One of the best fireworks shows you will see anywhere is celebrated every year at…
Everyone loves to finish the night with fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and now a new nighttime spectacular has debuted called ‘Disney Enchantment.’
Fireworks are one of the things that makes a trip to the Walt Disney World parks so special, and it’s a rite of passage to gather in front of Cinderella Castle with your friends and family at the end of a long day of riding attractions and touring the park.
In this post, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about Disney Enchantment, the newest fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom.
We’re going to explain the fireworks times, the music from the show, the new song ‘You are the Magic’, the Disney characters and films represented, and the technology behind the show.
We’ll also share the best places to watch Disney Enchantment, photos from the show, explain how the dessert parties work, if it’s worth it to stay for this new show, and answer any other FAQs you might have.
A lot of people are sad to see the Happily Ever After show leave the Magic Kingdom and we’ll talk about if Disney Enchantment lives up to its beloved predecessor in our full review, and also how it compares to the new Disney Harmonious over in EPCOT.
After everything fans of the Disney parks have put up with over the last couple of years, it’s just great to have fireworks back at Walt Disney World and it’s not until something is taken from you that you really appreciate it.
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Disney Enchantment Overview
- Location: Magic Kingdom Park
- Opening Date: NOW OPEN as of October 1, 2021
- Attraction Type: Nighttime Spectacular with Fireworks & Projections
- Show Duration: 15 minutes 40 seconds
- Replaced: Happily Ever After
- Designer: Walt Disney Creative Entertainment
What is Disney Enchantment?
Disney Enchantment is a fireworks and projection mapping show which debuted at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on October 1, 2021. The show uses music and characters from a wide variety of Disney and Pixar films to tell its story along with fireworks, pyrotechnics, lasers, and projection mapping.
It is the successor to the popular Happily Ever After and adds even more projection effects across Cinderella Castle and now also down Main Street U.S.A. similar to what you can see in the Disneyland Forever show.
Besides Disney classics, the music also includes a new original song from Philip Lawrence and Kayla Alvarez entitled: “You Are the Magic.”
The timing of this new show is key because it was created to kick off the Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration with a bang! Disney has been preparing for the “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” for years and they are hoping it is the perfect welcome to all returning and new guests.
Per the description of the show, Disney Enchantment takes guests on a journey “filled with adventure, wonder, and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic.”
How Long is the Show?
From start to finish, the Disney Enchantment nighttime spectacular has a show length of 15 minutes and 40 seconds. That is approximately 2 minutes shorter than its predecessor Happily Ever After.
Is Disney Enchantment Open at the Magic Kingdom?
Disney Enchantment debuted on October 1, 2021, and is running at Disney’s Magic Kingdom nightly.
This show was announced in 2021 and kind of came out of nowhere. Disney wanted to make a splash for the 50th Anniversary and that’s why they decided to come up with an all-new show.
Disney Enchantment Hours
Firework shows at Disney’s Magic Kingdom run nightly but can vary based on the park’s operating hours or special events happening on a given day.
- Under normal circumstances, Disney Enchantment runs at either 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm nightly. From now through the end of 2021, Disney Enchantment is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm each night.
Check the My Disney Experience app or the Walt Disney World website for the most updated times during your vacation.
Show Scenes & Music
There are 13 songs in Disney Enchantment, including a new original song: “You Are the Magic.” GRAMMY-winning songwriter and music producer Philip Lawrence wrote the original song for the show which will compliment the fireworks and immersive projection effects.
Here is the list in order of all the music in the show:
- “You Are the Magic”
- “Almost There (Princess and the Frog)
- Just Around the Riverbend (Pocahontas)
- We Know the Way (Moana)
- Epiphany (Soul)
- Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast)
- Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)
- You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story/Toy Story 4)
- A Whole New World (Aladdin)
- You Can Fly (Peter Pan)
- Into the Unknown (Frozen 2)
- Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria (Fantasia)
- I Am Moana (Moana)
- Reprise of “You Are the Magic”
Films Represented in the Show
Even though they couldn’t fit songs from every film into Disney Enchantment, there are a total of 36 films represented by the character projections or music during the show.
Here is a list of all the films that have representation during Disney Enchantment:
- Alice in Wonderland
- Beauty and the Beast
- Big Hero 6
- Finding Nemo/Finding Dory
- Frozen II
- Inside Out
- Lady and the Tramp
- Lilo and Stitch
- Monsters University
- Peter Pan
- Raya and the Last Dragon
- Sleeping Beauty
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- The Lion King
- The Princess and the Frog
- The Sword in the Stone
- Treasure Planet
- Wreck-It Ralph/Ralph Breaks the Internet
So after all this build-up and hype around Disney Enchantment, how is the actual show?
