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Tips for Viewing Disney's Hollywood Studios Fireworks – Wonderful World of Animation

by Leap on September 18, 2021 65 Orlando

Hollywood Studios fireworks – Wonderful World of Animation Pinterest image

Note from Leap: Exciting news frogs! The projection show "Disney Movie Magic" returns to Hollywood Studios Nov. 7. Celebrate live action films in an epic way with projections on the Chinese Theater, with films like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean. The show will also debut with new scenes from the live action Mulan. We are so hoppy to see so many experiences returning!

Disney's Hollywood Studios once again has a nighttime spectacular as "Wonderful World of Animation" returned Aug. 1! This whimsical 12-minute projection show highlights more than 90 years of Disney animation. Shown nightly at the Chinese Theatre, enjoy a look at new, classic and rare animated films. We were hoppily surprised to see Disney's newest films had been added in when the show returned this year. We love seeing some of our favorite films appear on the larger-than-life screens, with almost a 180-degree view!

"Wonderful World of Animation" debuted in 2019 for the park's 30th anniversary and was held before Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Although the Star Wars-themed fireworks and frog-favorite show Fantasmic still have not returned, we are glad that Hollywood Studios has something to finish off an action-packed day. And soon guests will be able to experience another projection show as "Disney Movie Magic" will return to the Chinese Theater. Celebrating Disney's live action films, the show will add in scenes from the new Mulan film. The show originally closed in 2019 to make way for "Wonderful World of Animation."

No matter what show you are watching, read our guide for tips and tricks for viewing Hollywood Studios fireworks!

Tips for Viewing Fireworks at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Scope out your viewing spot. Due to "Wonderful World of Animation" being primarily a projection show, the only place to truly view it is in front of the Chinese Theatre or down Hollywood Boulevard. It is a smart idea to know where you intend to watch the show. That way, you don’t waste time fighting through the crowd for the perfect viewing spot. We got our spot in the middle of the Center Stage area about an hour before, but there was still plenty of spots with 30 minutes to go.

Mind changes in traffic flow. Due to the projections on the Chinese Theatre, the queue for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway could be slightly altered. They turn the marquee off for the ride about five minutes before the show, but guests can still enter the queue up until park close. This traffic flow on Commissary Lane may also be slightly altered prior to and during the show. Cast members usually direct guests away from the exit and courtyard of the Chinese Theatre. Because of the projections, the Hollywood Boulevard and Center Stage areas become congested very quickly. To get a viewing spot in these areas, plan to arrive early!

Look out for tape lines and roped off areas. Before the fireworks begin, cast members will rope off areas and tape walkways to allow guests to safely navigate through the park and viewing areas during Disney's Hollywood Studios fireworks. Take note of taped lines that designate walkways from viewing areas. Guests are not permitted to watch the show from the walkways. We like to use these taped walkways to our advantage by choosing a spot close to the front of a section, so less people are directly in front of us.

Try a Dessert Party Package for reserved viewing (when available). With the popularity of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, it was somewhat difficult to secure a great view without waiting for quite some time. To avoid the hassle of claiming a spot early, try the Dessert Party Package. As part of this package, guests can enjoy different Star Wars–inspired sweets indoors at Star Wars Launch Bay. Following the treats, partygoers head over to their reserved viewing area near Center Stage. If the show returns, we hope dessert parties do as well.

Make a quick exit. We really like how easy it is to exit Hollywood Studios after a nighttime spectacular verses Magic Kingdom or EPCOT. We can just turn around and head straight down Hollywood Boulevard and then either walk to the car, bus or Skyliner. Plus, with "Wonderful World of Animation" being a shorter show, you can get those tired tadpoles to bed faster (who am I kidding, me too.)

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at Hollywood Studios - Fireworks and Star Wars Characters

Although currently unavailable, we have to mention the epic Star Wars fireworks show! Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular uses projections, pyrotechnics, laser effects and of course, the unmistakable Star Wars themes to transport guests to a galaxy far, far away. The extravaganza journeys through the entire Star Wars saga as favorite characters and moments surround the audience, along with a 180-degree fireworks display. From the twin suns of Tattooine to the swamps of Dagobah, the Death Star to Starkiller Base, this is certainly a must-see show for Star Wars fans, and we hope it will return some day.

Other Nighttime Spectaculars

At Magic Kingdom, catch the new fireworks spectacular, Disney Enchantment. This show has incredible castle projections combined with fireworks and laser effects, and for the first time, projections all the way down Main Street! Over at EPCOT, enjoy Harmonius, billed as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created as a Disney park. With floating set pieces, projections, fountains, fireworks and an incredible soundtrack, you'll definitely want to grab a great spot around the World Showcase Lagoon!

