Wishes, the firework show at the Magic Kingdom, debuted on October 9, 2003, and fans have loved it ever since. The show replaced the long-running Fantasy in the Sky, and has several seasonal updates, such as HalloWishes and Holiday Wishes. Read on below for more facts and secrets about Wishes!
8. Try a New View
Main Street and the Hub area in front of the castle are the most popular viewing locations for Wishes. But they are by no means the only places to see the fireworks. Try watching from Fantasyland, where you are enveloped by fireworks. If you get your timing right, you could watch Wishes from attractions like Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Dumbo, or Tomorrowland People Mover. The timing can be hit or miss, so I don’t recommend trying that if you can only see Wishes once during your trip!
7. Tinkerbell’s Flight
However, if you want to get a good view of Tinkerbell flying over the park, you will need to be standing in the Hub area, or on the bridge into Tomorrowland. The feisty fairy flies from Cinderella Castle to the roof of the Plaza restaurant.
6. Dessert Party
Create a special memory with a the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party. Guests nosh on a dessert buffet and a non-crowded viewing location for the show! Reservations are required, but can often be made day-of. The party starts an hour before the show, so make sure to confirm your check-in time a week prior so you don’t miss out!
5. Resort Views
You don’t need to be in the park to see Wishes! Watch the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian Resort, bonus points to you if you score a beach chair to watch from! You can also see the fireworks from the ferry launch at Transportation and Ticket Center, where you’ll be in an excellent position to get to your car before the mass exodus out of the park! If you dine in California Grill, atop Contemporary Resort, you can watch the show from your table, or from the balcony outside the restaurant. At these three locations, the music will be piped in. For those staying at the Contemporary, or in the DVC rooms at Bay Lake Tower, you might get a view of the fireworks from your own hotel room. At the very least, head to a stairwell or elevator area to see them!
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4. Water Views
Guests looking for a truly unique view of Wishes can book a Ferrytale Wishes cruise on the Seven Seas Lagoon. It’s the perfect choice for celebrating a wedding, anniversary, graduation, or birthday! Ferrytale Wishes is a dessert cruise, with sweet snacks, and drinks (including alcoholic ones) provided. The cruise also includes a souvenir pallette plate and a glowing drink glass. Reservations are required and can be made 180 days in advance. The current price as of this writing is $99 for adults, and $69 for children aged 3-9.
3. Hundreds of Bursts
Fireworks are shot from either side of Cinderella Castle, and from outside the park, behind Be Our Guest. During the show, 557 cues fire off 683 firework bursts from 11 launch pads.
The masterminds behind Wishes have also created some pretty amazing shows elsewhere for Disney. Steven Davison, the show’s creator and director, is a Creative Director at Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, and also developed Believe… There’s Magic in the Stars over at Disneyland. Eric Tucker, the firework designer for Wishes, also designed Illuminations: Reflections of Earth for Epcot. Gregory Smith, the composer/arranger for Wishes, blended the children’s nursery rhyme “Starlight Star Bright” with twelve songs from Disney animations.
1. Watch With Afterwards in Mind
Right after Wishes ends, hundreds of guest will all leave the park. At once. If you’re planning to be one of them, think about watching the fireworks from the railroad end of Main Street, or outside the park altogether, to beat and/or avoid the maddening crowd. Have an exit strategy in mind, and make sure everyone in your party knows the plan. It may seem like overkill, but trust me, you will need a plan to get through the post-fireworks crowd! Alternatively, if you plan on staying in the park after Wishes, consider standing near where you want to go. Don’t stand outside the Emporium if you want to ride Mine Train afterward: you will end up swimming upstream of the crowd leaving the park, only to reach a long line at Mine Train. Take your post-Wishes plan into account when choosing a viewing location to save your sanity!