A Walt Disney World vacation just isn’t the same without the fireworks. Unfortunately for many Guests, the Disney World Resort has been without its showstopping nighttime productions since they became suspended due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
While shows like Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT Forever are spectacular in their own way, it is Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom that truly captures the heart, the magic, and the everlasting sparkle of a Walt Disney World experience. And for many that experience just got even more inclusive.
Happily Ever After took over from the popular Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams in 2017, replacing the fan-favorite firework show at Cinderella Castle. Having been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Happily Ever After finally returned to the Magic Kingdom last night (June 29) for a special Cast Member preview — the show will fully return to the Disney Park for all Guests on July 1 and is sure to draw crowds of eager Guests to the Florida theme park.
The special event last night saw the much-anticipated return of the fireworks spectacular to Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, lighting up the Orlando sky in an emotional moment for the magic makers of the Disney Parks. There was even a special appearance from actor and singer Jordan Fisher — the vocalist of Happily Ever After himself!
Amidst all this excitement, Walt Disney World quietly debuted a new introduction to Happily Ever After and the change shows Disney’s commitment to becoming even more inclusive for its Guests. The change comes in the form of the pre-show announcement right before the famous Happily Ever After instrumental begins.
Capturing the change, Showcase of Wishes (@ShowcaseWishes), posted the alteration online.
Disney removes ”Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls” from Happily Ever After pre show announcement. Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls FOREVER!
Disney removes ”Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls” from Happily Ever After pre show announcement.
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls FOREVER! pic.twitter.com/joWLcYBgMf
— Showcase of Wishes (@ShowcaseWishes) June 30, 2021
The last time Happily Ever After took over Magic Kingdom the pre-show announcement said the following:
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dreamers of all ages, in just a few minutes the Magic Kingdom invites you to enjoy our nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After.”
Now, Happily Ever After — launching for the first time in 2021 at the Disney theme park — is introduced as:
“Good evening, dreamers of all ages, in just a few minutes the Magic Kingdom invites you to enjoy our nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After.”
The removal of gendered language signals a continued effort from The Walt Disney Company to provide a more inclusive experience for all Guests. Recently it was reported that Tokyo Disneyland had changed its Guest welcome to “Hello everyone”, as opposed to its traditional “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” greeting.
As well as this, Disney has announced a gender-inclusive dress code for all Cast Members and gender-neutral housing for its College Program Cast Members. These recent changes are sure to make the Disney Parks a more inclusive atmosphere and overall better experience for Guests — proving that a magical Disney vacation is not just for some, but for all.
Happily Ever After will be replaced during the 50th anniversary celebration with a new nighttime spectacular called Disney Enchantment beginning October 1.
If you’re unfamiliar with Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show, Disney describes Happily Ever After as:
Go on a dazzling journey of color, light and song that captures the heart, humor and heroism of favorite Disney animated films. Watch in awe as Cinderella Castle becomes part of the story by magically transforming through amazing state-of-the art projection technology you have to see to believe.
This astounding fireworks extravaganza uses lights, lasers and special effects, plus a soaring score featuring contemporary versions of beloved Disney songs.
Discover the magic of movies—and be inspired to find your own happily ever after.
What do you think of the changes to Happily Ever After? Let us know in the comments!