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WDW's new "Holidays Wishes" fireworks show sure to become seasonal favorite

WDW's new "Holidays Wishes" fireworks show sure to become seasonal favorite

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Guess what I saw this past Wednesday night at WDW's Magic Kingdom? A preview performance of that theme park's brand-new nighttime extravaganza, "Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season."


Photo by Jeff Lange

Mind you, this wasn't the very first public performance of the Magic Kingdom's new fireworks show. That was actually held this past Monday night. "Holiday Wishes" was then presented again on Tuesday night as part of  a special  cast-member-only preview of that theme park's seasonal offerings (This after-hours event also included a dress rehearsal of this year's version of "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade"). So the "Holidays Wishes" that I got to see on Wednesday was actually just the third performance of this new nighttime extravaganza.

So how was it? To be honest, I really enjoyed "Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season." It's another supremely entertaining, emotionally effecting firework show from Steve Davison, Disney's pasha of pyro.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Just like the regular version of "Wishes," "Holiday Wishes" is hosted by Jiminy Cricket. Pinocchio's little pal welcome the crowds at the Magic Kingdom, which is then treated to a performance of "Celebrate the Spirit of the Season" theme song. Jiminy then talks about how -- this time of year -- there's magic in the air. And -- with that -- Tinkerbell flies out of the highest tower of Cinderella Castle and zooms off toward Tomorrowland.

From there, "Holiday Wishes" celebrates the touchstones of the season. One section of the show celebrates home & family as shells explode over the theme park while "I'll be Home for Christmas" and "There's no Place like Home for the Holidays" play.


Photo by Jeff Lange

The next section of the show celebrates Santa. As a flurry of multi-color fireworks fill the sky as "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" play.

During this part of "Holiday Wishes," Davison makes excellent use of Cinderella Castle. Using colored lights and projections to change this Magic Kingdom icon first into an enormous Santa hat, then a huge Christmas tree.

Then -- as the show shifts to a section that celebrates toys & gifts -- Victor Herbert's "March of the Wooden Soldiers" plays as smiley-face, heart and box-shaped shells explode in the sky.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Then sparklers swirled at several levels at Cinderella Castle as Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" play. And the whole building takes on a multi-color hue. As if it's this immense already-wrapped Christmas present.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Jiminy chimes in again before we get one final reprise of the "Celebrate the Spirit of the Season" theme song. And then -- after a veritable blitzkreig of fireworks shells rain down on the Magic Kingdom -- giant snowflakes are projected onto Cinderella Castle. And as these giant snowflakes slowly drift to the ground ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

Well, I'm told that -- on the nights that "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade" is presented at the Magic Kingdom -- during this portion of the show, artificial snow will drift down from above on the people standing on Main Street U.S.A. So the final effect will be that -- as those giant projections of snowflakes slowly slide down the sides of the castle -- guests at this after-hours party will be surrounded by faux flakes. Which sounds like a pretty magical moment to me.

Unfortunately, the WDW guests who attended this week's preview performances of "Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season" didn't actually get to experience those fake snow flakes. Nor did these folks get to experience this firework show's full-blown finale, which will feature a series of shells that are simultaneously fired from all around the Magic Kingdom's perimeter.

But even in this somewhat unfinished form, "Holiday Wishes" was still one hell of a show. So -- if you really want to be dazzled this holiday season -- then I suggest that you get yourself a ticket to "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party." And make sure that you're standing on Main Street U.S.A. looking toward the castle as this fireworks show comes to a close, so you can get the full effect of those faux snowflakes.

Here's to Steve Davison and his team at Disney Creative Entertainment. A group of truly talented folks who really know how to stage a spectacular fireworks show. They understand that -- sometimes -- you don't even need lights to create a particularly memorable image. Just a couple of well placed shells.


Photo by Jeff Lange

If you'd like to see "Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season" for yourself, "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party" is being presented on Nov. 27 and 29, Dec. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 20.  Just a reminder, though: Separate admission is required for this special seasonal after-hours event. 

Jeff Lange is the staff photographer / archivist here at JHM. He recently launched his own series of unofficial Disney theme park DVDs. Which include "Jeff Lange's Holiday Treat." Which offers full coverage of last year's "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party" at WDW's Magic Kingdom. If you'd like to learn more about this or any other of the entertaining recordings that Mr. Lange has produced, we suggest that you follow this link.
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