It’s New Year’s Day and I’m sure sure last night was filled with much merriment for many around the world. It’s also one of several days of the year when an extraordinary large amount of fireworks are set off. So on that note I’m going to talk fireworks...
Anyone that has ever visited WDW or picked up a brochure will know that fireworks play an important role in nearly every cast member’s daily existence. They happen at Magic Kingdom and Epcot nightly and at Hollywood Studios on Fantasmic nights. Additionally special displays are created for events such as July 4th and New Year’s Eve. Animal Kingdom is the only major no-go area when it comes to fireworks because of... well, the...er...animals. So here’s a rundown.
Home of Wishes, Hallowishes, Summernightastic, Pirate and Princess Party and the famous July 4th and New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Generally for a good all-round view there are two places I’d recommend standing. First, there’s the hub (the big circle in front of Cinderella’s Castle) and second, there’s the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort (this is a really great location if you don’t have a Disney ID yet - because it’s FREE!!!). Worth noting is that some displays make use of peripheral fireworks which are set off from the area outside of the visible park boundaries. This means that you are completely surrounded by fireworks. Also, the musical accompaniment is broadcast to the three monorail resorts and the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Centre) as well as the top of Bay Lake Tower’s and the park-facing rooms there.
I’m a touch biased but these are, for many, the best fireworks at WDW. They take place on World Showcase Lagoon and feature a variety of barges that shoot water and flames into the air as well as the famous globe barge. Anywhere facing the water provides a great view although try to make sure that the wind is blowing away from you. Also, if you see any “glowers” in red flag shirts say ‘Hi’ because they’re part of the awesome team at Towers.
Fireworks here are, for the most part, part of Fantasmic! this show is definitely worth watching. If there is inclement weather go anyway. They won’t do the full show but they still set off the pyro and fireworks and it’s pretty cool (as long as you don’t mind getting wet from the rain). They do have regular fireworks on July 4th and New Year’s Eve.
The majority of CPs and ICPs find themselves working long shifts on July 4th and missing the special fireworks. The Magic Kingdom fireworks are usually on on July 3rd as well and it’s also worth seeing if there’s somewhere in your location that you can watch them from.
On July 4th I was scheduled to work from 9am to 4:30pm. I was pleased because it mean’t I could have the special July 4th lunch at the cafeteria and also be able to get to MK to watch the fireworks. At lunchtime I was asked if I’d like to extend because some other CMs had called in and they needed some extra hands. (It’s is worth remembering that no-one can force you to ER or extend, nor can they recommend that you do one or the other. It is entirely up to you). Initially I said no and then tongue-in-cheekly suggested that I’d only extend if I could glow because then I could still watch the fireworks (admittedly at Epcot rather than MK). The response was an immediate yes with the caviat that I would have to leave before everyone else because of regulations regarding the number of hours you can work at Epcot in one day. Don’t think I just got paid to stand and watch fireworks though. I was still working and if a guest came up to me during the fireworks they would be my priority. I just took advantage of Towers having an outdoor location.
Glow was, by far, my favourite part of the job. For me, it was getting to play with all those toys I wanted to play with as a kid, except that I didn’t have to pay for them! I had so much fun doing it, and yes, I probably looked like a total idiot dancing around like a lit up Christmas tree, throwing spinning toys in the air, blowing bubbles. I got to meet so many amazing people from every walk of life and help make magic happen for them.
If anyone who visited WDW this summer has any pics of me in full glow gear with them feel free to send them in. I’d love to see them.
Happy 2011! May it be full of magic for everyone!