In March of 2020 Walt Disney World parks closed down and while they would open again only four months later, many things would remain missing to this day. One of the biggest has been the nighttime spectacular events. Without fireworks, a day at Disney World just doesn't feel as satisfying. It's the "kiss goodnight" that makes you feel like you have completed the experience. Fireworks are set to return at Magic Kingdom and Epcot on July 1, but Walt Disney World cast members got a preview last night with the first performance of Happily Ever After in over a year, and it's a very welcome, and slightly emotional, sight.
Several cast members shared video of the event, and watching them watch the show is almost as magical as the show itself. There's an almost reverent silence as the show is happening. These are all people who know the show well, so there's no shock or surprise at the various points. You can almost feel the sense of relief by the assembled viewers. Just the fact that this show is happening is something special. And it all comes to a head when Tinkerbell appears.
Jordan Fisher, who sings the song " Happily Ever After" along with Angie K, and who also got married at Disney World during the resort closure, was on hand to introduce the show to the cast members. The show debuted at Magic Kingdom in 2017 and replaced the long-running and popular fireworks show Wishes. While many loved Wishes and hated to see it go, Happily Ever After has developed a strong fan base of its own. The combination of fireworks, projection effects seen on Cinderella's Castle, and that classic Disney music along with an introduction and outro from Patrick Stewart, have made Happily Ever After a really powerful show.
The complete performance last night was captured on video by ThrillGeek and it really does show how unique a performance this was. You normally hear cheers and applause throughout the show. On any given night the vast majority of the audience has never seen it, so everything is new and exciting. Here the audience is almost silent throughout. There are big cheers when the first fireworks go up and at a few points you can literally hear the crowd singing together. It's amazing.
On July 1st this show, along with Epcot Forever, will return to the parks for guests to see for the first time in over a year. And how much longer guests will be able to see either show is unclear. Both Happily Ever After and Epcot Forever are set to be replaced on October 1 by new fireworks shows to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. It's possible Happily Ever After could return after the celebration is over, but that's far from guaranteed right now, so if you want yo catch the show one more time, you may want to make plans now.