Fifth post of the series
The Magic of Disney after dark!
I've never been able to understand how people can leave before the fireworks, light parades, or other special closing ceremonies. I mean, that would be like going out for ice cream and leaving with just a cone. Lumped into this same quandary, I also don't understand it when people "ride through" during these nightly festivities. I don't understand this in part because, once a parade or event starts, how in the stinkin' world are you even able to get where you want to be (in a timely) manner due to cast members blocking off the walk ways or to the fact that every other person in the park is making a b line to the fun or the fact that because of the sheer Disney of it all they are still able to follow their travel party without stopping dead in their tracks to stare up in the fully illuminated Orlando Sky...how in the world do they do it?
Now, don't read me wrong. I don't go to both Spectromagic parades so, if I am staying for the later, I will go ride something else or in my case be finishing up dinner reservations. But, I don't understand it when people don't take advantage of any of the showing. Craziness I tell you! Craziness! Today I am going to highlight some D.M.D closing ceremonies (if you will). I love the parks at night, the magic really shines through if you know what I mean.
The Magic Kingdom
So, now that the Summer Nightastic firework show is over, I guess I'll just tell you that this firework show was very similar to Wishes! Nighttime spectacular. The only difference was the storyline and Summer Nightastic included a more "surround sound" experience. Wishes! Nighttime Specacular shows several times a week. Wishes! seals your day the Disney way! Narrated by good old Jiminy Cricket, Wishes! takes you on a musical and visual trip through some Disney classics. The magic all starts with a wish: cue Tinkerbell in her 25 year old flight from Cinderella castle. This experience takes you from a heart full of wishes to a victorious romp with a few (dare I say beloved) villains. But don't worry, Jiminy and his crew prevail in the end. I absolutely LOVE this Magic Kingdom tradition! I make a point to take in the Wishes! Nighttime Spectaular at least 2 times per stay. You'll want to find a good space to watch this show. I like standing on the bridge to Tomorrowland. It isn't really that crowded plus, Tink waves her wand right over you...Oh my, I wanna go right now! I know that it is really crowded right in front of the castle and I have only made the mistake of standing dead center once. It was gridlock there for about 20 minutes after the show. Standing to the side on one of the bridges or a bit farther back on Main Street USA will give you just a good of a view with out the chance of getting lost in the crowd or being stepped on.
I often watch Youtube versions of Wishes! and it helps me with my Disney withdrawls. Also, I bought the soundtrack from The Laughing place store . It is weird how music can soothe your soul (or at least my soul). I get all Disney when I hear the trumpet fanfare or hear the chorus of kiddos singing at the end. I just love it!
my gift to you:
A Youtube version of Wishes! by jetnut18
Here are some photographs I took on trips to DW. The first 2 are from the Summer Nightastic firework show. Also you can look at photographs from Wishes! on my previous post Happy 25th to Tink's Nighttime Flight
Also, don't forget to check out Disney's Mainstreet Electrical Parade (I have posted on this one before in more detail just click here to go to the linked post). I know that Summer Nighttastic ended August 14th but, the Main Street Electrical parade is on a continued open run. So if you are headed down Disney way, make sure to enjoy this limited run parade.
If you are planning on going to Disney when Spectromagic continues then you are in for a treat too. I love Spectromagic (shocker. I know!). Spectromagic lasts about 15-20 minutes and makes its way from Town hall (the very left entrance to Mainstreet USA) and wraps its way through the park ending in Frontierland (think Splash Mountain area). You will see all your Disney favorites from Mickey to Marry Poppins. The best part is, "they are illuminated in a million points of electric light" (J. Cricket.). There are a lot of takes on where to sit. I will start off by saying that Main Street USA (the main drag of it anyway) is CRAZY crowded. So, if you plan on sitting here, just know that you need to arrive to secure your seat (and stand your ground for it) at about 6:30 for an 8:00 parade. I know that sounds crazy. But, that is what time people start parking it! You should also know that cast members block off a lot of walking areas during this parade. You won't be allowed to cross certain sections of the parade route until they give you the go. FYI that might take a while. So, do everything you need to do in order to stay put (take a potty break, catch dinner or a snack, buy those Mickey ears). This leads me to my best tip: if there are two showings of Spectromagic or the Main Street Electrical Parade, go to the second showing. Many people hit up the first and leave so your seat choices will be better. I like sitting right in front of Town Hall. #1:It isn't as crowded #2: The parade starts here so it ends here first and you can get out before the crowd really hits.
