No one loves fireworks more than Disney. As a matter of fact, Disney is the largest consumer of fireworks annually in North America. From its first fireworks show in Disneyland in 1956, Disney is constantly searching for new ways to show guests spectacular firework displays that are almost guaranteed to tug the heartstrings. With meticulously planned bursts of brilliant color and carefully orchestrated moving music, fireworks at Walt Disney World are like no other display. On your next visit to Walt Disney World, be sure to grab some popcorn, find a good spot, and get ready to be immersed in a magnificent exhibition of nighttime entertainment. Here are eight facts and secrets to consider before your next show.
Powerfully launched into the air by pneumatic air systems instead of gunpowder, the fireworks not only have reduced fumes but are more accurate and gain better altitude. If you’re watching the “Happily Ever After” in the Magic Kingdom, you’ll experience hundreds of firework bursts. If you’re at Epcot, the “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” show will thrill you with 750 shells!
7. Magic Kingdom.
Fireworks have always been the perfect way to wrap up a day at Magic Kingdom! Happily Ever After Fireworks has replaced Wishes, but has thankfully lived up to the beautiful display of fireworks, lasers, projection, music, and storytelling Magic Kingdom is known for. With 18-minutes of “heart, heroism, and humor”, Happily Ever After will send you on your way with your own “happily ever after” ending to an unforgettable Magic Kingdom day! Happily Ever After is best viewed from the Hub area in front of Cinderella Castle on Main Street USA, but there are other great spots to check out too. Consider the area in front of Casey’s Corner and the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Another good idea, if timed right, is to catch the fireworks while riding Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or the Tomorrowland People Mover. Behind the Castle in the Fantasyland area is another good viewing location too, as it will seem like the fireworks are all around you. This location isn’t as crowded as the prime spots in front of the Castle.
Epcot shows its guests “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” every night in the area around the World Showcase Lagoon, complete with fireworks, water fountains, lasers, and fire effects. This fireworks display began in 1988 and tells the story of the Earth, along with a celebration of the many cultures of the Earth’s inhabitants, using a gigantic globe in the center of the lagoon. The show is set to a musical score created with a 71-piece orchestra and a 30-voice chorus. Illuminations is controlled from a booth above the Mexico Pavilion using 65 computers. Plan ahead and make dining reservations right around showtime at one of the World Showcase restaurants that frame the lagoon.
5. Hollywood Studios.
Visit Hollywood Studios to experience “Fantasmic” and “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular”. Fantasmic awes guests with water projections, fire effects, lasers, and colorful fireworks in the Hollywood Hills amphitheater. The front and center seats are a great place to watch Sorcerer Mickey encounter Disney villains, but also a great place to get wet. “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” is a newcomer to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and uses video projections and elaborate special effects along with the fireworks.
4. Animal Kingdom.
Keeping the animals safe is the top priority for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so this park doesn’t offer a fireworks display. Instead, nighttime entertainment includes a show using lasers and light technology presented on the Tree of Life called Tree of Life Awakenings.
3. Special Spots.
If you’re interested in viewing the fireworks in a new way, consider watching the show while munching on tasty desserts or from the moonlit deck of a ship. Disney guests can reserve a spot at one of Disney’s private dessert parties for an additional cost and enjoy a reserved viewing spot with a special dessert party. Another out-of-the-ordinary option to view Happily Ever After is on a cruise on the Seven Seas lagoon outside of the Magic Kingdom. Pick the kid-friendly Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise or opt for a more private and smaller boat, complete with desserts and champagne. The cruises begin at the marina from one of several resort hotels and drop anchor in waters outside of the Magic Kingdom, offering an unforgettable experience.
Guests cannot take a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad during the Happily Ever After fireworks show in the event of possible falling embers. Cast Members walk the track after the show to ensure no fires or burning embers are around.
1. Hidden Mickey.
Get your fireworks fix indoors on the Soarin’ attraction in Epcot. The final scene delights guests with an amazing fireworks display over the park that even includes a Hidden Mickey.