Viewing the Magic Kingdom fireworks is hands down one of the best ways to end your Disney day with a bang. On the other hand, at the end of a potentially long day, you may not have it left in you to wait an hour or more in crowded areas to stake out the perfect Magic Kingdom fireworks spots. Instead of fighting on Main Street for a foot or two of open space, consider one of the following unusual viewing spots instead.
It is important to note your priorities before you decide on a viewing spot. The current Magic Kingdom fireworks show, Happily Ever After, is a combination of a fireworks and a projection show. During the show there are projections on the front side of Cinderella’s Castle that coordinate with the fireworks and music.
If you choose to view the fireworks at one of the lesser-known locations in this article, you will most likely not be able to see the projections. However, if you are okay with missing the projections in favor of lower crowds and unique views, check out some of the following options.
1. Frontierland Bridge
In Frontierland there is a bridge that connects over the water between Big Thunder Mountain and the walkway in front of Country Bear Jamboree and Liberty Tree Inn. This bridge actually starts right near the Liberty Square Riverboat by the Haunted Mansion. Coming from the Haunted Mansion, the bridge then follows the sidewalk until it splits and goes right towards Big Thunder.
Position yourself on the bridge on the portion that is facing the Haunted Mansion and Cinderella Castle. Facing the castle you will get a wonderful reflection of the castle in the water. Once the fireworks start you will also get to see their reflection on the water.
This spot makes for very impressive photos and a really unique view with the reflection in the water. In addition, you do not have to deal with thick crowds during the fireworks on the Frontierland bridge. You should not need to arrive very early to get a good view along the railing. Use the extra time you have available now by getting a churro or a turkey leg at the food carts nearby!
2. Magic Kingdom Fireworks Spots in New Fantasyland
Viewing the Magic Kingdom fireworks from New Fantasyland provides a dual experience. There are two types of fireworks in the Happily Ever After show. Most of the big fireworks in the air are shot off from behind Beast’s castle and Ariel’s Undersea Journey in New Fantasyland. Then the smaller fireworks surrounding Cinderella’s Castle are launched right from the castle.
So that means that if you view the fireworks on the bridge by Be Our Guest Restaurant, or by Ariel’s ride, you will be in the middle of the fireworks. I have done this during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and it is a really cool experience. You do have to keep turning from side to side to catch both types of fireworks, but you are totally immersed in it. Give it a try next time you’re there if you are looking for something really unique!
3. The Beach At The Polynesian Resort
The beach at the Polynesian Resort is one of the best Magic Kingdom fireworks spots outside of the park, hands down. I have personally viewed the fireworks from here many nights during previous stays at the Polynesian. I do think it is one of the most relaxing viewing areas with the beach. It also has a great, almost dead on center view of the castle in the distance.
Now that the over the water bungalows are open, find the beach by heading on the walking path towards the Grand Floridian. Along this path there will be beach areas to watch the fireworks from. There is also a fire pit in this area that sometimes offers smores.
The beach at the Polynesian is a great place to relax with a drink or dole whip while viewing the fireworks. However, skip this one if it is a once-in-a-year show like New Years Eve or Fourth of July. Disney will usually only allow resort guests to view here on these dates due to its popularity.
4. Tomorrowland Towards Space Mountain
The bridge from Tomorrowland into the Hub by Cinderella’s Castle is already a well-known viewing spot. However, most people are not aware that you can still get good views a bit deeper into Tomorrowland. Head towards Space Mountain at the back of Tomorrowland instead. This location probably one of the Magic Kingdom fireworks spots you haven’t heard of yet. So you know it is uncrowded and unique.
Stand very close to Space Mountain with your back facing it, viewing Cinderella’s Castle in the distance. Viewing from this angle provides more of a side, wide-angle view of the fireworks. It is very uncrowded in this area during the show. Even better is that you can hop on Space Mountain or other attractions nearby quickly after the show. That way you can stay ahead of the crowds.
