Wait, Disneyland is Replacing Flying Tinkerbell In Its New Fireworks Show?

Tinkerbell in Main Street Electrical Parade
(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

Disneyland Resort is a place that’s already all about nostalgia, and with 2023 marking the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, the only question was how Disneyland would choose to implement that nostalgia. Several new Disneyland attractions are planned to start next month, but surprisingly it looks like one of them is actually planning a radical change. Instead of seeing Tinkerbell fly over the park as part of the evening fireworks, we’re about to get Baymax.

Wondrous Journeys is the name of the brand new nighttime spectacular that will begin at Disneyland park on January 27, 2023. Today we learned a bit more about what the show will entail. Specifically, it will focus on the history of Walt Disney Animation Studios, and will include nods to every single animated film, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and forward to today. However, one thing it won’t include is a flying Tinkerbell, as the Disney Parks' announcement of the new show reveals that instead, Baymax will fly above the park. It reads...

And in a thrilling moment of heroism, Baymax soars high above Sleeping Beauty Castle inspiring us all to fight for our dreams.

It’s somewhat surprising as Tinkerbell taking off from Sleeping Beauty Castle and flying through the air has been part of nearly every fireworks show at Disneyland since 1961. Had it not been announced otherwise it would have simply been assumed that Tinkerbell was going to be flying over this fireworks show. Few if any others have appeared during fireworks. Though Indiana Jones did once use the same wire to fly above the crowd for a special show.

The decision to change things up may have simply been made for story structure purposes. If Wonderous Journeys is going to tell its story of Walt Disney Animation in a chronologic way, then Peter Pan will be appearing more toward the beginning of the show, and Tinkerbell has always made her appearance at the climax of the performance. Big Hero 6 being a much more recent film, means Baymax will appear at the perfect time.

And while nostalgia is a big part of Disneyland, seeing something new is too. Seeing Baymax fly above the park could be absolutely incredible. Tinkerbell has always been an actress on a wire, but Baymax will be something else. There may or may not be a person involved, but either way Baymax will probably be a pretty impressive creation.

We almost certainly haven’t seen the last of Tinkerbell. While we don’t know exactly how long Wonderous Journeys will run, it will likely last throughout 2023 to celebrate the 100 Years of Wonder completely. After that, we may get the return of a previous fireworks show, and the return of Tinkerbell. Or maybe we’ll see another brand new show, and if we do, maybe the door is now open to see a variety of characters flying from the castle in the years to come. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.