Fourth of July Celebrations
Special character interactions, live entertainment, holiday treats and more round out Fourth of July offerings across the resort
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Fireworks are synonymous with the Fourth of July and Walt Disney World Resort, and on Independence Day 2018, Disney theme parks will offer guests a bevy of booming delights.
Nighttime "wows" for the holiday include:
Disney's Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky
Fireworks will soar above Magic Kingdom Park while the air swells with patriotic melodies. The two-nights-only show starts at 9:15 p.m. on July 3 and July 4.
Also at Magic Kingdom Park:
- DJs will host dance parties in Frontierland and Tomorrowland on July 3 and July 4.
- The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History: Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and friends reenact famous moments in American history – as only they can. The live show is performed daily in Liberty Square.
FUN FACT: The Liberty Bell in Liberty Square is a replica cast from the same mold of the original in Philadelphia; it was placed in Magic Kingdom Park in recognition of the bicentennial of the United States Constitution in 1987.
The perennial "kiss goodnight" at Epcot will include a special fireworks finale that paints the sky red, white and blue. The spectacular begins at 9 p.m. on July 4.
Also at Epcot:
- The Voices of Liberty a cappella group will perform traditional Americana songs on the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.
- Disney Characters dressed in Independence Day attire will meet guests during the day at The American Adventure.
FUN FACT: More than 26,000 feet of lights outline the Epcot World Showcase pavilions that play a role in "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth."
Fireworks are just one portion of this immersive nighttime experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Adding state-of-the-art projection effects, dynamic lighting and lasers, the show transports guests to a galaxy far, far away and into iconic scenes from the Star Wars saga. This one-of-a-kind "wow" begins at 10 p.m. on July 4.
FUN FACT: The show now includes an all-new sequence from "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
Select theme parks and resorts will offer exclusive dessert items in honor of Independence Day. Examples include:
- A Fourth of July cupcake featuring an apple-pie filling at Creature Comforts and Isles of Java at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- A sparkly red-white-and-blue coconut macaroon dipped in white chocolate at BoardWalk Bakery at Disney's BoardWalk Resort.
- Patriotic dipped strawberries and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse mini-domes at Amorette's at Disney Springs.
The Fourth at the Fort
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will offer several special events around the Fourth of July holiday:
- The Fourth of July 5K Run will take place Tuesday, July 3. Pre-registration is available June 24-30 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Fort Wilderness Bike Barn. On-site registration begins at 7 a.m. in the field next to Mickey's Backyard BBQ; the run begins from that location at 7:30 a.m.
- The Fourth of July Golf Cart Parade begins at 4 p.m. on July 4. Registration will be open June 24-30 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Fort Wilderness Bike Barn.
- The Fourth of July Beach Bash at Clementine's Beach will take place from 6-11 p.m. on July 4. Guests will enjoy a live DJ, dancing, games, contests, a movie, and more. In addition, the Fort Wilderness food truck will be available in the settlement area with delicious items for purchase.
Here's what they had to say…..
Overwhelmingly (67%), folks voted for watching fireworks at the Magic Kingdom as their favorite place at WDW to celebrate July 4th. Epcot received 24% of the vote! The 67% was split between actually being in the Magic Kingdom or being at one of the MK resorts.
Our readers report the best place to watch fireworks is from Main Street. Here are some other ideas, a bit off the beaten path:
- Outside The Plaza restaurant.
- In front of Splash Mountain, there's a opening you can see them clearly!
- Tomorrowland…. on the bridge…
- Walkway between the Central Hub in front of the Castle and Tomorrowland
- The rose garden if you can get there, it just seems "all American"
- On one of those benches by the riverboat on the Rivers of America. I chose this park because it is the most beautiful at night.
- Bridge from the central hub to Tomorrowland. 4th of July is an American celebration and Main Street in MK is Smalltown, USA.
- From the gallows at Liberty Square. The reason? Every land at the MK is a piece of Americana in one form or another, perfect for the 4th of July. The gallows at Liberty Square I found give a great view to the fireworks, and was a place to sit to boot.