5. Main Street Train Station
While this is a list of Magic Kingdom fireworks spots you haven’t heard of, I will admit die-hard Disney fans have known of this one for a long time. That is why if you choose to view the fireworks from the Main Street Train Station, I strongly recommend arriving early. If you are set on a spot up against the railing I would say to arrive no later than one hour prior to showtime. Possibly even earlier if it’s particularly crowded or a special show.
The advantage of viewing from the train station on Main Street is that you are elevated above the crowds. This allows children or shorter folks to get great unobstructed views of the castle and the fireworks. Also, this is the best spot on the list to still see the castle projections during the show. It is also near the park exit for a quick escape after the fireworks end.
Note that Disney does sometimes have private VIP parties that may utilize this space and restrict public access. So make sure to check ahead to be prepared.
6. Contemporary Resort 4th Floor Balcony – My Favorite Magic Kingdom Fireworks Spot
The public access balcony on the 4th floor of the Contemporary is one of my personal favorites on this list. To get to the balcony for the fireworks view first go to the upper level of the Contemporary lobby. This is the 4th floor where the entrance to Chef Mickey’s, and the gift shops are.
Head in the direction opposite of Chef Mickey’s and through the gift shops. After exiting the end of the main gift shop, look for the wall with the windows where the monorail enters from. On that wall are the doors to exit onto the balcony. There are doors on either side of the wall, left or right, when standing with your back towards Chef Mickey’s.
The public balcony has a few benches but not much seating. So those who can’t stand long periods of time may wish to wait in the lobby until showtime. Standing up against the balcony railing is definitely the best view. However, the fireworks are high enough that you can also stand at the back of the balcony for a good view too. The best part is the view is similar to the California Grill views at the very top – but free!
Contemporary Resort Public Balcony Stairs
My best tip for viewing from the Contemporary public balcony is to check if the outdoor stairs are open. This is probably my personal favorite Magic Kingdom fireworks spots out of the options on this list.
When standing on the balcony with your back to the Contemporary, there will be stairs on both sides of the building. If the stairs are not roped off, I recommend viewing from the stairs instead of the regular balcony. I have personally watched the New Years Eve fireworks from the stairs on the public balcony at the Contemporary and it was undeniably fantastic.
The stairs allow you to get a higher up view and even more space to be up against the railing. You could even climb all the way up to the top to get a view similar to the exclusive California Grill balcony. Just make sure to climb back down the stairs outside again the way you came when the show is over. Unless you are a Contemporary hotel guest, the only way back into the building is through the public access balcony on the 4th floor.
7. Grand Floridian Dock / Gasparilla Patio
The Grand Floridian provides more of a side angle view of the show compared to some of the other options on this list. There are two options nearby each other at the Grand Floridian for fireworks viewing.
Grand Floridian Dock
To get the Grand Floridian dock follow the signs to Narcoosee’s or the Magic Kingdom boat launch and marina. The docks are to the left of Narcoosee’s Restaurant. Narcoosee’s is also a great place to view the fireworks from their patio. But you have to be a Narcoosee’s dinner guest to do so.
The docks at the Grand Floridian do have more limited space than say the Polynesian Beach. I would say that it is one of the smallest view areas on this list. However, it is convenient after a Grand Floridian meal or if you are staying at the resort.
Gasparilla Island Grill Patio
While space is limited at the Grand Floridian docks, there is much more space at the Gasparilla Island Grill patio. The Gasparilla Island Grill is the quick service food location at the Grand Floridian. It is also near the docks so the view is very similar. However, there is more space and you can also enjoy a quick service meal or snack at the same time.
8. Ft. Wilderness Beach – The Most Unknown Magic Kingdom Fireworks Spot
The Ft. Wilderness Beach is perhaps one of the most unknown Magic Kingdom fireworks spots outside of the park. Ft. Wilderness is definitely off the beaten path, unless you are staying there or dining at something like Hoop Dee Doo Revue.