I have to say, going into it, we had big expectations for Disney Enchantment. After all, putting together a show specially for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, the biggest celebration the resort has ever had, gave us high hopes that it would knock our socks off.
It also was following one of the most beloved shows, Happily Ever After, so whatever Disney did, needed to be even better than that. No small task to undertake.
We waited a few weeks after the debut because we didn’t want to be prisoners of the moment and we wanted to see the show a few times before passing our judgment. Unfortunately, Disney Enchantment let us down and did not live up to our expectations for what a show of this magnitude should be.
While we are definitely nostalgic as any seasoned Walt Disney World fans are, we like to consider ourselves pretty open-minded and we embrace change, as long as it is worth embracing.
For example, in our original review of Happily Ever After, we made the bold statement that is was the best fireworks show Disney has ever done. Years later, we stick by that statement. We really loved Wishes, but we recognized after 20 years, a change was needed and we loved it right from Day 1.
We couldn’t be further from that opinion in regards to Disney Enchantment.
That doesn’t mean the show is BAD, it’s hard to make fireworks bursting over the castle in an environment as beautiful as the Magic Kingdom bad in the true sense of the word. The show is still entertaining and has its moments, it just isn’t nearly as good as it could or should be.
Let’s look at the various aspects of the show…
Let’s get this one out of the way first. The special effects in Disney Enchantment were incredible. Disney recently upgraded the projection technology and the fireworks infrastructure, and it shows.
The projection effects on the castle were incredible. The colors seemed even richer and more vivid than before. The lasers were also awesome and it all keeps you glued to the castle to see what is going to happen next.
It seemed like there were fewer fireworks than before, but we enjoyed some of the new spray effects they made, even though they weren’t always synced correctly with the music.
The big selling point here is the projections on Main Street U.S.A., taking a page out of the Disneyland playbook. They aren’t essential to see so I wouldn’t go back there in the place of standing in The Hub, but they do make the show more interesting if that’s the best spot you can find for the show.
However, while extremely important, special effects are not the only thing that matters when judging a nighttime spectacular…
The original song “You Are the Magic” was ok, but nothing special. Yes, it has a good message like so many other Disney spectaculars that you have what it takes inside yourself to make your dreams come true, but it just wasn’t memorable.
The first two times we saw the show I couldn’t even remember the tune to hum on the way out of the park. This is a big downgrade from Happily Ever After which had one of the most memorable original songs and that was both uplifting and had you singing it the whole ride home.
What’s even worse however is the song choices and music from the Disney films. Many of the songs chosen were from films that were already in Happily Ever After, only the ones in Disney Enchantment are mostly B-level songs from those films.
For example, Moana had a big song in HEA, and going from “How Far I’ll Go” to “We Know the Way” and “I Am Moana” is a downgrade. Also, why are there 2 songs from Moana represented in the show anyway? Why not give one of those spots to another classic film that will resonate with fans?
We were not fans of “Into the Unknown” either and the whole arrangement felt very chaotic and messy. There are too many voices going at once and not at all in unison.
“You’ve Got a Friend In Me” is also a holdover from Happily Ever After, but again, a worse version of the song. It’s much faster and makes less of an impact.
Perhaps the worst part of Disney Enchantment and what really ruins it for us is the flow or lack thereof.
The show gets off to a bad start within the first 2 minutes. The music starts and we have the first scene, and then we get a pause with an introduction to the show. While I thought Angela Basset does a great job as narrator, the decision to place here after the first scene takes us out of the moment and brings everything to a grinding halt.
It would have been better to have her introduce the show and then actually start the show and let it go on. Not get us into it and then tell us that we need to be getting into it.
Unfortunately, the show is plagued with moments like this. While many of the scenes are gorgeous, there is a severe lack of storytelling to Disney Enchantment. It seems more like random songs from random Disney films thrown together without taking much time to think about creating scenes that would make one cohesive whole and complement each other.
Too Much New IP:
The show also is heavy on songs from the last decade, and while some of those films we already consider Disney classics (Frozen, Moana), some of them are definitely not. We know they need to sell those Disney+ subscriptions and everything, but it’s not necessary to shove every new IP the company has down our throats.
The soundtrack from the first Frozen film is far superior to Frozen 2, but again the decision comes down to promoting the newest IP instead of what will actually make the best show.
It’s also way too similar to Disney Harmonious, and besides changing a castle for a lagoon, it feels like you are watching the same show.
