A sneak peek at Magic Kingdom’s new fireworks show Happily Ever After

Although many will be sad to see “Wishes” fireworks end at the Magic Kingdom, the park’s night time entertainment has lagged behind that of its sister parks for more than half a decade. For that reason, we’re very much looking forward to “Happily Ever After.” The new show will include digital mapping projection on Cinderella Castle, powerful new lights, a ton of fireworks, and more.

How do we know this, Disney held a late night testing for the new show early this week. A reader of the blog was staying nearby and sent us a few short clips of the fireworks at the castle and behind the park.

We start with the finale, because why not have your dessert first:

I see some fireworks designs in there that are new to the Magic Kingdom. Can’t wait to get an up close look.

According to Todd Ribick, who provided us the clips, the fireworks test was conducted around 1:25 AM. Todd says, “Many of us are devastated to see Wishes come to an end as the new soundtrack will fail to compare to the narration of Jiminy Cricket and the respect given to many of the films that started it all. Sadly, Happily Ever After will not pay this respect to the classics, but it certainly has no lack of fire power based on what we witnessed last night.”

One of my worries for the new show was that it would be light on fireworks, but if these clips are any indication, there’s nothing to worry about. I am also impressed with the lights Disney has added for the show. Although you can’t see them very clearly here, they make an impressive pattern across the sky at various points during the show. Similar to what Disneyland had for its 60th anniversary show.

Now I just want a closer look at the digital projections and to hear the soundtrack for the first time. That chance will come on May 12, when “Happily Ever After” debuts at the Magic Kingdom.

BTW, Disney is expecting big crowds all week as fans come to say goodbye to “Wishes.” So be prepared for delays getting into the MK and big crowds once inside. Maybe consider a non-traditional location for your final visit, such as across the pond at the Polynesian.

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6 thoughts on “A sneak peek at Magic Kingdom’s new fireworks show Happily Ever After

  1. Barbara

    While this testing seems to be lighter on fireworks..that remains to be seen. I have seen the digital projections on the castle…not a big fan of that honestly. But to remove things like Jiminy Cricket…or other classic Disney songs? Sorry…you aren’t going to convince me that this is better. Have been there at holiday time every year for the last almost 20 years…we will see how it goes this time and I will try to keep an open mind..but then I am a very long-time Disney fan at 68…..and I like the classics. Newer is not always better.

    Reply
  2. Ian Bula

    I am one who has also loved Wishes but thinks it’s time for it to go. And I feel like people are jumping to conclusions about the music and how it’s homage to the classics “isn’t there”. We still haven’t even heard the whole thing. And I have to add, I saw previews of the show and there is homage to the classics indeed but also homage to many other movies that I really just felt very happy and excited for!

    Reply
  3. Brian

    I’ll be there on Friday and I can’t wait. From the teaser clips Disney has been releasing, the most comprehensive in the last couple of days, Happily Ever After looks like a visual feast.

    It’s all very well liking the Jiminy narration in Wishes, but in too many parts it’s hard to hear it properly, if at all, if you’re stuck in amongst some noisy people. Unfortunately, the Wishes visual spectacle is dated and the technology to do something much more interesting looks like it’s going to be a game changer; and about time!
    It’s not particularly relevant, but I’m 60, and I like the way Disney doesn’t stand still. We’d have had no Toy Story (and a growing number of other great animated movies) if the traditionalists had had their way, so I say “move on” and try new things, just as I’d like to think Walt would have done. When I feel nostalgic about Disney, it’s that spirit that first comes to my mind and maybe next the wonderful entertainment they’ve created, much of which has been produced after Wishes first debuted.
    I can’t wait for Friday and lots of other innovations to come!

    Reply
  4. Peter Masson

    I was staying at Bay Lake last week. I was excited to see the signs they were testing fireworks. I had no idea what to expect. Likely our room was facing the MK. We watched at 11:45 , they only tested lights for the first hour and a half. We went to bed. Then we heard the loud boom of fireworks around 1:30 am. My sister in law and I watched the new fireworks display as everyone was sleeping. I decided not to video and just be in the moment and watch sleepily.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: "Happily Ever After" Fireworks debut to be live streamed for remote fans | The Disney Blog

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