The easiest way to get to the Ft. Wilderness beach is to take a boat from the Magic Kingdom. You could also take a bus from one of the other theme parks to Ft. Wilderness. If you do that you will need to transfer and take the internal Ft. Wilderness bus to get back to the beach.
There is plenty of room to spread out on the beach and watch the fireworks as it is rarely crowded. The view is also quite good, but you will miss some of the lower fireworks. For example, the short small ones right by the castle are not really visible. However, you can see pretty much all of the big fireworks in the air.
9. Magic Kingdom Fireworks Spots On An Attraction
One of the most fun Magic Kingdom fireworks spots is on an actual attraction! To see the fireworks while riding an attraction does require some pre-planning in order to get your timing right. There are several attractions that have views of the fireworks during the ride.
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Seven Dwarves Mine Train
- People Mover
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Astro Orbiter
However, you need to be on the ride in order to see the fireworks. The majority of these rides queue lines have obstructed or no views at all of the fireworks. So there are some strategies you can implement in order to have a higher chance of being on the ride at the right time.
Some of these rides do have height restrictions. Definitely check the height requirements before choosing the attraction you will watch the fireworks from. I have researched all of the information you need about height requirements for these rides (and all of the rides on property) in another post, click here.
How to Get the Timing Right to See Fireworks on Attractions
The only way to guarantee you will be on the ride during fireworks is to reserve a fastpass. On most nights the Magic Kingdom fireworks start at 9:00pm. The fireworks show, Happily Ever After, is about 18 minutes long. So book your fastpass to make sure that you can arrive a few minutes before 9:00pm. Assuming no ride issues, Fastpass should get you on the attraction in about 15 minutes or less – depending on the attraction.
If you don’t have a Fastpass, or are planning to ride something that doesn’t offer Fastpass, you will need to keep an eye on wait times. Start checking wait times about an hour before the fireworks. I would even recommend starting to check up to two hours early for the more popular rides like Big Thunder or Seven Dwarves Mine Train. When you have an idea of the current queue time you will know when to arrive to be at the front around 9:00pm.
Planning Magic Kingdom Fireworks Spots from Attractions
10. Ticket and Transportation Center Docks
The docks by the Ferry Boat at the Ticket and Transportation Center provide fantastic wide-angle views of the fireworks. You can get to the Ticket and Transportation center by taking a Monorail from Epcot, or the Magic Kingdom and Magic Kingdom Resorts. So if you are coming from another park or resort you will need to transfer. Take a Disney bus to Epcot or Magic Kingdom instead so that you can transfer to the TTC.
When you arrive at the Ticket and Transportation Center head towards the Ferry Boat dock. It is to the left of the Monorail entrances when facing them. You won’t be able to stand on the actual dock during the fireworks. But the sidewalks right nearby provide great views of fireworks.
This is a good location to watch the fireworks from if you are parked at the TTC. Especially if you are looking for a quick escape after the fireworks. You would beat the rush of people who leave right after they are over. The TTC is also a great location to view special fireworks shows that include perimeter fireworks. Like the shows for the Halloween and Christmas Parties, Fourth of July, Christmas and New Years Eve.
On The TTC Ferry Boat
This bonus location hack provides a very unique experience. You can view the fireworks on the water from the Ferry Boat heading to the Ticket and Transportation Center! To do this requires planning again, just like being on an attraction.
If you really want to be on the Ferry Boat during the fireworks I recommend hanging out in the Ferry Boat loading area at least 30 minutes before the show. That will give you time to judge where the Ferries are in the loading process so that you can plan when you want to get on.
Disney will typically run at least two Ferry Boats at the same time and sometimes three on busy days. So it is important to arrive early to get an idea of their locations if it is important to you to be on it during the fireworks show. Worst case scenario you can watch from the TTC docks, or run back into Magic Kingdom to view from Main Street.