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February 14, 2017

If seeing fireworks was a quintessential part of your Walt Disney World vacation, be prepared for a change. Starting May 12, evenings at the Magic Kingdom will be completely anew when Happily Ever After replaces Wishes as the evening fireworks spectacular.

Wishes has long been a crowd favorite during its 13-year run, with guests flocking to the Magic Kingdom and its surrounding hotels to witness the stunning show every night, but nostalgic guests need not be concerned. With Walt Disney World Resort overhauling its most popular evening entertainment to include new storylines, music and visuals, it’s bound to be unlike anything guests have ever seen.

Some mainstays will remain—Tinker Bell will continue to fly across the Magic Kingdom in forthcoming performances—but Disney itself boasts Happily Ever After as featuring more lasers and lights than any fireworks show in the history of the park. And, given the high-tech projection mapping of the Star Wars-themed show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, projections onto Cinderella Castle should be unparalleled.

To make room for all the additional pyro and fireworks, Happily Ever After will have six more minutes of entertainment than its predecessor, making it a full third longer than Wishes. (Just imagine, too, the technological differences—wishes debuted four years prior to the very first iPhone!)

Also exciting are the movies that will be included in the new nighttime offering. Frozen is a given, but new blockbusters like Moana and Zootopia will be featured, as will characters from beloved Pixar stories like Toy Story, WALL-E, The Incredibles, and Up. Recent Disney films like Wreck-it Ralph and Big Hero 6 will make appearances alongside Disney animated classics such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin. There appears to be a changing of the guard when it comes to Disney princesses, too: Cinderella and Snow White are not slated to be included, but the stories of Mulan, Jasmine, Merida, Tiana, and Ariel are.

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