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Happily Ever After is a fireworks and projection mapping show that debuted at the Magic Kingdom on May 12, 2017 in the Walt Disney World Resort. Unlike its predecessor Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, the show includes more advanced technology such as projection mapping, lasers, and searchlights, as well as pyrotechnics.[1] The music also includes a theme song from Angie Keilhauer and Jordan Fisher.[2]

On March 12, 2020, Walt Disney World announced that all fireworks shows were suspended and temporarily closed, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, on June 15, 2021, following Walt Disney World Resort's reopening, it was announced that the fireworks show would return on July 1, 2021, along with an updated version of Epcot Forever at EPCOT.

On September 29, 2021, the show had its final performance and was temporarily replaced with, Disney Enchantment, as part of Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary celebration, although the show has recently been enhanced to include Cinderella Castle's 50th anniversary facade.

On January 10, 2023, Disney announced that the show will return to the Magic Kingdom beginning April 3, 2023, as part of the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration, replacing its successor, Disney Enchantment, which will play its last show the night prior.[3] An updated version of the show, now featuring projection mapping on the facades of Main Street, U.S.A. and new ambient sound effects in the hub and Main Street, U.S.A. that were first used in Disney Enchantment, premiered on April 3, 2023 replacing its successor, which is part of the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration.

Show summary

The spectacular inspired guests to seek out and find their own Happily Ever After by showcasing some of the greatest adventures Disney characters have taken to achieve their dreams. The show featured the latest fireworks and pyrotechnics and original animation, plus a heart-tugging original score. And thanks to the inclusion of state-of-the-art projection mapping technology, more Disney characters than ever before will be featured in the show. The show was promised to feature the largest and most technologically advanced projection mapping display in Disney theme parks history.[4]

Show scenes

  • Adversity
    • Mulan
    • Wolves (Frozen)
      • The Incredibles
      • The Little Mermaid
    • Stampede (The Lion King)
      • Aladdin
      • Sleeping Beauty

Trivia

  • The title and the theme song both came from Hong Kong Disneyland's 10th Anniversary celebration.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is the only live-action film in the show.
  • Elena of Avalor is the only Disney Junior and Disney Television Animation series in the show.
  • Moana is the only non-Pixar film in the Adventure scene.
  • Shere Khan himself does not appear in the show. However, during the "That's What Friends are For" sequence, a voice clip of either George Sanders or Bill Lee as Shere Khan was used to make it look like the castle itself is sentient and appears to be "singing" the last line before looping into "Friend Like Me".
  • Unlike other fireworks shows at the Magic Kingdom, Tinker Bell descends from the castle at the very end (weather permitting), rather than the beginning.
  • Due to its massive success, some later fireworks shows were inspired by Happily Ever After, including Illuminate! A Nighttime Celebration at Shanghai Disneyland, Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom, Momentous at Hong Kong Disneyland, and Wondrous Journeys at Disneyland.
    • Except Disney Enchantment and Momentous, all three other shows (including Happily Ever After) feature projected scenes of a destroyed castle after the "fight back" scenes and iconic character showcase scenes before the conclusion. For the character showcase scene, Happily Ever After uses the stained glass style, Illuminate! uses paused character scenes directly taken from their respective films, and Wondrous Journeys uses the art style of Casa Madrigal's door from Encanto.
  • As part of #DisneyMagicMoments, and due to the ongoing pandemic, Disney Parks released the full fireworks show (taken from the live-stream for the first show in 2017) on their official YouTube channel as a "virtual fireworks display at the end of your day".
  • In addition to its reopening on April 3, 2023, there are two major updates for the show, mostly focusing on projection.
    • The first update was used on Cinderella Castle, adding new projection animations to support its Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary facade. As the makeover was not completed in one day, this update was a step-by-step update, with every new animation being added one-by-one depending on the makeover process.
    • The second update was introduced on April 3, 2023, the same day that the show returned. According to the January 5, 2023 edition of the D23 Insider Disney Podcast, one update for the show is that the projections was extended to Main Street USA just like Disney Enchantment.

Videos

See also

References

  1. "Disney sets 'Rivers of Light' debut and replaces 'Wishes' fireworks show", OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved on April 7, 2017. 
  2. "First Listen: Sneak a Peek at Our 'Happily Ever After' Theme Song" (en-us). Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved on April 7, 2017.
  3. Bevil, Dewayne (January 10, 2023). "Disney sets dates for ‘Happily Ever After’ return, ‘Harmonious’ farewell".
  4. "‘Happily Ever After’ To Feature The Most Advanced Projection Mapping Tech Yet" (en-us). Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved on April 14, 2017.
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