Shells from the new firing locations cross during the new Wishes show.
I bet a lot of you folks don't believe thatabout a wish coming true, do ya? Well, I didn't either. Of course, I'm just a cricket, but let me tell ya what changed my mind. Ya see, the most fantastic, magical things can happenand it all starts with a wish!
So says Jiminy Cricket at the beginning of Wishes, an amazing new fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. New firing locations and shell types made for a very impressive show. Jiminy's words are followed by a wishing star shell fired from one of the new locations that brings an immediate positive reaction from the crowd.
While very episodic in feel (my wife referred to it being in six movements), it featured an impressive pyrotechnic display, evoking more oohs and aahs than I've heard during a Disney fireworks show in a very long time. The fireworks were designed by Eric Tucker, whose credits include IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.
A new, cloud-effect shell explodes over Cinderella Castle.
While I haven't seen Believe There's Magic in the Stars at Disneyland to make a valid comparison, I can be certain in saying that Steve Davison and his team have done a wonderful job with this new show. Though there was quite a bit more talking than we're used to from the Fantasy in the Sky shows, the use of many character voices was a nice touch.
The image of the sorcerer's hat is projected on the Cinderella Castle as red shells jump alongside during the Fantasia segment of Wishes.
There seemed to be six major portions of the show, each introduced by Jiminy. It started with a child reciting the star light, star bright poem. This was followed by the singing of a song with those lyrics, written by Gregory Smithwho worked on such productions as IllumiNations 25 and Splashtacular at Epcot, and the Mickey Mania parade at the Magic Kingdom.
Comet shells cross over the Cinderella Castle during the When You Wish Upon a Star segment of the new Wishes show.
The next segment was introduced by Jiminy Cricket talking about wishes, followed by a number of Disney character voices wishing for things. Tinkerbell flies early in this portion, though we thought it might have been better to have her fly a little later during the Peter Pan music in this movement.
This is followed by the third portion, a series of instrumental Disney numbers.
The fourth movement was a magic segment, featuring some words from the Genie from Aladdin followed by some music from the movie, then music from the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of Fantasia with the pattern from the sorcerer's hat projected on the castle while single red shells popped up from the various firing locations in time with the music.
Fireworks explode alongside the Cinderella Castle during the villains portion of the show.
Next came the villains segment of the show, with the castle lit in a very spooky manner while many villains had their say in words and music.
The show concluded with another star light, star bright segment.
The firing locations from the tops of the Fantasyland dark ride buildings made for a great addition to the tableaux that Davison was able to create.
Parallel launchings show off the new launch locations that were added for the Wishes show.
Wishes takes us into the heart of Disney storytelling and shows us that wishes can come true if you believe in them with all your heart, said Davison. The goal of the show is to move guests in a very special way, to fill them with a magic only Disney can create and, most of all, to give everyone a magical memory to treasure for a lifetime.
Music from the show includes songs from ten Disney classics: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Hercules.
Shells cross behind Cinderella Castle during the new Wishes fireworks spectacular.
Wishes was designed to integrate with the Magical Gatherings promotion that encourages large groups of family and friends to visit Walt Disney World together.
What Wishes is created to do is bring everyone together at night, Davison said. They all may have different experiences during the day but at night we're asking everyone to come to the Magic Kingdom to watch what happens when family and friends all make a wish together and see what happens in the sky.
A number of people that I spoke with or overheard after the show were all remarking on how this show was so totally different from Fantasy in the Sky and how amazing it was. Folks, this one is a keeper. Disney has a new nighttime spectacular that is worthy of the name Disney.
(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)
Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.