Disney Fireworks Could Be a Thing of the Past

Disney Fireworks Could Be a Thing of the Past
Credit: Disney

The sun has set over Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. You’ve sat or stood uncomfortably for hours amongst a sea of sunburned guests when the lights around the Cinderella Castle hub finally dim. The cherry ontop of a magical day, Disney fireworks, are about to being.

Fireworks and parades returning to Disneyland

Credit: Disney

Now that we’ve set the scene, imagine, if you will, a new one. Everything else still applies, but along with the new “Happily Ever After” projections on Cinderella Castle and up and down Main Street, U.S.A., accompanied by brand new beam lights instead of fireworks, a new technology fills the sky with shapes of popular scenes and characters.

Although Disney Parks, especially those at Walt Disney World, are world reknown for their nighttime spectaculars, filling the skies with bright bursts of explosives, it could be time to say goodbye to Disney fireworks, in favor of new technology.

 Nighttime Spectaculars Keep Us Coming Back to Magic Kingdom

Although there are smaller fireworks displays at EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the Magic Kingdom fireworks have been a staple at one of the most popular parks at Disney World for a very long time.

Since their beginning at Magic Kingdom in 1971, in a show entitled “Fantasy in the Sky,” fireworks have been a nighttime backdrop of the park for decades.

walt disney world resort florida fourth of july fireworks show cinderella castle magic kingdom america

Credit: Disney

Since those days, fireworks in the form of a nighttime spectacular, have become synonomous with each Disney Park. Not only that, they’ve also become a must-see for many visiting Walt Disney World.

If you’ve ever tried to hit up an eatery or shop on Main Street at Magic Kingdom around firework showing time, you understand the importance of fireworks to some, as thousands of guests waddle into a massive, often smelly, crowd of onlookers, standing shoulder to shoulder, just to see the sky above Magic Kingdom light up.

Often, shows like Happily Ever After or the Pixar Nighttime Spectacular at Disneyland, close out a more than memorable day, capping off our magical vacation with nostalgia induced tears. For this reason, we keep coming back for more!

Despite Their Allure to Some, Fireworks Don’t Impress Everyone at Disney

Although gandering at beautifully crafted explosives above popular Disney landmarks has been a cemented tradition for many for a very long time, for others, fireworks are nothing more than a chance to take advantage of shorter lines, or beat the rush back to their resort.

Disney Fireworks, often accompanied by music, are incredibly loud. Many guests opt out of viewing these nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World due to large crowds, high-stress environments, and loud noises.

new years at walt disney world resort florida fourth of july fireworks show cinderella castle

Credit: Disney

Other guests understand that leading up to fireworks, although navigating parks like Magic Kingdom can be tricky, wait times for rides typically drop, making the attractions at Magic Kingdom Park more accessible.

This is the case all over the world as well. Guests to Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and other international parks will often forgo the nighttime shows, opting for ease instead of trying to enjoy popular projected scenes of their favorite Disney Princess and other characters.

While Disney fireworks put an exclamation point on visits for many, there are plenty of people who don’t feel as if they are worth the trouble. In recent events and mishaps, some even feel, with advancements in technology, that fireworks are becoming outdated.

Will Disney Get Ride of Fireworks for Good?

Will Disney ever stop using fireworks in their nighttime spectaculars that include firework shows?

The answer to this question has a long answer and down the roadshort one. The short one being, not anytime soon.

guest wearing ears looking at fireworks

Credit: Disney

As for the long answer, yes, there’s a possibility that down-the-road, as technology (some that we’re already seeing in other parks like Disneyland Paris), advances, there’s a strong chance that Disney will one day decide to do away with the noisy, messy, and sometimes dangerous fireworks for a safer, more sustainable source of entertainment.

This seems silly to consider, as fireworks hold huge crowds at places like Magic Kingdom. Still, when we consider that Forbes has reported that Disney spends around $40,000 to $50,000 a night just on Happily Ever After, it’s safe to think that the big brains behind the scenes are constantly looking for more cost-effective measures to bring entertainment to their parks. 

Currently, Disney runs several different nighttime spectaculars on a daily basis, each including Disney fireworks. Luminous The Symphony of Us blasts high above EPCOT’s World Showcase Lagoon each night. Disneyland Resort has Mickey’s Mix Magic, Disneyland Paris has Disney Dreams!, Hong Kong Disneyland has “Momentous” Nighttime Spectacular, Shanghai Disneyland has ILLUMINATE! A Nighttime Celebration, and Tokyo Disneyland has Sky Full of Colors.

EPCOT Forever

Credit: Disney Parks

Do a little bit of math, and Disney is spending at least a quarter million a day globally on their fireworks displays. So, the question of whether or not Disney would ever consider actually moving away from their fireworks becomes a more reasonable consideration.

As well, during showing of shows like Happily Ever After, it’s also reasonable to think that sales of Individual Lightning Lanes probably drop, as many choose to sit out rides for a look a Tinker Bell from Peter Pan (1953), as opposed to riding rides. Lightning Lanes are also not as heavily needed during nighttime spectaculars, as often, wait times drop drastically.

Fireworks have also unfortunately created a few incidents within the parks, setting fires and injuring guests, so it isn’t far fetched to assume that Disney could look to a safer alternative, one already in use, to replace the expensive and sometimes dangerous show feature.

Make Way for Drones

Drones! The trendy, programmable, high-flying robots have already made their way into Disney Parks. Disneyland Paris, uses drones in its Disney Electrical Sky Parade show, has been the pilot test for drone usage in Disney Parks, and fans highly approve.

drones at disney

Credit: Jen Retzlaff

Drones have been used outside of Disney in the fashion for a while now. We’ve probably all seen footage online of drones twisting and expanding within the night skies above cities to celebrate special occassions like Chinese New Year, Indepence Day, or New Year’s Eve.

These high-tech beauties may have also already made their way to Walt Disney World. ITM reported, not long ago, that drones were seen testing in Orlando, high above Disney Springs.

Famously, parks like Animal Kingdom do not currently utilize fireworks. Hollywood Studios, which is home to Fantasmic!, opts out of massive fireworks shows, instead employing a smaller scale experience along with projections on the Chinese Theatre. So, could drones be the answer at these two parks in the US? Time will tell.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!

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