To me, the quintessential Disney Parks experience is watching “Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.” The classic Disney image is a midnight blue sky with fireworks bursting over Cinderella Castle. This nighttime extravaganza uses the castle as a central prop so it is jam-packed with photo opportunities. Multicolored lights carefully calculated to explode to music…yes! Wishes brings happy memories as you celebrate the power of believing and wishing upon a star.
We grew up with Wishes, we were Cast Members, we got engaged, and we celebrated many milestones under the Wishes fireworks. As this show aged, many Guests decided to skip the nightly fireworks and opt for shorter lines on E-ticket attractions like Seven Dwarf Mine Train, and Peter Pan. Disney took note and with new technology, up their collected sleeve they created a new nighttime show that is ready to go. Happily Ever After will debut tomorrow, May 12th, but not before Wishes has it’s BIG send-off.
Are you looking for the perfect spot to see Wishes one last time? You’ve come to the right place! This is your ultimate guide to where to watch “Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.”
Grab some popcorn or ice cream and get there early. BUT be warned. Even if you find that perfect unobstructed location, guests can show up at the last moment and change everything.
I plan to claim my spot early. I’m short. Mouse-sized. Fun sized. Vertically challenged. Yes, I’ve heard them all. So getting in my spot early is the plan. I may be fun sized, but for Disney Parks firework viewing it is tricky. I am often asked where my favorite viewing area is. If you’re a fireworks aficionado like I am, the heart of Fantasyland or Main Street, USA are the best places to be.
Are you looking for lower crowds and out of the way ideas? If you want to keep away from the crowds, good luck! Everyone wants a chance to see Wishes one last time.
Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom: Wishes!
The fireworks were designed with Main Street USA viewing location in mind and they are without a doubt breathtaking! If you want to be on Main Street, the crowds aren’t quite as bad, if you choose to watch near the flagpole.
Between Casey’s and the Crystal Palace, you can dodge most of the trees along the rail. You will get an off center view but you will get gorgeous reflections off the water.
If you go over toward Adventureland note that the trees have grown so stand clear. You might not want to miss Tinker Bell when she takes flight over the park during the show! We have been told that Tink will fly during the new “Happily Ever After” so if you want to watch Wishes in a less crowded place, I say do it.
Being in the central hub is not essential, amazing views can be seen at many locations on Disney property.
If you don’t need to see Tinker Bell fly or see the front of the castle while watching the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, go BEHIND the castle to see the fireworks. The view is fantastic, and you don’t have to fight crowds. Fantasyland is home to many of your favorite Disney characters, and great views of Wishes. So you can hit up attractions before, during and after. Attractions like Seven Dwarf Mine Train during and anything right after.
Watch Wishes from New Fantasyland between the new castle battlements right behind Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. Here’s the complicated part: you will feel like you are at a tennis match! The large fireworks go off over the Beast’s castle. The small fireworks go off at Cinderella castle. The fan fireworks will be over Cinderella Castle so you should face Main Street with the view of the back of Cinderella Castle. The rest of the firework bursts will be behind you so turn toward the path to Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid.
Speaking of the Little Mermaid…Standing right at the FastPass entrance leaves you with a great photo op.
From in front of Gaston’s Tavern, to the bridge to Be Our Guest you will find great places to stand and watch. I personally prefer it because there’s no pushing.
For a very different perspective, keep going around New Fantasyland by Dumbo. Ask the Cast Members which way to look. I like to watch all around this area.
The Mad Tea Party exit has been a Wishes spot for me many times. Across from the Tigger and Pooh meet and greet is a great place to enjoy the final Wishes. I am Mad about this little gem. Any place I can find a place to sit and see the fireworks I am all for. Some trees and building tops will obstruct your view but you will see most of it.
Tomorrowland near the arch is a fun place to try. You get a side view but Tinker Bell flies directly over you!
If you go past Space Mountain down the path you can see also, however, know that this is a smoking area so I would skip this spot if it bothers you.
At one point watching Wishes from the Haunted Mansion was wonderful. However, the same trees that offer shade, will block your view. Head around Liberty Square any place outside between Columbia Harbour House and the Liberty Square Riverboat entrance and look back towards Memento Mori. The Fan fireworks will be to your right.
You’ll be sayin’ yee haa when you head to the wild- west part of Magic Kingdom park to Frontierland. Look over Country Bears.
If you end up in Frontierland, you’ll have time for Big Thunder Mountain Railway (BTMR) and Splash Mountain. You can watch from both locations but watch for trees.(BTMR) and Splash Mountain have a fun outside view but it’s pretty hard to capture a good picture from there. If you choose to video tape Wishes, behind you will be the crashes of the water from Splash Mountain and you will hear faint screams from guests riding the Wildest ride in the Wilderness
Look across the Rivers of America back toward BTMR. You can ask a Cast Member for where to look.
Splash Mountain Bridge:
Don’t make a rookie mistake like some trashcan-sitting guests did.
#1 you can’t sit there for your safety.
#2 the castle looks spectacular at night but the fireworks are on the other side.
I have watched from this little Wishes spot several times but now that there is a lantern Photo Op it is crowded. Look over It’s a Small World and you can see some of the pyrotechnics but it isn’t my favorite.
Fireworks Dessert Party: a firework show with desserts? Sign me up! If you were lucky enough to score this reservation for tonight, CONGRATULATIONS!! Reservations can be made 60 days in advance by calling 407-wdwdine (939-3463).
Head to the Train Station if you want to leave Magic Kingdom Park before Wishes or right after. The Main Street, USA Train Station may be closed for reserved seating so look for signs.
No Park ticket? No problem.
Watch Wishes from the Monorail. No need for a Park ticket.
