‘Disneyland Forever‘ is easily the best fireworks show I have ever seen in a Disney park. It combines every piece of available “nighttime spectacular” technology (with the exception of water effects) into one spectacular and moving show. So why are there rumors floating that the show will be discontinued after the Diamond Celebration ends in September?
Location, Location, Location.
By now you are probably aware that Disney purchased Lucasfilm and has begun construction on Star Wars Land at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. In Orlando, there are no issues with current infrastructure because the new land is being built into a park (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) that is largely under refurbishment anyway. In California, it’s a whole other issue altogether.
The Disneyland fireworks launch site (blue), and Star Wars Land expansion areas (red). (Graphic: Google Earth/Kory)
You’ll note in the satellite image above that the launch site (in blue) sits very close to the projected construction site (in red) of Star Wars Land. Whenever a section of the park sits in the fallout zone of a fireworks show, that land needs to be shut down before, during, and after the show to protect guests and cast members from fireworks fallout and potential fires. That procedure is already executed nightly with Mickey’s Toontown. Can you imagine Disney closing it’s newest, and likely most expensive park expansion ever once or twice a night for a few hours to accommodate a fireworks show? Me either. That’s where the problem comes in.
The fireworks launch site must be moved. That takes time, manpower, infrastructure updates, potential land acquisition, and most importantly…money. Disney has been making record cutbacks in it’s domestic parks to prepare for expected financial losses in Shanghai Disney Resort’s first fiscal year. Add to cutbacks a massive expansion happening on both coasts, and financially it just doesn’t make sense (financially anyway) to keep ‘Disneyland Forever‘ running as designed…for now.
I adore the show and hope that it will return after Star Wars Land opens, but only time will tell. My advice, get to Disneyland before September 5th, 2016 and see ‘Disneyland Forever‘…just in case.