UPDATED for 2017:
As we prepare to say farewell to Wishes at Magic Kingdom, we are sad but excited about the new age of fireworks at Cinderella Castle!
I have watched Magic Kingdom’s 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…
As your Princess Travel Experts, we give you all our tips and tricks and viewing spots for fireworks, shows and parades. Remember, for a free quote, you can fill out a quote request form here anytime.
I can handle the crowds at Disney. However, 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 watch the fireworks from the front, at least one time during my vacation, sitting with thousands of tourists by the “Partners” statue of Mickey and Walt. But I always try to see it at least two other times during my stay, and I always try to find a new place to view them.
One night, as we left Be Our Guest for dinner we stumbled upon the fireworks from behind the castle, and realized we had a new family challenge! We were going to find the newest and best ways to view the fireworks, minus all the crowds on Main Street, U.S.A.
The Wishes 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 Cinderella Castle, over Mickey’s Philharmagic and Princess Fairytale Hall. 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 watches from the Carousel, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, as well as deeper into the New Fantasyland by Ariel’s Grotto. If you are in just the right spot, you are able to see the fireworks with three iconic castles in the background; Cinderella Castle, Beast’s Castle and Prince Eric’s Castle.
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.
There are also things you miss from the back. Tinkerbell’s flight at the beginning of Wishes, is a crowd favorite for sure. And we hope that the new replacement show will add something even cooler for children of all ages. But if it is in the front of the castle like Tinkerbell, you will miss this if viewing from the back. Also, the wonderful images projected onto Cinderella Castle that adds to the show, will of course only be able to be viewed from the front. This is why I always make sure to see it at least once from my favorite spot in front of the castle.
The crowds are light behind the castle after all, 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.
If you feel like you know the fireworks show by heart and you don’t mind missing the noise and music, there are some other beautiful and special places to watch the show! As your Princess Travel Experts, one of the things we do when helping you with your dining is make reservations at certain restaurants to view the fireworks. Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts all have dining reservations during the fireworks. These resorts also have some wonderful viewing spots on their property so you can enjoy the show from outside the park.
And how could a fireworks viewing be complete without a snack? There are always snack spots around any of your chosen viewing locations where you can all get a snack and settle in for a great show!
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 your 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!
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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess