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Today marks the beginning of Summer Nightastic! at Walt Disney World. It’s designed to celebrate a time of the year that has always been very special at WDW: Summer. Longer park hours are a huge draw for the parks during the Summer, but this year Disney has really amped it up (kudos Katie!). Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, let me tell you that if you’re going to be at Walt Disney World from June 6th through August 14th of this year you are in for a treat.
Last night, at Magic Kingdom, Disney previewed two key pieces of this celebration: Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade, and the Sumer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular. I attended this event, and let me tell you this I haven’t stopped dancing. Baroque Hoedown is still ringing in my head, it may well be doing so all summer long. I’m pretty sure that even riding It’s a Small World won’t change that. As soon as the music started I tweeted my joy. This moment was so enjoyable for me, so full of emotion. Standing there at the Castle Hub, parked at a spot I chose more than a week ago. With my wife, a friend from work and his family. I’d just finished hosting a TouringPlans.com meet for the first time, and I was running on high because it went so well (thanks to everyone who came out).
The Main Street Electrical Parade now leads off with Tinker Bell in her balloon from the movie Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. She throws out a handful of pixie dust which flows back through parade, and as it reaches each float the lights on that float transform. But really, from all my childhood memories the one main reason to see it is summed up in two words: Pete’s Dragon (a.k.a., Elliot). Not part of the original incarnation of the parade, Elliot has always been the part of the parade I remember best. And the one I’ve looked forward to the most since I heard that the Main Street Electrical Parade was returning to Magic Kingdom. The lights on the floats are great, the lights on the characters… not so much so, but, on the whole, the parade is fantastic. And while I do like SpectroMagic, if I have to chose between its grandiose majesty, or the fun of the Main Street Electrical Parade – I’m going for the fun.
Then as if that wasn’t enough, one hour later there’s the new the new Sumer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular. A bunch of folks from the TouringPlans.com meet came back to watch with me. This new display really is spectacular. 12 minutes of fireworks set to some of your favorite music from various Disney movies: Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few. It also pays homage to prior fireworks celebrations by pulling in bits and pieces from them. There’s Tinker Bell flying down from Cinderella’s Castle toward Tomorrowland from Wishes, a Pirate Flag that shines onto the Castle from HalloWishes, and other things here and there. There are fireworks that shoot forth from the Castle itself designed to look and sound like cannonball explosions that were a real crowd pleaser. To me the choreography of the fireworks to the music was astounding – there’s this one moment during the Little Mermaid portion where fireworks in the sky literally seem to sway and flow like the sea itself.
It was a fantastic night, and it’s hard to believe Disney will be repeating it every night for the next two months. And the parade and fireworks are only two parts of the Summer Nightastic! experience. I can’t wait to get to try out the Tower of Terror changes, the Rock ‘n’ Glow Dance Party, and a Sounds Like Summer concert. What about you? Are you looking forward to Summer Nightastic!? What are you looking forward to most? Maybe you’ve already seen it? What were your favorite moments of the celebration?