Guide to Fireworks at Walt Disney World

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Fireworks in the sky

Credit: Disney

Disney Parks around the world are known for their over-the-top nighttime spectaculars. Filled with fireworks, state-of-the-art projection mapping, moving musical scores, and of course our favorite Disney characters, these nighttime spectaculars are sure to delight any viewer!

Here is your guide to all of the fireworks and nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World — where to find them, the best places to watch, and more!

Related: Advantages of Disney Annual Passes

Walt Disney World
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How many different Disney World firework displays are there?

Walt Disney World Resort is home to four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can find fireworks displays at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have live entertainment, they do not shoot fireworks in that park as a consideration of all the animals that live there.

You can, however, watch the Tree of Life Awakenings show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which happens every night 10 minutes prior to park closing. It showcases projections with music on the Tree of Life, but not fireworks.

Disney changes the fireworks displays regularly, and things have changed even further in the wake of the pandemic. We will break down which shows have returned to Disney World and what new shows are set to debut in the future!

Related: Planning a Trip to Disney World on a Budget

disney world fireworks
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Which fireworks and nighttime spectaculars are currently running in Disney World?

After Walt Disney World Resort reopened following its pandemic closure, Guests had to wait another year before fireworks returned to the parks. Thankfully, both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are showing fireworks once again!

There is no word on when fireworks or Fantasmic! will return to Hollywood Studios yet, however, there will be new shows debuting at Disney World for the Resort’s 50th anniversary. Here are the fireworks shows that are currently running every night at Disney World.

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After
Credit: Disney

We have an entire guide dedicated to Happily Ever After that you can read here. But if you have never seen this iconic nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom, here is how Disney describes the show:

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.

EPCOT Forever

Epcot Forever
Credit: Disney

EPCOT Forever debut at EPCOT briefly before the pandemic forced Walt Disney World to close its theme parks. EPCOT Forever replaced the long-standing IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show. Here is a little about EPCOT Forever from Disney:

Witness the wonder as the story of Epcot and its next incredible chapter come to life in this new nighttime spectacular. Behold the single “spark of imagination” that started it all. Watch it grow, evolve and transform into an epic nighttime extravaganza that stirs the senses and captures all you love about Epcot—and all that’s to come—with dazzling fireworks, stunning laser effects set to tunes that have become theme park favorites.

EPCOT Forever will be replaced on October 1 for the 50th-anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World with a brand new show, HarmonioUS.

Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom will also be reciving a new fireworks show for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. Debuting on October 1, Disney Enchantment will be the first Magic Kingdom fireworks show that will feature projection mapping on the building of Main Street, U.S.A. You can read more about Disney Enchantment here.

50th anniversary
Credit: Screenshot Disney Parks Blog

What time do Disney World fireworks start?

Disney World fireworks can change in times depending on when the park closes, weather, and many other factors. Here is what you need to know about the times for these fireworks shows.

In the summer, as the sun goes down much later in the evening in Central Florida, you will typically see fireworks happen after 9:oo p.m. at Walt Disney World. Check the My Disney Experience app for the most up-to-date show times when you visit! You can also ask a Cast Member once you enter the theme park for current showtimes — they will know if the show is delayed.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Credit: Disney

Where is the best location for watching Disney World fireworks?

For Happily Ever After and EPCOT Forever there are plenty of great viewpoints for fireworks. You can view both of these shows both inside or outside of the parks. Here are some spots I recommend inside the parks to watch the fireworks, and then we will cover the best places outside of the parks!

At Magic Kingdom, nothing is more magical than watching Happily Ever After from Main Street, U.S.A., with a view of the castle. This allows you to hear the music and view the projections on the castle clearly. I think the further back you stand on Main Street, U.S.A., the better!

Happily Ever After Show Poster
Credit: Disney

For EPCOT Forever, I think the most magical way to view the show is by booking a table at one of the restaurants around World Showcase. My favorites are Chefs de France and Rose and Crown.

Everyone has their favorite place to watch the fireworks and I would love to hear about yours in the comments below!

Where is the best place to watch Disney World fireworks outside the park?

There are plenty of places to enjoy viewing the fireworks outside of the theme parks. My recommendation if you want to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks outside the park would be the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Of course, if you are looking to make an extra special night of watching the fireworks, you can always head to the California Grill on top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. 

California Grill
Credit: Disney

For EPCOT I believe you can enjoy a great view of the fireworks from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, as well as Disney’s BoardWalk. But truly, the best way to view EPCOT Forever is from inside the park.

What do you miss out on if you view Disney World fireworks from outside the park?

Watching the fireworks inside versus outside the parks both have pros and cons. If you watch outside of the parks you can get away from the crowd, and often you can still hear the audio for the show.

However, when you watch outside of the parks, especially outside of Magic Kingdom, you do miss the projections and other lighting effects that add that extra layer of depth to the fireworks shows.

Animal Kingdom Holiday Projections
Credit: Reddit

How early do you have to arrive to secure a good place to watch Disney World fireworks?

Getting a good spot for fireworks viewing inside the parks can get a little bit competitive. But do not worry, the fireworks are in the sky and can be seen far and wide. No need to sit infront of Cinderella Castle for two hours piror to Happily Ever After in order to get a good spot. I reccomened getting a spot for fireworks no more than 45-30 minutes prior to a show starting.

Related: Disney Technical Director Shares How Main Street Projections Work!

During a busy time of year such as the holidays you may want to get a spot an hour in advance.

star wars galactic spectacular projection on hollywood studios chinese theater
Credit: Disney

How long do Disney World fireworks last?

The various firework shows at Walt Disney World last approximatly 20 minutes. For example, Happily Ever After lasts 18 minutes.

How do you get VIP seats for Disney World fireworks?

There are plenty of VIP exeriences in which you can secure a premium viewing spot for fireworks along with plenty of treats! You can enjoy either a Dining Package or a Dessert Party, or even hire a private boat to enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks in the middle of the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Dessert Platter at Fireworks Dessert Party
Credit: Disney

What music will you hear during Disney World firework shows?

Disney’s nighttime spectaculars are known for having incredible soundtracks, combining new songs with beloved Disney classics to tell a moving story.

Here is a preformance of Happily Ever After from the Disney Park Youtube — you can hear the beautiful score of this show below:

Let us know what Disney World fireworks show is your favorite in the comments below!

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