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Credit: Disney Tips

Happily Ever After and Wishes Return to Magic Kingdom

Disney Guests have wanted to see Wishes and Happily Ever After return to the Magic Kingdom ever since both fireworks show ended.

Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration show, Disney Enchantment, has been met with lukewarm reviews, with fans begging Disney to bring back its fireworks classics.

And these dreams came true for a select group of Guests attending a special private event in the Disney Park, during which the Walt Disney World Resort saw the return of the beloved fireworks shows.

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Credit: Disney

The Magic Kingdom Park closed early yesterday, May 3, and will again on May 15, 2022. Magic Kingdom opens at 9:00 a.m. but closes at 4:30 p.m, according to the Park hours on the My Disney Experience app and the Walt Disney World calendar. Typically, Disney’s Magic Kingdom is open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m, with Park Hopper available from 2:00 p.m. every day.

These early May closures are for the delayed Cast Member service celebrations. These special parties are for Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members celebrating service milestones in 2020 and 2021. These unique Cast Member events at Magic Kingdom were canceled back in January due to cold and rainy weather, with another Cast Celebration organized in February.

Because of the early closure, Disney Enchantment, the Park’s fireworks show celebrating Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, will not be performed on these days. But in a stroke of Disney magic, the Cast Member Celebration opened with the soundtrack from Wishes, pulling at the heartstrings of the Cast Members in attendance:

During the Cast Member celebration at Magic Kingdom tonight, CMs were shown a tribute to Wishes and Happily Ever After before Enchantment.

Almost felt like a perfect 50th tribute that could be shown nightly before Enchantment, right? Right?!

It was back on May 11, 2017, when the Walt Disney World Resort ended its run of the fan-favorite Cinderella Castle show, Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, at Magic Kingdom.

Happily Ever After then made its debut on May 12, 2017 to rave reviews and became an instant classic. Unlike its predecessor, Wishes, the show included projection mapping across Cinderella Castle, lasers, and searchlights, in addition to traditional pyrotechnics.

The catchy song that made so many Disney Guests cry was written by Adam Watts, Melissa Peirce, and Andrew Dodd, and performed by Angie Keilhauer and Jordan Fisher, known for his role in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.

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Credit: Disney

Sadly Disney’s Happily Ever After show was permanently retired on September 29, 2021, and was succeeded by the new nighttime spectacular Disney Enchantment for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary on October 1, 2021.

The all-new firework show projects onto Main Street, U.S.A., much like Disney Guests see at Disneyland Resort in the recently returned Disneyland Forever.

Disney fan reactions to Disney Enchantment have been mixed, with some Guests enjoying the change and others suggesting that it does not live up to its predecessor. Here at Disney Tips, we admit we enjoy the characters the show features, but it does not feel like a 50th celebration fireworks spectacular. We were expecting a celebration of Disney Park music, like the iconic soundtracks from Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spectromagic, and Illuminations.

For one night only, we wish we could have been part of the Cast Member Celebration and got to hear the melodies of Wishes and Happily Ever After in the Parks again!

If a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park does close early like this for a private event, Disney Park Hopping is available from 2:00 p.m. Guests with Park Hopper tickets can go to another one of Walt Disney World’s theme parks for the evening, while Guests with one-day tickets should probably choose a different Park on these special days.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who has worked at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Adventures by Disney! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her husband, an Air Force pilot. Find her children's book at @bear.hug.book