Strong Winds Put the Fizzle on Fireworks (and More) at Disney

The strong winds blowing through central Florida in advance of an approaching storm system have already caused some impacts on the Disney theme parks. The Walt Disney World Resort cancelled or modified a number of “nighttime spectaculars” (that’s fireworks to you and me), dessert parties, and transportation.

The Happily Ever After show at Magic Kingdom and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were both listed by the Disney website as being “modified” for Thursday evening due to winds. Although no details were provided, both shows feature a large component of projection-mapped effects on Cinderella Castle and the Chinese Theatre facade respectively, so those elements likely continued to be shown while the fireworks themselves were not used. Epcot Forever, the interim fireworks show at Disney’s Construction Zone Theme Park Epcot, was cancelled as it’s mainly a fireworks show with a few jet-ski-powered electric kites. Rivers of Light: We Are One at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was also cancelled, as was the Electric Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon and Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; all include free-floating watercraft, and Fantasmic! also has pyrotechnic effects.

Also cancelled were the dessert parties and VIP experiences related Fantasmic!, Rivers of Light, and Epcot Forever. The dessert parties for Happily Ever After and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular continued as the projection show was still on. At Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show was listed as modified, presumably to remove performances by the fire dancers.

Transportation was also affected, with the Disney Skyliner out of service for the evening, along with the Sassagoula River Cruise watercraft transportation which services Disney Springs, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (and Treehouse Villas), Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and both campuses of Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. The large ferryboats on the Seven Seas Lagoon between Transportation & Ticket Center and Magic Kingdom were planned to continue operating but were monitoring winds for potential further adjustments. There was no immediate word on smaller watercraft that serve the Magic Kingdom area resorts on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, or the Friendships on Crescent Lake servicing Boardwalk, Yacht/Beach Club, and the Swan and Dolphin.

Gusty winds have been prevalent in the Attractions area all afternoon and evening. There remains a risk of severe weather in the overnight hours.

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