Last night we headed out to the Magic Kingdom to watch the beloved fireworks show Wishes one last time as a family before it retires on Thursday. While yes, Thursday night is the final showing, but I have kids still in school, and that’s a school night, so last night worked best. From the moment I heard that Wishes was leaving us, my heart hurt. No, I’m not being dramatic, but I’m a sap when it comes to Disney and things that created memories for me. Wishes was a big one. When we left the house, I felt like I was going to say goodbye to an old friend. I was looking forward to a family day, but not looking forward to the end of it. We went to the park for a bit, and it was so crowded. Long lines for even the smaller rides, but we did have a couple fast passes so that helped. We ended up walking over to the Contemporary to have dinner at the Contempo Cafe, then made our way back to the Magic Kingdom to find our spot for Wishes.
There was roughly an hour and a half until showtime, but if the earlier crowds were any indication, I knew we needed to get ourselves to the front of the Castle to stake out a spot. We walked straight up Main Street and stopped about 20 feet in front of the Partners statue, right in the middle. Perfect. The kids usually don’t like to secure a location for long when it comes to shows, they get bored, but last night was different. Sure, we had to sit there for about an hour, but they didn’t complain. As time went on, the crowds got bigger….. and bigger….. and bigger. Before we knew it, we were surrounded. It reminded me of when the first Castle lighting comes around at Christmas time. Yes, it was that crowded.
About ten minutes before showtime, a Cast Member came around and asked those who were sitting to stand up and fill in what little empty spaces there were. No sitting! I never sat, I wasn’t going to lose my spot. Yes, I was “that guy” last night. Right before Wishes began, my boys and I moved a pinch closer and I went to grab my phone for photos. To my surprise, they actually had an intervention with me. Every time we go to Disney, I take pictures, it’s become a habit. Even if it’s things I’ve obviously seen before, I still act like a tourist, I’m ridiculous, I realize that. They asked me to NOT take pictures or video of our last Wishes together, and to just enjoy it. Smart boys I have there. I put my phone back in my pocket just in time for the show to begin. I had a kiddo on each arm, and a tissue in my hand, I was ready.
From the opening note of the show, I felt a lump in my throat. It’s hard to fathom that this was to be the last time that we’d be watching Wishes as a family. When the boys were young, I couldn’t wait to take them to Disney World. I wanted to see Disney through their eyes. The first time they watched Wishes, all those years ago, I cried. Seeing the reflections in their eyes, watching the look of amazement on their little faces, it was all I hoped it would be. Yet here we were, there together to say goodbye to something that’s been a part of us for so long. Their whole lives have had Wishes in them, and this was it. As the show went on, the tears flowed. Hard. I realized that Aidan’s hair was getting wet from my tears, since he’s shorter than me. He didn’t mind, and he didn’t move away from me. Andrew is taller than me, but you can believe I looked up to see his face. The Fantasia part has always been his favorite, and he was paying close attention. Fireworks reflecting in his eyes, the same way they did when he was a toddler. Very surreal. By the end of Wishes, I was sobbing. Yep, that ugly cry that people laugh about. That’s me. We didn’t take pictures, didn’t let go of each other, and didn’t budge. When the finale went off my heart just broke. Seeing the smoke float off into the night sky that one last time, it was something I won’t ever forget. After all was said and done, I got a big hug from my boys, then went back to find Scott and got another one. Disney magic at it’s finest.
Now, someone who isn’t a total Disney nut like myself, may read this and think that I’m either overly emotional or I have a screw loose. Well, it’s neither actually. When Disney touches your heart, and the heart of your family, it is something the resides deep within. It’s part of you. The memories mean so much, more than you could imagine. Disney is part of us. Our family is a Disney family, and I’d have it no other way. I’m beyond thankful for the memories I have of Wishes, and the memories I have of my children enjoying it over the years. When we first moved to Florida, Wishes meant even more. We were following our dreams, our Disney wishes that came true, and I’m forever thankful for all of it. I’m going to miss Wishes, and I know a lot of you will too. Being that I didn’t take any photos of the show, Scott did, he recorded the whole thing. You can watch it below! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more… and May all your Wishes….. come true.