Disney World Evening Fireworks & Spectaculars
Most of the four major Walt Disney World parks has an evening fireworks show or “spectacular” (to use the Disney term, which is probably the best way to describe them!). They can include fireworks, projections, music and other special effects and usually last 15-30 minutes. There is no separate charge to watch these spectaculars – they’re included with park admission. Since the better viewing spots, whether seated or standing, are first-come, first-serve, people often stake out a spot early and stay there until it’s time for the show to start. But this can mean a lot of sitting around, which may not be how you want to spend your time at Walt Disney World.
If you don’t want to have someone stake out a spot, there are basically two key ways to score a decent seat with minimal hassle. You can purchase a dining package or dessert party that includes access to a reserved view area, if that’s available. Or, you can book a VIP tour – typically they won’t guarantee they can get you reserved seating for a particular show, but in our experience the VIP tour guides have a lot of resources at their disposal and can almost always get their guests a good spot to view shows. The VIP tour option is realistically outside the price range for most groups, but you can read more about it on our Tours & Activities page.
Below we cover the dining and dessert packages and give our recommendations for the best value.
- Luminous The Symphony of Us at Epcot (formerly Epcot Forever)
- Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios
- Happily Ever After Fireworks at Magic Kingdom
- Wonderful World of Animation at Hollywood Studios
- Tree of Life Awakenings at Animal Kingdom
- Are Dining And Dessert Packages Worth The Cost?
Luminous The Symphony of Us (formerly Epcot Forever) takes place on the World Showcase Lagoon, so, in theory there is good viewing anywhere along the lagoon throughout Epcot’s World Showcase. In practice, folks will start staking out a spot as much as an hour before the show, and the best “open” locations will fill up quickly. So you might want to consider the reserved viewing options. The show takes place just before closing and runs once an evening.
Luminous The Symphony of Us Reserved Viewing Options
The Rose & Crown Fireworks Dining Package includes a prix fixe dinner menu and reserved patio seating at Rose & Crown in the United Kingdom Pavilion. The cost is $92 per adult (age 10 and up) and $41 per child (age 3-9), tax and gratuity included. Theme park admission and a theme park reservation are required to attend.
The Spice Road Table Fireworks Dining Package includes a dinner package (2 small plates, dessert platter and unlimited beverages) and reserved outdoor seating at Spice Road Table in the Morocco Pavilion. The cost is $81 per adult (age 10 and up) and $31 per child (age 3-9), tax and gratuity included. Theme park admission and a theme park reservation are required to attend.
Private fireworks cruises leave from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort on a 25-foot boat that seats 10 people. The cruise includes assorted snacks and soft drinks, but you can arrange other food and beverage options through Disney for an additional charge. You get a cruise over to Hollywood Studios and then back to Epcot to watch the show. While you’ll be tied up near some other boats doing the same cruise, it still feels like you are separated from the crowd. The cost starts at $478.19, tax included. Park admission is not required.
- To make a dessert or dinner party reservation, use the links above. To book a private fireworks cruise, call 407-WDW-PLAY (939-7529). Advance reservations are highly recommended. Park admission is not included.
If you want to stake out a good open viewing spot, the bridge between France and UK is probably the best spot, as it’s higher above the water. People will start staking it out very early, though. The Japan pavilion has a nice wide-open view of the water, although the large red torii gate may block a bit of your view of a few things. There’s a small terrace with an OK view on the second floor of Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan pavilion, but it fills up very early. The whole Norway-Mexico area is full of good spots with clear views. Beyond that, any spot around the lagoon with a clear view of the center of the lake is going to work fine.
It is possible to make an Advance Dining Reservation that puts you in one of the World Showcase restaurants that has a view of the lagoon: La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico); Rose & Crown Pub (United Kingdom) and Spice Road Table (Morocco). Keep in mind that you won’t be the only person trying to do this, so reservations for the best time slots will go fast! Also, even if you get a reservation for the right time, the restaurants will absolutely not guarantee a table next to the lake, and they won’t let you wait for a view table to open. When the fireworks start, our experience is that nearly everyone in the restaurant stands up and tries to find a place where they can see, and these restaurants don’t have enough space for everyone to get a good view. All told, this strategy is mixed; it’s possible you’ll get a decent view, but it’s possible you’ll end up no better off than if you were out on the walkway.
For Luminous The Symphony of Us reserved viewing options, we recommend either Dining Package because you do get a seated reserved viewing spot and a meal. While the Spice Road Table Dining Package is less expensive than Rose & Crown Dining Package, you should pick based on which kind of food you most enjoy.
If you have a small group (up to 10 people) and would like something a bit more special, consider booking a private fireworks cruise. It doesn’t include a meal, but you may find that the benefits of having a pontoon boat all to yourselves with an excellent view of the show, plus some pre-show cruising around the waterways between Hollywood Studios and Epcot, are worth the expense. Additionally, since you won’t actually be entering the park, you won’t use up an admission day on your park ticket!
Fantasmic! is a bit unique, in that it takes place in an amphitheater behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror that is isolated from the rest of Hollywood Studios. So you won’t be able to see any of the show unless you are in the amphitheater. On the plus side, all of the seats in the amphitheater give you a good view, so it’s not super important to be in any one particular section. The show is performed most nights; at peak times it may run twice in one evening. If so, the second show will be less crowded.
Fantasmic! Reserved Viewing Options
The Fantasmic! Dining Package is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Melrose and Sci-Fi Dine In and includes admission to a reserved seating area for Fantasmic!. Please note: not all meals are available at all locations.
The cost for lunch or dinner at Sci-Fi Dine In is $54.32 per adult (age 10 and up) and $24.50 per child (age 3-9), tax included.
The cost for lunch or dinner at 50’s Prime Time Cafe is $57.51 per adult (age 10 and up) and $24.50 per child (age 3-9), tax included.
The cost for lunch or dinner at Mama Melrose is $59.64 per adult (age 10 and up) and $24.50 per child (age 3-9), tax included.
The cost for lunch or dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby is $82.01 per adult (age 10 and up) and $33.02 per child (age 3-9), tax included.
The Hollywood & Vine Fantasmic! Dining Package is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast at Disney Junior’s Play and Dine costs $62.84 per adult (age 10 and up) and $41.54 per child (age 3-9). This is a Disney Character meal with Disney Junior characters. Lunch and dinner at Minnie’s Seasonal Dine costs $79.88 per adult (age 10 and up) and $52.19 per child (age 3-9), tax included. This is a Disney Character meal with Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy.
- To make a reservation, use the link above. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Theme park admission and a theme park reservation are not included. Please note: Starting January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will not be required for guests with regular park tickets (i.e. date-based tickets).
With no reservation, your best bet is to go to the last show of the night. If there’s only one show, getting in line 1.5-2 hours before the show is not a bad idea. If there’s a second show, you only need to get in line 30-60 minutes in advance. And if they put on a third show (usually only at holidays) you can probably show up 20 minutes in advance and still get a seat. Keep in mind that while it’s a big theater, all the seats are perfectly fine. The show is very large scale, and while your experience changes depending on where you sit, it’s really very good from everywhere. Don’t feel like you need to get a front row seat.
Of the paid options, the lunch or dinner package at Sci-Fi Dine In or 50’s Prime Time Cafe are the least expensive options. If you were planning to do a character meal during your trip, take a look at the breakfast dining package at Hollywood & Vine – you get a character meal and the reserved seating for about the same cost as some character meals.
Happily Ever After combines fireworks with projections onto Cinderella Castle, so it is best viewed from as close to the center of the Hub as possible (the area just in front of Cinderella’s Castle with the statue of Walt and Mickey) or on Main Street U.S.A. The further you are off to the side, the more likely there will be trees blocking your view of the projections.
Happily Ever After Reserved Viewing Options
The Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Pre-Party includes a dessert buffet at Tomorrowland Terrace and admission to a reserved viewing area for the fireworks. The cost is $99 per adult (age 10 and up) and $59 per child (age 3-9), tax included. Theme park admission and a theme park reservation are required to attend. Please note: Starting January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will not be required for guests with regular park tickets (i.e. date-based tickets).
The Magic Kingdom Fireworks Seats & Sweets Dessert Party includes a dessert buffet and reserved seating for the fireworks at Tomorrowland Terrace. The cost is $114 per adult (age 10 and up) and $69 per child (age 3-9), tax included. Theme park admission and a theme park reservation are required to attend. Please note: Starting January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will not be required for guests with regular park tickets (i.e. date-based tickets).
The Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Post-Party includes admission to a reserved viewing area for the fireworks and, after the fireworks, a dessert buffet at Tomorrowland Terrace. The cost is $99 per adult (age 10 and up) and $59 per child (age 3-9), tax included. Theme park admission and a theme park reservation are required to attend. Please note: Starting January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will not be required for guests with regular park tickets (i.e. date-based tickets).
The Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise includes a dessert buffet onboard a Disney ferryboat on the Seven Seas Lagoon with a view of the fireworks (i.e. outside Magic Kingdom). There is some seating available. The soundtrack of the show is piped through the boat’s sound system. During the cruise there is also an ultraviolet scavenger hunt for kids. Please note: check-in and boarding take place at the Transportation and Ticket Center. The cost is $130 per adult (age 10 and up), $100 per child (age 3-9), tax and gratuity included. Park admission and a theme park reservation are not required.
The Celebration at the Top: Sip, Savor, Sparkle includes appetizers and drinks served in the private Sonoma and Napa Rooms at the California Grill (i.e. outside Magic Kingdom), a view of the fireworks from a private observation deck at the top of the Contemporary Resort and dessert after the fireworks. The private rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and connect to a private observation deck — with views of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom. Guests are asked to adhere to the dress code. (Other observation decks are available for guests who are dining at California Grill.) The cost is $129 per person, tax and valet parking included. Park admission and a theme park reservation are not required.
