When you visit Walt Disney World I think one thing we all aim to do is make it to the firework and awesome light projector show at the castle. It’s a highlight of your visit and something you’ll never see anywhere else in the world. I was literally blown away. I never expected the Disney firework display to be that good and I could have easily watched it all over again, like, immediately all over again!
This being our first time was all a learning curve. I’d heard the rumours that you need to get there over an hour early, that you need to be at the front to truly enjoy it, that you need to battle the crowds to get through and to some extent there is a bit of truth in this but there is really no need to panic over it. This is how we found it and our top tips for watching the firework display at Walt Disney World.
Arrive Early (ish)
Ok, we are never going to be people who are going to turn up 3 hours early for something ‘just in case’. We have 2 children who would never wait that long and I hate, hate, hate wasting my time! We had planned the evening we were going to watch the Disney firework display and we had actually booked a ride beforehand too but what we didn’t realise was precisely how hectic it was all going to be. The crowds were pouring in, there was a big queue to scan our passes at the entrance and by the time we got to Main Street, there were only 45 minutes until the fireworks were due to start. People had already got their places and yes the front looked packed out but as the fireworks appear over the top of the castle, we wandered until we found a central spot with a good view for all of us. People were really chilled. Nobody minded that we asked to come through, no one huffed at us or thought we were rude, everyone is there for the same thing and the atmosphere was still as happy as it is in the day.
Oh my god, take snacks! Take water and be prepared for moaning kids! I went off to try and find somewhere for snacks or ice cream, anything that would occupy the bored 5-year-old but the queues were immense. There was no way I was going to have the time to wait for food and then find my way back to my family so I had to give up and return empty-handed. I’ll know for next time. At least you have something beautiful to look at whilst you wait.
As it gets closer to the Disney firework display starting the crowds really do start to increase. My best tip is to just be nice to people. Let them get through, offer to help if they have small children and strollers and be polite. It keeps the atmosphere happy, it will prevent any issues just before the show and will mean that no one will be in your way, faffing about when the fireworks start. There is nothing worse than having distractions when you want to enjoy something.
Our view wasn’t at all obscured, even being further back. You definitely do not need to be right at the front to get the best view as the castle is large enough to show the detail of the light show and the fireworks appear right over the top and all around.
In the UK, we are very used to fireworks being extremely loud. For some reason, we still can’t catch on to the silent ones and a lot of people think the louder, the better. For me, this is the biggest drawback to watching them, especially with children. Knowing that this was a big display we were initially concerned about the kid’s ears but there was no need to be. The Disney firework display was surprisingly quiet in comparison, they didn’t vibrate through the air or ground and it made watching them a fantastic experience. To prove how quiet they were, my one-year-old fell asleep on me!
People Try To Leave Early
This really surprised me and also really annoyed me (as well as many other people!) We had people around us trying to leave before the end of the show. I couldn’t work out why they would do this at the time and when one woman started shouting across to her family member as one man wouldn’t move to let her through, it caused a huge distraction for the surrounding people– hence my point above. It is such a shame that people feel they need to do this, especially when they have strollers too. I mean, there was such little space and there were so many people in their way that it just seemed like the impossible. I stepped to one side and just let them get through as quickly as they could so we could get back to enjoying the end of the fireworks.
So, why were they leaving early?…
Dealing With The Crowds
As soon as the show ends every single person watching turns around and tries to leave the park. If you have anxiety in large crowds this can make it unbearable. There was nowhere to go and we didn’t want to join in with the herds so we decided to stay put. Once the sea of people began to disperse a little we finally made our move and headed in the opposite direction to them. Ok, this may sound mad or like we were being awkward but we just couldn’t join those hundreds of people trying to bundle out of the park. It was chaos. Once through, we hung around by the castle for a bit, took some photos and actually caught another light show! After about half an hour or so we decided it may be safe to head to the exit…
Just look at that crowd
Everyone was still trying to find their ways back to their cars or to their hotels and the queues were probably an hour or more long! By this stage I did see people panicking and stressing and I overheard one woman say how she couldn’t cope with the crowds. It wasn’t at all what I expected. However, we are not ones for joining huge queues and waiting around (as I mentioned above about getting somewhere 3 hours early!) So, we asked a member of staff what they would recommend. If in doubt, just ask. They are there to help and they have the knowledge of the parks and car parks, as newbies, we had no clue. We were promptly told that our best bet was to forget the train and boat and head to the buses that they put on. We didn’t even know there were buses! These go to different sections of the park and have different destinations (hotels, cars, resorts) so have a read of the board to see which number you need to head towards, then double check with the staff that you’re in the right place. We were quickly seen through and sat on a bus in no time. This takes you back to the entrance where the trams are (there are also toilets here).
If you can, walk back to your car. The queues for the trams were also crazy and we knew we could walk back faster than waiting for a tram. It was actually quite nice to get away from the crowds and the walk wasn’t that long even though we weren’t in one of the first sections.
So there we have it our top tips for watching the firework display at Walt Disney World:
-Don’t feel you have to arrive hours early
-Take snacks and drinks
-Be prepared for dealing with large crowds
-Hang around in the park afterwards to allow the crowds to die down
-Speak to staff members
-Get a bus and avoid the huge queues
-Walk back to your car if possible
And most of all, enjoy it!
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