Special Halloween fireworks shows take place at many of the Disney Parks and Resorts. Fireworks on Halloween come from the British tradition of bonfires to "scare off bad spirits", which are usually held on Guy Fawkes Day (November 5) as well as the city of Derry, Ireland where an annual fireworks show takes place as part of the annual festivities. The following are a sample of said shows.
During the first few years of the Halloween Party, the evening's fireworks show was the original Fantasy in the Sky show, with the addition of a Halloween-themed finale. HalloWishes was created by Disney's Creative Entertainment division specifically for the event, first premiering in 2005 and before the show starts there was a fireworks show named villainy in the sky with new effects and projection. Its development was supervised by Steven Davison and designer Eric Tucker, who also designed Wishes, Holiday Wishes, Remember... and IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The music has a predominantly electronic/rock/pop instrumentation with much symphonic arrangements, and was arranged by Mark Hammond and David Hamilton. The vocals were arranged by Tim Davis, who would then go on to work with Adam Anders and Jimmy Levine in the arrangements of the songs and underscore for Glee.
Then the guests are serenaded with the spirits' special brand of karaoke (which the script calls "scary-oke music; just a few tombs [tunes] we've 'dug up' for the occasion") in a medley of Disney's spookiest music. Later, some of Disney's most infamous villains join in, starting with Ursula from The Little Mermaid "plopping in" on the party and adding her own musical mix to the festivities. Jafar from Aladdin and Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas soon follow, and (until 2008) arriving last but far from the least is Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, showing us how Halloween should really be celebrated. The party ends with the "scream-along" grand finale.
The show was produced by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, and its development was supervised by Steven Davison and designer Eric Tucker. This display was held nightly in 2009, during Disneyland’s Halloween Time Celebration. The show is similar to that of Walt Disney World's HalloWishes and uses portions of the show's audio. The Anaheim version differs in that it is hosted by Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The show ran from September 25, 2009 to November 1, 2009 (the duration of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort) and since 2010, it now runs exclusively for Mickey's Halloween Party. On non-Party nights, the current Disney fireworks show runs unless Halloween Screams was cancelled due to winds or other issues the night before and must be presented as the fireworks can't be removed from their tubes in the event of a cancellation.
In 2021, following Disneyland Resort's reopening, Disneyland announced that an updated version of the Halloween fireworks show would return for the Halloween Time event.
The show opens with the overture from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, an instrumental medley of songs from the film including "What`s This?" and "Making Christmas". Zero (Jack Skellington’s dog from the film) flies above Sleeping Beauty Castle. He is shortly joined by Jack, or rather his head (in the form of projection onto a sphere shaped balloon), located on the upper left of the castle. These projections can also be viewed along the Rivers of America, which recycle the mist screens used in Fantasmic!. There are only searchlights and projection mapping used in the show's introduction. No actual pyrotechnics are used for the first two minutes.
Jack and Zero fade into the night and the first pyrotechnics are launched when "Grim Grinning Ghosts", from the Disneyland attraction the Haunted Mansion, begins to play. Projections of rising ghosts make an appearance on the castle. The music from "Grim Grinning Ghosts" changes to an upbeat pop tempo, as synchronized isobar flames, shoot up from both sides of the castle. Then the mood is set with "This is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Then Disney's most infamous villains begin to arrive, beginning with Ursula. The guests are serenaded with a montage of Disney's most spookiest music. Later, Oogie Boogie soon follows, and arriving last is Maleficent, showing guests how Halloween should really be celebrated. The party ends with Jack and Zero initiating the "scream-along" grand finale.
The projections used on the sphere to the upper left of the castle were later used as projections on the Fantasmic! mist screens at the Rivers of America during the show. The decision to have video playback during the fireworks was made more than halfway through October in 2009. In 2015, the projectors installed for Disneyland Forever at the castle were also utilized. Not only are they an addition to the show, its also used to project various images during the party hours. Projections used on the sphere were modified as well.
Also the show is now only performed during Mickey's Halloween Party for party guests only. On occasions where the show is cancelled during the Halloween Party, the show will be presented the next night even if its not a party night as the fireworks can't be taken out from the launch tubes to be saved for another night.
The show is hosted by Maleficent, who has unleashed her spirit on Sleeping Beauty Castle. Surrounded by her sinister laugh and ghostly music, Maleficent conjures up her wicked magic and engulfs the castle in thorns and flames, while she ignites the sky with a spooky pyrotechnics spectacular.