One of the things I was most looking forward to about my February/March trip to Walt Disney World was seeing Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever after for the first time. I had managed to avoid any spoilers so that my first viewing experience was, you might say, ‘pure’.
I watched Happily Ever After stood slightly to the left (looking at the castle) and a little back from the Partners statue. In terms of viewing, it was a great spot. We could see the projections clearly, without being so close that the fireworks were obscured by the castle.
Visually, it was beautiful. The projections were stunning, and it was hard to tell where the projections ended and the castle began. I loved that so many sometimes forgotten films were included (Hercules and Princess and the Frog were particular highlights). I also enjoyed that they chose to NOT use Let It Go – as much as I love that song, I thought it was a brave choice not to include it. The Pirates of the Caribbean section was also excellent, because that piece of music is just brilliant.
(you knew that was coming didn’t you?)
It didn’t give me the goosebumps that I wanted. No, make that needed. I was ridiculously attached to Wishes, I’ll admit that. I cried every single time I watched it, and I watched it a lot. So many people had told me how they sobbed their way through their first, second, third viewings of Happily Ever After. I smiled at points, I bopped along to some music, and I enjoyed it. But I did not cry. I didn’t even well up. Nothing.
For me, a Disney nighttime spectacular should leave me emotionally drained but elated. Possibly a strange thing to desire, but I know Disney can do it because they’ve done it before. So when I am left with anything less than emotional draining and elation I can’t help but feel disappointed.
We watched Happily Ever After a second time during our trip, and I’ll admit on my second viewing there were a few moments that gave me a small surge of emotion – the Moana section, and the Hercules section as well. But on second viewing I also noticed something – it’s REALLY LONG.
There are several sections that could have been cut down, without losing anything. And there were definitely transitions that felt less like transitions and more like one team had worked on a section, and then another team’s section started – a sort of abrupt jump from one set of films to the next.
Am I being overly critical?
I really did enjoy it. It was fun, there were lots of songs and lots of films and some good fireworks.
It just wasn’t Wishes.
I will watch it again on my next trip (in SEPTEMBER! Already less than six months away!) and I will try to view it objectively. I tried that this trip but uh, I clearly failed. So I’ll give it another go. Because Wishes is gone and I probably need to accept that and move on. Maybe.
I suppose it’s time for me to reach out and find that happily ever after, huh?
What are your thoughts on Happily Ever After? Let me know in the comments below!
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And while you’re here, I’ve started my own YouTube channel where I’m going to be posting vlogs of my whole Florida trip from February/March. If you’d like to follow along, click HERE to subscribe. I’m also going to be vlogging day trips and short breaks around the UK, so there’s lots of content to come. I’d love for you to join me!