At Walt Disney World, each of the four theme parks has a nighttime show that is amazing and luckily, these shows are available every night! Yes, you can see fireworks at Walt Disney World EVERY night! There are a few exceptions – such as during the holiday season or if a park would close early due to a special event. On the nights that holiday parties occur at the Magic Kingdom, the fireworks show changes depending on the season.
Let’s explore the options at each park.
At Magic Kingdom Park, you will find the show Happily Ever After on a nightly basis. I have to say that this is my favorite of the nighttime shows. This show features projections and music from some of your favorite Disney movies, with some special pixie dust at the end! I am often asked where the best place is to view the fireworks here. Since the projections are such a great part of the show, I personally think that the closer you can get, the better!
During the holiday season, the fireworks show changes depending on the night of the week. During Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you will find HalloWishes. During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you will find Holiday Wishes. Unlike Happily Ever After, the projections on Cinderella Castle are not a central part of the show. Therefore, it’s not necessary to be quite as close and there are many great places to see this wonderful show!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will find a Star Wars fireworks show called Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This show also features music and projections with scenes from the popular Star Wars series. It is shown daily throughout the year, until the holiday season, when it is replaced with Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Just prior to the fireworks show, there is a show called Disney Movie Magic featuring all of your favorite live-action and animated favorites. However, as part of the park’s 30th Anniversary celebration, there is a new nighttime show coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This show, called “Wonderful World of Animation” is scheduled to debut on May 1 and will feature projections and much-loved Disney animated favorites including everyone’s favorite mouse!
Also, at Hollywood Studios, you will find Fantasmic! This show combines water, pyrotechnics, special effects, music and some of your favorite Disney characters to tell the story of good defeating evil. This show is seen in the amphitheater in Hollywood Studios and is not always shown nightly. It is best to check the entertainment schedule for showtimes.
Currently, you can see Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth at Epcot, but that will be changing soon. This show will be coming to an end in summer 2019 and will be replaced with an all-new nighttime show, as part of the upcoming transformation of Epcot. If you are planning a visit to Walt Disney World this summer, that’s your chance to see this show one last time! This show is loved by so many and features a message of unity, celebrating the world’s differences and coming together as one. There are many great spots to view this show too, throughout the World Showcase.
Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth at Epcot
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
While there is not a fireworks show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are nighttime shows that are certainly worth seeing. The Tree of Life Awakenings occur every 10 minutes once it is dark and bring the icon in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to life with lights and special effects. Coming in May 2019, watch for a new addition with music and themes inspired by The Lion King.
The Rivers of Light Show is about celebrating life throughout time and occurs twice per night in the amphitheater, in the Asia section of the park. It is a unique show combining water, music and special effects.
Where Are the Best Places to View the Fireworks?
At both Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the projections are a central part of the shows. Take a look at the maps below.
If you are seeing Happily Ever After, I recommend sitting in or near the Hub area. Sitting behind the Partners Statue will still allow you to see the full show but also have a clear view of the various projections. If you are viewing one of the fireworks shows during the holiday season, you do not necessarily need to be close to get the full effect of the show. I like sitting at the train station at the front of the park or along Main Street U.S.A., both of which give great views in my opinion.
For Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, I suggest being close to the Chinese Theater. This show also features projections and pyrotechnics so you will want to try to get a spot that is closer to have the best view. The best seating for Fantasmic! is available when using the dining package with the VIP seating for this show. The other options are to use a FastPass or to line up very early to ensure that seating is available. People will often arrive quite early to wait in the standby line.
At Epcot, there are great spots throughout World Showcase but I prefer two places in particular when watching this show. I like to sit between Mexico and Norway or in Italy.
The Animal Kingdom has dining packages available that are a great way to ensure good seating for Rivers of Light. You are also able to use a FastPass. If you opt for the standby line, you will need to get in line quite early and in this case, seating is not guaranteed. To see the Tree of Life Awakenings, I recommend standing near the bridge to Discovery Island right in front of the Tree of Life.
Another option worth noting if having a good view of the shows is important to you are the dessert parties available at each park. There are many different options available and each dessert party includes priority seating to the nighttime show in that park.
The show times at all parks are subject to change. During peak times and when the parks are open later, you will find that the shows are later. Weather conditions may also affect show times but it will be announced if there is a delay.
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