by: guide4wdw – Collin
When it comes to Walt Disney World nighttime entertainment, typically one particular element of the experience pops into the mind of first time and returning guests, Fireworks! Disney’s pyrotechnic displays in the sky combine a thrilling story with larger that life effects that set them apart from all others in the industry. Most guests will tell you that after seeing Disney’s fireworks, it somewhat ‘ruins’ you when viewing other home town celebrations and even many large scale displays. However, with incredible entertainment comes mass popularity and viewing difficulties in many cases. As a result, we’ve come up with a few alternatives to that ‘prime’ fireworks viewing location in each park based on our experiences and unique opportunities where we simply were just at the right place at the right time. It’s amazing the viewing locations you stumble into when you step away from the crowds for a few moments and just take in the experience. So, here’s a closer look at 5 unusual fireworks viewing locations that you may have overlooked.
-Every time I mention this to guests, inevitably someone asks about the quality of the view. To be quite honest with you, it is an obstructed view of Epcot’s Illuminations, but the overarching experience is worth the obstructed view. As the fireworks explode a few hundred yards away (the Boardwalk features a back entrance to the World showcase between the United Kingdom and France, assuming you have a ticket to get in the park), the highest of bursts are just visible from the wooden panels of the Boardwalk itself. Of course, this isn’t the ideal view of the show, but if you’re like us and have seen it many times on past visits, or live in the area, give this experience a shot one night. You can hear the echo of the fireworks and subtle elements of the music while the highest bursts of fireworks reflect off of the water creating a unique effect.
Wilderness Lodge (Depending on your resort room location)
-Sometimes after a long day in the parks you just want to head back to the resort and enjoy a meal or relax in the lobby rather that facing the crowds of the nighttime spectaculars. Well, after a recent trip to Wilderness Lodge where we had the rare opportunity (at least its rare for us) to stay in club level accommodations. Personally, I would honestly say the club experience was worth the money in our case, but that’s beside the point. While it was unknown to me at the time of booking, the Wilderness Lodge features one of the most tranquil fireworks viewing experiences in all of Walt Disney World.
Sure, the beaches of the Polynesian and the Contemporary’s grand balcony are incredible viewing opportunities, but if you want a quaint viewing experience of Happily Ever After, the upper levels of Wilderness Lodge offer an excellent opportunity. Of course, your viewing ability will be limited to your resort room location, but if you splurge for club level accommodations, the entire floor gets access to two small balconies adjacent to the lounge with an excellent view of the show in the distance. Snacks are provided during the fireworks for guests of the floor and if you’re lucky you may be the only one on the balcony.
During one of the most crowded fireworks shows of the year, the Fourth of July display (watched on the 3rd), we watched from the balcony among three other guests. There were no crowds, no rush to get to the busses, or anything of the type. When the show was over and the piped in music faded out, we simply stepped back inside, grabbed one last dessert (for good measure) and walked down the hall to our room. As always, if you don’t know what is the best fit resort for your family or would just like some help along the way I recommend a knowledgeable travel agent. If you don’t have one. Be sure to check out our quote request form below (or one of the banners) to contact who we recommend.
Was it expensive, sure. Was it worth it (in our case), absolutely. I understand not everyone can or will try this one, but you can view the fireworks at this resort from one floor lower from bay windows or from within your resort room if you are located on a high floor.
On The Seven Seas Lagoon
-A few years ago we stumbled into this viewing location simply by chance. We were waiting for a boat from the Magic Kingdom to one of the surrounding resorts and as we sat there at the dock the fireworks show began (Wishes at the time). Again, it wasn’t an ideal view, but easily one of the most impressive views. As the boat left the dock, the captain slowly eased across the lake, which could have been intentional, as the show continued on. The boats offer a view you cannot get anywhere else. As you sit there, your point of view directs your attention right over the top of Main Street Station.
Of course, Disney offers fireworks viewing “cruises” and other experiences on the lagoon for a fee, but the experience mentioned here is completely free.
The Back Section of a World Showcase Pavilion
-Moving back to Epcot’s Illuminations display (which is rumored to fade away in time), capturing the show from an overlooked viewpoint can really become an art. Each pavilion of the showcase offers little nooks and off the promenade viewing opportunities that many guests overlook entirely. For example, head to the middle area of the China pavilion near the temple and you’ll find a series of fountains. If you stand there during the display, you’ll catch a vast majority of the show from a viewpoint which many guests will overlook. In a similar way, the Japan pavilion offers a viewing location on the second floor of the main building (housing the department store and restaurants) that avoids a majority of the crowds while still receiving an excellent view. All things considered, the point behind this element of the list is to encourage stepping away from the front railing of the lagoon and stepping back into the pavilions. Your view may be obstructed slightly but what you gain in perspective and in the photos you may take more that make up for it in some cases.
Behind Cinderella’s Castle
-As perhaps my favorite location on our list, the area directly behind Cinderella’s castle will blow you away if you’ve never tried the spot before. It’s not too great for pictures and you wont be able to see the projections incorporated into Happily Ever After, but you gain a different sensory and viewing experience instead. As the fireworks are shot into the sky, a select few launch from the area directly behind the castle and on top of the attraction buildings. When they do, if you’re in the immediate vicinity, the noise and reactions on the guests faces around you are priceless.
If you take a short walk farther back to the area just in front of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Be Our Guest, an outstanding view of the fireworks launched from the back launch site are easily visible bursting high over Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Meanwhile, as the show continues on, the fireworks become a bit more immersive as the burst occur behind you as well as up closer to the castle. The whole experience is a bit hard to explain in words but is a truly immersive experience all around.
So, that’s our list! What unusual viewing locations have you come across in your Disney travels? Be sure to share them with us on your favorite social media platform!
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