Watching HEA near Crystal Palace? or not worth it at all? tp thoughts appreciated

We have a 6:40pm Crystal Palace reservation. Trying to figure out if we should plan to do any rides between that and HEA or just stake out a spot to watch the show. We’ve never seen it, but I’d like to if it’s not too challenging.
Group of 6 with one 3 year old & his stroller, 1 7 year old, 2 30-somethings, 2 older adults (ages 73 and 75–don’t think they’ll be too enthused about sitting on the ground waiting OR standing around forever). Dessert party is too pricy for us, I think.
What would you suggest? I think the whole group would love the projections, but we’re all pretty short and will get frustrated if we’re just looking at people’s backs/heads. Most of the group would like the fireworks but 3 year old may be scared.
What would you do? Find a spot to watch the show (if so, when and where)? Or just go back to the resort early? Or go ride more rides? Next day is a planned waterpark day, so getting to bed early isn’t as important.
Here’s my overall touring plan draft, if that helps.
Older folks and 3 year old won’t ride any roller coasters, so the 4 FPs I have planned include using their bands to get an extra FP for a coaster. Obviously will try for rolling FPs thereafter. This is for August, Crowd Level 6. Plan is to use AC during meals as breaks. Last year (July) kids fell asleep in stroller so we didn’t take break outside park, and don’t plan to this year, either.

What time is HEA when you’re there? It was my three year old’s first experience with fireworks and I wasn’t sure how he’d do but he loved it. I’d make an effort to see it if you can.

Oh, good question. FEA is 9pm. Park hours currently end at 9 but I am guessing they will be extended.

For a 6:40 reservation, I would expect to be done around 8. That feels a little early to me to be staking out a spot (though many people do this). I would probably identify a fairly nearby attraction to take in after your dinner, and plan to get back to the hub area around 8:30-8:40.

Between Crystal Palace and Casey’s is the Baby Care Center and a restroom. In front of this area is the walkway and there is a little stand of trees there with a fence surrounding them. This is directly behind where one of the dessert parties has reserved seating in the garden. Our family has enjoyed this spot several times for Wishes and now HEA viewing. It tends to be less crowded and the fence around the trees provides a spot to lean on. Know that there is a good chance someone will put their kids on their shoulders in the party area in front of you, but this can happen anywhere.

But, if you’ve got an hour to kill and you aren’t going to fill it with an attraction, I would go ahead and get a spot in the hub in FRONT of the dessert party area and stake that out as best you can.

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This may be obvious to everyone, but I thought the reserved viewing area was only the area on the Plaza Restaurant side. Good to know! The only Youtube videos I have seen of it were from the Plaza Side.

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Yes, the reserved area is just for dessert parties. This spot is BEHIND that.

Let me see if i can find the map

Are both sides equally as good?

The spot I’m speaking of is not one of two sides. Unless I’m misunderstanding your question

On this map, the spot I am describing is above the “3” and below the left-most “6” (6 being reserved for party viewing)



Thank you! Totally did not know both sides were for DP. Awesome!

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I am excited to read your plan draft but it wouldn’t let me open it. I had the same problem, I had copied the link from the wrong place. The link needs to be coppied under the title of the plan in the box with the date and stuff.

Do we know how far out they can change the hours of the parks. Is there a good chance they could change for July dates?

Thank you–I had no idea! Fixed the link in the original post, but it’s here.

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@DJM1959, yes, I think so! I’ve seen them change hours up to a few weeks ahead of time. They never get shorter, though, only longer.

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Wasn’t obvious to me, either! I had seen old maps and only the right side was marked as dessert party, so maybe this is a change within the past few years.

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The last hours update is around 15th of the month before (yes always longer) so there’s a long way to go for July. And even then they occasionally change them day of.

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