This was a big deal for me. I loved Wishes. It might sound cliche but I quite literally grew up with Wishes. It opened in October 2003, so I was 9. That means that every trip to Disney that I can remember finished with a viewing of Wishes. Having said this, I know it was time for a change. 14 years of one show is an incredible run, and I am ready for something new.
But, when they announced Wishes was going, I couldn’t help be a little bit sceptical. I like change, sure, but Disney can sometimes mess it up – look at Hollywood Studios now for example. I was scared it was going to be just like Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular all over again, taking something good and to save money making it all about the projection and lasers and not fireworks.
Thank goodness I was wrong! I LOVE Happily Ever After. I should say that I haven’t seen it in person. I wish I had but alas, that will have to wait until February next year. I have now watched multiple versions on Youtube.
I was a little bit worried when the first two songs were from the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Brave, I was thinking I don’t know the words to these! Singing along to Wishes was the best part. But, I soon got it. Happily Ever After showcases some of the brilliant films that aren’t splashed all over the parks. The use of Frozen was minimal (I don’t think they could have got away without it in there at all), Moana was showcased in more detail and it was just magical. Having Pirates in there was a lovely touch and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come – pleaseeee can we have the Pirates ride from Disneyland Shanghai soon? There were classics in there too of course – The Little Mermaid and Aladdin springing to mind as featuring heavily.
The numbers of fireworks was great, the only negative was that I don’t think that it really built to a huge crescendo of a finale like Wishes or Illuminations do. Maybe I wouldn’t think that if I was there, but on the video I thought “oh, is that the end? Cool.” I liked that they kept Tinkerbell in there, flying through the air as I think that was so iconic.
My only worry with this one is that by showcasing the less watched films Happily Ever After could date quickly. I have a feeling not many people will remember the words to Brave or Moana in 14 years time, and even I think that the Pirates of the Caribbean films need to end soon. Wishes’ main songs were “Wishes” which was written for it, and “When you wish upon a star” which had already stood the test of time. I might be wrong, but I think in a few years updates could already be needed.
Regardless of that, I have a huge sense of relief. They’ve said goodbye to Wishes and made it better and more modern, without taking away from the hundreds of fireworks and the magic that should complete any day at Magic Kingdom,
I’ll have much more to say on the subject when I’ve seen it in person I’m sure, but rather than dreading how I’ll feel about it, I just can’t wait.