Friday, September 7, 2012

Disney World Fireworks 101

I know it can be a little confusing with all the different fireworks and shows so I thought I'd break them down for you.


Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks are called Wishes Nighttime Spectacular or simply "Wishes". Disney's website describes it as:

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is the biggest, brightest fireworks extravaganza in Magic Kingdom theme park history. Jiminy Cricket is your host, guiding Pinocchio, Cinderella, Ariel, Peter Pan and other beloved Disney Characters through a fantastic tale told amongst the stars. A magnificent musical score syncs with the fireworks for a stunning aural and visual experience, featuring unique pyrotechnics and special effects. Discover that wishes do come true when you experience Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, a story so big only the sky can hold it!

This photo was taken from the bridge between the hub and Tomorrowland.


Wishes schedule varies by season. Check Magic Kingdom's online calendar for specific dates and times or check your park's times guide. You can pick one up near the park entrance (usually with the maps) or guest services desk. They can also be found at your resort's front desk.

Find your viewing location at least 1 hour prior to Wishes' start time. You can stake your spot and grab a quick bite or better yet, a pastry from the Main Street Bakery.

Tinker Bell flies through the sky (weather permitting) near the beginning of Wishes. The best view of her is from the front of the castle.

If  you are attending Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party then the evening fireworks are called "Hallowishes". Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party has "Holiday Wishes" as does the week of Christmas.


Epcot's evening fireworks, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, combine with lasers, fire and water for an experience you'll never forget. From the Disney website:

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, a mesmerizing fireworks, laser and water show featuring a rousing soundtrack, plays nightly for guests of all ages in the World Showcase Lagoon. It's a spectacular 14-minute, live pyrotechnic show that brings together the past, present and future of our planet and its colorful nations. Featuring breathtaking fireworks, brilliant bursts of fire, laser light effects, dramatic barges, a stirring musical score and the world's first spherical video display system - a 350,000-pound Earth Globe. IllumiNations is an inspirational nighttime spectacular bursting with surprises for the entire family.

This photo was taken from the area between the Mexico and Norway pavilions.

Although IllumiNations can be viewed from anywhere around the World Showcase Lagoon, I particularly like the area between the Norway and Mexico pavilions. Stop in at Norway's bakery, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, for a sweet treat like School Bread before the show.

Check the wind direction and stand on the opposite side, you don't want the smoke from the fire blowing in your face.

Pack a blanket, there are not that many benches and you'll more than likely sit on the ground.

View Epcot's online calendar for IllumiNations schedule or check your times guide. Since it is an outdoor show, it is subject to cancellation due to inclement weather.


Fantasmic! is not a fireworks show but since it has a limited amount of fireworks during the show, I'll discuss it here:

Fantasmic! is a breathtaking 25-minute show that brings together all of your favorite Disney Characters - including heroes, princesses and villains - for the very first time. Fantasmic! stars Mickey Mouse and a bevy of classic Disney Characters, and includes over one million gallons of water and 50 costumed performers. Combining explosive pyrotechnics, shimmering laser lights and dazzling dancing water effects with beloved Disney songs and animation, Fantasmic! is a lavish musical extravaganza in sight and sound, overflowing with silly and suspenseful surprises for the entire family.

I used this image because it will help you envision
the crowds and seating in relation to the fire and water.

Arrive early! I can't stress this enough. The line outside the amphitheater forms early with seating beginning at least 90 minutes prior to showtime. The seating is long benches so plan on having people on all four sides.

After you have seated your family, pick up some snacks at the concession stand at the back of the theater. This will help the time pass.

Plan ahead! Take your own glow sticks/necklaces or light-up swords/toys because if not, your kids will definitely be begging for the ones being sold down front. They are about $10-$16 each. You can stock up on glow items at your local dollar store or Walmart's Halloween section before your trip.

If your children are easily frightened of fire, dragons, or villains' faces magnified to 100 times their size (who isn't?), then sit a little further back. You don't want to have to calm a crying child midway through the show.

The benches are metal, so prepare accordingly. If the weather is cold, bring a blanket or jacket to sit on.

Guests sitting on the first couple of rows may get wet during the performance.

Occasionally, there are two shows in a night. If possible, go to the second show, the first one is usually more crowded.

Fantasmic! is performed nightly (weather permitting). You can view Disney's Hollywood Studios calendar or check your times guide for the schedule.


There are no fireworks at this park.


Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon do not have fireworks.


There are no fireworks.

I hope this post has helped with your vacation planning schedule. If you have any other questions concerning the fireworks, please post them in the comments below. Thanks for reading! :)


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