We went to the Magic Kingdom Friday night to test out the Wishes fireworks Fastpass+ viewing in the newly expanded hub. We’d received a lot of questions we couldn’t answer (like whether guests could view the Main Street Electrical Parade). On this visit, we chose Plaza Garden East, which is located close to the Tomorrowland Terrace. I plan to add more information to this article when we’ve experienced Plaza Garden West later this week.
A couple of weeks ago, we shared an article about the new hub opening. This photo is from that article, with the Fastpass+ sign saying that this area becomes a Fastpass+ viewing area after 8:00 p.m. We didn’t try to get there that early, but we did arrive at 9:00 p.m. Friday and were able to enter. This photo was taken at Plaza Garden West, we were told that guests could choose either side (East or West) on the night of the Fastpass+ reservation.
Before we go into the review, here is our video of Plaza Garden East from opening day.
It wasn’t too busy when we arrived for our reservation, with guests relaxing on the ground.
We chose the back corner (closest to Main Street) of the Fastpass+ section, which gave us a pretty good view of the Main Street Electrical Parade and a great view of Wishes and Celebrate the Magic. If you’ve never seen the Main Street Electrical Parade, this isn’t the view you will want for it. We’ve seen the parade dozens of times over the past 30+ years, so this was fine for us. On this day, there were two Main Street Electrical Parade showings. When there are two, the second one is almost always the least crowded.
Guests were still arriving into the Fastpass+ area. It was busy, but not excessively so. I know this has been a concern for many who have read and watched our coverage. There was plenty of room to move about.
Here are a few photos of the Main Street Electrical Parade from our location. The higher floats were easiest to see, like Tinker Bell.
Mickey and Minnie glide by on the title float.
Looking toward Cinderella Castle, we could see some of the parade this way as well.
The “To Honor America” float was visible from our location.
The nice thing in our section was that nearly everybody sat down for Celebrate the Magic and Wishes. We were in the back, sitting on a curb that was a few inches higher than the grass. To our right, there was a disagreement (an argument) between someone who was sitting and someone else who was standing in front of them. I don’t know if there will be a rule eventually that all guests need to stand or sit. There should be. Behind the Fastpass+ section, other guests were trying to watch the fireworks as well. So there really is no good place to stand unless everyone is standing. I personally enjoyed being able to be seated.
This is our view of the guests in front of us. Those who you see standing are outside of the Fastpass+ area, and didn’t really block the Cinderella Castle view too much – at least not for us. I have seen photos where Fastpass+ guests were standing to watch fireworks on other nights.
We had a very nice view of Celebrate the Magic.
Elsa on Cinderella Castle in the “Frozen” segment.
One of my favorite locations to watch fireworks is actually in Fantasyland – well, several areas of Fantasyland (but I would not recommend for first time viewers). Main Street can get very crowded, and Fantasyland usually is not. But our experience with the Fastpass+ area on this evening was delightful. We had a great view, it wasn’t too crowded, and I had a seat. I brought a small tripod, which I set up at about my eye level, and took some photos. I would certainly be happy to photograph from this view again. One of my other favorite firework spots has recently closed, the Rose Garden.
Here is a video with our commentary about our first Fastpass+ Wishes experience. It will also be part of Mousesteps Weekly YouTube Show #139 this week.
After the fireworks, we stayed put for a bit. I never recommend leaving immediately after Wishes ends.
The new hub design is beautiful both day and night. There are fountains which look lovely with Cinderella Castle in the background.
Dumbo and Timothy Mouse are back, along with other statues.
Pinocchio is also on the Plaza Garden East side.
Fastpass+ reservations are limited, but we’ve been able to book two evenings with only a few days notice in the past week. With just one Fastpass+ Wishes experience behind me, I’m not yet sure if I’d recommend it. If I was visiting from out of town, I might prefer booking another attraction instead, since Wishes fireworks can be seen from so many vantage points without Fastpass. This night was a very positive experience for us, but it could be very different the next time. I will update the article this weekend with my thoughts from a second night!