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The Very Best Places to Watch Fireworks at Magic Kingdom — Happily Ever After Now Showing!

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The grand finale of any Disney day is the nighttime spectacular; seeing fireworks right over Cinderella Castle is nothing short of magical. We're ready to begin... as Happily Ever After has returned! The beloved show now features new projections down Main Street, U.S.A. We are so hoppy to see this frog-favorite show back at Magic Kingdom Park. We've compiled a list of our favorite places to watch fireworks so that you can get the very best view!

Guide to Magic Kingdom Fireworks — Happily Ever After

Overview of Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After first debuted in 2017 and captured all our froggy hearts with its quality storytelling, effects and beautiful anthem. You'll definitely want to sing along! The nighttime spectacular features characters from both new and classic films such as "Moana," "The Princess and the Frog," "The Lion King," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and more.

The show took a brief hiatus in fall 2021 to make way for Disney Enchantment (in honor of the resort's 50th anniversary). Happily Ever After returned on April 3, 2023, with new projections all the way down Main Street, U.S.A.! The added projections include classic characters as well as new characters from films such as "Coco," "Encanto" and "Turning Red."

Keep an eye on your MagicBand+ as your band lights up and vibrate in sync with the fireworks and music!

Watch our full-length YouTube video below, which includes POV angles in front of Cinderella Castle and in the middle of Main Street, U.S.A. with the new projections.

The Best Spots to Watch Fireworks at Magic Kingdom

Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom — View from Main Street

If you want to get the full show with the castle projections, or if it’s your first time watching it, we highly recommend staking out a spot at the hub (the area in front of Cinderella Castle) or Main Street, U.S.A. The shows are more than just fireworks — the projections and lighting are truly incredible and worth seeing at least once. The show now uses projections all the way down the Main Street buildings, so that area is also a popular viewing location.

Most showtimes in fall and winter are closer to 8 p.m. since it gets dark early. For spring and summer, the fireworks are typically around 9 p.m. Always double-check the schedule on the day of your visit. For a prime central view, you'll want to arrive at least 60 to 90 minutes ahead of time. On typical days, you can be on the edges of the hub if you arrive about 45 minutes to an hour before the show begins. However, if you arrive too close to showtime, you are often directed away from the hub by cast members and channeled further down Main Street.

With the popularity of Happily Ever After, you'll want to arrive even earlier as crowds will be higher during the first few weeks of its return.

Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom — Main Street projections

Since Happily Ever After now has Main Street projections, you may not want to be too close to the castle in order to get the full show experience. We think the Main Street projections are a nice addition (we loved seeing the new characters!), but we personally feel that you don't miss out on too much if viewing in the castle hub area. The main focus of the show is still the castle projections and, of course, the fireworks. If you've seen the show before, a Main Street view is a perfect way to enjoy the classic show with the new additions (plus, you'll deal with less time waiting on a spot and an easier exit)!

Guide to Magic Kingdom Fireworks — Happily Ever After

Before the show starts, cast members will carve out space for foot traffic by using tape on the sidewalks. You'll need to make sure you're within the viewing area and not standing in the designated taped-off walkways, or else you will be asked to move. If you're not a fan of large crowds, we'd suggest arriving extra early so you can find a spot directly in front of a planter or some kind of barrier, so you don't have people on all sides of you. Cast members will instruct people to fill in all available space, so if that's not something you're comfortable with, you may want to consider an alternative viewing spot, which we've detailed below.

Another great spot to watch the fireworks is the top floor of the Main Street train station. This spot provides the perfect height to see the castle, Main Street and the fireworks. There is limited space here, so you'll typically want to arrive at least 45 minutes prior. While some of the spots will provide a full view of the castle, some spots will be partial as there is a tree and flag pole. A bonus of this area is how close it is to the exit. Keep in mind that sometimes this area is reserved for special groups, so if you see it roped off, you'll want to have a backup plan ready.

If you want a guaranteed spot at the hub, consider booking a Fireworks Dessert Party! You can reserve your viewing spot and indulge in dessert at Tomorrowland Terrace too. There are three options currently available, but no matter which party you choose, you'll get to indulge in specialty-themed desserts prepared by a Disney pastry chef, including chocolate-dipped strawberries, butterscotch pudding, cheese and an assortment of beer and wine. Two options include a reserved standing spot in the plaza gardens, while the third option includes a seat at Tomorrowland Terrance to enjoy the show. Read all about the dessert parties in our complete guide!

Unconventional Spots to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks

Best Spots to View Fireworks at Magic Kingdom – Fantasyland

So what if you cannot snag a prime hub spot to watch the fireworks? While the early frog gets the flies, let's be real: It's not always possible to break away from the fun to stake out a spot. There are still plenty of ways to enjoy the fireworks throughout the park. The music plays around Magic Kingdom so you can sing along.

We highly recommend Fantasyland as a secondary location. You still get the view over the castle and you can even turn around and watch the exterior fireworks with Beast's castle from Be Our Guest restaurant. Or watch from the Tangled area with the lanterns hanging above you. Once the show is over, you are in the perfect position to hop on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peter Pan's Flight with much shorter waits. Just know that generally, the back of Cinderella Castle (and some nearby walkways) is roped off for safety during the fireworks show.

Best Spots to View Fireworks at Magic Kingdom – Tomorrowland BridgeOther great spots include Frontierland, which is less crowded, so you can maximize ride time before and after the show. While everyone will be wading through the crowds by the castle, you can already be enjoying Big Thunder Mountain. We recommend a spot on the Frontierland bridge, which gives you firework reflections over the water, as well.

Head to the entrance of Tomorrowland for another viewing spot — you may even get an angled view of the projections! Enjoy the show and then be ready to hop on Space Mountain to end the night.

Another twist is to enjoy Happily Ever After while you're having fun on rides! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Tomorrowland People Mover, Astro Orbiter and Dumbo are all great attractions to experience during the fireworks if you time it just right. Keep an eye on wait times during the hour leading up to the show, so you can sync it with the show.

Exiting Magic Kingdom After Fireworks

Magic Kingdom fireworks — Happily Ever After

You sang, you danced, you may have even gotten a little misty — and now, the show is over. So where do you go? Well, expect a mass exodus once Happily Ever After ends. While sometimes the park may not be closing just yet, most guests take this as an end-of-the-night signal and start making their way toward the exit. If you have tadpoles, be sure to hang onto their hands or secure them in the stroller (honestly with any age, we try to stay together by creating a conga line and holding onto each other's backpacks). If you're not ready to leave, and you're on the fringes of the hub, our suggestion is to duck out to a nearby land or ride to avoid the crowds.

Most people will head down Main Street, while others may head through a big gate that cast members open near Tomorrowland that cuts around to the main entrance. If you're ready to leave after the fireworks end, in our experience, that big gate is the best way to go — if you turn toward Main Street, you'll find it nestled next to the Plaza Inn and Tomorrowland Terrace. For this reason, if we know we're leaving after the show, we tend to stick to the right side of the castle to watch, then make a speedy exit. If you head down Main Street, you may be diverted through some of the shops toward the exit. (You know what that means — if you're hoping to do some evening shopping, you should give it some time after the fireworks end for the foot traffic to die down.) No matter which way you exit, cast members will help direct you.

Because so many people are exiting at once, if you are using Disney transportation, be sure to pack your patience. If you're headed back to Magic Kingdom parking, take the monorail, boat or bus to the Transportation and Ticket Center. We recommend the buses as a quick getaway, plus they are usually charter buses so you can rest your feet. Note that the buses to the TTC are not always running, so be sure to ask a transportation cast member before heading too far down.

Where to View Fireworks Outside of Magic Kingdom

You don't even need a ticket to Magic Kingdom to enjoy the fireworks! You can utilize the resorts and areas around the Seven Seas Lagoon to get some frogtastic wide views of the fireworks.

The easiest spot to get to is the Transportation and Ticket Center. The area near the ferry boat dock provides excellent straight-on views of Magic Kingdom. The music is still played here, so you can enjoy the show and then have a quick exit to your car with no long waits for the monorail.

Disney's Contemporary Resort

Guide to Magic Kingdom Fireworks — View from California Grill at the Contemporary Resort

We have to mention one of the best spots outside of the park — California Grill. This rooftop restaurant gives incredible views while enjoying Californian cuisine.  Just know you will be getting an off-center view, but this unique vantage point makes up for it. There's even a special observation deck to watch the show with the music piped in. If you're dining during the show, the music is played and the lights are dimmed. But every dinner guest gets a special perk! If you've eaten at the California Grill at any time during dinner service, you can return to watch the fireworks later from the observation deck — just show your receipt.

There is also a hidden gem of a spot by the walkway between the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower. If you turn left as you exit the Contemporary, there is limited seating on the balcony beneath the monorail.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Grab a Dole Whip and watch from the beaches at the Poly. Or book a reservation at 'Ohana for delicious food (we recommend the noodles) and great views. The music plays throughout these areas of the Polynesian Village Resort, including Trader Sam's, so you won't miss out on the classic Disney tunes.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Located on the shore, enjoy fine seafood dining at Narcoossee's with an impressive view of the fireworks across the water. Head out to the marina and beach areas for some great outdoor views by the lagoon.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

Believe it or not, you can enjoy the fireworks from the Fort Wilderness beaches! It is farther away so it's not recommended for your first time watching, but it is a relaxing spot and the music plays here, as well. You'll even see the Electrical Water Pageant as it finishes its trek around Seven Seas Lagoon.

Specialty fireworks cruises are also back, departing from each of the above marinas.

Special Event Fireworks

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party - Mickey's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular

While Happily Ever After is the regular nighttime spectacular, Disney offers special firework shows exclusive to holiday parties. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party offers Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular while those attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party can see Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. These shows are full of extra pizzazz with more exterior fireworks that are sure to wow tadpoles and frog parents alike. Note that on party nights, there is no showing of Happily Ever After since the park closes early. Those not attending the party will want to plan accordingly to see the regular Magic Kingdom fireworks on a non-party night.

There are also special fireworks for the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve.

Other Nighttime Entertainment

EPCOT Fireworks — Luminous The Symphony of Us

 

The newest nighttime spectacular at Disney World, Luminous The Symphony of Us is currently showing nightly at EPCOT. Enjoy great music, fountains, lasers, fireworks and more! Check out our best spots to watch the EPCOT fireworks post, so you know exactly where to stand.

Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, check out "The Wonderful World of Animation" and "Disney Movie Magic" projections at the Chinese Theater. We highly recommend viewing one of our favorite nighttime shows, Fantasmic!, at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater.

Electrical Water Pageant Returning to Walt Disney World

Though Happily Ever After is the main nighttime spectacular for Magic Kingdom, there is still plenty of fun once the sun sets as smaller nighttime entertainment continues:

Whimsical sea creatures light up Seven Seas Lagoon in the nightly Electrical Water Pageant. The water parade typically starts at 9 p.m. and rotates through the lake for an hour. It is viewable from the Magic Kingdom hotels, as well as Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge.

Stick around past the official park closing time and you might just hear a special closing announcement called the "Kiss Goodnight." Cinderella Castle lights up for a brief farewell message about half an hour after the park closes. After a long day, it's that extra pixie dust that adds a nice touch to an already magical day! This special moment should occur nightly, though not typically at special events.

Are you excited that Happily Ever After is back? Where is your go-to fireworks viewing spot? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: Treat Yourself to a Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Party

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Jul 8, 2023 at 4:36 a.m. John Says...

I'm going to be staying at Universal's in the summer dockside in May of 2024 and I was wondering if my room is up high enough would I be able to see the fireworks shows from any of the Disney parks in my hotel room or area or with universal be doing a firework show

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Jul 11, 2023 at 2:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi John!

We're not toadally sure, but based on its positioning, we think Surfside Inn across the street could be blocking any potential to see them. If you want to give the hotel a ring to ask, you can call (888) 273-1311. Universal does not have any fireworks shows, though the Hogwarts Castle show has some pyrotechnic effects. Another alternative we can suggest is visiting the rooftop bar at Universal's Aventura Hotel. We have been able to see fireworks from there.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Jun 27, 2023 at 2:02 p.m. Annie Moroney Says...

Could you put a frog on the maps of the viewing spots you mentioned? 1st time trip so haven’t memorized all the walkways etc that are great viewing spots.

Reply
Jun 28, 2023 at 10:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Annie!

Thanks so much for passing along this frogtastic suggestion! We'd love to look into how we can implement this on the blog - and maybe you'll even catch us hopping around on our social media accounts to show off these spots in the future!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 21, 2022 at 5:03 a.m. Edna Wilson Says...

We will be arriving at walt disney world area on the 3rd of June. And are looking for tickets to go to the magic Kingdom anytime between the 4th and 10th of June. We need 4 tickets. Would love to see the fireworks. Thanks! Edna

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