Park Tips Tuesday: Wishes! A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams

Every time I visit Walt Disney World I always make sure I have a night free to watch Wishes! For those of you who do not know,

Wishes! A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams is the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks spectacular. Now I’m a bit of a Wishes snob, I have seen it at least 100 times in the last year alone; partially because of my job and partially because I truly cannot get enough of it.

Wishes is something that most guests will stay and wait in the park to see, and then when it’s over thousands of people leave at the same time. Now a lot of this will be dependent on whether or not there are Extra Magic Hours that evening, if the Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) is performing that night, and what time Celebrate the Magic — the castle projection show — is that particular night.
Most people will watch Wishes from Main Street U.S.A, which is a wonderful location and my personal favorite. However, there are several other locations to watch them from as well. Fantasyland is another fan favorite, you are closer to the fireworks and they’re going off between you! One set is going off on the sides of the castle while those gigantic booming fireworks are taking off from behind New Fantasyland. Now, if you’d rather take advantage of the minimal attraction wait times but would still like to see the fireworks, then head over to Big Thunder Mountain! The queue plays the Wishes soundtrack and there is something pretty awesome about riding a roller coaster while fireworks are going off above your head.
But let’s say you want to watch the MSEP, Wishes, and Celebrate the Magic, all while avoiding the crowds. Well grab a Times Guide from any merchandise shop in the park or at the MK park entrance and guest relations. If you are in the Magic Kingdom on a night when there are two performances of the parade and Celebrate the Magic then it’ll be much easier to avoid the thousands of people you aren’t really wanting to become close neighbors with. On a night that there are two performances of the projection show and parade, there  will be one of each before Wishes and one more performance after.
If you are really wanting to see the fireworks from Main Street then be at Main Street about 5 minutes before the start of Wishes. That’ll be when the first Celebrate the Magic will end, and cast members are going to continue to try to have guests to continue to move as far forward as they can towards the castle. A quick tip: try to avoid going too far forward because then the castle blocks some of the fireworks, and you’re neck is going to be a little sore afterwards. Once Wishes ends, several people are going to head toward the park exit like a giant stampede. Try to head either towards the castle if you are far back or stay in your general vicinity if you have a clear straight on view of the castle, this is the best viewing area for Celebrate the Magic. Once the projection show ends, it is now up to you on where you would like to watch the parade! The parade path heads back through Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Main Street USA. Most people will want to view the parade from Main Street; however, Frontierland and Liberty Square have far fewer people, and there’s a good chance you will get more character interactions, so head that way if you don’t have a preference on where you’d like to see the parade!
Here are a few other tips for y’all!
  • The MSEP will be ending its run in Walt Disney World this December, and will be replaced by a new parade in early 2014!
  • There will not be multiple presentations of the parade and the projection show every night, make sure you check the times guide when you arrive, or better yet plan ahead on
  • Disney is testing a new fastpass+ reserved seating/area for the MSEP and Wishes! If that is something you may be interested in make arrangements on My Disney Experience or at the magicbands kiosks within the park. These reservations will count as a fastpass for each person in your party, and will follow the same basic rules as any attraction with FP+.

– Woody

Do y’all have a favorite location to watch the fireworks or the parade from? Do you make time to see the MSEP or watch Wishes? What do you think of the new FP+ reserved area on Main Street USA?

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