After spending a day in the parks at Walt Disney World, there’s no better way to conclude your evening than by enjoying the Disney fireworks. The magical displays will always leave you awe-inspired, as they’re definitely a highlight for any trip. It’s hard to share the experience with someone who hasn’t seen Disney fireworks because you really have to experience them in person to fully understand how magnificent they are. Since they are on most Disney fans must-do list, we have put together our own list of the 7 things Disney Insiders love about Walt Disney World Fireworks.
It really is difficult to share the magnitude of the fireworks with someone who hasn’t experienced them. For a visual reference, Cinderella Castle is just shy of 190 feet tall, which is pretty substantial until you realize that the fireworks can dwarf the castle and easily reach up to three times that height. Wishes Nighttime Spectacular even starts with the iconic “wishing star” which arcs over 100 higher than the castle’s tallest spires. During the course of Wishes, 683 individual pyrotechnics are used to produce the incredible show, which would sound like a lot if it weren’t for the over 750 individual shells used to produce Epcot’s IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
Each fireworks display has been meticulously designed and crafted to work seamlessly with a musical score underneath. Wishes Nighttime Spectacular draws musical themes from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Hercules, among other Disney-commissioned musical scores. They all combine to create an epic score underneath the brilliant fireworks and are the driving force behind the story. IllumiNations has a musical score composed by Gavin Greenaway and features a 71-piece orchestra alongside a 30-voice chorus. The score provides an intense and energetic backdrop to the three-act story of the creation and evolution of Earth.
Each of the fireworks displays at Walt Disney World has a brilliant brightness to it, but the wide variety in color is one of the things that sets Disney fireworks apart from the rest. Bright reds, blues, greens, purples, oranges and whites are just some of the colors to fill the night sky. Each color is carefully chosen to convey a certain emotion depending on the story. The pyrotechnics in Fantasmic will help portray Mickey’s emotion in his dream, with villains using combinations of red and green pyrotechnics and heroes using white and blue. Regardless of where the colors show up, they’re always vibrant and exciting.
With fireworks running every night (as well as during the day), the traditional black powder launch would add up to a lot of extra pollution in the air. Disney Imagineers developed a new technology, which uses compressed air to launch the fireworks into the air without leaving a trail of ignited black powder. Not only does it cut down on the pollution but allows for more accurate control over what height the firework will reach before going off. The technology has revolutionized the way fireworks displays are designed and allows for more pinpoint accuracy.
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3. Multiple Shows
With the recent addition of the Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the number of shows you can see featuring fireworks continues to grow. Hollywood Studios hosts two shows (with Fantasmic being the second) while Epcot’s Illuminations makes for another incredible choice. The Magic Kingdom has shows featuring fireworks all throughout the day, though none are quite as spectacular as Wishes at the end of the night. The only park without fireworks is Animal Kingdom (out of respect for the animals), where a new nightly show will be debuted using laser and light technology instead. Regardless of where you decide to enjoy the fireworks, you’re sure to be entertained and the fact that almost every show runs nightly, there’s always somewhere to get your fireworks fill.
2. Special Events
While the fireworks displays run throughout the year, there are some variations depending on the season and whether there are any holidays to celebrate at Walt Disney World. In Epcot, IllumiNations has a special edition during the winter holidays, where an extra segment is added on to the end, sharing the cheer and goodwill of the season. Other special editions of IllumiNations include the 4th of July spectacular and the New Year’s Eve Countdown edition to ring in the New Year with a bang of the fireworks launched 360 degrees around the World Showcase.
Over at the Magic Kingdom, during Halloween at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, there is a special HalloWishes: A Grim Grinning Ghost Spooktacular in the Sky featuring classic Disney Villain music. Holiday Wishes runs during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as well as during the regular park days leading up to Christmas. Finally, to ring in the New Year, the Fantasy In The Sky: New Years Eve Countdown is the perfect way to celebrate and in recent years, Disney has begun to live-stream this event for guests all over the world to join in the celebration.
1. Disney Magic
It could be the magnitude of the fireworks, the music, the color or the frequency of shows, but the fireworks at Walt Disney World have that extra magic each time you see them. Nowhere else in the world can you experience such incredible fireworks than in a Disney park. It’s the extra magic that makes it hard to describe to someone who hasn’t experienced them in person, where each guest can share in the awe and wonder of the incredible display overhead. It can sometimes be quite emotional to experience something this amazing and after spending a day in the most magical place on Earth. It feels like the perfect send-off from the park, while filling you with excitement to return and experience them all over again.
What are your favorite Disney fireworks memories? What do you love most about them? Let us know in the comments!