- On Main Street, but not at the hub; further up the street by the ice cream parlor. You are able to enjoy the 360 degree fireworks and get great photo and video shots! Try to stand where in the first row after the street path the cast members tape off that way people's heads aren't directly in front of you.
- and there's always the Grand One Yacht on Bay Lake!
- From the monorail as it circles the Seven Seas Lagoon. Great views of the entire fireworks display!
- or the Beach at one of the Magic Kingdom resorts (Polynesian, Grand Floridan, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness or Contemporary)!
When asked WHY you said:
Magic Kindgom is just the place to be. It is where it all started. The castle is so beautiful and just standing anywhere along the paths with a Dole Whip to cool off the warm summer night is the best.
Fireworks behind Cinderella Castle are absolutely iconic, and the 4th is the biggest fireworks day of all! What could be more American (other than being in DC or Philly)?
We like MK because of its atmosphere! There is nothing like it. Sure it's packed but that is part of the fun. Our favorite spot is toontown. The crowds are little less and the fireworks feel like they are right over us!
I pick MK because the new Wishes fireworks with the music makes the entire event more "magical/special feeling" then the other parks And, you can watch the Castle change colors and if you look to your right, high above you can see Tinkerbell fly over too if you are up close too…
From the Magic Kingdom Resorts
I like watching them from the 4th floor at the Contemporary because it's usually not crowded. I love seeing them over the MK because it's my favorite park.
Put your blanket on the beach and first watch thewater light parade then the fireworks over the castle. Best exibition of all time was July 4th 1990. The fireworks exploded out of the water, over the castle, across the water.
From the Polynesian resort beach, they play the music and you can sit let the kids play and have a tropical drink, that definately beats MK crowds on the way out.
I have been going to Walt Disney World since I was just a baby. (as I have been told I am as old as Walt Disney World LOL) We have always watched the fireworks from the beach or the boats that travel from the campgrounds to the hotels on the water. It is peaceful and pleasant there, my children can play in the sand with other children. We meet lots of different people from all walks of life (different states and countries) and you can converse with them while relaxing in your chair. It really is a magical experience.
We always watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach of the Polynesian Hotel. We book dinner at 'Ohana at about 5:30-6:00pm; eat a wonderful dinner with our pal Kaleo entertaining us with his ukelele; take our camp chairs out of the car after dinner and stroll on down to the beach. The kids play beach volleyball beforehand and generally wear themselves out while waiting for darkness and the fireworks to start. You get the 3-D effect of the fireworks from this vantage point, and do not have to fight huge crowds. We simply love it.
We always watch the fireworks from the Narcoossee's balcony at the Grand Floridian. It's only open to diners, so it's not too crowded. They pipe in the fireworks music. And, you get to see the fireworks over the castle and over Bay Lake at the same time!
Grand Floridian: I often sit outside of Gasparilla Grill with a pizza and enjoy the fireworks – you get a pretty good view from there. I have also used the stairways on the sides of the buildings at the Grand – I was sick once, but couldn't resist the fireworks and saw them from there.
GF Marina: It is not so loud for the young ones, you do not have to pay to go into the park, Magic Kingdom is shoulder to shoulder on the 4th, the weather is so hot that the tables by the marina usually have a nice breeze, you do not have to fight the mass wave of people leaving MK. You can listen to the orchestra and have dinner at Citricos before the fireworks if you want.
The parks are too crowded. When we visit WDW over the 4th, we book the Contemporary Tower and request MK view. So far great luck and the view of the fireworks cannot be beat.
We went to the Studios last 4th of July because almost everyone else must have been at the Magic Kingdom. We walked right on the rides or had a five-minute wait. It was fabulous. We watched the fireworks from the courtyard. It was crowded, but we sat on the ground and had an unobstructed view.
Where would you watch IllumiNations?
- On the bridge by Mexico
- Near American Adventure, where the birth and development of this great country is seen and felt every day. I chose Epcot fireworks because I feel that the correography of music, lights, fire, water and fireworks are so powerfully aligned. Illuminations is a powerful show.
