Tonight, Walt Disney World bids farewell to its long-running “Wishes” fireworks show. And tomorrow, it ushers in its new nighttime spectacular, “Happily Ever After.” The Disney Parks Blog will be livestreaming the debut, so even if you can’t be at the Magic Kingdom on Friday, you can see Happily Ever After. Tune in at 8:55 p.m. ET. In the meantime, here are answers to some of the most common questions about the new show.
What is “Happily Ever After”?
The new nighttime show tells this story, according to Disney: “[It] begins with scenes of fantastic dreams full of hope, wonder, magic and light. Disney villains soon become part of the story, attempting to quash those beautiful dreams and forcing the heroes to fight for what they believe in. Overcoming their fears, the heroes triumph and are celebrated with spectacular fireworks.”
Which Disney stories are represented in “Happily Ever After”?
Characters, scenes and music from more than 25 Disney films will be featured in the show. Among them are “The Little Mermaid,” “Moana,” “Brave,” “Big Hero 6,” “Zootopia,” “The Princess & The Frog,” “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Toy Story,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Jungle Book.”
In addition to the story, how is “Happily Ever After” different from “Wishes”?
This 18-minute show will feature more lasers, lights and projections than any Disney show before it. The projection-mapping technology is the most state-of-the-art to date. “The team first used projection mapping in 2010 with the launch of ‘The Magic, The Memories & You,’ a nighttime show that combined guest-submitted photos with different colorful layouts that were projected onto Cinderella Castle. After more advancements were made in the field of projection mapping, a new show, ‘Celebrate the Magic,’ debuted in 2012. Because of its successful use at the Walt Disney World Resort, the use of projection mapping technology then expanded to be used as an entertainment tool at Disney Parks around the world,” according to the Disney Parks Blog.
Will there still be plenty of fireworks in “Happily Ever After,” even with all the special effects and projections on Cinderella Castle?
Based on reports from guests who saw the late-night testing of the new show last week, the answer is yes. They have said there is no shortage of fireworks in “Happily Ever After.”
Will Tinker Bell still have a role in “Happily Ever After”?
Yes. Tinker Bell will continue to fly across the night sky, reminding guests that with a little faith, trust and pixie dust, everyone can find their own happily ever after.
Where can I best see “Happily Ever After”?
That is largely a matter of personal preference. “The team designed the show so it could be enjoyed from everywhere ‘Wishes’ is currently seen today (including the Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace). While projections and other special effects will make the in-park experience unique, guests watching from Magic Kingdom resorts, watercraft on Seven Seas Lagoon, etc., will still see a full show of fireworks accompanied by a musical score,” according to the Disney Parks Blog.
Will holiday versions of Wishes be replaced at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?
No. “Happy HalloWishes” and “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” will remain at the after-hours parties.
Will the score for “Happily Ever After” be as moving as the one for “Wishes”?
The score for “Happily Ever After” was recorded by a 75-piece orchestra in London, and it features contemporary versions of popular Disney songs. A brand-new theme song — also titled “Happily Ever After” — is sung by country music artist Angie Keilhauer and singer Jordan Fisher. Fisher performed on the “Moana” soundtrack and was a member of the cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton.”
Going to see “Happily Ever After” during opening week? Tell us what you think in the comments!