The grand finale of any Disney day is the nighttime spectacular; seeing fireworks right over Cinderella Castle is nothing short of magical. And now, a new firework show lights up the night sky at Magic Kingdom! Disney Enchantment illuminates the park as part of Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration. This new nighttime spectacular takes you through a journey of adventure, wonder and empowerment that inspires you to believe in magic. Catch characters from newer films such as "Onward," "Coco," "Raya and the Last Dragon" and "Soul," as well as your classic favorites from Disney history.
Many of us frogs got really attached to the previous fireworks show, Happily Ever After, but we thought Disney Enchantment had a similar essence. We felt like there was a good balance of old and new animated films represented. And of course, Lily's favorite part was "Into the Unknown" from "Frozen 2." The show features a new original song called "You Are the Magic" (that will get stuck in your head), enhanced lighting, fireworks, and, for the first time ever, projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle all the way down Main Street, U.S.A. And don't worry — your favorite fairy can still be seen soaring through the sky! (Hi, Tink!)
We've compiled a list of our favorite places to watch fireworks so that you can get the very best view! We'll be sure to update the post as we watch the new show from all sorts of angles. We've even included the ways you can catch other nighttime entertainment at Magic Kingdom, such as the Electrical Water Pageant.
The Best Spots to Watch Fireworks at Magic Kingdom
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. Disney Enchantment is more than just fireworks — the projections and lighting are truly incredible and worth seeing at least once. This is also the first show to use projections all the way down the Main Street buildings, so that area will also be a popular viewing location. Most showtimes for fall 2021 start at 8 p.m., but always double-check the schedule on the day of your visit.
Since this is a brand-new show, you'll want to arrive at least two hours ahead of time and head straight toward the castle for a central view. Prime spots go quickly, so get there early for the first few weeks. 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.
Since this is the first show to have Main Street projections, you may not want to be too close to the castle in order to get the full show experience. We watched the show two nights in a row — once near the Partners Statue and another in the middle of Main Street near the Confectionery. We got both spots about two hours before showtime. The projections down Main Street added to the show, 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.
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 just yet, you may want to consider an alternative viewing spot, which we've detailed below.
If you want a guaranteed spot at the hub, Fireworks Dessert Parties have returned, as of Oct. 3! You can reserve your viewing spot and indulge in some 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.
Unconventional Spots to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks
So what if you're not able to 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. 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.
Other 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 bridge by Splash Mountain, 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.
There may also be limited spots at the Main Street, U.S.A. train station by the entrance, though you should get there early for this vantage point. Since reopening in 2020, this area has been typically roped off to guests.
Another twist is to enjoy Disney Enchantment while you're having fun on rides! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Tomorrowland People Mover, Splash Mountain, 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
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 Disney Enchantment ends. While the park may not be closing, 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. 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 just 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 or a bus to the Transportation and Ticket Center.
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
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. And the best news — the restaurant is offering a limited-time, 50th-anniversary menu starting Oct. 3! 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. If you're dining during the show, music is piped in 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 get to see the Electrical Water Pageant as it finishes its trek around Seven Seas Lagoon.
Specialty fireworks cruises are back, as well, departing from each of the above marinas.
Special Event Fireworks
While Disney Enchantment is the regular nighttime spectacular, Disney offers special firework shows exclusive to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. These shows are full of extra pizzazz with more exterior fireworks that are sure to wow tadpoles and frog parents alike. Back in 2019, we even caught the fireworks from the Transportation and Ticket Center for a wonderful view over the water (hooray for unconventional spots!)
There are also special fireworks for the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve, but these have not returned since prior to COVID-19.
Note that for 2021, Disney After Hours Boo Bash has replaced Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and there isn't a special show. However, Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks will return to Magic Kingdom during the holiday season on select nights for Disney Very Merriest After Hours!
Other Magic Kingdom Nighttime Entertainment
Though Disney Enchantment is the main nighttime spectacular for Magic Kingdom, there is still plenty of fun once the sun sets as smaller nighttime entertainment continues.
Electrical Water Pageant
Whimsical sea creatures light up Seven Seas Lagoon in this nightly water parade. The 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. There are also special enhancements made for the 50th anniversary!
Once Upon a Time
The Once Upon a Time projection show occurs about half an hour after the main fireworks show, as Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast shares bedtime stories with Chip. See scenes from Disney classics such as "Cinderella," "Peter Pan," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Frozen." This show is temporarily unavailable.
The "Kiss Goodnight"
Stick around past the official park closing time and you might just hear a special closing announcement. 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! (So far, the Kiss Goodnight has only hoppened on New Year's Eve as a way to welcome 2021, but we're hopeful it'll make a return soon.)
Other Nighttime Spectaculars
Harmonious — the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park — also debuted Oct. 1 at EPCOT. Harmonious celebrates how the music of Disney inspires people around the globe. Get carried away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists. While the fireworks can be viewed anywhere around the World Showcase Lagoon, the new show has elements that are best viewed from certain angles. Check out our best spots to watch EPCOT fireworks post, so you know exactly where to stand! Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, "The Wonderful World of Animation" projection mapping show returned Aug. 1, and Disney Movie Magic returns Nov. 7.
Have you seen Disney Enchantment yet? Where is your go-to fireworks viewing spot? Let us know in the comments below!