You really can’t ask for a better ending to a day at the Magic Kingdom than watching the Happily Ever After fireworks show. There are a lot of things that can make that ending less-than-magical, like being crammed behind a crowd of people near Casey’s — especially when you have kids that want to see the show. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst places to catch the show:
Before we get into a few of the best places to view the fireworks, let’s eliminate a few contenders because they are limited options that are not available to everyone. This includes places like certain rooms at the monorail resorts and the Dessert Party viewing areas. These all cost money and some are very limited. We’re going to assume that you’re just like nearly everyone else, and you’re at the parks and want to get a good view of the show without any prior planned reservations. We’re also going to assume that you have kids with you, so we want to take into consideration that they can’t see over adults.
The key to getting any of these spots is to arrive early, often up to an hour before the show is ready to start. We’re typically looking for a place where you’re not completely surrounded by people and you get an unobstructed view of Cinderella Castle. You’ll be better situated with a stroller than other places as well.
The best spot is number one in yellow by a mile, and there is a kind of a secret to it. The ground is slightly elevated here as it slopes up from the road. You get a few extra inches on top of everyone in front of you which gives you a great advantage if you’re on the shorter side. If you have young kids, it’s even better since you won’t have them asking to sit on your shoulders. Second, you’re backed up to a fenced-in area so there is no one behind you that you have to worry about. If you have a stroller, often bigger kids can stand on them and get a great view of the light show on the castle.
The second-best stop is number two in red. Here you’ll get the advantage of being near a roped-off walkway where you may not have anyone in front of you at all. You’re also backed up against a fenced area as well, so you’re not surrounded. There are similar areas all around here that if you can get right at the roped-off area, you will be sitting pretty.
The third best spot is in blue along the sides of the road. You’re still close to the castle to get an awesome view of the projection show, but you’re also not far back enough on Main Street, U.S.A. among the crush of the crowds.
There are far worse places to watch Happily Ever After, but for the sake of this article we’re going to assume you’re actually trying to watch the fireworks. It’s assumed you’re not watching them from the Barnstormer or Pirates of the Caribbean.
The worst place to watch them is the number one spot in red. You’ll be in a vortex of people coming from all directions, and you could potentially be pushed back into Casey’s or The Plaza where you and your kids will be struggling to see over the crowds. The one saving grace is you’re up on the curb so you do have some height advantage of the people in front of you, but if you’re not up front, good luck.
The second worst place to view the fireworks is straight down Main Street, U.S.A. You’ll be bumped and bruised as people try to get closer to the castle, your kids will not be able to see so you’ll have to lift them up somehow and a stroller is just going to be a nightmare to maneuver. Not only that, but the road is also sloped upwards so you may or may not be able to see the bottom part of the castle.
The third worst place may also be secretly the best place. In yellow by the train station you’re very far back — you will not get the full effect of the show, as you won’t be able to make out the details of the projection onto the castle. Why may it be the best though? Well, you’ll be one of the first to leave the park and you can get a head start on getting back to your resort!