We hope these tips for fireworks at Disney's Hollywood Studios help you make the most of your visit. What is your favorite nighttime spectacular?

Related: Best Places to Watch EPCOT Fireworks

Related: The Best Places to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks 

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Feb 8, 2019 at 10:17 a.m. Rohit Sharma Says...

We would expect it to be every night, but we shall see!

Reply
Mar 5, 2018 at 8:26 p.m. lou Says...

Is there a strategy for short people to stake out a spot such as behind a garbage can? How soon do they tape out the walkways? Would standing just inside a taped area next to and facing the walkway be a good spot? My daughter is 12 and a bit short for her age - way too short to see over many people but too heavy for me to carry. I am not that tall either. Thanks for any advice!

Reply
Mar 6, 2018 at 12:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lou!

They start taping the walkways a couple hours prior to showtime. Either of your strategies sounds great in order to avoid getting stuck behind a tall person! Also, no worries -- much of the action is high in the sky and via audio.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 12, 2017 at 6:21 p.m. Angie Says...

I keep looking for evidence that Disney will bring back Symphony in the Stars as it was our favorite Disney fireworks show and it would bring us back out to Hollywood Studios again and again despite the construction. The new show is such a poor imitation of the old one. No emotional appeal. I can watch a video montage of the Star Wars movies on YouTube. So disappointing!

Reply
Nov 5, 2016 at 9:10 a.m. wookieFan Says...

hello, do you know if this show will be on in Jan 2017 and if so which dates? Nothing is showing up and I am desperate to see this show! Thanks :)

Reply
Nov 22, 2016 at 7:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

We don't yet know, but expect it will return in January.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 8, 2017 at 8:46 a.m. pecos bill Says...

How can I find out if The Star Wars Galactic Spectacular will be presented during my trip to WDW during the week of April 15-22, 2017? If it is being presented, what time is the show? I received an advertisement via e-mail that seemed to suggest that it may be presented this Spring, but could not find any other info on the website.

Reply
Feb 8, 2017 at 8:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Howdy Pecos Bill,

Disney has not released showtimes for Star Wars Galactic Spectacular for that week. Visiting the page for the show and inputting your dates is the best way to know when performances will be. Showtimes will depend on how late the park is open.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 22, 2016 at 7:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

We don't yet know, but expect it will return in January.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 4, 2016 at 3:39 p.m. Stacey Says...

Hi there, I had read that you could see the fireworks really well from outside the park before they turned to the new show. Do you know if that is still true? I know we wouldn't see the projections, but is there enough fireworks in the sky to take the kids over one night? We do this with Wishes and wanted to see if it was worth the time.

Reply
Oct 14, 2016 at 9:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stacey,

You can see the Star Wars fireworks from outside of Hollywood Studios (from outside the main entrance as far as the walkway that leads over to the Boardwalk and Epcot). There are fewer fireworks than in the previous show because of the huge amount of projections that make up the show, but there's still a pretty nice display. If you're close by, and want to stop and see it, by all means, but I wouldn't trek all the way across property to see it from outside the park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 10, 2016 at 3:22 a.m. Alana Says...

How far in advance are the Star Wars fireworks times posted? We'll be at DW over Christmas!

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 3:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Alana,

We would expect to see them posted within a month or two.

Leap

Reply
Oct 7, 2016 at 6:50 p.m. DeAnn Says...

Any update on the Star Wars fireworks? We are heading to WDW the Sun after Thandsgiving, a little over 6 weeks away. The schedule shows a few dates in early November but nothing after the first week of Nov. What do you think the firework days and times will be? Also, do you have any prediction or idea what Disney is doing to fill the gap left by their ending the Osbourne Christmas Spectacular?

Reply
Oct 11, 2016 at 1:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi DeAnn,

We have not yet heard of anything replacing the lights. As far as the fireworks, we recommend you keep checking back. We expect there would be fireworks that day, but we cannot say definitively.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 12, 2016 at 4:39 p.m. Natalie Says...

I noticed for early September that Fantasmic is set for 8:30 and fireworks for 8:45. Why would they do that? Now guests must choose one or the other. I really hope that changes.

Reply
Sep 11, 2016 at 6:05 p.m. Brent Tapio Says...

We are at DW this week and watched Fantasmic last night, aside from not being able to view both shows in the same night, the fireworks from Star Wars completely ruined Fantasmic for us, they were going off for most of the show, right behind us. It was extremely distracting, and I am so disappointed in Disney for not thinking about this (unlikely), or just ignoring that they will be ruining the magical experience for thousands at Fantasmic.