- We watch them from France if we can get there early enough to get a spot. We choose Epcot because it is alot less crowded then the other two parks, or at least it feels less crowded.
- At Germany with a large draft beer
- In front of the Norway, good view, all facilities within easy reach (Kringla Bakeri, restrooms, water fountain).
We watch Epcot's 4th of July fireworks near Japan. The view by the Torii Gate is great! We choose Epcot because we feel they have the most amazing fireworks! You literally can't hear anything else but fireworks when they do the finale. The sky just lights up with color. It's truly amazing!
- Right in front of the Japan Pavilion. We felt the fireworks percussion in our chests it was so strong. The World Showcase Fireworks are a must-see from any location in Epcot.
- Between Norway and China there is a cast member entrance set back aways from the walkway. You can step back into this area, get out of the way of the traffic and have a virtually unobstructed view of the lagoon and the sky.
- Anywhere around the lagoon. The 4th fireworks are the best! On our last trip on the 4th we managed to see both the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We saw the MK fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian and then hopped the monorail to Epcot in time to see them there as well!
- Anywhere around the World Showcase. I recommend this as last year when I went to the MK for fireworks it was literally PACKED with people. I felt like a sardine in a can even while standing on the walkway between the hub and the Tea Cups. Never again will I try for July 4th at the MK.
Why IllumiNations in Epcot?
- I love IllumiNations and I think it would be incredible to see them on the 4th of July. I would probably find a spot between France and UK.
- Epcot is the only place I have seen the 4th of July fireworks. They were great! After the usual fireworks they turned special lighting on the American Adventure and had a great red, white and blue themed firework display to Sandi Patty singing the Star Spangled Banner. It was very moving, many people had tears streaming down their faces,it was a night I will remember always.
- On July 4, 2005, we stood just beside the dock of the Friendship boats outside of Germany. We had a wonderful view of the fireworks! At the end of the regular Illuminations, the July 4th fireworks started and took our breath away! They were absolutely amazing and very patriotic. We felt so proud to be American citizens and in this wonderful place where everyone around us were celebrating our heritage. We chose Epcot because we wanted to be around the American pavillion on this special day. The American Vybe performance at the American Gardens Theatre was inspiring and the Voices of Liberty inside the pavillion sang all our favorite American songs. We had a most wonderful day and night in the World Showcase.
Last year we stayed for the first time at our Saratoga Springs Resort (DVC). We watched the 4th of July fireworks from the balcony or our Grand Villa. I cannot express how wonderful, thrilling and absolutely breathtaking it was that night. It seemed as if we were a part of the fireworks, they were just that close. And to walk around and see the people on the grass and milling about and having that warm feeling of just being at WDW is something I'll never forget. We're doing the same thing this July!
Go to the Boardwalk area by ESPN zone and you can see fireworks from all the parks. You almost feel as though you are spinning around in a circle as the firework shows go on at different times. You can walk a little ways over to the bridge that would lead to Epcot and get a great view of their fireworks and then turn around and see the Studios fireworks. Over in the distance you can Magic Kingdom and then sometimes there are fireworks from the Wide World of Sports. It's amazing and you don't need a park ticket.
We once went into a park on July 4th and decided we would never do it again (way too crowded for us)… So we go out to dinner and then go back to our resort and watch whichever fireworks we can see from the resort we my be staying in at the time… Works for us!
One year I was forced to watch the fireworks from the Boardwalk because I didn't have a park ticket. It ended up being the perfect location. No one is there, instead they are all pretty much at a park. You have so much space to yourself to find a comfortable and great spot for firework watching. We watched them from the spot near the lighthouse. It was spectacular!
We sit on our balcony at OKW and can see fireworks from the Studios and Epcot, so it's perfect! And no crowds!
Walkway between the Swan and Dolphin: Turn to the left and you can watch the Epcot fireworks… then, turn to the right and watch the Studios fireworks. Great location for New Year's, too!
A bench on the Disney Boardwalk with your sweetheart!
Actually, the beach at CBR is a perfect spot to see Epcot fireworks! No crowds to fight and when we stayed, it made for a nice family event.