Walt Disney World Gearing Up To Address Nighttime Spectaculars After Latest Surprise Announcement

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Magic Kingdom crowds on happily ever after finale night

Credit: Inside the Magic

Walt Disney World’s fireworks shows are some of the most beloved experiences in the theme park world, and the House of Mouse is gearing up to address the spectaculars and more Walt Disney World entertainment offerings at the Central Florida Resort.

A crowd of people on Main Street, U.S.A., watching the flag ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Let’s set the scene: you’re gathering around the statue of Walter Elias Disney and Mickey Mouse, the sun is setting, and the smell of popcorn is everywhere. You just finished a long day at the Park, riding the likes of Space Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight, and now you’re about to experience the majesty of Happily Ever After.

Nighttime spectaculars are a highlight of many a Guest’s Disney Park vacation. At Disney World, fans can presently experience shows like Happily Ever After at Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park, the interim EPCOT Forever show taking place on World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT Park, and Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios amphitheater.

Happily Ever After fireworks and Castle projection display
Credit: Disney

Two years ago, Disney World made the bold decision to retire the beloved Happily Ever After in favor of Disney Enchantment. Enchantment was to be the company’s 50th anniversary celebration fireworks show and debuted in line with The World’s Most Magical Celebration at the Disney Resort.

Upon its debut, Disney Enchantment received mixed reviews, with many Guests acknowledging they did not think it was as good as its predecessor, Happily Ever After. But the House of Mouse remained steadfast in its decision to play Disney Enchantment daily, that was until it was revealed that Happily Ever After would return.

Disney Enchantment fireworks at Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

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At last year’s D23 Expo 2022 in Anaheim, Southern California, at the Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products panel, it was shared that Happily Ever After would return nightly to Magic Kingdom on April 3, 2023.

But is more change incoming? A new announcement from Bob Iger’s Walt Disney Company indicates that the Resort is gearing up for more changes across the Parks. According to LinkedIn, the current Vice President of Entertainment at Disneyland Paris, David Duffy, is heading to the Sunshine State to take on the role of Vice President, Live Entertainment at the Walt Disney World Resort. It seems the Disney Park is gearing up to make some changes to its nighttime spectaculars and other entertainment across the Resort.

Appointment notice of David Duffy at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

“I guess this means it’s time to make it, “LinkedIn official.” After an amazing few years at Disneyland Paris, I am humbled and excited to return to where not only my Disney career but my love of themed entertainment began,” Duffy wrote on LinkedIn. “I’m still at a bit of a loss for words to express how impactful my time working with the incredible team at Disneyland Paris has been. I have also fallen in love with the city of Paris, the country of France, and the lifestyle it affords.”

Why this appointment is interesting and signals a big change for Disney World, specifically, is that Duffy oversaw the 30th anniversary celebrations at Disneyland Paris, which included the brand-new drone show, Disney D-light, that acted as the pre-show to Disneyland Park’s popular Disney Illuminations at Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Iron Man, Captain America, and Captain Marvel on the Tower of Terror
Credit: Disney

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Over at Walt Disney Studios Park, entertainment included the limited edition Avengers: Power the Night, which saw drones once again take over the night sky and create stunning visuals at the Tower of Terror attraction. Both Disneyland Paris shows have garnered positive responses from Guests who are looking to see something similar at the domestic Parks.

And Duffy’s appointment will likely create some interesting updates for Walt Disney World.

Guests watch the EPCOT Forever fireworks display at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

At present, EPCOT Forever is currently playing at EPCOT following the closure of Harmonious. Harmonious replaced IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth but was eventually shut down, with the returning EPCOT Forever taking its place.

What do you hope to see in terms of Walt Disney World entertainment? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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