Earlier this summer Disney’s Hollywood Studios upgraded their nightly fireworks show. The Star Wars themed fireworks show was already one of the best displays anywhere, but the new version, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, elevates it to a whole new level. Combining digitally mapped projections of iconic moments from the Star Wars saga of films with fireworks, lasers, towers of flame, and all backed with the famous John Williams score, the new show is unlike anything you have ever seen before at Walt Disney World.
It does have one significant flaw, the optimum viewing area is rather limited. Too far back, the projections will be blocked by trees, too far the side, you’ll miss some of the projections on the back of the Chinese Theatre, too close to the theater and some of the ‘surrounding effects’ will be missed.
There are two ways to look at this. One, it’s a show you’ll have to see multiple times to get the whole experience (which is what I think Disney would want you to do) or Two, it’s worth a little wait to make sure you’re in the optimum viewing zone.
Option 1: For best viewing you’ll want to be in the area marked in green on the map. This is the only area where you have full view of the three projection screens and the fireworks launch area (which is to the right as you face the Chinese Theatre). Too far back or to the sides and your view of the fireworks and one or more of the screens will be obscured.
If you do have multiple nights. I recommend trying to get in the green zone for the first night, it’s worth the wait. After that, somewhere to the sides closer to screen 2 or 3 (the side screens) would provide you with a different experience. You might also try the viewing area near Min and Bill’s boat.
Option 2: pay for the dessert party. It’s now held inside the Star Wars Launch Bay. Spend some time in the air conditioning (or heat if it’s winter) enjoying fun Star Wars themed desserts (including healthy options) and drinks. A few minutes before the show you’ll be escorted out to a roped off area where you can watch the show with no wait. The viewing area is in the back left of the optimum viewing area, so you’ll have a good view of almost everything, but try to be to the right of the roped off area if you can.
The good news is that all the times we’ve been to see the fireworks, the optimum viewing area doesn’t really start to fill up until about 30-45 minutes ahead of the show. If you want to pick your spot, you might want to get there earlier, then send someone off to get drinks and snacks.
I think it’s worth a little bit of a wait to see this fantastic show. If you’ve seen Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, what is your viewing strategy?