One of Walt Disney’s guiding philosophies as he built Disneyland (and the Disney brand in general) is that the Disney company should always be ready to “try something new”. In fact, one of my favorite Walt Disney quotes speaks to just this:
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
I think it is safe to say that this continues to be one of the missions of the Disney company – whether movies or theme parks – there is always something new. Of course, that is a big part of what keeps us going back to the Disney parks, because there is ALWAYS something new to see or do!
If you’ve been following along with Disney parks news, you probably know then that there is a LOT of new on the horizon for Walt Disney World! I mentioned not long ago that Pandora – The World of Avatar has an official opening date this coming May. And we learned just last week that the long awaited Rivers of Light nighttime show at Animal Kingdom will officially debut tomorrow night. (Looks to be amazing by the way!) Epcot is winding down a brand new event, the first (there are sure to be more!) International Festival of the Arts. And of course Star Wars land continues to be a major expansion at Hollywood Studios that looks and sounds like it will be pretty darn awesome (Disney announced that it’s scheduled to open in 2019).
In the midst of this flurry of news over the past few months (and much of it in just the past couple of weeks), came this little announcement last Thursday: the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular will debut at Magic Kingdom on May 12. Oh cool! A new show at Magic Kingdom! Sounds great!
And then we read the details: Happily Ever After “will feature the latest fireworks and pyrotechnics and original animation, plus a heart-tugging original score.”
Wait. Did they say fireworks???? As in, fireworks….like the WISHES fireworks at Magic Kingdom? As in, are there going to be TWO fireworks shows at Magic Kingdom now??
Ummmm, as it turns out, no. There will not be two fireworks shows at Magic Kingdom. “To make way for “Happily Ever After,” Wishes Nighttime Spectacular will have its final performance May 11, 2017.”
And with that comment, millions of hearts just dropped, as it is probably a fair statement to say that Wishes is THE favorite nighttime/fireworks show at the Walt Disney World parks. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that more than a few tears were shed over this news.
So, what are my thoughts, you may be asking? (It’s “Thursday Thoughts” so surely I have some thoughts on this, right?)
Well, to be honest, I am a bit conflicted. I love Wishes and am truly sad to see it go (although Illuminations is my personal favorite…and I will likely sob when it is replaced someday). Wishes has such an uplifting message, the music has always brought a tear to my eye, and the fireworks are….well, awesome!
BUT. What would Walt say? I’m pretty sure Walt would be jumping up and down at the thought of something NEW, something that is going to be different, using new technology, trying things that haven’t ever been done before. I can just picture him discussing this with his Imagineers: “It’s going to be GREAT!”. 🙂
Yeah, I think Walt Disney would be super excited to be “moving forward”, even though it meant saying goodbye to an old friend. But if I know the Disney Imagineers, I am guessing that Happily Ever After is going to be some kind of fabulous. And I think that once we see it, we will forgive Disney for replacing Wishes.
Wishes, we will always love you. <3
As for you, Happily Ever After, well we can’t wait to meet you. We know you’re going to be simply magical. Walt wouldn’t have it any other way.