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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tip Tuesday: Avoiding the Fireworks

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday (on a Wednesday... sigh).

If you've read this blog (which by the way is celebrating its three year anniversary!!!), then you know how much I enjoy the various nightime fireworks displays at Walt Disney World. While a lot of people do enjoy watching fireworks, there are quite a few guests who, for any number of reasons, do not like fireworks.

Whether it's the loud noises or the flashes of light or whatever, some guests (often young children) simply do not want to be in a position to hear and/or see fireworks, yet they still want to (and have the right to) enjoy the parks at night. Some of my own children are not huge fans of fireworks, mostly because of the very loud noises.

So what are these guests to do?

Well, there are several options available. The basic premise is to get indoor where you can't see the fireworks and the sound will be cut down. Naturally any restaurant or shop will meet this basic idea. I'm going to talk about other options that are available and a few that might not be a good idea.

Since the nighttime fireworks are mostly at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, I'm going to discuss the options at each park individually. Some of these options require a certain bit of timing, so it's a good idea to check the daily times guide to know when Wishes! or Illuminations is scheduled to start. It's also good to know how long each show runs. Wishes! is about 15 minutes long while Illuminations runs around 12 minutes.

Magic Kingdom

  • Carousel of Progress - this is the perfect place to get indoors and enjoy a show while muting the sound of fireworks. The loud booms taking place outside won't be completely filtered out, but the sounds will be cut down quite a bit. Best of all, this is a long attraction. If you time it out right, you just might be inside the entire time.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - this is another indoor attraction that can help cut down on the sounds. The hitch here is that it's not all that long. Depending on the length of the queue, you might be through the attraction before Wishes! is complete.

  • Space Mountain - this can be a pretty good option for older kids and adults who don't want to be around fireworks, especially if there's a decent queue line. For younger guests, this obviously isn't an option.
  • Country Bear Jamboree - if you can get in right as Wishes! starts, you're in a perfect spot. The show runs nearly 16 minutes, so it will easily keep you out of the sight of fireworks for the entire presentation of Wishes!. The only down-side here is that you're much closer to the launch spot for the bigger fireworks (they launch behind Frontierland), so the sounds outside will be louder, which means the sounds inside may be a bit louder as well.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - like Buzz Lightyear, this all depends on the queue. The attraction itself isn't long enough, but if there's a bit of a queue, you might be able to be indoors during Wishes!.
  • Hall of Presidents - this show runs about 22 minutes, so if you time it right, you'll be just fine.

  • it's a small world - If you can get into your boat and be on your way just as the fireworks begin, you might be able to avoid most of Wishes! IASW runs about 10 minutes, so you might be caught in the tail end of the fireworks (which is the loudest). If you use this option, it might be better to hang out inside somewhere else for the first few minutes and then jump onto IASW.
  • Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor/Stitch's Great Escape - Both of these attractions provide shelter, but there both a bit short in runtime, so it really depends on the queue. These wouldn't be at the top of my list...
  • Here are a few attractions that I don't suggest trying: The TTA Peoplemover (you're outside for a third of the attraction), Splash Mountain (again, parts are outside and you're very close to fireworks).

    The options in Epcot can be pretty limited (again, aside from just hanging out in restaurants or shops), especially if Future World already has closed. If you can still get into the Future World pavilions, then you're in great shape. Just about every pavilion (except Test Track) is completely indoors and has plenty to do and see to last the length of Illuminations.

    Now what if Future World is closed? Then you need to consider attractions in World Showcase.

  • The American Adventure - this is the best overall option as the show runs just under 30 minutes.
  • Gran Fiesta Tour - while this boat ride is nowhere near long enough, you are inside the Mexico pavilion and can easily enjoy a ride (or two) through Mexico as you search for Donald.
  • Malestrom - you won't be the first to pass this way to avoid fireworks... nor shall you be the last... though you may have to stay to watch the Norway movie in order to avoid Illuminations.
  • Any Circlevision 360 film - China, France and Canada have special Circlevision 360 films highlighting their respective countries. Best of all, these films are at least 14 minutes long - which is plenty of time to cover Illuminations.
  • There are even more options available to guests who are willing to take a quick break from the parks and do a bit of resort hopping either via the Monorail or the International gateway. Keep in mind that you still can see and hear the fireworks from Illuminations if you are walking along the Boardwalk.

    Hopefully these tips will help those guests, young and old, who are not all that keen on seeing and/or hearing evening fireworks, but yet, want to enjoy the parks at night.

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