Catching the nightly showing of fireworks is on most park-goers ‘ must-do lists, especially after the debut of not one, but TWO new fireworks shows for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration — Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom and Harmonious at EPCOT.
And, while you’ll likely be smiling your way through the show (or crying if you’re anything like us — we can’t help it), one thing that might leave you with a sour taste in your mouth before, after, and maybe even during the show is crowds. Let’s face it, protecting a small piece of pavement on Main Street, U.S.A. as if your life depended on it just isn’t what we signed up for. But, there’s no need to skip the shows for fear of being shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of strangers, because we’re bringing you our 10 BEST tips to see the fireworks without the crowds!
#1 — Planning is Everything
Just like most things at Disney World, this is all about planning! Guests can often be found claiming their spot for fireworks early into the evening, so having an idea of where you want to watch will help you know when you need to lay claim to your viewing location. Plus, it can help you avoid ending up with a nice view of a tree or the back of a building.
We’d suggest scoping out your fireworks viewing spot well ahead of time (maybe even the day before) so that you can see if it’s crowded and how good of a view you get of the fireworks! In fact, with World Showcase in EPCOT being SO big, we went ahead and made a guide for you! Plus, one of the big perks that come with planning ahead is being able to make adjustments and adapt instead of getting stuck in a less than stellar situation.
#2 — Try a Different Angle
Whether you’re in Magic Kingdom to see Enchantment or EPCOT to see Harmonious, there are a lot of unusual angles you can take advantage of! You might not be able to see the full projection show, but camping out in one of the other “lands” or side streets in Magic Kingdom can get you a good view of the fireworks themselves!
And, over at EPCOT, areas like World Celebration, World Nature, or World Discovery can provide you with a view of the explosive fireworks, you just might not be able to see the barges and the video footage that plays on them.
#3 — Book the Right Room
Did you know that you don’t have to be inside the parks to get a view of the fireworks? It’s true! One of the easiest (and comfiest) ways to catch the fireworks shows is by booking a Theme Park View Room at the hotels that surround Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.
For Enchantment, places like Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa have rooms with theme park views and for Harmonious, places like the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, Swan Reserve, and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts have good views.
You’ll just want to keep in mind that Theme Park View rooms are more expensive than other options at these hotels. Plus, you aren’t necessarily guaranteed that your view will be unobstructed (though you can talk to the front desk and ask — very nicely — about getting the best view possible) and you’ll only be able to see the fireworks from your room so you’ll be sans projections, giant video screens, or music. But, watching fireworks in your jammies just might be worth having to cue up the music through Spotify!
#4 — Find a Spot INSIDE Your Resort
While booking a Theme Park View room will ensure that you have a private viewing of the fireworks show, there are other spots around these resorts with a STUNNING view of fireworks. For example, you can watch Enchantment from the beach near Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s pool or find a seat outside of Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
These spots can be more crowded with hotel guests but Disney DOES pipe in the music to sync up with the show at these locations!
#5 — Transportation (and Timing) Can Be Your Best Friend
This fireworks viewing hack is a bit of a tricky one, but if you time your trip right on certain Disney World transportation you could end up with a crowd-free view!
For Disney Enchantment, your ride of choice would be the ferryboats and for Harmonious it would be the Disney Skyliner. We’ve had phenomenal views of the fireworks in Magic Kingdom while riding the monorail over from EPCOT! It’s all about that timing. However, this can be pretty tough to do and requires lots of luck, so only shoot your shot with this trick if you’re willing to try something a bit riskier!
#6 — Take Advantage of FREE Places to Get a Good View
Whether you’re spending the day in the parks or you just want to stop by to catch the fireworks show, there are a few completely FREE spots to watch! For example, Disney’s BoardWalk has a bridge that overlooks the park just past the Disney Skyliner location at the back entrance that offers a view of Harmonious with no park ticket required.
There are plenty of free spots to see the fireworks, so scope out somewhere to enjoy the fireworks that’s comfortable for you!
#7 — Try A Disney Enchantment Dessert Party
Another way to avoid the crowds is to book a dessert party! For Disney Enchantment, there are three parties inside Magic Kingdom to choose from — the Disney Enchantment Pre-Party, Disney Enchantment Treats & Seats Party, and the less expensive Disney Enchantment After-Party. Plus, if you don’t feel like heading into Magic Kingdom, there’s also the extra swanky Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors & Fireworks viewing party located at California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
These specialty viewing parties not only provide you with some GREAT views of the fireworks show, but they also come with drinks and dessert! You just need to be willing to pay anywhere from $99 to $129 per adult.
#8 — Go On A Ferrytale Fireworks Cruise
If dessert with a side of fireworks sounds like an ideal night in Disney World to you but you’d rather not have to face the crowds after the show is over, you’ll want to check out the Ferrytale Fireworks Cruise.
Guests board a Magic Kingdom Ferryboat from the Transportation and Ticket Center and travel out into the Seven Seas Lagoon about 15 minutes prior to Disney Enchantment. While onboard, you’ll enjoy desserts, drinks (including alcohol for guests 21 and older), and a one-of-a-kind view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks! With treats like KABOOM! Cupcakes, Rocket Burst Popcorn Push Ups, Red Velvet Wow! Pie, Grand Finale Key Lime Tarts, and Build Your Own Mousse, and other specialty onboard experiences, we’ve found this dessert party to be well worth the cost.
#9 — Book A Harmonious Dining Package
While EPCOT doesn’t host any dessert parties for the Harmonious fireworks shows, they do offer a few dining packages that get you dinner and an exclusive view of the show! Packages are available for booking at both Rose & Crown Dining Room in the U.K. Pavilion (which costs $89 per adult and $39 per child) as well as Spice Road Table in the Morocco Pavilion (which costs $72 per adult and $31 per child).
Each dining package includes a prix fixe meal (with some stellar menu options) and seating on the restaurant’s outdoor patio for some of the best fireworks views there are around World Showcase. There are a VERY limited number of reservations available each evening though, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re booking right when that 60-day dining reservation window opens if this is a must-do for you.
#10 — See Them In The Crowd (If You Can)
Okay, okay, we know that this kind of fails at avoiding the crowds, but we’d like to take a moment to talk about how you CAN still watch the fireworks in the parks and have a great experience! Both Harmonious and Enchantment have projections and effects that are best seen from a more direct view so you’ll only be getting the full experience if you’re watching from inside the park.
But, you don’t have to give up on seeing it all just to avoid the crowds! In Magic Kingdom, the area of Main Street, U.S.A. that is closest to the park entrance/exit is often less crowded (and provides a GREAT view of the Main Street projections) and there are A LOT of spots to watch Harmonious from around World Showcase. Choose a spot that is a bit farther from where everyone else seems to be gathering and you’ll still be able to take in the full show without having to snuggle up with thousands of strangers.
So, if you’re on a quest to avoid the fireworks crowds during your Disney World trip, give some of these tricks a try! And, stay tuned to DFB for more of the latest Disney tips and updates!
What are your best tips for avoiding the fireworks crowds in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!