Our Best of 2017 series continues….
Saying Goodbye to Wishes
As a life long Disney fan, I can fully admit that changes when it comes to Disney Parks are sometimes hard. We get used to our favorite attractions, shows, food, etc, and when they are no longer there, it’s a bit of a bummer. I’m still not over losing the Taco Salad at Pecos Bills. Our staffer Corey is still up in arms that Maelstrom at Epcot is now Frozen Ever After, my husband Scott is on meltdown mode because Disney stopped using Heinz ketchup on property. You get the idea. I cried ugly tears when I watched the Main Street Electrical Parade take it’s last ride at the Magic Kingdom, it wasn’t pretty. But now, the ultimate is leaving, the one that will break my heart…… Wishes, the nighttime fireworks show above Cinderella Castle. The pain is real.
Last year we had a one two punch at the Magic Kingdom. As I said above, the Main Street Electrical Parade was done, it got sent back to Disneyland. Then, the beautiful Castle show, Celebrate the Magic retired as well. I have to say, evenings at the Magic Kingdom haven’t been the same since. They replaced Celebrate the Magic with a new show, Once Upon a Time. Truthfully, it’s no where near as good as it’s predecessor, and I think Disney knows it. They got rid of the best parts… no more Tangled lanterns, Mickey Mouse, and the big one, Walt Disney himself on the Castle. What were they thinking? Instead, we got a projection show with Winnie the Pooh having it’s own section. Downgrade. Well, now that’s gone too, and they are replacing Wishes with a combination fireworks/projection show instead. I feel like Disney is throwing ideas to the wall and seeing what sticks. But Wishes? No, not Wishes! Why couldn’t they just tweak it, add some new effects, instead of retiring the whole show? So many Disney fans are heartbroken. Myself included. Heck, I cried in the store when I first saw the “Farewell to Wishes” merchandise in the Emporium. Ouch.
Wishes is beloved by Disney fans everywhere. We know the music, we know the various sections like Fantasia, The Blue Fairy, and the awesome part where Tinker Bell flies across the night sky. It tugs on our hearts. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked around towards the end of Wishes and saw people with tears in their eyes. It’s pure Disney magic…. and now it’s leaving. For me, Wishes holds a huge place in my heart, for a few reasons. First, Wishes is something that I always looked forward to. It was like the icing on the cake to my Disney vacations. I’d always make sure that Wishes was the last thing we saw before heading home the next day. I wanted that memory to stick. Once I had children of my own, I couldn’t wait to see their faces when they saw the fireworks. Instead of watching the show, I’d be watching them, and that filled my heart with happiness. Seeing Disney through the eyes of your children is one of the best feelings. It’s almost as if your passing the torch to the next generation of Disney fans, showing them why you love it so much. Then there’s our big move…..
When we made the move from Michigan to Florida, once the dust settled and we actually got to the Magic Kingdom for the first time since moving, we went at night. Nope, we didn’t spend the entire day there, we headed over to see Celebrate the Magic and Wishes. That evening will forever be burned in my head and in my heart. Standing there in front of the Castle, watching the fireworks, hearing When You Wish Upon a Star…… I’m crying as I type this. That moment of my life meant so much. As a Disney dreamer since I was a kid, being there in that moment, with my family….. it was everything. We pushed and pushed to make our Disney dreams come true, and there we were. Watching Wishes as Florida residents, not as vacationers. It was very surreal. I will never forget it. Ever.
Wishes has it’s final performance tonight. The next night, it’s replacement Happily Ever After begins, and we’ll be there to check it out. I’m not sure if I can watch with an open mind, but I’ll try. Even though Wishes is retiring, it will never fully be gone in the hearts of Disney fans everywhere. People across the world fell in love with this magical nighttime spectacular, and it will live on in our memories. Although I’m heartbroken over losing Wishes, I’m thankful for all the memories it has left me with.
Wishes! Dream a dream. (Fate is kind.)
Wishes! Set it free. (She brings to those who love…)
Wishes! Trust your heart. (The sweet fulfillment of…)
Just believe (Their secret longing.)
Like a bolt out of the blue,
Fate steps in and sees you through!
When you wish upon a star,
Your dreams come true.
Make a wish, and do as dreamers do.
Just do as dreamers do.
Make a wish!
Dream a dream!
Trust your heart!
And your wish will come true!
Photos courtesy of Joe Diebold