Right out the gate, there are a few good spots. In front of the train station is nice but keep going! You’re centered for the fireworks, you can hear the music, and as soon as the finale is over, you’re in an excellent position for the ferry, monorails, or resort buses. You can find a curb to sit, but my guess is you will be squeezed here too.
Transportation and Ticket Center:
Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) has a castle view by the ferry entrance and exit. You can see the castle and the music comes over the speaker. I have seen Wishes many times from the TTC. With the piped in the music and the reflection off the water, this is a beautiful Wishes spot.
Speedway Gas Station:
As I have left the Magic Kingdom I can see Wishes bursting in the sky when I was filling my tank for the ride home. If you pull into the Car Care Center you will be able to see the fireworks.
If you find yourself short on time or don’t want to deal with the crowds, you can watch from the parking lot of Epcot. This is another place to watch that doesn’t offer music piped in. Turn on your own music or just enjoy watching. When my middle son was little he didn’t like the loud bang of fireworks so we would leave the park or resort to find a viewing location where he would enjoy the show.
If you don’t have a ticket you can still see them so check the other locations. Can you see the firework display without going into the park? Yes!
Wishes fireworks can be seen from all 3 of their monorail resorts.
Resort beaches around the Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon are great locations to watch the fireworks. Head there on a friendship boat. My friend Didi and I have watched right from the boat to the resorts. You can’t hear the music but you can see the lights.There are Unique perspectives at each of the deluxe resorts.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort:
There are several locations in the Contemporary. Our Disney College Program Reunion was held here and we had a Wishes viewing party out front between the lobby and parking lot by the flagpoles. It was a good little spot but, you can find better! The walkway right outside the Contemporary is awesome! It’s on the North side as if you’re walking to Bay Lake Towers. If you’re a DVC (Disney Vacation Club) member go to the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower.
When you eat dinner anytime in the evening at California Grill, you can go back up, and see Wishes from their observation deck and watch the fireworks from there. California Grill has a walkway that makes for a fun view. Look over towards Space Mountain from there.
The observation deck at the Contemporary is a nice view but I love watching from California Grill. California Grill offers one of the best fireworks dining experiences at Walt Disney World Resort. While you experience the flavors of the Pacific Coast, lights are dimmed, music is piped in, and you can watch from your table!
Celebration at the Top, is a special event held in the private Sonoma Room and Napa Room. There is a dress code and reservations are needed.
I am sure that California Grill Lounge will be crowded, but if you save your receipt from earlier dining you can still go up later in the evening.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:
Head to the boat dock or marina at Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and enjoy the dazzling fireworks display. With its waterfront dining, Narcoossee’s has spectacular views. Narcoossee’s has a private terrace and it’s very romantic. Music is piped into their waterfront verandah too.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort:
Polynesian Resort Village is my favorite and probably the most popular option. We try to time dinner at ‘Ohana to watch from our table or better still, on their beach with your feet in the sand and pineapple dole whip for dessert.
I LOVE to end my day with Wishes firework display from the table at ‘Ohana. By having advanced dining reservation around 8:45pm, you’re sure to have a spectacular view of Wishes.
When you watch Wishes from across the Seven Seas Lagoon, the fireworks are reflected in the lake and it’s beautiful. The music is piped in so you don’t miss the score, however, it is turned very low. Have YouTube or the soundtrack ready to listen to.
Although not on the monorail loop keep Fort Wilderness in mind. The beaches at Fort Wilderness offer a Wishes side view. It is out of the way but if you get dinner at Trail’s End or Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue you’ll be there. Remember you will need extra travel time to get there so plan accordingly.
You can park for free for up to 3 hours when visiting a Disney resort. However, I’m sure they will limit parking to resort guests or those with dining reservations. Parking at TTC then walking over is an alternative for you.
You can also see the Electric Water Pageant (boat parade) from these locations.
Cruise on the water:
Disney offers several fireworks cruises available on the Disney Parks website. I recommend calling them now because they are popular and sell out. Call (407) 939-7529 for reservations.
Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage – where buccaneers can have a terrific view of Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. Or opt for a private boat for the night. I did this for my birthday and it was a lot of fun. Either choice and you are guaranteed a great place to watch.
Places to avoid:
Where are bad locations? Right in front of Cinderella Castle. The 189-foot structure blocks your view. As a general rule, never go further than the Partners statue if you want a great view of the whole firework show. Cinderella Castle is 100 feet taller than the Sleeping Beauty Castle in California, so Disneyland experts should keep this in mind when hunting a spot.
Disney will have reserved spots for Wishes viewing. Be mindful that places won’t be marked off and you may be asked to move.
I’ve seen estimates that Wishes alone costs anywhere from $45,000-$55,000 a night, so Look up in the sky! I think that’s money well spent.
Some guests feel that after a long run it’s time to update Wishes. Many other fans simply can’t imagine ending a day at the Magic Kingdom without Wishes fireworks.
Where will I be? I want to be where the people are! I may not be able to see, however, I will listen and make a wish on more time. One shoulder-kid in front of me and I’ve got an obstructed view. If you’re tall, chances are great that you will find your spot right in front of me.
It’s not exactly a well-guarded secret that I love to watch Wishes. For me waiting for Wishes is like waiting for Father Christmas to drop down the chimney. From the first music note and the first burst of light exploding high above Cinderella Castle, I believe all of my Wishes will come true.The last Wishes will be held at 9:00 but could start late like last night.
The last Wishes will be held at 9:00 but could start late like last night.
Once Upon a Time Castle Projection Show will have one showing at 9:45 pm
Please note that Wishes may look different than you remember them. THEY ARE! I have been told that Disney ran out of Wishes fireworks so they filled them in with new fireworks.
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