A complete guide to Disney’s Firework Shows

When it comes to evening entertainment then Walt Disney World puts on some very spectacular shows. These feature a variety of light shows, fireworks, live-action and some other special effects. There are so many different shows available that it can be difficult to know which ones are worth your time. We take you through the shows to watch for.

Illuminations (EPCOT)

Whilst this show might be a little long in the tooth now. It is still great. It is centred around the World Showcase Lagoon. It is the oldest nighttime show in the park now. Nearly all of the countries take part in the showcase (Morocco and Norway abstain) and it continues to convey the message of unity. The globe looks a little aged now, but the show is still great. The great feature is that you can get a good spot to view the show from anywhere around the lagoon. There is a lot of smoke used during the performance and it tends to drift towards the France and UK pavilions so you might want to avoid them if you don’t want to get smoked out.

Once Upon A Time (Magic Kingdom)

This took over from the Celebrate the Magic projection show. This puts incredibly clear images onto Cinderella’s castle. Mrs Potts and Chip narrate us through some of Disney’s fairy tales. This brings in the magic of Frozen and Beauty and the Beast to the show as the fireworks go off all around. This is a great one for getting the younger members of the party ready for bed as it comes across as more of a bedtime story for kids, but it is still worth a watch for the older members of the part as well.

Fantasmic! (Hollywood Studios)

This is one of the longest shows at Walt Disney World coming in at just over 30 minutes. This full-time story tells of Mickey’s dreams and nightmares. There are some darker moments as the show goes on before Mickey eventually wins the day. It will take you on a trip through the back catalogue of Disney films. One that will tug at your nostalgia strings. It does a great job of trying to tie all the different films together under one umbrella. The Disneyland version might have been the original but this version is equally fantastic.

Rivers of Light (Animal Kingdom)

This is actually a firework show without fireworks. They use many different and ambitious lighting and water effects to great the illusion of fireworks without actually using them. The show uses a wealth of moving parts to create spectacular options that include projecting animals on the fountains. The number of different moving parts is amazing. These include lotus flowers floating around the water, moving boats, projectors, fountains and all sorts. The launch of this show was delayed and that is not surprised given how much work must have gone into its preparation. Though it does seem like if there was as strong wind the show would be disrupted.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular (Hollywood Studios)

This is something that is a delight for all fans of the franchise. The show weaves you through all of the Star Wars films. This may not appeal to the Disney purist, but it is a delightful show. Fortunately, they don’t dwell on the prequel films for too long. The music is full of the elements of the fantastic John Williams score from the movies. The show is projected onto the facade of the Chinese Theatre which is used to great effect. This show is full of fantastic laser battles and explosions, which can be too much for very young children. But even if you are not a fan of the films, you will still appreciate the work and spectacle of the show. The ending is particularly good and worth waiting for. Videos just don’t it justice.

Happily Ever After (Magic Kingdom)

This is one of the newest shows at Walt Disney World and boy have they done it well. They have taken the projector technology from the star wars and once upon a time and refined it even more. This show is one of the best shows around. This is a show that is full of Disney magic and pageantry. This again links through many different Disney films and properties and joins them all together. The music that accompanies it also amazing. This show does symbolise everything about the magical Disney holiday and is a fantastic way to cap the holiday. This show features some of the more recent characters as well such as from Zootopia, and Moana.

Special Shows and Tips

You also want to watch out for special shows at certain times of the year. Many of the parks put on one-off spectaculars for events such as for the 4th July. The shows at Christmas and New Year are also very amazing. These are amongst some of the most popular shows of the year and so you may struggle to find seating for these. All the shows suffer from this to a certain extent so you may want to make sure you find your spot to watch with anything from up to half an hour to go until showtime. You should also be aware that a lot of guests will want to leave the park straight after the show. This means that getting access to the car parks or transportation can be a bit of a nightmare, so you want to plan around it. When planning which shows to go to you should also be aware that some shows run at the same time as each other. If this is the case then the ‘second’ show will normally be lesser attended and therefore easier to find good seats for. No matter which shows you go to you will enjoy it and all of them are presented with suitable polish from the Disney Imagineers. Worth staying up late for and capping your holiday with a flourish before retiring back to your Luxury Orlando Villa.

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