Wishes Fireworks- First time, but when and where?


We are only staying 3 night onsite at the YC, and as of right now just 2 park days. We will drive in from seeing family about 2 hours away on the check in day.

My dilemma:

  1. Do we watch Wishes off site on the first night to make sure to get them in? Where is your favorite non MK location to watch Wishes? (GF or Poly??)

  2. Maybe just tough it out with our 8, 6, and 3 yr old on the 1st or 2nd night. 1st day is 9 AM RD and 2nd day is 8 AM RD.

  3. Watch Illuminations at the BYC one night for sure!

  4. We can park hop, so we can HS Fantasmic at 8:30 PM (comparison in experience?) again different- I know :slight_smile:

I have no experience with the fireworks but my mother-in-law says they are completely different experiences.

Thanks in advance, this is kinda bugging me, but I realize I may just have to read my family and one or none of the above may work anyway!

when are your dates? would you be able to take a resort break on your MK days? that might work well for you to keep the kids out later for Wishes.

fantasmic is completely different. it’s a show more than a fireworks display. Illuminations is nice, but I do enjoy Wishes more.

Wishes from just outside Casey’s, on Main Street is the best view. but behind the castle has it’s merits as well. I’ve also viewed from the porch of Crystal Palace and it was beautiful from there too. and it has benches.

favorite nonpark location would be POLY, but I’ve heard fantastic things about the TTC dock. I may do that one day on my next big trip.

Thanks! I should have mentioned that we’ll be there mid-March on level 8-9 days. We do hope to take a resort break around 4 each day. We will RD at MK each day, and will try to add AK to the mix on the 2nd day.

use that resort break for a recharging nap, especially for the kids. even if it’s just a little bit of time to decompress and lose some of the stimulation. Then they’ll be more ready to be up for Wishes.

have fun!!

All three are completely different experiences.

Wishes is a “traditional” fireworks show with added special lighting effects on the castle. Illuminations is a combination of fountains, lights, lasers, fireworks, and floats. Fantasmic is an outdoor stage show featuring Mickey and a host of other Disney characters with lots of special lighting, water, and pyrotechnic effects.

I haven’t seen Wishes from the Poly, but the view was good from Narcoossee’s (not as much so from the GF marina). Another option is to watch from the “public” viewing deck at the CR. The “best” view of Wishes, is IN the park, along MS. The show is “designed” to be viewed from that angle. That being said, MS during Wishes is a nightmare crowd, you have to stake out (and defend) a spot at least an hour in advance, and still have no guarantee that someone won’t hoist a kid up on their shoulders just as the show is starting (speaking from experience). On my last trip I watched from the second floor of the train station and it was a very good view, it also makes getting out of the park and to the transportation much easier, as you are at the front of the crowd. The FPP location is a very good trade-off between viewing angle and crowds. It’s off-center so you don’t get the “picture-perfect” view, but you can show up 15 min before show time and watch in a relatively uncrowded location (that even has grass to sit on) and you get a very nice view. You’ll still have to fight the crowds exiting the park at the end of the show.

You can only see Illumination if you are standing around the WS lagoon. You might glimpse a few of the higher fireworks for the YC, but to really see the show (which is mostly low) you have to be right by the lagoon. You’ll need to find a spot 30-40 min prior to show time. MUCH less insane than Wishes.

In either of the above, exiting the park after the show is is crazy with crowds; it will entail a lot of patience and hand holding to not get separated.

Fantasmic is a show with a central stage and ampitheater seating. It has some fireworks at the end, but it’s mostly about the characters performing coupled with special water, lighing, and pyrotechnic effects. If there are 2 showings on the night you are there, the second will be MUCH less crowded. If there is only one, you will need to line up 45-60 min advance to get a good seat. If you are late, you might get standing room only, or may not even be able to get in.

I never miss Illuminations; I love the show, and it is “relatively” hassle-free to watch (and I hang out in WS after to avoid the exit rush). The other two are hit-or-miss for me. Wishes is a beautiful show, but the masses of rude people on MS have kind of soured me to the whole experience; in the future it will probably be FPP or nothing for me. I’ll see Fantasmic if I do a dining package and can enter 15-20 minutes prior, but I’ve seen it enough times that I am not willing to spend the time it takes to wait for the show.

These are just my personal observations. I hope they help in your decision making… :smile:

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Bswan- thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed account of each “show.”

I really appreciate it. I’m interested in watching Wishes from the RR now. I have to admit though staying at the YC, makes Illuminations maybe the best choice…

Thanks again!

During recent visits I haven’t been able to watch enough Disney fireworks. Whatever you decide will be fun, but if it were up to me and everything else worked out with my schedule, then I’d do the following:

1st night = watch Wishes from afar - either at the locations you mentioned, on the 4th floor of the Contemporary (there’s a deck that faces that Magic Kingdom), or from just outside the turnstiles. None of these require park admission and all offer good enough views of the fireworks.

2nd night = watch Illuminations. If you can do so inside the park when you can hear the audio, then it’s better. You can make an easy exit to your hotel if you watch somewhere near the International Gateway exit, though you’ll have to stake out spots close to half an hour before the show if you want an unobstructed view of the whole presentation (it’s more than just fireworks)

3rd night = Wishes from Main Street. Everyone has a favorite spot and mine changes depending on whether or not the park stays open after the fireworks and whether you plan to stick around afterward. With a young group, I’m guessing you’ll want to go to bed after the show (and that’s a pretty good way to end the night). If you watch from Main Street, closer to the train station end, then you won’t have a great view of the projection show that precedes the fireworks, but you’ll see Wishes just fine and be ahead of most of the crowd on the way out of the park (just be sure to take care of shopping and bathroom breaks as best you can before the show if you want to stay ahead of that crowd). There’s also something different in a good way, at least for me, in seeing the fireworks above Main Street and the castle and hearing the oohs and ahs from the rest of the crowd. Watching the show there on your last night would be a great exclamation point on a short vacation.

Exiting EP via the IG after Illuminatiojs is a breeze. One of the better viewing spots is on the bridge between FR and UK. From there is across the bridge to the UK side, a quick left, and you’re at the gate. 10 min walk back to YC.