Disney Cast Welcomes Return of 'Happily Ever After'

March 15, 2023, 12:10 AM · At Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Tuesday night, thousands of Disney cast members welcomed the return of the park's nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After.

The popular 2017 fireworks and projection mapping show closed last year to make way for Disney Enchantment, celebrating Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary. Disney is closing both of its 50th anniversary shows with the close of the 18-month "Most Magical Celebration" this month, with Happily Ever After officially returning on April 3. (Epcot Forever also returns the same night.)

Tonight, Disney threw a "Cast Life" party for its employees, inviting thousands of them and their guests to watch a preview of Happily Ever After's return.

Happily Ever After follows a familiar Hero's Journey narrative arc, which reaches an amazing nadir with projection mapping depicting a burned and ruined Cinderella Castle. But hope, love and belief overcome adversity and Disney's heroes find their happily ever after... perhaps inspiring all of us to do the same.

With the show's return, Walt Disney World is using the expansion of projection mapping ability that Disney Live Entertainment brought to Main Street USA for Disney Enchantment to allow Main Street to project Happily Ever After's castle imagery as well.

Judging from the warm reaction of last night's crowd - with hundreds of cast members singing Happily Ever After's theme song as they packed Main Street to exit the park - this production should be well received when it returns next month.

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Replies (2)

March 15, 2023 at 12:54 PM

Slightly related...and I would love for this to get potential coverage by Robert.

What will happen to the barges from Harmonious? My gut tells me that Disney will send them to the scrap yard. But...what if...they took them to Animal Kingdom? (They can scrap the middle circular piece)

I don't like to delve much into armchair imagineering, but I do think the wedge barges could work in the Animal Kingdom lagoon. Though I would hope that during the day they could be placed alongside the edge of the water, instead of directly in the middle of the water. They were originally supposed to be able to float out on their own. If this capacity was built in, they could float from their docks along the edge of the water to the middle of the water each night.

Animal Kingdom can't have pyro...but it could have an awesome show. I never thought the water screens worked at AK for Rivers of Light. But the wedge barges likely could.

March 15, 2023 at 3:18 PM

Seconded, Robert Parker’s post.

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