As much as I was looking forward to our Disney vacation I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it seemed strange and sad that I wouldn’t finish a single day watching ‘Wishes’ at the Magic Kingdom. Over ten years ago Wishes sparkled into the Magic Kingdom, and since my first CP position was in the Magic Kingdom and included hosting a dream of watching Wishes from Astro Top as part of the Year of a Million Dreams this firework display holds a special place in my heart.
Still as with ‘when in Rome…’, ‘when in Disney…’ I couldn’t not watch the Magic Kingdoms new firework show:- ‘Happily Ever After’. If I’m honest I was prepared to hate it, I couldn’t conceive that anything could be more magical than ‘Wishes’… Well let me tell you, you should never doubt Disney! I was blown away and truly loved every single second.
Alistair filmed Happily Ever After on one of our, I want to say 5 nights of viewing the show! He used his very impressive 360 camera and having watched this recording at least 3 times in the last week I can highly recommend it. But what I will say is, apart from the song (which I love more now that I’ve seen the display) I’d not looked at anything online and I’m pleased I didn’t as seeing it live for the first time took my breath away.
I’m not going to give anything away in this review as I’d hate to spoil the magic but I’ve jotted a few bits and bobs down.
The first time we watched it wasn’t really planned. We were over in the New Fantasy Land area and it was almost 8 pm so we headed over to near Cinderella’s Carousel and decided to unconventionally watch from there. I’m so pleased we did. The display was all around us, it was like being in the middle of pixie dust and was incredible. The music is piped through in the area and we were joined by a number of other Guests albeit nowhere near the crowds that line Main Street. I hadn’t taken my camera so I literally just emerged myself in the performance and simply fell in love with Happily Ever After within minutes.
Having found my new Number 1 must do at WDW we watched the show from other location. Once at the top of Main Street and once at the bottom end. Now whilst I don’t want to add spoilers I will say that projections are a big part of the show; however, I would add that even after watching from in front of the Castle we still returned the Fantasy Land and watched it from there a second time. To some extent, I even prefer watching the display from near the Carousel as I found watching the fireworks, projections and other effects you see from Main Street that at times I didn’t know where to give my attention to.
I truly believe Disney has outdone themselves with Happily Ever After. They seem to have created the perfect balance of Traditional Classics with moments from beloved films that rarely feature elsewhere. The projections go one further with this balance, with even more underrated but loved characters pop up and receive their moment in the sun. The original song which frames the show is just as good and possibly (in my opinion) even more magical than Wishes. Disney has pushed the boundaries and moved forward with new fireworks featured, so make sure you watch carefully as like in Wishes where hearts flared in the sky, Happily Ever After features, new shapes and these were so well themed it’s impressive to see.
I will never be as talented as Walt Disney and all those who still work in relation to his legacy so I will close by quoting Happily Ever After and say ‘Grab hold of your dreams and make them come true, for you are the key to unlocking your own magic. Now go, let your dreams guide you, reach out and find your happily ever after.’