Just about everyone loves a good Fireworks show, and few have ever been better than the Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks and projection show. Sadly, the show faded away on Sept. 29, 2021, to make way for Disney Enchantment, which was intended to dazzle audiences with new technology. Still, even with projections sweeping down Main Street, Disney Enchantment failed to resonate with fans in the way Happily Ever After did, so only one year later, at D23 Expo (Disney’s biennial celebration), Disney announced Happily Ever After would return to the Magic Kingdom at the end of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
“April 3rd is the date that we will debut Happily Ever After for our guests,” Magic Kingdom Vice President Melissa Valiquette told the crowd at a media and cast member preview. “For the first time ever, an enhanced [version] of this beloved show extends beyond the beautiful Cinderella Castle…with beautiful projections all the way down Main Street, U.S.A….to Town Square.”
So, lovers of Disney magic, prepare to have your heartstrings tugged once more as Happily Ever After returns to Walt Disney World.
About Happily Ever After
The nighttime spectacular “captures the heart, humor, and heroism of favorite Disney stories” as state-of-the-art projection technology transforms the facade of Cinderella Castle, accompanied by fireworks, lights, lasers, special effects, and contemporary versions of favorite Disney songs.
After the show’s opening – and catchy Happily Ever After theme song performed by Angie Keilhauer and Jordan Fisher – six segments highlight common threads found throughout Disney storytelling: Dreams, Journey, Friendship, Love, Adversity, and Triumph
Happily Ever After Fun Facts
We met with Happily Ever After show director James Silson at a media preview on March 14, 2023, and learned some fun facts. We could tell how proud he was to have this beloved show return, but he noted the fans want it to be back even more than he does.
- Happily Ever After debuted at Magic Kingdom on May 12, 2017, replacing the previous fireworks show Wishes.
- The show features fireworks, projection mapping on Cinderella Castle, lasers, and music from various Disney films.
- It was created by a team of more than 75 Disney Imagineers, animators, and technicians.
- The show’s soundtrack features renditions of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from “Toy Story,” “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King,” and “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana,” among other songs.
- The projection mapping on Cinderella Castle is done using 17 high-powered projectors, with a total output of 50,000 lumens.
- The show features more than 25 different Disney characters, including Elsa from “Frozen,” Aladdin and Jasmine from “Aladdin,” and Woody and Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story.”
- It takes more than 100 technicians to operate the show, including pyrotechnicians, lighting designers, and audio engineers.
- The show’s finale features a spectacular fireworks display, with more than 700 pyrotechnic effects launched from 21 different locations around Magic Kingdom.
- The show’s message is one of hope, courage, and perseverance, and it encourages guests to pursue their dreams and never give up on their happily ever after.
Where to Watch Happily Ever After
Happily Ever After will be performed nightly at Magic Kingdom, with showtimes varying depending on the time of year.
Best Spot to Watch Happily Ever After: In front of the Castle. There are faux grass lawns surrounding the Magic Kingdom’s hub area. These lawns are a primary viewing area for the show. Keep an eye on the placement of lamp posts and try to find yourself a spot where a lamp post doesn’t block your castle projection view
2nd Best Spot: Main Street. Happily Ever After has been enhanced with projections down Main Street. While you are further from the fireworks, you’ll be very close to projections on both sides with fireworks directly ahead. It’s a pretty good view!
Alternate Viewing Ideas: Fireworks can be seen from many areas of the park. However, the music may not be played and you won’t see the projections. But if you just want to see some big fireworks shells and don’t want to deal with crowds, you might find some good viewing from parts of Frontierland, sections of the Fantasyland expansion, as well as some parts of Tomorrowland. If your view isn’t obstructed by buildings, you can see fireworks from many areas of the park.
Extra Cost Dessert Parties with guaranteed viewing areas:
(Note that for all options below, gratuity is not included. Fireworks may be canceled at any time for any reason without refund. Theme park admission is required but not included in the prices below)
There are two options for viewing in the Plaza Gardens area (the lawns surrounding the Walt and Mickey Partner’s Statue). Both are priced the same and with similar offers of desserts, fruit, and cheese. However, one party is prior to fireworks and one is after. Both of these options are standing-room-only for fireworks viewing.
- Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties: Pre-Party — $99 for adults, $59 for children
- Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties: Post-Party — $99 for adults, $59 for children
For a little more money, you can watch fireworks from a seat at the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant. While you are off to the side of the castle, the location is pretty good for seeing the fireworks but not as great for viewing the projections. But for many guests, just having a seat makes all the difference.
- Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties: Seats & Sweets — $114 for adults, $69 for children
Happily Ever After Fireworks Video
Spoiler alert, full video ahead. If you want to see the full show, click play.
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Let’s Hear From You!
Are you one of the happy fans rejoicing over the return of Happily Ever After? Do you like that the show has been enhanced to include Main Street projections or do you think it was already practically perfect in every way? Let us know in the comments below!
(We believe the prices and information above are correct as of the time this article was published. However, Disney is constantly adjusting prices and offerings. So it’s always best to double check the Walt Disney World website or mobile app for current availability and pricing.)
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