Erika Owen
May 24, 2017

Disney World isn't all rides and never-ending lines. (Get a FastPass+, people!)

The park is also known around the world for its fireworks and animatronics shows. During the opening weekend festivities for Pandora – the World of Avatar, Disney unveiled a new fireworks show called “Happily Ever After,” which will be performed nightly at Cinderella's Castle in Magic Kingdom. To add to that, Disney also unveiled a new projection show in the same area called “Once Upon a Time.”

In case you're curious about why these shows are worth your time (and money), here are a few reasons why everyone should see a Disney fireworks or projection performance at least once.

The fireworks aren’t the only attraction.

Sure, the fireworks are the show that gets the most attention, but the detail of the projections across the castle at Disney World is incredible. Turning one of the castle's towers into a rocket ship? Even cooler than it sounds. Sending off hundreds of lighted paper lanterns? Also a stunning display of variety and talent from the projection team.

You get a full storyline.

Even if you haven't seen the Disney movies referenced in the performance, you're still going to enjoy this show: The characters mix and mingle with each other, and it's entertaining to follow even if you've never heard of “Aladdin.”

The animatronics are incredible.

The fireworks aren't the only thing to write home about. Toward the end of “Happily Ever After,” pay special attention to Ursula (reminder: the villian from “The Little Mermaid”) — the bold fireworks complement the on-castle battle, giving the movie even more intensity than my memories.

You can watch it from a reserved seat at the Tomorrowland Terrace.

For $79 ($47 for kids), you can get a guaranteed seat with a clear view of the castle — and a buffet of desserts and beverages — at a Dessert Party. You shouldn't expect to see a lot of details from this distance, however the opportunity to relax at the end of a day at the park is no small luxury.

It’s a full-on nostalgia fest.

All fireworks and projections aside, just being in front of Cinderella's Castle with thousands of kids, adults, couples, and families reliving various Disney moments could give you serious nostalgia.

The park clears out once the show is over, and there’s still time for rides.

Once the fireworks show ends, you've got about 45 minutes before the park closes, depending on the day. A lot of families head out after the fireworks, so if you decide to skip the projection show (which starts around 15 minutes after the fireworks show), you won't be battling too long of lines at some of the most popular rides. You'll only be able to fit in one or two, so choose wisely.

There are movie call-outs for all ages.

From “Beauty and the Beast” to “Brave,” there are characters you'll most certainly know and others that will have you scratching your head — depending on your age.

Editor's note: Disney provided travel and accommodations for this trip.

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