by Lisa Green
to Disney World have wonderful opportunities to experience amazing,
truly magical nighttime shows in three of the four parks.
(RUMOR: Animal Kingdom may be getting a nighttime show of its own in
the next couple of years.) Most people, after seeing them all, tend to
have a favorite and may argue strenuously over which is the best – but
everyone will agree on one thing: These shows are spectacular and for
Disney fans, remarkably touching – the embodiment of all that we love
about Disney World.
If you’re headed to Disney World for the first time, please make sure to see at least one (if not all) of these major events included with the price of your park admission. TIP:
If your child is frightened by loud noises it would be worth the effort
to try to work through that prior to attending a show with fireworks at
Disney World. Disney goes all out – spares nothing for the sake of
amazing and thrilling visitors. Unfortunately, this means some very
loud BOOMs sprinkled throughout the displays.
Epcot’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth - While
this one is my least favorite (don’t judge – it can be your favorite
and I won’t think less of you), it is unique (sorry, I don’t have a
picture of the action). Disney’s description is “Behold the past,
present and future of Earth at this stunning fireworks show that
celebrates the spirit of humanity.” That’s pretty deep for the young
‘uns among us – so, here’s my take: The show is actually
in the middle of the World Showcase Lagoon, so position yourself
strategically well ahead of show-time. Guard your spot zealously or a
family with small children will infiltrate your camp by
squeezing their smallest members between you and the fence – the parents
will eventually follow and block your view completely – beware!
Officially, the show is divided into three parts. Part 1: The Earth is
Born. Part 2: The Triumph of Life. Part 3: Hope for the Future. –
all played out on and around a 350,000 lb. Earth Globe – the “world’s
first spherical video display system”. You kinda do need to see it at
least once to understand how this all works – it’s worth the effort and
while small children my not understand the deeper meaning, they’ll enjoy
the special effects. The show is narrated by Jim Cummings (voice of
Pooh, Tigger, and more).
Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – This show uses a multitude of special effects in the most creative, unbelievable way and incorporates live and projected (on water)
characters to enchant and thrill spectators. Oh, you’ll hear whining
here and there from people who don’t like the fact that this show is so
popular, you’ve got to arrive for a seat at least 90 minutes before
show-time. Those whiners are also complaining that the show is tired,
the same-old-thing and needs a re-fresh. I say Oh, puh-leeeze. If you
think this Studios sensation has lost any of its shine, just take
someone with you who’s never seen it before.
Magic Kingdom’s Wishes:
My personal favorite! The voice of Jiminy Cricket over the park’s
speakers kick this show off (cue goose bumps). Then, weather
permitting, Tinker Bell will actually fly down from atop Cinderella
Castle before the most amazingly beautiful fireworks show begins. Get a
spot down Main Street toward the front of the park (not too close
to the Castle) and prepare to be amazed, astounded, and awed – you will
say “ahhhhh”! Sentimental sorts, prepare to be teary-eyed – this show
gets me every time. Watch carefully as the pyrotechnics will be unlike
any you have ever seen (sappy me – getting choked up while I’m typing
this – I’m not even there!). You go see Wishes and tell me you are
not profoundly touched…the only thing that will ruin it for you is the
guy blocking your view by filming the show on his
Smartphone/mini-cam/iPad (devices vary) – which he holds up, right in
the way, the entire time. Move away from that guy. Give him the
stink-eye as you go.
TIP: If your little one just can’t stand loud
noises – the fireworks are still enjoyable from afar. Some restaurants
at resorts on Bay Lake/Seven Seas Lagoon often offer
There is actually one more show I need to mention,
but you can only see it if you’re staying at a Magic Kingdom
resort (Contemporary, Polynesian, or Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge,
Fort Wilderness). It’s the Electrical Water Pageant. This little
light-parade-on-water makes its way around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas
Lagoon. It’s like a bed-time story – a little something special at the
end of the day to say good-night and wish you sweet dreams. Starts
around 9pm (visible at the Poly) and goes to around 10:20pm (passes the
Contemporary last) – viewing depends on where you are. Note the
cheerfully snappy musical accompaniment!
Time to weigh in – which nighttime show at Disney World is your favorite?
This article was originally posted on the Living a Disney Life Blog