Private fireworks cruises on a 25-foot boat that seats 10 people, leave from the marinas at Disney’s Contemporary, Fort Wilderness, Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Wilderness Lodge resorts. The cruise includes assorted snacks and soft drinks, but you can arrange other food and beverage options through Disney for an additional charge. You get a cruise the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake before getting in position to watch the fireworks. The cost starts at $424.94 for the 25-foot boat, tax included. Park admission is not required.
- To make a reservation for a dinner or dessert party, use the links above. To book a private fireworks cruise, call 407-WDW-PLAY (939-7529). Advance reservations are highly recommended. Park admission is not included.
This is a very popular show and because of the layout and landscaping of the Hub, the good viewing spots get taken quickly. Additionally, Cast Members have to keep some parts of the pathways clear for people walking from one part of the park to another. So, if you want to be sure to have a good view, without have to constantly defend your viewing spot, purchasing access to reserved viewing can make for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience.
There are a lot of reserved viewing options for Happily Ever After. Most are dessert parties, and as we mentioned above, in terms of value, the desserts themselves are really not worth the fairly large prices of these dessert parties, so you’re paying mostly for a reserved spot to watch the show. All three dessert parties have you eat your desserts at Tomorrowland Terrace, but only one, the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Seats & Sweets Dessert Party, keeps you there for the fireworks. With the others, cast members will lead you to a roped-off area not far away, near the center of the Hub.
If you pick the dessert party that stays at Tomorrowland Terrace, you can stay seated for the fireworks, but keep in mind that once the show starts, others at this party may stand up and crowd up against the rock wall to get a better view. This may force you to stand to get a good view. If you have trouble standing for long periods of time, being able to sit right up until the start of the show is valuable. At the other parties, you head to the reserved viewing area about 15-20 minutes before the show starts, which just means more standing. Also, Tomorrowland Terrace is off to one side (on the edge of Tomorrowland), so you are viewing the show at an angle and fairly far back.
The show is really at its best when viewed from the center of the Hub, so we think the best paid reservation options are the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Pre-Party or the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Post-Party.
Some of the reserved viewing options are outside Magic Kingdom. While you definitely get a good view of the fireworks from outside the park, and are probably in a more relaxing atmosphere, you aren’t going to see the projections onto the castle, or at least not clearly, and those are pretty spectacular. If you are considering one of those options, keep in mind that you will mainly experience the fireworks and music from the show. One potential advantage: since you don’t need to enter the park, you don’t have to use an admission day on your park ticket or get a theme park reservation!
Wonderful World of Animation is projected onto the Chinese Theater and some of the nearby buildings. Because it has such a wide screen, so to speak, there are plenty of good viewing spots. Just be aware that the further off to the side you are, the more likely there may be trees blocking some of your view. It is a shorter show (less than 15 minutes), so you don’t have to show up too early to find a decent spot to watch.
The Tree of Life Awakenings is a lovely, but low-key, series of projection shows on the Tree of Life that begins once it’s dark and runs continuously about every 10 minutes. Because the show runs continuously and is visible from lots of places, there is no need to stake out a spot and there are no special viewing packages. It’s worth seeing and is a nice way to end your evening at Animal Kingdom. A good spot to watch is the area between Island Mercantile and Discovery Trading Company. You have a great view of the tree, there’s plenty of space to stand whenever you happen to get there, and once you have seen the whole rotation of shows (or as many as you want), you simply turn around and head over the bridge to the park exit.
The dessert parties and dining packages can be pricey, and some are not much more than a dessert buffet with some seating. So, it can feel like a lot of money for what you get in terms of the party/food experience. On the other hand, time is always a factor in any vacation, especially a Disney trip. There is generally WAY more to do than you have time for.
Paying for access to a reserved viewing area means that you don’t have to spend time standing around holding onto your viewing spot. If you were already planning to have a sit down dinner that night, booking a dinner that includes access to a reserved viewing area isn’t a bad way to go. You would have paid for a sit down dinner anyway, and this way, you also get a good view of the show with a minimal amount of standing around and waiting. And speaking very broadly, a dinner package is not typically much more expensive than just buying a sit-down meal at that restaurant, making the show reservation effectively FREE. The catch is that the dinner packages usually require you to eat dinner at an off time (usually before 5:00 pm), as they use the packages to fill up the restaurant during slow periods.
The dessert parties are more of a mixed bag. The desserts themselves are perfectly fine – typically little bite-sized morsels, including mini tarts, cakes and so forth. In terms of value for money, the desserts themselves are really not worth the fairly large prices of these dessert parties, so you’re paying mostly for a reserved spot to watch the show. To get your money’s worth, you would almost need to make most of a meal out of the desserts. There’s more than enough food available to fill anyone up, but there’s not much in the way of protein or hot food. They almost always have one or two savory items for those who aren’t big on dessert, but it might just be some cheese or chips.