YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW

From character interactions, to rides, to parades and more, there’s no doubt that there is so much to see and do on a Disney vacation. But, the one thing that you definitely don’t want to miss during your visit is Disney World fireworks!

The Walt Disney Company has put together some spectacular fireworks shows throughout the years and now nightly fireworks happen in almost every Disney park! So, as you prepare to head out for your next trip to the theme parks, here’s a breakdown of all the nighttime Disney fireworks shows happening right now at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida!

DISNEY ENCHANTMENT FIREWORKS AT MAGIC KINGDOM

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW (+ TIPS FOR SEEING THEM OUTSIDE THE PARK)
Courtesy of WDW

Magic Kingdom park has been known for having jaw-dropping nighttime spectaculars and the current show is no different. As part of Walt Disney World’s most magical celebration (a.k.a. the 50th Anniversary of Magic Kingdom’s grand opening), Disney Enchantment debuted in 2021 and has been wowing guests ever since. The limited time fireworks show features new and old Disney characters, fan-favorite music from Disney movies, along with some of the best fireworks you’ll ever see over Cinderella Castle.

One of the most noteworthy things about the new Magic Kingdom fireworks show is its projection effects. For the first time ever, the show includes projections down Main Street, U.S.A., along with castle projections on the front of Cinderella Castle, all coordinated with the music and fireworks. So, the best place to watch the show is actually from a spot on Main Street. Otherwise, you’ll actually be missing a key element of the show!

Throughout the show, you’ll see Tinker Bell fly (literally!), join “dreamers” like Raya, Moana, Joe Gardner from Soul, and other Disney characters who are featured in projection effects, and hear an original song called “You Are The Magic” written exclusively for the Magic Kingdom show by 7-time Grammy award-winning songwriter, Philip Lawrence. Plus, the show even pays homage to the original dreamers who started it all – Walt and Roy Disney! It all combines with an eye-catching fireworks display to create a truly enchanted fireworks show that you’ll likely be talking about for the rest of the night.

Disney Enchantment will only be featured in Magic Kingdom limited time, though. At the D23 Expo, Disney announced that the former fireworks show anthem, Happily Ever After, will return as part of an updated nighttime spectacular in 2023. This new show will replace Disney Enchantment sometime after the 50th anniversary celebrations have concluded.

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BEST WAY TO VIEW MAGIC KINGDOM FIREWORKS

Disney Enchantment is very popular among guests, so you’ll want to plan ahead to navigate the crowds and know where you can get the best view. Main Street, U.S.A. and the Cinderella Castle courtyard (or hub) are the two most popular locations to watch, as the fireworks show is designed to be viewed from there. However, if you’re in Magic Kingdom and don’t mind missing the projection effects, you can also see the fireworks from nearly anywhere in the park, including in front of “it’s a small world,” Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Haunted Mansion.

If it is your first time seeing Disney Enchantment (or if you’re on the hunt for a new favorite spot), find an area to stand at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. near the park entrance/exit. You’ll have one of the best views of all the projection effects and fireworks from here, plus it tends to be less crowded! And, after the show, you’ll also be able to get back to the Ticketing and Transportation Center or your hotel much faster because you’re right by the exit!

For those celebrating a special occasion (or just prefer not to stress over finding a spot in the crowds), you can book a Magic Kingdom Fireworks dessert party. There are three different dessert parties currently available, including the Disney Enchantment Pre-Party, Disney Enchantment Treats & Seats Party, and the Disney Enchantment After-Party. Each is an additional charge but offers reserved seating with great views of the fireworks and unlimited treats and drinks!

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MAGIC KINGDOM FIREWORKS WITHOUT A TICKET

You may not know this, but you don’t actually need to purchase park tickets to see Disney Enchantment, as there are several different viewing spots around the Seven Seas Lagoon too that are completely free!

For example, guests at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa can get a great view of the show from the seating area in front of Gasparilla’s Island Grill. Additionally, fireworks can be seen from the beach area near the pool at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has an observation deck with some of the best views of the show. Just note that you will need a dining reservation at California Grill near the time that evening fireworks occur in order to see the show.

