I think if there is one thing that really stands out about how Walt Disney World completes the show each and every day, it has to be the NIGHTTIME!

After a long day at any of the four theme parks of Walt Disney World, are you ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy a command performance level closing to the days show? Well, if you are, you’re in the right place! With the exception of Disney’s Animal Kingdom (due to be corrected at some point in the “near” future), there are three nighttime spectaculars that put the exclamation point on your day!

Wishes! Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we get to see what Sorcerer Mickey is up to, or rather up against, in the high energy pyrotechnic and water screen presentation of Fantasmic! Located in the Amphitheater on Sunset Boulevard, the spectacular show weaves a story that will delight into your evening. The finale is a nice ride down memory lane that involves many of the beloved Disney Characters to delight kids of all ages. Including, us older kids!!

EPCOT offers Illuminations! This offering can be seen from just about anywhere around the Promenade that borders World Showcase Lagoon. There are a lot of pyrotechnics and a globe that glows in the middle. It is a fabulous presentation and the music is quite beautiful, too. If you haven’t seen Illuminations! you must take time on your next trip. One small hint: Many of the restaurants that are around the lagoon have seating areas to watch. IF you can get an ADR in the 7:00PM range, and are willing to wait a few minutes, you may get a table with a view.

Finally, The Magic Kingdom has a number if things to offer after the sun goes down. First, is The Main Street Electrical Parade. This is the classic Disney parade with a lot of lights and so many of the Disney characters that we have all grown to love and adore! It starts at Town Square and makes it way down Main Street U.S.A through Liberty Square and finishes at Frontierland. Good seats can be had all along the route, but you can head to Frontierland for the little ones to get a closer view!

Second at The Magic Kingdom is Celebrate The Magic. Cinderella’s Castle is lit up with an array of projected images and a soundtrack to augment what you see on the Castle. There are a lot of Disney enhanced colors and images, as well as clips from some of Disney’s most beloved movies. It is a short show, but it is a nice lead in to what comes next.

And, that it Wishes! Wishes! is the nighttime fireworks display that The Magic Kingdom presents every night on one form or another. There are some night in the fall that park guests can only see if they purchase a separate party admission. Those are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, both which have special Wishes! presentations with tie-ins to those holidays. There are many places around the hub to view Wishes!, as well as places along Main St. U.S.A. and the train platform at Town Square. You can see most of it from Tomorrowland, a view I got this past December. The music is played in all areas that have any kind of view.

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As always, have a Blessed and Magical day!!

Trip Report: Day 3, Disney’s Hollywood Studios 2013

Christmas Tree at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Christmas Tree at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Fun day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! My daughters and I went ahead of the rest of our party and got to ride Toy Story Midway Mania through the Stand-by Line before my wife, son, and mother-in-law joined us. And, since we were given Key to the World cards in addition to our MagicBands, I decided to see if I could score a set of Legacy Fastpasses for later. I was able to accomplish that task with no problems. The return time, however, was 7:20PM. I ended up giving those away to a friend via the LINES Chat and put a smile on a little girls face! A little magic goes a long way!

I did the walk-through of Tower of Terror, but wasn’t feeling my oats enough to make the ride portion. I know! I admit it I USED THE CHICKEN DOOR! But, I saved my breakfast in the process.

After our second ride on Toy Story using Fastpass+, my daughters and I headed to the Great Movie Ride to meet up with the WDW Today podcast group for a special Rocky Horror Picture Show style ride. The responses to the Cast Member script were funny, but it was really hard to get the timing down to make it work. And, while the wait was a lot longer than I had hoped it would be, it was incredibly fun! It was also nice to meet, in person, Matt Hochberg and Len Testa. I am hoping to meet up with them again on Saturday.

WDW Today's Matt Hochberg
WDW Today’s Matt Hochberg

We grabbed a quick meal at The Studio Catering Company located off of the Streets of America next to the “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” play area. The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich was not bad. I do think it could use a bit more buffalo flavor, but I dipped in some honey mustard and it was pretty good that way! Overall, nice location with lots of seating in the shade, and it’s close to Backlot Tour, Pixar Place and Light, Motor, Action.

And, speaking of Lights, Motor, Action! That was our next stop with the use of Fastpass+. And, this is my first real criticism of the FP+ system. If the Fastpass+ gives you a dedicated area that has better viewing, it is worth it, if only for that reason. However, this is NOT the case with LMA. We were at the far end of the stadium and had a support beam blocking nearly half of the view. So, I would not recommend Fastpass+ for this attraction. It really isn’t a necessary one, except during busy seasons.

Muppetvision 3D was a really cute show, and enjoyable! Not only is the theater air-conditioned, but the show itself is quite entertaining. This was our first time seeing the attraction, and I think it is one to visit on future visits!

Star Tours may be the most disappointing part of this vacation, so far. The first time, it was fun and I liked the sequence that I got to experience. However, a visit just before park closing gave me almost the same EXACT sequence. The only change was we had Yoda on the first flight, and Princess Leia on the second. I’m not convinced that there is much randomizing in this show! But, I will have to wait until my next visit.

Our featured meal for today was at 50s Prime Time Cafe. I have heard much said about this restaurant, and I have to say it was the most fun of the day! The Pot Roast lives up to its reputation! It was incredibly tender and the meal was full of flavors I remember from childhood when my mother would make it for Sunday dinner. My wife had the Flounder and raved about it, as well. The kids all enjoyed their meals, also. And, the Pumpkin Spice milkshake? Can you say ‘YUM’!

One Man's Dream

We did the walk-through part of “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream”, but didn’t have time to see the movie as it was time for us to head to our first experience of Fantasmic! And, this show did not disappoint. The presentation was stunningly beautiful and the story was engaging! On our last visit, F! was closed for refurbishment, so we were really glad to get to see it this trip!

I closed my night out by making a quick visit to “The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. Can you say ‘crowded’? It was packed! But, I managed to take a brief walk-around video. It’s not much, but it lets me know that I need to really plan better, should I choose to return another time. It is beautiful!

That pretty much rounds out our day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I have some thoughts on the whole MagicBand experience, but will expand on that later.

For now, it’s sleep and then a marathon visit to EPCOT and my first, ever, Candlelight Processional!

Until then, have a blessed and magical day, my friends!