Beyond these things, there was a lot missing from Disney Enchantment that if included, could have made forgiving some of our complaints about the show much easier.
For example, where were Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse? They are front-and-center to Cinderella Castle, but no mention of them at all in the show. Their presence is sorely missing and seeing as this show is made for the 50th Anniversary, they should have been included in at least one scene, if not having some kind of speaking role.
There were also no callouts to the history of the resort, no monorails passing by as a project, nothing. Again, these things would have made the show a lot more palatable, instead of making me feel like I’m watching a 15 minute commercial for Disney+.
Believe me, we are some of the most positive Disney fans you will meet. We aren’t the types to sit back and nit-pick every decision or change that Disney makes, because we also know you must move on and embrace the future.
However, we also expect that future to be amazing, especially since we are talking about the company’s flagship vacation destination in the world.
We went into it with an open mind and we really wanted to like Disney Enchantment. We just can’t do it. Apart from the special effects, the show disappointed us in every way. We know that some fans really like it, but we felt absolutely no emotional connection to the story or the music, and it doesn’t resonate with us.
Even though that is about as negative a review as you can read, it still is a fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom which automatically makes it fun. It’s still entertaining, enjoyable to watch, and I don’t think anyone visiting should skip it.
Disney Enchantment just isn’t on the same level as what we have come to expect from Magic Kingdom fireworks shows and lacks that “it” factor that should leave you breathless no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Unfortunately, it also highlights the ever-so-widening disconnect from Disney management and the fans who have made the company the giant it is today.
Disney Enchantment vs. Happily Ever After
This is a no-brainer to us. Even though Disney Enchantment is the newer show and has some technological advantages, Happily Ever After is by far the better show from top to bottom.
For one, it’s shorter than Happily Ever after coming in at only 15 minutes and 40 seconds, rather than 18 minutes. Of course, length isn’t everything (I feel a joke coming on here), it’s what you do with that time that counts.
The music in Happily Ever After is better on all levels. The original song “Happily Ever After” is miles ahead of “You Are the Magic” and is much more gripping, memorable, and has a much more climactic finish.
The soundtrack from the Disney films is also superior in every way in HEA. It uses only the best songs from those films, and the arrangements are impeccable. All of the songs were perfectly chosen and each scene flowed to the next one seamlessly.
Disney Enchantment on the other hand is a mess. None of the scenes flow together and there are multiple times where the show feels interrupted by awkward pauses.
Perhaps most important is the emotion behind Happily Ever After. We wanted to sing each song at the top of our lungs and it always put a big smile on our faces. I also don’t think there was one time when watching it that our eyes didn’t water up because of its sheer emotion and beauty.
Will Happily Ever After Come Back?
What will happen to the previous fireworks show ‘Happily Ever After’? Will it ever come back to the Magic Kingdom? What happens when “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” comes to an end in 2023?
Unfortunately, Disney announced that Happily Ever After is permanently closed and it has been permanently replaced by Disney Enchantment. It won’t be coming back to the Magic Kingdom and its last show was on September 29, 2021.
We knew this was a possibility, but we were hoping that ‘Disney Enchantment’ would just be a special limited show that would last throughout the entire 50th Anniversary, and then things would go back to normal after that.
This, however, is not the case, and ‘Disney Enchantment’ will be a permanent replacement for ‘Happily Ever After.’
The new technology it uses could be adapted to Happily Ever After if so desired, but that doesn’t look like it will be the case.
Of course, many Disney fans share the same disappointment toward Disney Enchantment and they have even started an online petition to bring Happily Ever After back. We’ll have to see what comes of it, but I wouldn’t expect any miracles at this time.
It’s a shame since Happily Ever After was in our opinion the best fireworks show Disney has ever done and it only lasted 4 years. At least we have all the memories of watching it, and there’s always YouTube.
Disney Enchantment vs. Disney Harmonious
This is a really hard choice to make between Disney Enchantment and Disney Harmonious. Both are similar, too similar for our taste and at times it’s like watching the same show.
Both shows mirror each other in the way they focus on the Disney characters. This has always been the case at the Magic Kingdom, but it’s a new undertaking at EPCOT. The message they are trying to convey is slightly different (one about your own inner power and the other unifying people), but in the end, the flow and feel of both shows are remarkably similar.
That’s our biggest complaint about both of them, is neither stands out from the other. They are both a “greatest hits of Disney IP,” and it just feels like they moved the same show from one park to the next.
