This article discusses how the cast members handle crowds during the Disney fireworks shows and how the overall experience is being diminished.

Disney World shows, both daytime and nighttime ones, are among the best experiences the parks have to offer. They’re free, they happen frequently, and you can almost always snag a great viewing spot. 🥳

Disney World fireworks in the daytime.

In recent years, though, Disney World — Magic Kingdom in particular — has made the experience of watching the nighttime fireworks show from in front of the castle utterly unenjoyable and obnoxious, let alone practically impossible unless you’re going to claim your spot when the sun’s still up.

Here’s where they’re going wrong and why it’s so non-Disney of them.

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7 Ways That Disney World Is Ruining the Fireworks Experience

Disney parks fireworks.

Disney parks arguably have the best fireworks in the world.

One of our favorite Disney experiences ever was when we were in Epcot for New Year’s Eve. The parties and the fireworks were nothing less than incredible, and the night sky lit up so spectacularly that, for a second, it almost seemed like something had gone wrong.

That’s in Epcot, though. As much as we love the Magic Kingdom nighttime show and fireworks, it’s lost so much of its magic for us after our past few trips. 

While I’m sure it’s for crowd control, safety, and security reasons, the way that Disney cast members handle guests during the fireworks show completely depletes the experience. 😡

Plus, even if you’re simply passing through on your way to another part of the park, the pathways are so over-controlled that you can barely get anywhere in a way that makes sense.

Here are 7 ways that Disney World is getting the fireworks experience wrong.

1. It’s impossible to get a spot unless you start ridiculously early.

If you want to view the Disney World fireworks from in front of the castle, which is the best vantage point for the full experience, you have to contend with everyone who claims their spot hours early.

We never understand why people would willingly give up hours of their time at Magic Kingdom, but they do, baking in the sun and heat until, like, 9 p.m. It’s nuts.

And because of that, anyone who doesn’t want to dedicate half a day to standing in place has to fight for a spot later on. At that point, finding one is nearly impossible because you can only stand in designated areas, and most of them will be full long before the show begins. Great. 🙄

2. Some of the “best” spots have blocked views.

Blocked view of the Magic Kingdom castle.

Let’s say you wait until shortly before the show begins and somehow find standing room for two. You and your main squeeze are ready for a romantic fireworks experience fit for your Disney couples trip.

Spoiler: Some of those designated viewing areas actually have terrible, blocked views. You may be able to see the fireworks high up in the sky, but forget about seeing the castle and all its amazing projections.

3. People who insist on sitting take up standing room.

Here’s another fun detail to expect: A lot of people like to sit down while saving their spot or watching the fireworks show. Once those viewing areas get crowded, a person who’s sitting is actually taking up two or more standing-room-only spots.

While the cast members will yell at you if you dare to wait outside a restroom for your significant other, they won’t bother telling the people sitting on the ground to stand up because other guests want to watch the show.

4. Cast members are way too pushy.

As you walk around Main Street and the hub in front of the castle before, during or right after the fireworks show, the cast members will incessantly direct the flow of guests to the point where you’ll hear the same exact directions over and over, from the same cast members who you didn’t even have time to walk past before they tell you what to do yet again.

I get that the cast members have to direct foot traffic and that they have to be heard by all the guests. But it’s simply too much.

My vision of Disney World, which I’ve gone to since I was a kid in the 80s, is that it offers an idyllic experience.

The Imagineers created technologies that didn’t exist yet. Surely, the people in charge of Magic Kingdom can figure out how to control crowds without constant, overbearing directions.

Disney World fireworks.

We’ve also heard more than once a cast member yelling at the crowd, “Keep moving. They’re called ‘walkways’ because you walk on them.”

Come on. People who are spending hundreds of dollars on that one day at Disney World and thousands on their trip don’t want to be belittled by an employee. It’s rude, and Disney World isn’t supposed to be rude.

5. You’ll hear shouting throughout the entire show.

Even if you’ve snagged your spot and you’re within the masking tape designation (more on that in a minute), you can’t escape the cast members’ shouting. No matter where you stand, you’re bound to hear it throughout the entire show.

That means the voiceover you’re hearing with all of those magical, inspiring messages will be drowned out by, “Keep walking!” and, “Nope, you can’t stop there.”

6. Masking tape on the ground is cheap-looking and ugly.

The way that Magic Kingdom employees section off the areas where you can stand during the fireworks show is with masking tape. I honestly can’t believe this is a thing.

The masking tape looks cheap and ugly, and it gets worse as it peels. Then, after the show, you’ll see cast members on the ground, pulling up the masking tip bit by bit.

Come. On. Disney. Get it together.

7. Seeing sections that are off-limits to guests spoil the immersive vibe.

The last time we were in Magic Kingdom, we got stuck on Main Street right before the nighttime show started, and they wouldn’t let us make our way to another part of the park. Instead, they took us behind the scenes, past where the Main Street vehicles are kept.

Now, as a Disney superfan, I know that this can be exciting. In-show exits can be worthy of celebration because you get to see how rides work. Behind-the-magic tours are awesome for any of us Disney nerds out there. 🤓

But when we were taken through the back of the Magic Kingdom, it was a bit disheartening. There were cast members hanging out, the vehicles were covered, and it put a big blemish on the all-encompassing spectacle you buy into on a Disney vacation.

Enjoy the Disney Fireworks or Whatever

Two people viewing the Disney fireworks.

We don’t dislike the nighttime show at the Magic Kingdom. We love it, actually.

I have wonderfully fond memories of watching Wishes and feeling like my life could be anything I wanted it to be. I can close my eyes and still feel just as inspired as I was standing there, the fireworks blooming overhead.

That experience is gone now. Even if we were willing and able to get a great spot to watch the fireworks, the cast members (and whoever tells them what to do) have wrecked the dreamy, inspiring event it once was.

What are your thoughts about the nighttime show at Magic Kingdom? Leave it in the comments!