Both the Main Street Electrical parade and the Spectromagic parade are on Youtube (but you gotta see it in person to get the full effect).
Take a look at some of the sights of Spectromagic by familiaestradagtz
Quick Reference Tips for the Magic Kingdom:
-Check the park calendar for schedules so you know when Wishes! takes place and when Spectromagic/Main Street Electrical Parades take place.
-If there are two parades stay for the later. It will be a lot less crowded.
-Don't try to sit on Main Street USA . There are other great viewing spots in Frontierland and my favorite spot at the beginning of the parade route.
-For a less crowded view of Wishes! , try the bridge to Tomorrowland. This is less crowded and gives you a good view of Tinkerbell's famous flight!
-After Wishes! stay put (there will be a mass exodus but, the park doesn't officially close right after the fireworks. Most stores remain open for about an hour after the parade). If you stay around long enough you can see what is called the "good night kiss". Last year I asked a cast member what time it happened and even she had no clue. The good night kiss is the official closing of the park and it puts a sentimental end to the day. There is no actual kissing (wouldn't it be neat if there was with like Cinderella and Prince Charming) this kiss is a seal on the day with some memorable words from good ol' Walt Disney. Get right in front of the castle and enjoy a hidden gem. As an added plus by staying back you will miss out on the crazy rush to exit the park.
-Buy a light toy for the parades. You will be glad...it will make you smile!
-Remember that cast members rope off parts of the park for the parade route. You are only allowed to cross the path when they usher you through. So, if you are at the castle end of Main Street USA and you want to get out, try entering the stores at Casey's Corner you can walk through the whole line of stores (they are all connected so you can make your way through all the way to Town Hall area). You can get out SO much easier!
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth takes place nightly at the World Showcase Lagoon. This is more of a grown up geared firework show that combines, lasers, fog, fireworks, projections, and so much more. This show has TONS of great viewing spots (Pick anywhere from Mexico to Canada). You'll wanna see all three acts that make up this show. Check out the official Disney Website for more information on each act as well as some great pictures. This show lasts about 12 minutes and is worth the wait! I know you will be moved to watch the people of this Earth celebrated through unity!
Quick Reference for Epcot:
-You can get a good seat for this show any where around the World Showcase Lagoon. Just arrive about and hour before the show and get ready for a great show!
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Fantasmic! is just that. Disney at its most Fantastic. Fantasmic! shows on selected nights only and is a hot ticket. The popularity of this show always blows me away. Fans come in droves to pack into the 1,500 person amphitheater (yeah, its an outdoor show so weather can effect the showing) shows last about 30 minutes and schedules can be found on the tip boards and via guest relations. Cast members let in a limited number of guests and I have only had the pleasure of standing, in the way back. I mean WAY back. If you plan on seeing this show, you should plan on making your way over about 2 to 2.5 hours early, because it will fill up and I mean fast. What I saw (keep in mind I am about five foot nothing) was spectacular. A mixture of music, lights, magic, smoke, projections, and so many characters. The show takes place on the stage as well as on floats in the water. The story stars Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice and takes you through his imagination. Of course the villains make an appearance and Mickey duels it out with Maleficent (in dragon form of course). This one is not for the faint of heart; partly because of the drama and mostly because of the wait time and crowded viewing if you are too late. Try and make a showing, it will be worth it in the end!
Take a look at this playlist I created from aquany1's footage of Fanstasmic!
Quick Reference for Disney's Hollywood Studios:
-Plan on getting here REALLY early. About 2 or so hours ahead of time.
-I'm pretty sure that you can't take strollers into the arena so, be prepared to park them. All of your party has to be together to be seated so, plan on making sure everything is squared away before you plan on entering.
-Two restaurants at DHS have special dinner arrangements that allow you to get a guaranteed seat at Fantasmic! This information is detailed on the Disney page (here). Just make sure you make your reservations early by calling 407-WDW-dine (407)-939-3463. I know that the restaurants are The Hollywood Brown Derby and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano (lunch or dinner) or Hollywood and Vine (dinner packages only). This package is called the Fantasmic! Dining Package and guarantees you dinner and a great seat at the show. This is a good thing to consider if you are a few months out
I hope you got some new tips, tricks, and ideas from this post. I also hope that you try out these D.M.D after dark edition faves! Cheers friends!