Despite all its flaws, when push comes to shove, we are picking Disney Harmonious over Disney Enchantment. Even though it pales in comparison to its predecessor Illuminations, we reward the creative team for trying to go in a different than what the park is used too and in the end, we have more fun watching Harmonious.
Enchantment feels like a cheap knock-off of a show that was superior in every way (Happily Ever After), and we don’t see the point of changing it.
Though we say we prefer Harmonious, both shows are full of flawed, and though at a high level technologically, they lack continuity, flow, and heart. It will be interesting to see which one outlasts the other in the coming years.
Best Places to Watch
Where you stand when watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks can make or break the experience, especially since Disney Enchantment incorporates a ton of projection mapping effects you are going to want to see.
Over the years, we’ve watched the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom hundreds of times and we’ve watched them from almost every possible angle and viewpoint. There is definitely a difference and you are going to want a good spot for the show.
Thankfully there are a bunch of them both inside the Magic Kingdom and outside, you just need to know where to look…
Here are the best places to watch Disney Enchantment:
- Center of The Hub – This is the best place to watch the show by far. Being in the center of The Hub in the area around the Partners Statue is going to offer you the best view of the show. It’s great for seeing both the fireworks and the projections on the castle. Plus if you can score a railing you won’t have people standing in front of you.
- The Plaza Gardens – There are two grass areas inbetween Main Street and The Hub that offer great views of the show. The only problem is they are not always available to the public and are often reserved for Dessert parties. That might make it enticing and worth the extra money to you, plus you won’t be as crowded.
- The Hump – The is the spot between Main Street U.S.A. and The Hub in the middle of the street that is slightly evevated above The Hub. If you can’t get up front, this offers a nice straight-on view and better for shorter guests.
- In Front of the Castle – One would think being upfront and center to Cinderella Castle would be the best seat in the house. It’s not. It’s the best place to see all the projections on the castle, but the angle blocks most of the fireworks in the back.
- On Main Street – This area just got a whole lot more interesting since Disney Enchantment because projection mappings were added to the buildings on Main Street. It’s not as good as seeing the ones on the castle, but it makes you feel much more a part of the show than you did before.
- Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party – Even though this is the view you get from the most expensive dessert party at the Magic Kingdom, we aren’t big fans. It’s nice because you can see most of the fireworks and you can get a spot along the rails without people in front of you. However, the whole bottom half of the castle is blocked by the trees which means you miss most of the projections.
- California Grill – This is our favorite place outside the Magic Kingdom. It’s already one of our favorite restaurants at Disney World, and the fact that it has a private fireworks viewing terrace with the music from the show piped in, makes it an even cooler experience.
- On the Train Station Platform – This is a unique view all the way down at the end of Main Street. When it’s open, you can go up on the train station platform along the railing which gives you an elevated view and no one in front of you. The negative is the flag pole is usually up so kind of annoying, and you can’t see the projections very well.
- On a Ride – This is a really fun and unique way to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and Big Thunder Mountain are our favorites. Just before the fireworks start, jump on, watch the sky light up, and experience them like you never have before.
- Polynesian Village Resort Beach – If you are looking for a free place to watch, away from the crowds, head over to the Polynesian Resort and grab a spot down on the beach. If you watch from Trader Sam’s you get the music piped in and a good view from the terrace.
Fireworks Viewing Parties
If you don’t like waiting around and camping out in The Hub for a spot to watch the fireworks, Disney offers various fireworks viewing parties where you can watch the newest show, Disney Enchantment, and enjoy some great food or snacks at the same time.
These events are an extra cost but offer a mostly hassle-free option for guests looking for a special experience.
Dessert Parties Inside the Magic Kingdom
In the Magic Kingdom Park, there are 3 dessert parties for Disney Enchantment that were created for the 50th Anniversary celebration.
Each one offers 50th-themed treats throughout the evening at Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant including chocolate-dipped strawberries and butterscotch pudding, plus a variety of cheeses. Drinks are also available, including an assortment of beer and wine for guests ages 21 and over.
- Disney Enchantment Pre-Party – Reserved standing viewing location in one of the Plaza Gardens. This party is held before the fireworks where you can enjoy a selection of desserts, cheeses, and beverages. $99 per adult (ages 10 and up); $59 per child (ages 3 to 9).
