What is the difference between HEA and Once Upon a Time?

Okay Disney Pros, can you help a tired mama out? What is the difference between Happily Ever After and Once Upon a Time? Initially the park closed tonight at 9, then got extended until 10pm. HEA is scheduled for 9, and OUAT for 9:45. Are they both castle projection shows followed by fireworks? Is OUAT the bonus show for when the park is open after 9?
Planning on heading back to the parks for the show tonight, so I want to make sure we don’t miss castle projections. (MDE isn’t the most helpful in distinguishing.). Thank you!

HEA is the fireworks show that is the replacement for Wishes. It includes castle projections . Once upon a Time is a projection show (with a couple of fireworks) that replaced Celebrate the Magic.

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They do both shows every night but sometimes flip the order. Both have castle projections. HEA is the fireworks focused show. I actually liked the storytelling aspect of OUAT better and our toddler liked that show but hated how loud the HEA fireworks are. I’d recommend seeing both shows, but I know it’s a long time to stand and wait.

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Thank you! I’m curious what the crowds leaving the park difference between the two is? We have dash to SDD in the morning so I would like to maximize sleep, but also wonder if it’s 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

When we went, OUAT was first so I don’t think many people left between. My guess is that it’s a different story when OUAT is after, but I don’t really know.

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I have done the OUAT after show. The crowds all left after HEA. We moved up and watched OUAT from directly in front of the castle.


What did you decide to do?

Anyone know if they let you stay in the viewing section for the dessert party for OUaT after HEA?

Yes they do. Or they used to and I haven’t heard that it changed, although there is the ‘after’ HEA party now. But I don’t think that should matter.

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Went to HEA, and left after. Amazing. If we’d been less tired, we might have stayed for both or tried to sneak a ride in. Someone proposed at the end a little bit in front of us.