One of the big bonuses of catching the fireworks show outside of the park is that you can also view the Electrical Water Pageant before or after! This is a short 15-minute show that sails around the Seven Seas Lagoon each night. The best way to see it is to find a seat at one of the resorts near the water, as you’ll have a view of both the water pageant and the fireworks!

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  • Visit Kennedy Space Center. Bring out your inner astronaut and enjoy a full day of unique experiences at the world’s most authentic space attraction – NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
  • Have fun at Universal Orlando. Enjoy park to park access to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park (3-Park Ticket only).
  • Explore the Everglades on an airboat tour. Glide across the Florida Everglades on a 1.5-hour airboat photo safari. Go deep into the headwaters of Shingle Creek in Central Florida, and encounter a vast and diverse array of wildlife, including possible sightings of the American Alligator.

HARMONIOUS FIREWORKS AT EPCOT

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW
Courtesy of WDW

Another new fireworks show at Disney World is EPCOT’s Harmonious! This nighttime spectacular debuted as part of the 50th anniversary celebration in 2021 and replaced the longstanding show at Disney, Illuminations. Harmonious is now one of the biggest firework shows in the theme parks, featuring groundbreaking visual effects, beloved music, and, of course, a lot of fireworks! It’s also the longest fireworks show currently in Disney World, lasting 20 minutes in total.

The production takes place at the center of World Showcase Lagoon and includes show elements on giant floating screens, choreographed water fountains, lights, fireworks, and 360-degree view lasers. Highlights of the fireworks show include clips from some of your favorite Disney movies, an outstanding fireworks display, and a brand new Disney medley that was created specifically for the show by 240 artists from around the world. The medley is unique in that it hops from language to language, representing the power that Disney stories have to unite the world.

To give you an idea of the scale of this show, the floating screen at the center of the show stands six stories tall and four surrounding LED screens are 25 feet tall and 88 feet long. The floating showpieces then have 54-foot-long moving arms attached to them that move throughout the show to create stunning water effects. And, it all is coordinated with additional lighting and fireworks effects!

This is one of the shows that you certainly don’t want to miss when you’re visiting for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. And, it won’t be around much longer! Disney announced at the D23 Expo that they are creating an all-new nighttime spectacular for EPCOT in honor of the Walt Disney Company 100th Anniversary celebrations. It is set to debut sometime in 2023.

BEST SPOTS TO VIEW EPCOT FIREWORKS

Harmonious takes place at the center of World Showcase Lagoon, meaning that you can stand nearly anywhere in World Showcase and still get a good view of the show. However, because the large floating screens play such a prominent role in the show, there are some spots that you’ll want to avoid. For example, you’ll want to be sure that you aren’t standing in a spot where a tree or pole may obstruct your view and you don’t want to choose a spot that is too far away from the screens.

If you want a special place to view the fireworks without having to face the park crowds, you can consider purchasing a Harmonious Dining Package at participating restaurants. This includes Spice Road Table in the Morocco Pavilion and the Rose & Crown Fireworks Dining Package in the UK Pavilion. Or, you can make a dining reservation at La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion near the time that the fireworks show will begin and request a table near the windows. These restaurants all have a view of World Showcase Lagoon, and while they do come at an additional charge for dinner, they can be the best spot to watch Harmonious.

For those who prefer just to see the fireworks and don’t mind missing all the media, water, and lighting effects, the best place to watch Harmonious is either at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort or the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin. These hotels are located just behind World Showcase and are open to both guests who are just visiting and those who have a reservation. Just keep in mind that you’ll be missing many major elements of the show, including the music.

WONDERFUL WORLD OF ANIMATION FIREWORKS AT DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW
Courtesy of WDW

Wonderful World of Animation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the final fireworks show currently available in the theme parks. It is the shortest of the three, lasting only 12 minutes, and takes place on and above the Chinese Theatre (which is home to the fan-favorite attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway). It is mainly a special effects projection-based show, though you will still get to see a few fireworks shot off during some portions of the show.

