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Disneyland Article
Fireworks Return In Time For Fourth Of July
Brady Macdonald
Disneyland is bringing back fireworks this summer in time for the Fourth of July holiday celebration after the nighttime shows were put into hibernation while the Anaheim theme park was shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic and beginning a phased reopening.

“Mickey’s Mix Magic” will be presented nightly at Disneyland beginning on July 4 with fireworks, video projections, show lighting and lasers on the facades of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street U.S.A. and It’s a Small World.

The coronavirus pandemic put fireworks, nighttime spectaculars, parades and live shows on hold at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for California theme parks guidelines regulated live shows and attractions, but never mentioned parades, fireworks or nighttime spectaculars. Other issues like visitor comfort and safety, production costs, return on investment and daily schedules likely factored into Disneyland’s decision to suspend parades, fireworks and nighttime spectaculars.

Fireworks and nighttime spectaculars are designed to encourage visitors to stay late and spend more money on dinner and souvenirs. There was little incentive for Disneyland to run the expensive shows when the park was closing as early as 7 p.m. in early May.

Disneyland and DCA hours will be extended to 10 p.m. starting on July 1. Disneyland’s nightly fireworks shows typically hit the skies above Sleeping Beauty Castle around 9:30 p.m.

Disneyland was running two fireworks shows during the year or so before the pandemic closure — “Mickey’s Mix Magic” and “Disneyland Forever.” “Mickey’s Mix Magic” often ran as a video projection-only show sans fireworks — much to the dismay of some Disney fans.

Fireworks shows are expensive to produce and the expenditures only make sense if Disneyland can see a return on investment in nighttime food and retail sales. The nightly Disneyland fireworks show rivals any Fourth of July festivities put on by local cities. Disneyland fireworks shows likely cost in the low five figures each night — even after Disney’s bulk discount on pyrotechnics.

Fireworks will return on July 1 at Walt Disney World in Florida — with the “Happily Ever After” show over Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom and “Epcot Forever” at Epcot.

The return of “Epcot Forever” puts off the anticipated debut of the new “Harmonious” nighttime spectacular on Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon.

The Disney theme parks fireworks tradition dates back to 1957 to what Walt Disney called the perfect “kiss goodnight.” Online live streams of some of the fireworks shows will be presented this summer on the Disney Parks Blog.

The return of “Mickey’s Mix Magic” bodes well for the eventual return of the Magic Happens parade and “Fantasmic” nighttime spectacular at Disneyland and “World of Color” at DCA.

The new Magic Happens parade debuted in late February 2020 — just a couple weeks before Disneyland closed in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expect “Fantasmic” to return after “World of Color” — which was designed from the ground up to be less expensive.

“World of Color” doesn’t have any fireworks or live performers — which means it pencils out at a lower cost-benefit ratio than other Disneyland nighttime shows.

“Fantasmic” has approximately 80 roles played by about 40 performers. Labor is a significant cost in the nightly performance that often plays more than once a night.

Live theatrical shows will likely take longer to return at Disneyland and DCA.

The casts of “Frozen Live” and “Mickey and the Magical Map” have been laid off — leaving both theaters dark when the parks returned on April 30.

Disneyland’s Royal Theater and DCA’s Disney Junior Dance Party are expected to return before the Hyperion Theater and Fantasyland Theatre see any action.

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