With Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary soon approaching, a new nighttime firework spectacular will take over at Magic Kingdom. “Happily Ever After” is a fan-favorite show, and it has only been around since 2017. So, with less than 30 days until it’s gone, will you be heading to the park to say farewell?
“Happily Ever After” was the first major firework projection-mapping show at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Since then, a new projection mapping fireworks show debuted at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2019, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party also debuted a new projection mapping firework show in 2019.
Happily Ever After, as well as all other Walt Disney World nighttime spectaculars, were missing for the majority of 2020 and the first half of 2021 due to social distancing needs at the parks. Happily Ever After has returned for now, but soon Disney Enchantment will take over.
Disney Enchantment will “take you on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment,” and will feature music, enhanced lighting, fireworks, and — for the first time ever — projection effects on Main Street, U.S.A.
Happily Ever After will have a relatively short-lived time in the spotlight in comparison to other Disney nighttime spectaculars. The park’s first firework show, “Fantasy in the Sky,” lasted from 1971 to 2003 — a total of 32 years! It was replaced by “Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams” from 2003 to 2017, for a total of 14 years. Now, “Happily Ever After” will be ending after just four years; for more than an entire year of those four, it was put on hold for social distancing purposes.
When the show returned, it was a moment of extreme joy for many. This show’s return was seen as a major turning point in the battle of closures, masks and unemployment in the theme park industry in Orlando. While the pandemic is certainly not over, this show was a shining beacon that things are getting better. Soon Cinderella Castle will become a “Beacon of Magic” and be the centerpiece for the Disney Enchantment debut.
The 50th anniversary is on the way, as can be seen on the new Cinderella Castle decorations. At Walt Disney World, TRON Lightcycle / Run has been delayed, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster is delayed, and many entertainment options have still not returned. So, why a is a brand-new nighttime show coming to Magic Kingdom, and why should you be excited?
First off, this new show will be a part of the 18-month 50th anniversary celebration, which will take over all of Walt Disney World and will bring many new experiences. Secondly, new music is being prepared for this celebration, which may show up in the now firework show. Third, “Happily Ever After” has a massive fanbase, which would have held strong long into the 50th anniversary. But no, a new show is being presented, anyway.
If other projects are delayed or canceled, why push for something new in place of a show that is already well-received? This tells me that Disney is extremely confident in this new show, and that it is essential for the celebration of a half-century old park. Need another reason? Projection mapping is going to be added to Main Street, U.S.A. This will allow even more viewing opportunities for guests at the park, and will hopefully help to disperse crowds from the main Castle Hub and take them down the street.
Are you sad about the loss of “Happily Ever After?” Do the reasons listed above get you excited for the next firework spectacular coming to Magic Kingdom? Will you see “Happily Ever After” before it leaves? Let us know in the comments below.