During the show, the front of the Chinese Theatre is transformed with action-packed scenes from over 90 years of Disney and Pixar animated movies. Disney characters from films like Sleeping Beauty, The Incredibles, Coco, and more are featured in short clips that are projected onto the facade of the building, and you’ll even get to see some of your favorite villains! Plus, at the center of it all is Mickey Mouse, with the show beginning and ending with the main mouse.

Prior to the park’s temporary closure in 2020, the Wonderful World of Animation was shown as a pre-show to the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show. This Star Wars nighttime spectacular has not yet returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so you won’t be able to see a full fireworks show like you can experience at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. 

However, in exciting Disney news, Disney has announced that Fantasmic! will return to Hollywood Studios in 2022. This is a show featuring live performers, special effects, fireworks, and more located near Tower of Terror. So, you will be able to see a larger fireworks show once again in this park soon!

BEST PLACE TO VIEW FIREWORKS AT DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

The Wonderful World of Animation show is mainly projection-based, so choosing a spot that is close enough to the Chinese Theatre is important! The best place for a view of the fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is in the main courtyard area right in front of the theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. The projections span the entirety of the building, so you’ll want to be sure that there’s nothing that might obscure your view in front of you.

Of course, like most Disney World shows, available space can be limited. Cast Members usually begin to mark the seating areas and direct guests about an hour before the scheduled start time. Due to this, you’ll want to stake out your favorite place about 30-60 minutes before the show is scheduled to start. If you end up arriving closer to the start time, you likely won’t have quite as good of a view.

And, when the show is over, don’t leave right away (this goes for all of the fireworks shows in Disney World!). Most guests will immediately head to the exit, meaning that you’ll be facing some heavy crowds and long lines for transportation. Instead, get in line for another ride or do some shopping in the stores before leaving. Even if the park is closed, the stores will remain open for up to an hour later so you can let the crowds clear and even pick up a snack or a souvenir!

SEASONAL FIREWORKS SHOWS AT MAGIC KINGDOM

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW
Courtesy of WDW

In addition to the three fireworks shows that are available every night in Disney World, there are a few additional nighttime spectaculars that only happen during special events. First is Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, which takes place on select nights from mid-August to October 31st in Magic Kingdom. It is a special offering featuring Mickey Mouse and friends that is only available to guests attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

And, if you’re visiting for the holiday season, you can also head to Magic Kingdom to see Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show on select nights from November through December. It takes place as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and features Minnie Mouse as the host who is sure to get you into the holiday spirit! 

Each nighttime spectacular is unlike any other fireworks show you’ll see in Disney World, so you’ll want to be sure that you have a great spot for viewing! One of the most mesmerizing elements of these shows is the 360-degree fireworks that span around the courtyard in front of Cinderella Castle, making it an excellent place to watch the show. Though, really anywhere on Main Street, U.S.A. will give you a great view of the show.

Read More: YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO A FUN & SPOOKTACULAR DISNEY HALLOWEEN

OTHER TIPS FOR DISNEY WORLD FIREWORKS

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO DISNEY FIREWORKS AT WDW

Disney is known for having the best fireworks shows you’ll see in any theme park and each one is unique in its own way. Plus, it’s not just Disney World Parks that feature spectacular shows! Disneyland Resort is also home to two nighttime shows, and you can even see fireworks when sailing on any ship with the Disney Cruise Line.

To be sure that you don’t miss any of the nighttime spectaculars during your vacation, you’ll want to be sure that you know what time they’re happening each night! The My Disney Experience app features a fireworks times guide, or you can ask a Cast Member. One benefit to using the app is that you’ll also be able to see how long each one is so that you know how long the full show will last.

It’s also important to note that Disney’s Animal Kingdom does not have a nightly fireworks show currently. Due to this, you may want to consider visiting this park on the last night of your vacation so that you can get back to the hotel and rest up for your travel day! Fireworks shows tend to take place after 9PM, so you’ll appreciate the extra sleep, especially if you have small children.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR VISIT TO THE THEME PARKS

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