I have watched Disney’s “Wishes” fireworks show for years now, from so many park locations I have lost count. I have a favorite viewing spot, but sometimes as I make my way there, I get stuck watching from other places. Where does this Cheapskate Princess turn when she needs a great place to catch the fireworks and make some wishes of my own? From behind Cinderella Castle, of course…
I am so not a crowd person. I hate standing smashed up next to other people. I enjoy my own space, which makes Disney a strange choice for my favorite vacation destination since you are usually surrounded by massive amounts of people all invading your personal-space-bubble. I watched Wishes from the front, sitting with thousands of tourists by the “Partners” statue of Mickey and Walt. Never again, I swore, bruised hands from being stepped on, sore shoulder from being bumped into.
We stood by the Mickey and Minnie topiaries for several shows, which gives a lovely photo spot of the fireworks over the iconic castle. It was my husband who said,”I want to go back behind the building next time.” And my children all agreed.
The fireworks are shot from a barge in the marshy area outside the Disney property, back behind where the railroad tracks encircle the park. They are fired more close range from the roof tops right by Cinderela Castle, over Mickey’s Philharmagic and what was Snow White’s Scary Adventure. You will walk through the water they use to wet the building rooftops each night before the show begins, which certainly lends an “Up Close and Personal” touch to your viewing pleasure. Our family stood for years by the old Dumbo spot, which is funny to say “old” as I am still not used to the “new” Fantasyland arrangement. We now sit on the sidewalk by the Carousel.
This fence is gone now, and this area is pretty swamped with people walking by the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, so scoot over closer to the Carousel.
When the fireworks shoot up, the ground almost shakes, and the noise is so loud. You are very close to speakers, so the music is also pretty loud. The flakes of firework bits and residue float back to earth and often land on your clothes, and you’ll find bits of ashes in your hair. Ok, truth be told, a hot piece landed on my daughter once, not even a centimeter in width. She squeeled,”Look what landed on me, and it was still hot!” No burns, just fascination to be a part of the whole show. The smoke from the fireworks wafts across you, filling your nose with the smell of live Disney entertainment. There are things you miss from the back. It took years for me to realize that when Tinkerbelle goes flying down from Cinderella Castle, she is actually a real Cast Member. I thought she was an anamatronic figure, because you can’t see this from the back.
The crowds are light behind the castle because, duh, most people want to see if from the front. I understand this; I’ve just chosen to make other plans. On days when I can’t make it until the Kingdom, my other favorite spot is high atop Bay Lake Tower, but I don’t get this view often, and the volume actually feels muted compared to my regular back-row seat.
I definitely wouldn’t recommend this spot for families with really small children or kids with noise aversions. It’s loud and firework-smokey, which I have seen frighten some children. Parts of the show may land on you. But if you want the total immersion into the show, so close you feel like YOU could have lit the wick yourself had it been a bit longer, then try it from behind the Castle just once.
Oh, did I mention there is an ice cream spot called Storybook Treats that typically has short lines? $3.99 for a pre- or post-show snack, and you have one fantastic night.
One last tip. The park closes after Wishes on some nights, and you are almost half a mile from the front gates. Walk slow…let people pass you as they rush to a monorail…take you sweet Mickey Mouse time. By now, the gift shops are clearing out, and you have more elbow room to do some window or actual shopping.
If you ever waited until the park was closing to do some window shopping, you just might be a Cheapskate Princess!
Now my friend Mike from My Dreams of Disney has his own best place to watch the fireworks. Where is his best Wishes viewing spot? You can check it out right here….
Thanks for stopping by, and if you see me wiping firework bits from my hair and tears from my eyes, be sure to say hi!
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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess