Happily Ever After Hub Spot Technique (and Added Bonus: MNSSHP Parade Hub Technique)

I’ve had a photo with this info up on Flickr for awhile, but that service seems to be going sideways today now that they’ve changed their policy on storage. So, just copying that info here where it will probably be easier to access anyway.

Map of Where we sat for Happily Ever After fireworks in Magic Kingdom

First Some Notes
HEA was scheduled for 9:00PM that night.
TP CL estimate was a 7, (actual ended up being a CL 8.)
(Was a very slightly drizzly, so may have kept some people away, but the hub was pretty full by the show.)

If I were using this technique again on a similar day and crowd level, I would probably get to the hub (with snacks and drinks) by 7:45PM to insure I got that railing spot, if at all possible.

May 2019 Update: Just wanted to throw in here that several reports on TP chat over the last few months have said they’ve arrived somewhere around 75 minutes before HEA on CL 6 to 8 days and found that the railing spots were mostly (if not completely full.) So, you may want to check in over there before a trip for more up to date reports, or just block out some extra time to be there.
I think for me, a 90 minute wait in that spot makes it a little less appealing to me - although if I consider that down time to be a well-earned rest in the middle of an awesome day, I suppose I’d be good. Plus, I love HEA.
:fireworks: :fireworks: :fireworks: :fireworks: :fireworks:

The Theory
Get to the hub early enough to score a spot standing directly behind the rail of one of the hub gardens. It is valuable real estate for a clear view of the HEA fireworks AND castle projections.

Because the ground slopes forward you don’t have someone standing in front of you for at least 15 feet, so you get a clear view of the castle even for little ones. Also, if some guy on the other side of the garden decides to hold his 73" iPad Pro over his head or hoist his 6-foot-tall 3-year-old wearing a Goofy Hat onto his shoulders in front of you, the view still should be fine.

While I didn’t mark multiple spots on this map, you can obviously choose to stand on the back rails of any of those hub gardens.

There may be some light fixtures to work around, but in my experience they become semi-invisible to your brain once the show starts.

See our view of the castle from this spot about 45 minutes before the show in this photo.

You can see what the crowd looked like about 15 minutes before the show here.


A video I took that night is on The YouTube here.

Yes, I sometimes take my own videos of shows even though people make careers of posting 4K surround sound videos online.

In the future, my family can watch a recording of the exact show we were at and hear their own responses while reminiscing with tears in their eyes "Oh, Dad, you Disney geek. You lugged that camera everywhere. and now we have documented evidence of all the fun that was had and minor infractions we committed that annoyed you so."


Was OUAT before or after the HEA show on the night you were there? I think I need to allocate more time than I have in my plan right now to get into a spot. Are strollers allowed? I feel like I never see kids or strollers in these pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Sorry, I don’t recall OUAT at all that night - was not before HEA for sure, but we header over to other lands within 15 minutes of the end of the fireworks.

We’ve never strollered in the park, so I’m not sure about that one either. Now that you mention it, I don’t recall seeing any in the hub at that time either. Hmm.

FWIW, I think arrival time can vary widely depending on various factors. Some people on chat have definitely reported showing up much later than we did and still getting a good spot.

But, we’ve never had any luck with late arrival, plus I’m a chronic early-arriver for events because I hate squeezing through crowds.

(As a tall guy, I don’t want to be the dude that slides in front of someone and blocks them. I don’t feel so bad if someone chooses to stand behind me because they got there later than I did.)

I also forgot to mention in my first post: I hate when you stake out a nice spot and by the end of the show crowd movements leave you 16 yards to the left of where you started. So I like grabbing the garden fence position to anchor us in place.

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I used your advise last August and it was the most perfect spot. My family thought I was a genius but I confessed to having read up online. We were 2 rows back from the railing but the first row was in fact a row of strollers, hence nice and low. So there was only one actual row of people on front of us so we could view between or over their heads. Thank you.


I’m planning on trying to follow this advice exactly next trip.

Anyone with any recent experience on the famous @JJT technique?

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I did this on Thursday night. CL 3 that day. I walked past the hub at 7:40 and realized there was already so many ppl there camped out for spots. Ended up getting a fence spot with just a lamp post in the way at 7:45. HEA was at 9:15. It was a long time to wait but we had no other plans for the evening anyway. Glad we did this as the view was amazing :slight_smile:


I thought I had a dedicated post for this info or had it in my Crazy 1 Day Trip report - but I somehow can’t find that trip report now! Hmm.

I’ve brought this up a few times lately, so just want to drop it here for reference in the future -

MNSSHP Parade Hub Spot Technique

I discussed this in another thread a few years ago and just found that when searching, so stole my description from there. (Sorry for any duplication of info, but I know I’ll be able to find this post and reference it more easily.)

On my crazy 1 day trip, I attended MNSSHP and mostly just wandered checking out ambiance. After one of the sisters shows ended I grabbed a snack and drink and ended up at the hub, so thought I’d wait it out there for the parade. I used the trash can for a table and discovered a good spot hack. The next year I used it again with my family.

When it comes to standing in a crowd, I REALLY prefer to have something to anchor me in place, or people end up shifting you out of your original nice spot over time.

Parade Hub Spot Technique

I think my recent favorite tip now that my kids are older and I think more aware of tactics was when we went to the Halloween Party two summers back. About 35 minutes before the parade was set to come through, I walked my family up to a spot in the hub and shifted them over until they were exactly where I wanted them to be.

I could tell my son was giving off the “what’s the big deal with this spot vs the one I randomly stopped in, dude?” vibe. But then a few minutes later some CMs walked over and installed poles and ropes right next to us, then made everyone else move back behind a line in the pavement.

I pointed out that spot meant NO ONE could be in front of us or even next to us- and the parade would slowly work around the hub and come RIGHT at us. Great for photos! They were suitably impressed.


My view:

A short video of your view from that location.

Also, Caught one of my favorite fireworks photos ever at the Halloween Party.

MNSSHP is terrific and you may even see a unicorn.