Reply
Aug 25, 2016 at 7:59 p.m. Rene Says...

I just saw that and am NOT happy! Very poor planning and very inconsiderate of WDW.

Reply
Aug 20, 2016 at 4:31 p.m. Kim Says...

I am going at the end of August. I agree, it is terrible that we must choose one or the other. However if you are going to be in the parks several nights and have a park hopper pass, you could do what we are doing (but shouldn't have to - thanks Disney). We are spending the day at Animal Kingdom then going to Hollywood studios for Star Wars A Galactic Spectacular showing at 8:45 then returning to AK for the 10:30 showing of Jungle Book. I kept hoping that as it got closer to the date we will be there the would change one of the showtimes, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen.

Reply
Sep 5, 2016 at 12:14 a.m. Lisa Eaker Says...

I have seen both and I would say hands down Starwars is much better.

Reply
Jul 12, 2016 at 10:06 p.m. Nan Says...

I called Disney to complain yesterday :( We will be there in August. If we can't do both, my husband will see the Star Wars fireworks with our son (8) and I'll take our daughter (4) to see Fantasmic.

Reply
Jun 23, 2016 at 5:07 p.m. Johnna Tuten Says...

Traveling to WDW late September ... any word on dates and times for a new fireworks display featuring star war themes at Disney Studios

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 1:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Johnna,

Keep checking back. We expect these dates will be revealed in a few weeks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 23, 2016 at 1:10 a.m. Amanda Says...

We are planning our trip mid September and Hollywood Studios closes at 7:30 each night we will be there. We were really wanting to see the new galactic spectacular. Will they still be doing it even though the park closes so early? It looks like most nights in September Hollywood Studios closes at 7:30.

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amanda,

We expect Disney will extend these hours closer to the actual dates. We recommend checking our Crowd Calendar every week or so.

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 22, 2016 at 10:13 a.m. Sunny3292 Says...

Hello! Do you know anything about why the dessert party doesn't seem to exist after July 9?

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 7:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

We expect these will be extended. Keep checking back!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 20, 2016 at 6:46 p.m. Lindsey G Says...

Our family is visiting towards the end of September/early October and desperately want to attend the Galactic Dessert Party. Any word on if this will be continued into the fall months? I checked online today for dates and could only see it offered through the first week of July.

Thanks!

Reply
Jul 15, 2016 at 3:16 p.m. TABITHA Says...

Just to let you know, they just released the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party reservations leading through September!

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lindsey,

We expect it will be extended, so keep checking back!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 20, 2016 at 4:50 p.m. Andrea Says...

Hi! Is this a show only available for a limited time? I've been looking for info but havent found anything. I would like to know because I will be travelling in the fall. Thanks a lot!

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andrea,

The new Star Wars show is permanent, so you can enjoy it this fall.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 9, 2016 at 1:47 a.m. Deanna Says...

Hello! We are coming in January 2017 and are trying to figure out which day to go to DHS. Do we know if this new fireworks show starting June 17th will be a nightly show like Wishes? Or on certain days like Fantasmic?

Reply
Jul 5, 2016 at 11:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Deanna,

It's possible it will not be nightly, although it has been so far. We just don't know yet.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 8, 2016 at 10:28 p.m. Tracy Says...

any idea what time the galactic spectacular is going to start? also, where the best seats might be? thanks!

Reply
Jul 5, 2016 at 11:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tracy,

As you might have seen, the new show has already started. We recommend getting a spot at least 45 minutes early in the main area in front of The Great Movie Ride.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 16, 2016 at 3:33 a.m. Julio Says...

Does anybody knows what date exactly the new attraction of star wars a galactic spectacular fireworks show starts? I think to go June 1st. Thanks

Reply
May 16, 2016 at 10:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Julio,

This date has not yet been announced.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 13, 2016 at 4:38 a.m. Tania Says...

Do you know how soon we would be able to book the dessert reservations for August shows? We are very excited about this show.

Reply
May 16, 2016 at 11:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tania,

We expect these will become available when the new show is announced.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 2, 2016 at 2:29 a.m. Danielle Says...

Any word on if the fireworks show will be displayed on the dates after May 28? We plan to watched them during our trip on May 30. Thanks!

Reply
May 2, 2016 at 10:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Danielle,

At this point, we don't know for sure. Disney is in the process of transitioning to the new show, so it's not clear if anything will be available for unofficial preview for that point or if the current show will be extended.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 23, 2016 at 6:32 p.m. Sarah Says...

Will all of the Star Wars attractions and fireworks still be going on in November 2016? I am having a lot of trouble finding any dates for these attractions.

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

Yes, these are expected to continue through the fall.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 23, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Jason singer Says...

When these are announced in the fall, what is the best way to make sure I get tickets for the dessert feature?

Reply
May 31, 2016 at 3:05 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jason,

I would check here June 17 to see if any details are listed.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 20, 2016 at 8:59 p.m. Lisa Meister Says...

We will be in hollywood studios on june 11th. Im afraid the crowds will be bad but really want to see fantasmic and the star wars fireworks. Is it worth buying the desert party? I heard its standing only and if you don't reserve a spot up front it will be hard to see. I have a 5 and 6yr old,.

Reply
May 8, 2016 at 1:43 a.m. Kelly Says...

We did the desert party last year in June as it has been part of the Star Wars weekends previously. It was by far the best part of the day! It was far less chaotic having a dedicated space to view the show and my boys LOVED it! I would not recommend skipping this if you can avoid it.

Reply
Apr 21, 2016 at 3:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa,

Yes, the current Symphony in the Stars fireworks are expected to continue nightly until the new show in late summer.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 30, 2016 at 6:22 p.m. Pam Says...

We are planning to come to Disney world in September 2016. Our first park will be Hollywood studios. What are your reccommendations to see first? Will both fireworks be going on? Any changes?

Reply
Mar 30, 2016 at 3:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pam,

There will be a new Star Wars fireworks show, and it will replace the existing one, so no worries!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 9, 2016 at 1:17 p.m. Catherine Says...

Hi. We are planning to go to Hollywood Studios the week of the 26th September. Had hoped to go on Monday 26th. Are there going to be daily showings of the starwars show then? I cannot see it in the schedule.

Reply
Jul 12, 2016 at 2:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Catherine,

Disney has not yet released the schedule, but we sure hope so!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 18, 2016 at 1:26 a.m. Heather Says...

Thanx for these tips, as there's not much info elsewhere regarding the exit of Fantasmic to watch StarWars Symphony FWs directly after.

These Fireworks have been extended past March, right thru til August when they change to the Galactic Spectacular FWs.

Any details about the "alternate exit" approach from Fantasmic to the Fireworks would be appreciated. Has anyone taken this path in March '16 (our HS day is April 9, & is it a good idea?

Reply
Apr 21, 2016 at 3:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather,

Yes, the current Symphony in the Stars fireworks show is expected to continue nightly until the new show in late summer.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 6:23 a.m. ross Says...

Thanks for the viewing tips, by the way. I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing this show in May. Hopefully I can see the new on in the fall.

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 8 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ross,

Yes! It will be great to see both and see how they differ.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 6:22 a.m. ross Says...

Hi, I just wanted to note that the current schedule on Disney World's website only has Symphony in the Stars on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights during May, except that they also have a show scheduled on Saturday, May 28. That's the last show currently on the schedule, though I'd guess you're right that they'll extend it until the next one is ready (which, according to Disney's blog, should start sometime in June.)

Reply
Mar 15, 2016 at 3:34 p.m. Stacie Says...

Will the Star Wars fireworks be nightly or only on certain nights. Planning our September vacation now!

Reply
Mar 16, 2016 at 2:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stacie,

We would expect it to be every night, but we shall see!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 11, 2016 at 5:58 a.m. shandra Says...

hey do you know if the new show starting in april will still be arround in november or will renovations stop it?

Reply
Mar 16, 2016 at 2:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shandra,

The new fireworks show is supposed to start some time this summer, and we expect it will still be around in November.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 2, 2016 at 6:22 p.m. Sheila Says...

We saw the fireworks at Hollywood Studios on Feb 24th. We saw Fantasmic and just walked to Main Street and stood and watched them. No huge crowd at the end toward the exit. They were STUNNING better then Wishes at Magic Kingdom in my opinion.

Reply
Feb 29, 2016 at 4:58 a.m. Naomi Coleman Says...

Hi we have a 12.5 yr old boy we are not sure what Disney World would be best for him?

Reply
Feb 29, 2016 at 1:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Naomi,

All of the parks offer things to do for your son's age. Magic Kingdom is always a good choice, and offers tons of fun rides. If he is into Star Wars, Disney's Hollywood Studios is good too. Tad and Lily both love Epcot, but it's not a traditional theme park and offers more cultural options with just a handful of rides. You might find more help in this post on the best Orlando theme parks by age group:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/the-best-orlando-theme-parks-by-age-group/

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
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