After a long hiatus during the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular returned to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World tonight for a very special preview, before its official debut, which will take place on April 3rd, 2023. As a special treat, some lucky Walt Disney World Cast Members received a free preview of the show tonight.
You can watch a video below of the show with just the castle, with the new Main Street, U.S.A projections, or read on for photos.
While the show remained unchanged in soundtrack and in castle projections, the big new feature includes exciting new projections down Main Street, U.S.A., first introduced for “Disney Enchantment.”
Just like on the castle, the show opens with a beautiful red and gold-accent taking over the entire street.
Fireworks flare above the skies as the chorus for “Happily Ever After” kicks in, still sung by Jordan Fisher and Angie Keilhauer.
A little greeting from Tiana segues into “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid. The street comes alive in ocean blues as the orchestra plays.
We then see Rapunzel in her tower before “Out There” kicks in.
The beautiful stained glass window patterns of Notre-Dame take over the street, fitting “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” perfectly.
Then we see vines and growth around the street for the “Brave” segment.
Other Pixar pals including those from “Finding Nemo,” “Up,” and others appear along the street and on the castle.
Then of course there’s “Moana,” represented by torches and other Polynesian flair.
Gears fill the windows and the castle during “Friend Like Me,” “Trashin’ the Camp,” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
Finally neon lights and the treasures of the Cave of Wonders cover the street for the grand finale.
The romance segment starts off with “Love is an Open Door” followed by “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” “You’ll Be in My Heart,” and finally “I See the Light.”
Decor appropriate to each origin film covers the street during this segment.
During “I See the Light,” silhouettes of Disney Princess couples are in the windows along with lanterns floating up the sides.
Images of villains and fire cover the buildings during the villains’ segment.
Finally during the end, new stained glass images of characters from films like “Coco” and “Encanto” appear in the walls to accompany those on the castle.
And finally, those pulsing multicolor coverings with gold ornamentation appear along the entire street to accent the grand finale of the show.
Happily Ever After is a spectacular fireworks display and multimedia projection show that features classic Disney characters and music from popular Disney movies. The show is a fan favorite and has been a staple at the Magic Kingdom since 2017. The show went away during the pandemic, then returned on July 1st, 2021 for a few months, before being replaced by Disney Enchantment, which has been performed nightly since the World’s Most Magical Celebration began on October 1, 2021. Now, Disney is preparing for the end of the celebration, making it a great opportunity to bring back this fan favorite show.
Lukewarm Reception to Disney Enchantment
Disney fans eagerly anticipated the new Disney Enchantment nighttime spectacular. However, the show did not quite live up to expectations, leaving many Disney enthusiasts feeling underwhelmed.
One of the main criticisms of Disney Enchantment is that it lacks the emotional resonance of its predecessor. Happily Ever After was beloved for its stirring musical numbers, iconic character appearances, and emotional storytelling. In contrast, Disney Enchantment feels more like a disjointed collection of Disney songs and scenes, without the same level of emotional investment, and curiously, not doing much to celebrate 50 years of Walt Disney World.
Disney made some attempts to improve the show, including the addition of a Walt and Roy Disney sequence. However, it was clear that the demand for Happily Ever After was much greater than it was for Disney Enchantment.
A new sequence was added featuring Walt and Roy Disney in August of 2022
The Return of Happily Ever After
The return of the Happily Ever After show is great news for Disney fans and Cast Members alike. The show is a beautiful celebration of Disney magic and brings together classic Disney stories and characters in a stunning display of lights, fireworks, and music.
Cast Members and their guests were thrilled with the opportunity to see the show before it officially returns to the park. Disney Cast Members work tirelessly to create the magic that guests experience when they visit the park, and this preview is a special “thank you” to them for their hard work and dedication.
The return of this fan favorite show is just one example of the ways in which Disney is working to bring back the magic for its guests. The show is a beautiful celebration of Disney’s storytelling and its rich history of creating unforgettable characters and experiences.
For Cast Members, the return of the Happily Ever After show is sure to be a special moment. These hardworking individuals are the backbone of the Disney experience, and this preview was a wonderful way to thank them for all that they do.
It’s clear that it will once again become a beloved fixture at the Magic Kingdom. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disney fan, this beautiful show is sure to leave you with a sense of wonder and a renewed appreciation for the magic of Disney.
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