Is Disney doing fireworks? Start times and best viewing spots [2022]

Nothing caps off a magical day at a Disney park quite like fireworks.

The visually stunning explosions set against an inky black sky are brilliant. Throw in a stirring Disney ballad from my childhood. Suddenly I’m filled with hope for the future and gratitude for the present.

Does Disney do fireworks every night?

Yes! Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme parks have evening fireworks displays every night.

Magic Kingdom’s fireworks include images from both vintage and modern animated Disney films that are projected on Cinderella’s Castle. The castle projections are stunning and not to be missed.

You can see and hear the full show from many locations within the park. The best view is from directly in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

If you decide to hunker down ahead of the show, consider indulging in a sundae from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor while you wait.

Disney's fireworks show at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom’s new nighttime spectacular features stunning fireworks, powerful music and enhanced lighting (photo courtesy Walt Disney World Resort/Kent Phillips)

What about the fireworks at the other parks?

EPCOT’s fireworks show Harmonious premiered in 2021. The show was previously known as EPCOT Forever and IllumiNations.

EPCOT’s show takes place on the World Showcase lagoon. It includes floating screens, pyrotechnics, moving fountains and lasers. The elaborate choreography is set to Disney music from films that highlight cultures from around the world such as “Moana”, “Coco”, “Mulan”, “Brave” and “Aladdin”.

In keeping with the theme of EPCOT’s World Showcase, the show celebrates diversity and international cooperation. The 360-degree view means there are plenty of great spots along the 1.2 mile World Showcase loop from which to enjoy the show.

I recommend acquiring Pear Cider from the UK Beer cart to sip while you watch. 

Hollywood Studios offers a Star Wars-themed fireworks show featuring epic music from John Williams. Feel one with the Force as you watch the lasers, pyrotechnics and Disney World fireworks fill the night sky.

Iconic scenes from the beloved saga are projected onto the Chinese theater near the entrance to the park, so that’s the best place to watch.  

Note: Animal Kingdom offers quieter entertainment options in the evenings so as not to disturb its many animal residents. 

Read Also: Animal Kingdom’s night show and things to do after dark

Harmonious show at Epcot
Harmonious at EPCOT is one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney theme park (photo courtesy Walt Disney World Resort/David Roark)

Are there special seasonal fireworks?

Yes, Disney puts on extra spectacular firework displays for New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July in both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Disney Springs hosts fireworks on the 4th of July.

Remember, holiday periods can often mean peak times at the park.

The Magic Kingdom park also presents a special fireworks shows as part of their Halloween and Christmas parties offered in fall and winter. 

As part of the Disney World 50th Anniversary fireworks spectacular, guests can purchase one of the Enchanting Extras Collection experiences, like dessert parties that feature Disney Enchantment Treats & Seats.

Guests can sit back and enjoy Disney Enchantment treats and a spectacular view of the new fireworks from the Tomorrowland Terrace patio. Note, this is an additional charge and availability may vary.

Check the Disney calendar for more information.

How much does Disney spend on fireworks?

It’s an industry secret, but let’s just say it’s a lot of money. Some estimates range from $40,000 to $50,000 per show at Magic Kingdom.

However, with an average daily attendance of around 56,000 guests, that’s approximately less than $1 per guest. 

A lion on a Kilimanjaro Safaris
Animal Kingdom has a different type of night show so the animals are not disturbed (photo courtesy Walt Disney World Resort/Todd Anderson)

What time are Disney fireworks?

Depending on the season, the fireworks can start any time between 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm.

Disney shifts the fireworks start time seasonally to adjust for the changing time of sunset and park hours. It makes sense if you think about it. In January it’s dark by 6 pm but in June it’s still light at 9 pm.

The best way is to check the website or mobile app for the official schedule of events.

The good news is that Disney typically posts the schedule months in advance. 

Read Also: EPCOT vs Magic Kingdom: Which Disney park is best?

Where can you watch the fireworks?

The most popular viewing spot, and probably the best spots, to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks is directly in front of the Cinderella Castle or on Main Street U.S.A.

Lots of people choose to secure a location by finding a good spot hours before the show.

I’ve found that on most nights, you can find a decent spot even if you show up late. If it’s your first time at the park, don’t sweat it if you’re busy having the best day ever in another part of the park. 

There are several less conventional (and less crowded) spots and side streets in the park to get a view of the fireworks.

You might miss out on seeing some of the immersive projection effects on the castle if you choose to watch from Frontierland or Fantasyland, but you couldn’t miss the fireworks if you tried.

Many people plan to watch the fireworks on their way out of the park.

Consequently, the wait times for the more popular rides can drop dramatically during the fireworks.

Watching the show from behind the castle can be a great strategy for getting in a couple more rides at the end of the night.

It’s also possible to see the fireworks from several locations outside the park.

The ferry that takes you across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Transportation and Ticket Center offers a unique view. So does the Monorail.

I love to watch the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian Village resort – preferably with a tropical adult beverage from the hotel bar in hand.

The easiest way to get to the Polynesian from the Magic Kingdom is to take the resort monorail. You can also see the fireworks from the other two resorts on the monorail loop – the Grand Floridian and Contemporary.

Cinderella Castle at Disney World with fireworks
As long as you are in the park, you’ll be able to see the fireworks. But try to be in front of the castle in order to see the projection display (photo courtesy Walt Disney World Resort/David Roark)

Can you see fireworks from Disney Springs?

Not really. Disney Springs does host fireworks on the 4th of July, but it’s not a great location for viewing fireworks during the rest of the year.

On clear nights, you might be able to catch glimpses of the EPCOT or Magic Kingdom fireworks from the tops of parking garages or higher buildings. Some nearby hotels offer rooms with a good view for fireworks on their higher floors.

Despite this, Disney Springs probably isn’t a great location for fireworks viewing area. 

No matter how you slice it, fireworks are a big part of your day at a Disney Park (excluding Animal Kingdom, of course).

Some folks choose to stake out a prime viewing location in front of Cinderella’s Castle hours ahead of time.

That’s a great strategy if taking in all the details of the show is important to you.

Alternatively, some choose to take advantage of the shorter lines and wait times of rides during the show.

If nothing else, be sure to turn around to pause and marvel as you head for the park exit after a long day. It will leave you feeling sprinkled with one last pinch of pixie dust.

Where do you watch the fireworks from on a Disney vacation? What is your favorite part of Disney magic? Let us know in the comments!

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