Though we’ve known for some time that nighttime entertainment at the Magic Kingdom was going to be getting an update, Disney dropped a bombshell on us earlier this week when it was announced that Wishes, the long-running nighttime fireworks spectacular that has been a signature part of this park’s evening entertainment for over a decade, would be going away forever later this year on May 11, 2017.
However, it looks like fans won’t have to wait too long for a replacement for this show, as Disney has announced that a brand new nighttime spectacular, entitled “Happily Ever After” will be making its debut at the Magic Kingdom just one day later on May 12, 2017.
And while we don’t have a ton of details about this new show right now, here’s everything we do know thus far about the end of Wishes and the beginning of Happily Ever After:
1. Happily Ever After will be heavy on the projections (and will feature a LOT of familiar characters)
One of the biggest contrasts between Wishes and this new show is that, while Wishes had some simple lighting effects to go along with its pyrotechnics, Happily Ever After will be taking things a step further, and will prominently feature massive projection elements. Like the Once Upon a Time show that is currently performed before the Magic Kingdom’s nightly spectacular, Happily Ever After will use projection mapping to transform Cinderella Castle every night into scenes from both modern and classic Disney films including Moana, Big Hero 6, Aladdin, Brave, The Lion King, Zootopia, Peter Pan, Toy Story, The Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Princess and the Frog.
With so many films and characters slated to appear in this show, it might not come as a surprise that this new show will be a little bit longer than the current Wishes spectacular, clocking in at an impressive 18 minutes (as opposed to Wishes’ 12 minutes). And in even more good news, it has been confirmed that Tinker Bell will still fly every night to kick off this new show.
Of course, music will also be very important for this new show and Disney has announced that the score for Happily Ever After has been recorded by a 75-piece orchestra in London under the supervision of Senior Music Producer Roger Butterly and Music Arranger Tim Heintz. You can learn more about the music recorded for this new show in the video below:
Though Wishes was a fairly simple fireworks spectacular, it looks like Happily Ever After will attempt to “plus up” the traditional Disney nighttime pyrotechnic show with some interesting new technology and a whole lot of bells and whistles. Only time will tell whether this new show will be a worthy successor to the classic Wishes show, but judging by what few details have already been made available, we’re cautiously optimistic about this all-new show. And if you want to be among the first to see Happily Ever After, some new information has been released that you’ll definitely want to know about…
2. Guests who want to see this show from a reserved viewing area can still enjoy the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party
Right now one of the best ways to see Wishes is with the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party, which allows guests to enjoy a sumptuous dessert buffet along with guaranteed viewing of the nightly spectacular. And luckily, Disney has confirmed that this upcharge offering will continue to be offered after this new show debuts on May 12th.
We expect this new show will be quite popular when it debuts this spring, so if you want to be among the first to see Happily Ever After, your best bet will be to reserve your spot at this dessert party (which is still known as the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party) as soon as possible, as we’re guessing spots will fill up quickly (the event page crashed immediately after this new show was announced, which we’re assuming was not coincidental).
3. Happy HalloWishes and Holiday Wishes aren’t going anywhere…for now
Though we know that the original version of Wishes will be going away forever in just a few weeks to make way for Happily Ever After, we couldn’t help but wonder what might happen to the different seasonal variations of the classic Wishes fireworks spectacular that are performed during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
While it seems logical that Disney will eventually craft a new projection component to go with these special seasonal variations, it looks like the fan favorite versions of these much-loved seasonal nightly spectaculars (Happy HalloWishes as well as Holiday Wishes) that you know and love from the Magic Kingdom’s special events will remain in place through 2017 (and possibly longer).
4. There are still no announcements about a replacement nighttime parade
Of course, even with the addition of Happily Ever After, the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime lineup is still missing something: an evening parade. While Disney has technically kept its promise to overhaul the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime entertainment offerings in the wake of the departure of the Main Street Electrical Parade, the fact is that this park’s nighttime experience still feels somewhat incomplete without this offering, and we are starting to wonder when (or if) the Magic Kingdom will be getting another nighttime parade any time in the near future.
Even though we will definitely miss Wishes, which had become an iconic part of the Magic Kingdom experience over the course of its 13-year run, this new, technologically impressive nighttime spectacular looks like it is poised to become a worthy successor to this show. Are you excited to see Happily Ever After debut at the Magic Kingdom later this year? Or are you worried about this show living up to the high standards of its predecessor? Let us know what you think!
Originally published in Theme Park Tourist By Amanda Kondolojy, Friday, February 10, 2017 06:31
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