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How Long Did “Wishes” Last at Magic Kingdom?

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“Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams” was a beloved fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. The show was known for its captivating storytelling, stunning pyrotechnics, and heartwarming Disney score. But how long did “Wishes” last at Magic Kingdom, and what made it so special? Let’s explore the history, features, and legacy of this iconic show.


“Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams” lasted at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World for approximately 13 years and 7 months. The show debuted on October 9, 2003, and its final performance was on May 11, 2017. It was replaced the following day by a new show, “Happily Ever After.”

A History of “Wishes”

“Wishes” debuted on October 9, 2003, replacing the 32-year-old “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks show. The show was developed as part of the “Magical Gatherings” campaign, which celebrated the magic that happens when friends and family come together at Disney parks.

The show ran for nearly 14 years, with its final performance on May 11, 2017. This makes the total duration of “Wishes” at Magic Kingdom approximately 13 years and 7 months.

Unique Features of “Wishes”

“Wishes” brought several unique features to Magic Kingdom. It was narrated by Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy, adding a magical storytelling element. The show followed a storyline about Disney heroes battling Disney villains, set to music and accompanied by meticulously choreographed fireworks.

The show used 557 fireworks firing cues and 655 individual pieces of pyrotechnics, making it the largest fireworks display ever presented at Magic Kingdom. It also introduced new pyrotechnic effects never seen before in a Disney theme park, including several developed specifically for this show.

Audience Reception

“Wishes” was well-received and loved by many guests. When the show was replaced by “Happily Ever After” in 2017, many fans expressed their sadness to see it go. Reviews praised the impressive fireworks, immersive experience, and happy ending. The show was remembered with nostalgia and fond memories.

The End of “Wishes” and What Came After

“Wishes” was replaced to introduce a new and more technologically advanced nighttime spectacular. The new show, “Happily Ever After,” debuted on May 12, 2017. It incorporated projection mapping, lasers, and searchlights, in addition to pyrotechnics, and featured characters from a wide array of Disney films. The change was part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to update and refresh its entertainment offerings.

Tips for Viewing Fireworks Shows at Magic Kingdom

Although “Wishes” is no longer running, here are some tips for viewing any fireworks show at Magic Kingdom:

  1. Secure a good spot early. Prime viewing areas include in front of Cinderella Castle and along Main Street, USA.
  2. Consider booking a Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Party for a reserved viewing spot and all-you-care-to-enjoy snacks.
  3. Don’t rush out immediately after the show, as the crowds can be overwhelming.

In conclusion, “Wishes” was a significant part of Magic Kingdom’s history, captivating audiences for nearly 14 years with its magical storytelling, impressive pyrotechnics, and heartwarming Disney score. Its legacy lives on in the hearts of Disney fans around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who were the creators of “Wishes”?

“Wishes” was created by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, under the direction of VP Parades & Spectaculars, Steve Davison.

What was the duration of each “Wishes” show?

Each “Wishes” show lasted approximately 12 minutes.

Was “Wishes” only exclusive to Magic Kingdom?

Yes, “Wishes” was exclusive to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. However, variations of the show were also presented at Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.

What is the “Magical Gatherings” campaign mentioned in the blog post?

The “Magical Gatherings” campaign was a marketing initiative by Disney to promote group travels to their theme parks. It highlighted the idea of creating magical memories with friends and family at Disney parks.

Who narrated “Happily Ever After”, the show that replaced “Wishes”?

“Happily Ever After” is narrated by actress Angela Bassett and actor Jim Cummings, who is best known for his voice work as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.

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