An Opinion: The “Retirement” of Wishes!

Good morning, folks!  Before I go any further with my “two cents”, I’d like to direct you to our latest show … Episode 358 – Happy Mothers’ Day and Our Weekly News!

In this episode, like every other Sunday, Doug, Dennis, and John discuss all the latest news from around Walt Disney World.  This week, though, they also covered the end of Wishes and the beginning of Happily Ever After.

It got me to thinking … how do I feel about the “retirement” of Wishes?  A future member of All in WDW’s “Hall of Fame”, perhaps?  Hmm.  Maybe.

Actually, up until a few years ago, our family liked the nighttime spectacular.  We didn’t love it.  We were turned off by the throng of people one had to endure in order to witness the event.

In addition, we held much, much fonder memories of Epcot’s IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  An umbrella table in Italy.  A glass of wine.  The soundtrack.  The fireworks.  Way more enjoyable, for us.

Then, we “moved” to Orlando.  Yeah, I wish.  Actually, for two years, Mrs. All in WDW and I leased an apartment just off Disney property.  It was a wonderful place … with a balcony that faced the Magic Kingdom!

There, we got the opportunity – night after night – to view Wishes countless times!  Did we miss the soundtrack?  No.  I downloaded it to my iPhone and made a game of pressing ‘play’ at just the right time.  Just when the show should start.

From the comfort of our own “home”, we got to enjoy phenomenal shows at New Year’s Eve and 4th of July.  We enjoyed HalloWishes and Holiday Wishes many, many times.

So, how do I feel about the “retirement” of Wishes?  Well, to tell the truth, so much is changing in The World these days, I’m kind of numb.  Its “termination” was destined to happen sooner or later, no?

You know what I’ll really miss, though?  Illuminations – if they take that out next.  Oh, the rumors have been flying around for years, so I think I have a right to be worried.

My friends, change – as Disney has demonstrated in multitudes of ways – is inevitable.  Wishes is just the latest example.  Having said that, I hope its memory will last ‘… ever after’.

What’s YOUR Favorite WDW Nighttime Spectacular?! [Polls]

My thanks go out to John Peters for his two great posts – published yesterday and the day before.  With …

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Brightened by Rivers of Light! – and – Want Your Own Piece of Rivers of Light? Here’s Some “Merch”!

… he’s inspired me to ask you a few quick questions.  What questions, you ask?  Well, what is your Favorite WDW Nighttime Spectacular?

The “landscape” is changing, isn’t it, folks?  For example, as John pointed out, Wishes nighttime spectacular ends in a few short weeks – on May 11th.

In its place, starting May 12th, the Magic Kingdom will present the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular.

What in “The World” is that, you wonder?  Described by Disney Parks Blog, it will … “inspire guests to seek out and find their own ‘Happily Ever After’ by showcasing some of the greatest adventures Disney characters have taken to achieve their dreams.

The show will feature the latest fireworks and pyrotechnics and original animation, plus a heart-tugging original score.”  Also, “more Disney characters than ever before will be featured in the show.”

In addition, it will include “moments from Moana, Brave, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, The Princess & The Frog, Aladdin and many others.”

Wow!  Sounds great, eh?  Well, I guess we’ll have to wait until May 12th to see.  Hey!  Maybe if we’re lucky, John will pop in on Opening Night to give us a live report!

In the meantime, I’d like you to answer me this … of the FIVE attractions that John listed in yesterday’s post, what is your favorite?


Now, let me complicate things a bit.  You’ve read the description above.  What is your favorite when I replace Wishes with Happily Ever After?

Three new attractions.  Two old favorites.  Which will win?  One of the shiny, new, exciting “newbies”?  A beloved, traditional “gem”?  Let’s see!

No More Wishes? What?!

Head over to for this blockbusting news, folks!  As of May 12th, Wishes is out.  Happily Ever After is in!  Find the full article at …

Brand New Nighttime Spectacular to Replace “Wishes”!


What do you think, my friends?  Are you heartbroken?  Were you ready for a change?  Let us know what you think in the poll below!


Does WDW Make All Your “Wishes” Come True?

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday, I woke up to see a lackluster tie between Wishes (17) and Illuminations (17). As much as I loved the fact that my favorite WDW attraction of all – Epcot’s explosive symphony of light and music – was a contender for “the title”, I knew that we had to extend the voting by a day. After all, less than fifty of you had been afforded the chance to vote.

Well, you responded in epic fashion, and we’ve crowned a “king”. With a resounding victory, the Magic Kingdom’s medley of classic Disney songs and magnificent fireworks – Wishes – is the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Nighttime Spectacular!

Before I leave you, let me toss out a couple of my thoughts. First, Illuminations is, by far, our favorite of WDW’s fireworks extravaganzas. Mrs. All in WDW and I love to sit in the Italy pavilion, while enjoying a glass of Tutto Gusto’s wine, and ‘drinking in’ the majesty of Epcot’s “Reflections of Earth”. Not something you can do very often with a family of ‘little ones’, I know, but, as “empty nesters”, it’s one of the highlights of each and every one of our visits to “The World”.

Of course, we have fond memories of Wishes and Fantasmic as well. For example, I remember our first experience seeing Fantasmic, many years ago, when our son was young. Like a lot of parents, we bought him a whirling gizmo of glowing, colorful lights and waited for the show to start. Once it began, we thoroughly enjoyed the outstanding spectacle of Disney characters, fireworks, and water that caps each evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Our favorite place to watch Wishes might surprise you. We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy that show several times with a view from one of our favorite restaurants – the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill! Ah, the Cali Grill. Our family has a lot of fond memories of that fabulous restaurant. We can’t wait for its impending re-opening!

In the end, all three of WDW’s nighttime spectaculars can lay claim to being the best, favorite, or most-loved, but it is Wishes that wins the day. After all, for a lot of people, WDW does make their “wishes” come true! All hail “the champ”!

More Wishes

More WDW Fireworks?

We can’t let this thing end in a tie!!  As of this morning, that’s where we stand – Wishes (17) vs. Illuminations (17).  This little battle will stay open for one more day!

So, if you haven’t voted, get over to the poll and weigh in!  Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom?  Illuminations, Fantasmic!, or Wishes?  It’s a WDW fireworks frenzy!  Vote!  What IS the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Nighttime Spectacular?

In the meantime, if you need to do some “research” and refresh your memories of these two fabulous fireworks extravaganzas, hop on over to Travel with Rick.  Rick Howard presents both “Holiday Wishes” and “Holiday Illuminations” on video.

See ya’ tomorrow … hopefully, with a winner!