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Top 8 Tips for Happily Ever After Fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular dazzles the senses with colorful fireworks, uplifting music, and amazing projections of Disney characters, not to mention a flyby of your favorite pixie. Because of its popularity, Main Street, U.S.A. and the plaza in front of Cinderella’s Castle floods with people, thereby creating challenges to your enjoyment of the show. Therefore, consider these top eight tips for making Happily Ever After a pleasurable experience.





 

8 – Choose a Premium Spot

You’ll want to choose a location with an optimal view. Avoid standing right in front of the castle because while you’ll have a fantastic view of the projection, you won’t get the full view of the fireworks. Therefore, make sure you stand somewhere behind the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. Also, stay away from Town Square if you don’t want the buildings along Main Street, U.S.A. crowding your view. Because of its elevated vantage point, the second floor of the train station draws a lot of viewers; however, the flag pole cuts right in the center of the show. An excellent spot can be found right where Main Street, U.S.A. empties into the plaza. Unfortunately, this area can be difficult to occupy as cast members direct traffic through it. Some insiders recommend standing along the fence in front of the Crystal Palace, but since it’s a walkway, those pushing strollers and wheelchairs or riding ECVs should avoid it.

7 – Check Your Visibility

No matter how great your spot is during Happily Ever After, it can be ruined by an unforeseen obstruction. For example, you may think your spot at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. offers a perfect view of the show until a family of giants squeeze in front of you. Or perhaps you make a beeline towards the Main Street Plaza Gardens, hoping to get a clear view, but instead, find a lamppost or a fountain in your way. Naturally, you don’t want to crane your neck around an obstacle the whole time, so put some forethought into your location and consider all possible challenges to the show’s visibility there.

Tiana on Cinderella Castle

6 – Claim Your Spot Early

After choosing where you want to position yourself during the fireworks show, you need to determine when you’ll be claiming your spot. The earlier you claim the location, the more likely you will actually stand there. Many park guests stake out their viewing spots hours in advance. In fact, the most dedicated fireworks fans will use a spot that provides them excellent viewing for the Festival of Fantasy Parade and Happily Ever After. Literally, the hardcore fans will sit at their chosen location most of the day. If you have such fans in your party or friends not interested in following you around while you jump on rides all day, then perhaps they may be willing to hold the spot for the group.

5 – Check Your Camera Settings

Snapping photos of the Happily Ever After fireworks display presents unique challenges to amateur photographers. Many use a smartphone or a simple point-and-shoot camera. While these don’t provide the clearest images, they suffice for the average park guest. If you want to capture better pictures, try bringing a DSLR camera with a zoom lens. No matter the camera, check your settings to make sure you’re optimizing it for capturing nighttime fireworks. Some cameras have a fireworks or nighttime landscape setting; use them if you’re not willing to tinker with the settings yourself. The more adventurous photographers should switch to manual mode and set the ISO to 100, f-stop to f/11, and shutter speed to ½ second, adjusting according to conditions. Also, don’t use your flash.





 

4 – Film the Show

Many visitors forego taking photos and instead record the whole show on their smartphone or digital camera. This can be a great way to enjoy Happily Ever After with your family and friends for years to come, but don’t let it take the place of watching the show in the present. Also, avoid blocking the view of those behind you as you record. You don’t want to be responsible for ruining a child’s magical experience just because you’re creating a Happily Ever After documentary.

3 – Stick Around Afterwards

As soon as the show ends, the multitudes will instantly shuffle towards the exit. Unless you want to be carried away with the crowd and wait in excessively long lines for transportation, you should plan to wait. You may sit back and relax, grab a snack, watch a show, or hop on a ride since the park doesn’t close for a couple more hours. Since so many visitors have left, the lines to your favorite attractions will likely be shorter.

2 – Book the Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party

You may also schedule a dessert party to enjoy Happily Ever After with family and friends. It’s a great way to dine on tasty treats while sitting at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant and taking in the fireworks display. Try to secure a table close to the edge of the deck in order to obtain an unobstructed view. This area is good for watching the show comfortably, but the structure poses some viewing problems. The floor cuts off the bottom of the castle, some higher shooting fireworks may be partially blocked by the ceiling, and Tinkerbell can be difficult to follow as she lands right on top of the restaurant’s roof. There is also a party option with garden viewing in the Hub. You’ll have an excellent view of the fireworks from this location.

1 – Take a Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise

Magic Kingdom’s ferry boats provide an excellent view of the fireworks from Seven Seas Lagoon. Guests may book a cruise where they can feast upon sweets, sip beverages and enjoy a wide-open view of the show. During the cruise, the fireworks display creates a backdrop for Cinderella’s Castle and the Main Street, U.S.A. train station. Despite being so far away, you can still hear the music and narration, since it’s broadcasted on the boat. Those who want an upfront experience that puts them in the middle of the action won’t enjoy this cruise as much as the rest of us, but even they will find something good to say about it. To put it briefly, the view is stunning, the cakes and tarts delicious, and the wine relaxing after a long, hard day at Magic Kingdom. Be aware, though, that the projections on Cinderella Castle are a major part of the story, so you while you’ll be able to enjoy the fireworks, you will miss a major part of the show.



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About D.W. Noonan

D.W. Noonan lives in Salisbury, Maryland, but calls Walt Disney World his second home. Years ago, he married his wife, Kathie, who introduced him to the imagination of Disney films and forced him to watch countless hours of everything from Steamboat Willie to The Lion King. With the birth of his three children, he found himself inexplicably drawn to vacationing at Walt Disney World every year and eventually making the trip to Disneyland. He'll even brave a Disney Cruise from time to time, even though he's not particularly fond of oceanic voyages. Noonan experienced his ultimate Disney dream when his two dancing daughters performed for Disney Performing Arts in 2015, but he also realizes that the best is yet to come.