy to see why considering what tickets included. Guests with tickets could enter the Disney Park from 8:30 p.m. through 2 a.m.

In addition to the Disney Park’s attractions being open for Guests to enjoy, an enhanced edition of the Dream…and Shine Brighter Parade made it’s way down Main Street, U.S.A. Guests were also treated to The Disney D-Light spectacular that lights the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle using drones, lighting, music, and magic. 


Credit: Disneyland Paris

Disney characters featured throughout the evening. Mickey’s Fun Disco Party saw Mickey Mouse and friends dance with Guests in the Videopolis Theatre in Discoveryland. The New Year’s Eve Royal Disney Ball showcased the Disney princesses and princes on the Castle stage. Goofy’s Line Dancing Party took place in Frontierland, where Goofy and friends showed off their line dancing. Characters also took part in the Party Through Adventureland during the evening.


Credit: Disneyland Paris

The New Year’s Eve celebrations in Disneyland Paris made for an unforgettable way to welcome 2023 for Guests. The party was full of fun, magic, and surprises. Hearing of the joy that Guests experienced at the event is undoubtedly making us consider visiting Disneyland Paris to welcome in 2024.

Have you visited Disneyland Paris yet? Or is it still on your bucket list? If you are yet to visit, consider visiting during the Christmas season. While you’ll need lots of layers to help keep warm in the cold weather that Paris is known for during the winter, it certainly helps to create the feeling of Christmas!

In the meantime, if you’re in need of a little reminder of the magic of Wishes, check out the display from Disneyland Paris on New Year’s Eve 2023 here.

About Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!