- Disney Enchantment Treats & Seats – Reserved seating at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Enjoy a selection of desserts, cheeses, and beverages. $114 per adult (ages 10 and up); $69 per child (ages 3 to 9)
- Disney Enchantment After Party – Reserved standing viewing location in one of the Plaza Gardens. This party takes place after the fireworks show and offers the same desserts, cheeses, and beverages. $99 per adult (ages 10 and up); $59 per child (ages 3 to 9)
Dessert & Viewing Parties Outside the Magic Kingdom
- Fairytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise – Watcht the Magic Kingdom fireworks from a ferry boat in the middle of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Includes bite-size signature sweets including build-your-own mousse, key lime tarts, cupcakes and specialty beverages with and without alcohol. $99 for adults and $69 for children ages 3 to 9
- Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors and Fireworks on Disney’s Contemporary Resort – This is a more high-end party and it’s located in the private Sonoma and Napa Rooms at California Grill. Guests will sample a selection of specialty drinks, sushi and small plates. Fireworks viewing is on the observation deck on the 15th floor for a unique viewpoint, complete with the synchronized music. The event continues back inside after the show with petit-fours, cordials and coffee. $129 per person, plus tax and gratuity
While all of these parties are nice, they all have different advantages and negative points about them. Keep in mind they all cost extra money and they are not for everyone. You will have to evaluate whether it’s worth it to go to one of the viewing parties or if it’s better to get a free spot to watch the fireworks.
Visit the Walt Disney World Website to book any of these experiences.
Here are the answers to some of your most common questions about the Magic Kingdom fireworks and Disney Enchantment in particular:
Does the Magic Kingdom Have Fireworks Every Night?
Yes, Disney’s Magic Kingdom has a fireworks show on the schedule every night. Under normal circumstances, that show is Disney Enchantment and is open to the general public.
However, sometimes the park runs special events with exclusive fireworks shows to those events. When the Magic Kingdom has a Halloween or Christmas party going on, the fireworks are a modified version that what you see on a regular day.
Does Magic Kingdom Do Fireworks in the Rain?
All Disney attractions including fireworks continue running in all weather types including rain and shine. We’ve watched the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom multiple times in the rain and the show goes on as normal.
The only time Disney cancels the fireworks is when there is lightning or high winds. Those weather conditions are too dangerous and in that case, they will not do the show.
If you don’t want to watch Disney Enchantment in the rain, we suggest you watch the weather forecast ahead of time to get an idea if it’s going to rain or not. If you are going to be at the Magic Kingdom multiple days, try to schedule fireworks watching on the best day weather-wise.
Does Tinker Bell Still Fly?
Yes, Tinker Bell still flies in the Disney Enchantment fireworks show as she has for almost the last 40 years. Just like during Happily Ever After she appears on the top of Cinderella Castle, spreads her wings, and flies down the zipline and over the audience.
Even though she is still in the show, to us it feels less dramatic than during Happily Ever After and the build-up isn’t as strong or emotional.
What Time Should I Pick a Spot?
What time you need to get a spot for the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom depends on what season it is, how busy the parks are when you visit, and where you would like to stand.
If you are visiting during a slower time of the year and the crowds aren’t too bad, you can usually get a decent place to stand up to 60 minutes before the start of the fireworks.
If you are going during a holiday or another really busy time of the year, you should start looking for a place to watch the show as many as 2 hours before it starts, or more.
The hardest place to get a spot to watch the fireworks is in The Hub around the gardens near the Partners Statue. If you want to stand here and have a view of the castle with no one in front of you, get there between 3-4 hours ahead of time.
Is it Worth it to Stay for the Fireworks at Magic Kingdom?
This depends on how much energy you have and how much you like fireworks shows. In general, the fireworks are one of the most popular attractions at any Disney park, and a must-do for most guests.
Even though we don’t like the Disney Enchantment show as much as Happily Ever After, we still recommend staying for it at the end of the night and it’s very entertaining.
If you are worried about being too tired to stay for the fireworks, you have a couple of options. You could skip rope drop in the morning get a later start at the Magic Kingdom around lunchtime or after. That way you won’t be too tired out by the time the fireworks start.
If you wanted to go for rope drop since that’s the best way to do as many rides as possible, you can still go early as normal, but then take a break in the afternoon and go back to your hotel for a nap or some relaxing. Then come back to the Magic Kingdom before the fireworks start in the evening.
I didn’t want to post this until the end in case you didn’t want to be spoiled by the show but here is the full video of Disney Enchantment:
For more information on planning your vacation to Walt Disney World here are some of our most useful posts:
- Disney World Crowd Calendar
- When Is the Best Time to Visit Disney World?
- New Attractions Coming to Walt Disney World in the Next 3 Years
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I want to know what you think about the new Disney Enchantment fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom…
- Do you like the show?
- How do you rate Disney Enchantment?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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