NEWS: Disney Discontinues Wishes Fireworks in Magic Kingdom, Replacement Coming

Along with the Rivers of Light opening date announcement today, Disney announced a brand new nighttime spectacular that will debut at Magic Kingdom Park this spring. Details below:


Here is the scoop from Disney Cast Member Jennifer Fickley-Baker:

“Happily Ever After,” a new nighttime spectacular that will combine the magic of Disney storytelling, beloved Disney characters, fireworks and so much more, will debut at Magic Kingdom Park on May 12.

The spectacular will inspire guests to seek out and find their own “Happily Ever After” by showcasing some of the greatest adventures Disney characters have taken to achieve their dreams. The show will feature the latest fireworks and pyrotechnics and original animation, plus a heart-tugging original score. And thanks to the inclusion of state-of-the-art projection mapping technology, more Disney characters than ever before will be featured in the show, including moments from “Moana,” “Brave,” “Big Hero 6,” “Zootopia,” “The Princess & The Frog,” “Aladdin” and many others.

The Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace will continue to offer up a scrumptious way to view the nighttime fun as “Happily Ever After” makes its debut.

Below is a video describing the event:


Here are some more important details about the new show. “Happily Ever After” will NOT replace the current “Once Upon a Time” projection show. They are meant to compliment one another. However, this show WILL replace Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. Wishes will have its final performance May 11, 2017. Wishes debuted at Disney World in 2003 and is a fan favorite. Many Disney fans feel that after 14 year, it’s time to update Wishes. However, many other fans simply can’t imagine ending a day at Magic Kingdom without Wishes fireworks.

RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Facts and Secrets About Wishes at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

by Christy Caby

Wishes is one of the most magical shows and experiences at the Magic Kingdom.  It is one that I highly recommend that everyone get to see at some point, and not miss it when on their Disney vacation.  They show is also quite interesting, too!  Here are 6 interesting facts and secrets about Wishes:


6 – Tinkerbell has been flying for a long time!

The evening fireworks show has made its changes over the years, including the songs and special effects that are used during the show.  One thing that seems to always remain is Tinkerbell’s flight from the castle each night.  She took her first flight on July 4th, 1985 and has been flying almost every night (weather permitting) ever since her first flight.  We have a feeling that special moment during the nighttime show will continue for many years to come.  She really is a real, and really does “fly” across the Magic Kingdom over into Tomorrowland.  She is lit up in the evening sky so that you can see her make her flight.  Her flight is about 850 feet and takes about 30 seconds to complete, which is a fairly fast flight!

5 – It’s a costly performance for the Magic Kingdom.

As you likely already know, the show is performed every single evening at the Magic Kingdom (barring inclement weather that would prevent the show from being performed).  Each performance costs Disney around $33,000 to put on the much-anticipated show for all of the guests that are anxiously waiting.  If the show, or the holiday variations of the show, were to be performed every single night as planned, that makes just over $12 million spent on just this show each year.  It is crazy to think about that much money being spent every single night, not counting all of the other operating costs to keep the park going.  Disney may make a lot of money, but they definitely spend a lot of money, too!

Wishes Fireworks

4 – Fireworks have been a part of Walt Disney World almost since the opening.

The Magic Kingdom first opened on October 1, 1971.  The very first fireworks show that was performed was a show that was performed in dedication to the opening of the Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  The fireworks were extremely popular and thus was the birth of what grew into an amazing Disney tradition at Walt Disney World.  The show took on various themes and groupings of songs and characters since then and has made changes over the years, but one thing has remained constant…. The guests love it!

3 – Disney was awarded a patent in 1994 that would decrease the environmental impact.

In January of 1992 Disney filed the patent request for their fireworks display system.  The purpose of the system would be to launch the fireworks in such a way that the particles from the fireworks would become small flakes that wouldn’t create trash or waste that would litter the area or cause other hardships to the natural area.  The patent was finally approved in August of 1994 and the system was incorporated into Disney’s fireworks system and remains the basis of the system that is used today.


2 – Fantasy in the Sky

The first show that debuted in the 1970’s was known as Fantasy in the Sky.  The show ran under this name and format until 2003, which is quite a long run for the show!  It was also in 2003 that Wishes began and has been the star of the evening at the Magic Kingdom every night ever since.  The music, fireworks, voices, etc. all changed with the switch over to Wishes.  Wishes is also many times larger than Fantasy in the Sky ever was, and is also around 5 minutes longer than the duration of the original show.  Since Fantasy in the Sky made it around 30 years, it will be interesting to see if Wishes also makes it around 30 years before the songs and format change.

1 – The fireworks aren’t all shot off within the Magic Kingdom.

As guests look upon Cinderella’s Castle they see the fireworks explode in the sky all above and to the perimeter of the castle.  What they may not realize is that all of the fireworks aren’t actually shot off form within the Magic Kingdom, or even all from the castle.  There are fireworks that are shot of from behind the castle as well as from buildings around the Magic Kingdom.  There are also fireworks that are shot off from behind the Magic Kingdom that are in areas that aren’t accessible to guests.  When you watch from the Magic Kingdom, you don’t realize just how big the display is.  If you watch the show from outside the parks, you get a better appreciation for just how large the display and high and wide it reaches in the sky.  It appears to be larger than the Magic Kingdom, itself.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
Back to top button