Goodbye Wishes, Hello Happily Ever After

I have to admit, I was really upset when I logged onto my Facebook one morning and saw fellow Cast Member alumni posting the news- Wishes was getting replaced, after 14 years of performing nightly at the Magic Kingdom.

Wishes may have just been a fireworks show, but it was one of my favorite shows to watch, either at the park or at one of the resorts surrounding the Seven Seas Lagoon.

It played on the night I got engaged; it played on the night I became a Cast Member, it played on nights I was enjoying the park with my family, and it played on the night right after my husband and I got married, and decided to take a quick trip to the World before setting off on our honeymoon.

Like others, I had an emotional attachment to the show. I played the soundtrack over and over in my car and watched videos of it on YouTube when I was going through bad Disney withdrawal. I loved the music, and my heart swelled whenever I heard the little girl sing, “Starlight, starbright!” I felt as though I could conduct every orchestrated firework movement, and could sync the lights to the music perfectly.

In my second book, I write about ride reviews, but I had to include a review of Wishes, even if it was technically a show. At the end of the section, I predicted that I would be sad when the show inevitably went away. At the time, I had no idea my predictions would come true. However, I am glad Wishes got replaced now, rather than years in the future, when it would surely become REALLY outdated. I’d rather have nostalgia over hate, especially for such a special show.

I bought into all the rumors that Happily Ever After would be laser-heavy rather than pyro-heavy, and would mostly be projections. I thought Disney was trying to save a buck on fireworks. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This new show has even more fireworks than Wishes, and they are pyrotechnics of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. It is simply awe-inspiring to watch.

I watched the Disney Parks blog live stream of the show on May 12th, and I was immediately blown away. When Merida shoots an arrow, it turns into a firework! You can see pirates sword fighting on the castle amidst smoke and flames! My favorite Tangled lantern scene from the old projection show, Celebrate the Magic, is back!

I took some time to gather my thoughts, and came to the conclusion that this is the best fireworks show I have ever seen- and I haven’t even seen it in person yet!

The show is all about going after your own dreams, rather than simply wishing on a star. It is about achieving your happily every after with friendship, by overcoming adversity, finding love, and remembering who you are inside. Instead of classic Disney songs, the show focuses on more modern Disney movies- Moana, Wreck-It-Ralph, Princess and the Frog, and Brave all make appearances. The theme song even has a very pop-y feel, while everything in Wishes felt more “classic” Disney.

I was really impressed that some of the more under-appreciated Disney movies and music got some love in this show. “Out There” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame plays a big part in the beginning, and music from Tarzan, Mulan, and Hercules are all featured.

Even in the short Frozen segment, “Let It Go” is NOT played- this was a huge surprise, even though I do like that song. In its place is a beautiful, slow rendition of “Love Is an Open Door” that flows perfectly into a version of “You’ll Be In My Heart.” Also, it doesn’t hurt that Olaf’s quote in the show (“Some People Are Worth Melting For”) is the quote currently engraved on the bottom of my wedding ring.

While I agree with some fans that a lot of the pre-Renaissance Disney movies get left out in this show, I like that we now have a modernized Disney show for a younger audience. The music in the latest Disney movies are perfect for a fun, lively fireworks show. And the classic characters do show up as projections on the castle toward the end.

Until I can get to see this show outside of my computer screen, I’ll leave my initial judgements here for now. Perhaps they’ll change once I get to view the show in person!

However, I do wish one of Powerline’s songs from a A Goofy Movie got a scene in the show- who plays better fireworks music than Powerline?

Any thoughts on the new show?

Hugs and Fishes,

Arielle

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