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Universal Is Coming for Disney’s Fireworks

CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular Universal Orlando
Credit: Universal

For decades, Walt Disney World Resort was considered the ultimate Florida vacation destination, and to many, it still is. However, that does not mean that it is the only theme park to vacation at in the Sunshine State. In fact, Disney has some serious competition from the Universal Orlando Resort, which is only about 20 minutes away from Disney World. Not to mention, SeaWorld Orlando, Peppa Pig Theme Park Florida, and LEGOLAND Florida are also close by.

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971 and had almost no competition for nearly 20 years until Universal Studios Florida opened. Even then, Universal wasn’t really considered a threat to Disney. After all, Disney had three theme parks and one water park, whereas Universal only had one theme park. Disney was the theme park king, but Universal was determined to come for the crown.

One of the things that Disney is known for is its amazing fireworks shows such as, Wishes, Illuminations, and Happily Ever After. Universal has realized that it can become even more competitive if it creates its own state-of-the-art fireworks show. And that is exactly what the company has done.

Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Makes Major Change to Fireworks Shows!

On April 29, Universal announced two brand-new fireworks shows — Hogwarts Always and CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular. Hogwarts Always will be similar to the shows projected onto the castle in the past, but CineSational will be something truly unique. The show will not focus on fireworks, drones, or projection mapping. Instead, it will feature ALL THREE!

Disney’s Happily Ever After fireworks show does feature some projections, but nothing like Universal is planned. Drones are also not used in any Disney World shows, although they are used in shows at foreign parks like Disneyland Paris.

CineSational A Symphonic Spectacular

Credit: Universal

Related: Is Disney Fighting Back? Universal’s New Theme Park Trends Upwards

CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular will beautifully weave together stories from so many incredible franchises, including Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, The Mummy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jaws, Shrek, Back to the Future, and so many more. It is certain to be one heck of a nighttime spectacular.

CineSational’s cinematic celebration could make Disney realize that it needs to kick things into high gear and create more immersive fireworks experiences for theme park guests.

A majestic castle illuminated at night with multiple fireworks bursting in the sky above, casting colorful lights on the castle's detailed gothic architecture.

Credit: Universal

Universal is Building an Empire

In the more than thirty years since Universal Studios Florida debuted, the company has since built another theme park — Universal Islands of Adventure, which opened in 199 — and one water park — Volcano Bay, which opened in 2017. But the company isn’t done; they aren’t even close.

Universal is currently building its third theme park, Epic Universe, which will open in 2025. The new theme park will have lands dedicated to the How to Train Your Dragon and Harry Potter franchises, a SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, Celestial Park, and more. There will be one-of-a-kind rides and attractions, a new hotel, and more food than you can shake a stick at.

epic universe

Credit: Universal Experiences

Disney Dining will keep readers updated as we learn more about Epic Universe and inch closer to an opening date.

Do you think Disney World should step up its fireworks shows? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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