A changing of the guard of sorts just happened at Walt Disney World. The torch was passed! No, an executive did not leave, and a new attraction did not cause a lot of fuss this week. Instead, it was the end of a 14-year run of Magic Kingdom’s world famous firework show, Wishes. For years, millions of people walked through those magical gates and concluded their evening with a memorable firework show. It did not matter how tired families may have gotten by walking miles and miles around the park throughout the hot day; those families would set aside some time for the traditional nighttime show at Cinderella’s Castle! Since October of 2003, Wishes capped off a great day at the Magic Kingdom! But, Disney decided that it was time for a change!
Time for a Change!
As with so many things that we hold near and dear to us, maybe it was time for a change. The amusement and theme park industry is very competitive, and parks (big and small) have to find a way to balance long-running, fan-favorite experiences and attractions with adding new experiences that will hopefully keep guests coming back for many more generations. In most cases, Disney has done a nice job of finding that balance, but seeing the “Wishes” nighttime show is heart-breaking for so many Disney fans and average park goers alike. For many of today’s younger generations, they grew up making memories topped off with the viewing of Wishes! Some contend that it is too soon to shut the doors on this nighttime performance and replace it with something new and different, but that is the decision that Disney had come to make.
Disney Unveils Happily Ever After
It was time to bid farewell to this spectacular experience and write a new chapter. This new chapter highlights some of the best technology has to offer – fireworks, lights, lasers, music, projections, and so much more! While Wishes was twelve minutes or more of traditional Disney magic, the park now showcases a brand-new, state-of-the-art show each night, Happily Ever After. The new nighttime show debuted on May 12, 2017 to a capacity crowd while people around the world tuned in online through Disney Park Blog’s livestream (video below).
The Debate Begins
Will “Happily Ever After” live up to the hype? Will it win over “Wishes” fanboys and girls? Surely, it never ever feels right when you have to close the book on a tradition that gave us all so many great memories for nearly 14 years. You cannot really have two different nighttime shows at a park (although, if any park could afford it and pull it off, it would be a Disney park), so there comes a time when new memories have to be created, even if we are all not ready. New memories and positive change are both good, even if it might not seem right at the moment. Give it some time and create brand new memories. Are you glad to see the all-new Happily Ever After show debut, or is your heart still with “Wishes?” We’d love to know!
[Image courtesy of Disney]