Fireworks and Disney World — When Will They Return?


Some families have been holding out for the possibility that Summer 2021 will see a return to normal for vacationing and Disney Parks. While that potential reality is still out there, we’re hearing from sources that it is increasingly unlikely and that Disney Parks are probably not going to be bringing back traditional fireworks anytime soon.

Months ago, we brought a report to you with a link to a source that is often correct. The report was that in the month of February, we would possibly see Fantasmic’s nighttime entertainment return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It seemed like a push, but the source had been correct on some other bizarre claims in the past. However, February is here, and we don’t see any actions being taken that would indicate Fantasmic is returning soon. In fact, it’s actually a rather big deal that Festival of the Lion King is returning in altered form at Disney’s Animal Kingdom… and the delay from announcement of its return until its actual first performance is staggering.

As such, we’ve been reaching out to people who might know Disney’s plans for nighttime spectaculars, parades, and more. What we’re hearing is that Disney is, in fact, preparing for some evening activity to keep people spending in the parks, but these offerings are still going to be different than what we’ve traditionally seen over the past decades. Now, let me preface all that by saying that the pandemic dictates what happens ultimately, and any projections are based on the idea that the pandemic is still an issue in the summer. Of course, if a new strain comes about that poses a significant new threat, you could see Walt Disney World in even more stringent operations… and likewise, if the pandemic somehow were to more swiftly come to an end, it’s likely we’d all be celebrating in the ways we once did.

The current plan we think is in process is for Fantasmic! to indeed return, but not until the summer. Yes, it will continue to be socially distanced. Once Disney starts bringing back actors for the show, that’s when we’ll know it’s on the way for sure – but we do have some strong indications that they plan to do so. First, they’ve been working on the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater where it takes place. Second, we do have indications that our source for the February opening was not completely off… there may have been some early-stage planning to start the show back up which was pushed to a later date. For these reasons, we’re thinking that Fantasmic! is likely to return in 2021 with social distancing in place.

On the other hand, we do not believe that Disney is planning full-blown firework shows at Magic Kingdom anytime before the fall. Unnamed sources have stated that Disney knows they simply would be overwhelmed with any attempt to socially distance guests both during and after fireworks down on Main Street. Many of you can remember the claustrophobia of leaving for the monorails and ferry after the fireworks end. That’s a recipe for disaster in our current world. Instead, we believe that Disney is continuing to plan for an evening parade of some sort to celebrate their 50th Anniversary, but probably not until October. Known Disney aficionado with many cast connections, Martin (of Martin’s Vids), has said the following in the past week:

“We won’t see a Disney firework show as we knew them in the western world for quite a while.”

And yes, we know that Disney Parks in Asia are, in fact, doing fireworks and big crowds. Again, it’s hard to know what is going on with Disney in Asia as they’ve been previously revealed to have Chinese Communist Party leaders in their management. How is it safe for Chinese tourists to crowd together and watch fireworks? We don’t know, we don’t know that is safe at all, and we don’t know how much of that is propaganda. It feels very much like we’re living in an age of disinformation, and China seems to be the kingpin of that.

Considering Disney’s fireworks celebration are covered by Chinese state media (that’s the Twitter account Shine), it’s likely this is all part of propagandizing Chinese superiority over the virus they blessed us with.

If you’ve been following the site over the past weeks, you’ll know that Rivers of Light was not only retired in its current iteration, but we’ve also posted photos of the Rivers of Light floats being removed from the water and moved backstage. Don’t count on any nighttime entertainment of significance for Animal Kingdom in 2021.

But in good news, it does appear that the giant Doomsday Tacos in World Showcase Lagoon are fully operational. Perhaps you’ve never heard of the Doomsday Tacos – they’re the hideous in the daytime, amazing in the nighttime barges that are a significant part of Harmonious. Harmonious is the new night show in Epcot, and it seems like it’s the most likely candidate for the first return to normal. The tacos have been seen testing their screens, and we know Disney has been testing their other (more impressive) features in the early morning hours before park opening. Epcot needs a draw right now, since it’s more construction zone than theme park, and social distancing is possible for a show on the water. We think announcements for Harmonious are imminent. So, that combined with Ratatouille, could really make Epcot a park worth visiting even in its current state.

Well, that’s our full run down on Disney World’s nighttime extravaganzas. Will you be stopping by in 2021? Let us know in the comments below.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered blog that objectively covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.

WDW Pro is a reliable source for insider scoops, rumors, and news for the entertainment industry, specifically Disney. In 2020, and in spite of rapidly changing decisions behind the scenes, WDW Pro maintained an 87% accuracy rate for reports about Disney Parks' plans prior to public reveal. Pro seeks to detail the latest in entertainment with a focus on ethical, counter-narrative truthfulness.