How Much Does Disney World Spend On Fireworks?

by Ed Pizza

If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you know fireworks are an integral part of the evening celebration at the parks.  It’s one of our favorite parts of a visit to Disney World.  I wrote last week about how Disney is discontinuing the current “Wishes” evening performance, rolling out a new one in May.  That got my mind racing on how to plan a quick Disney trip before the show changed.  And, it made me wonder how much does Disney World spend on fireworks?  As I was reading the article where I learned about the changes, I noted a comment about the estimated cost of fireworks:

As you likely already know, the show is performed every single evening at the Magic Kingdom (barring inclement weather that would prevent the show from being performed).  Each performance costs Disney around $33,000 to put on the much-anticipated show for all of the guests that are anxiously waiting.  If the show, or the holiday variations of the show, were to be performed every single night as planned, that makes just over $12 million spent on just this show each year.

That’s a lot of bang, and a lot of bucks.  There are similar shows in each of the 4 theme parks at Disney World.  If we’re conservative and say $10 million per park, per year to put on a fireworks display, that’s $40 million in fireworks.

Park attendance topped 50 million overall at Walt Disney World last year.  A rough estimate is that each guest is “contributing” just shy of a dollar to paying for those fireworks.

Disney World Fireworks

The Final Two Pennies

It is a bit crazy to think that Disney World spends that much on fireworks.  These numbers are unverified, but some time spent Googling yielded similar estimates from folks over the year.  I’m certainly fine paying my share.  I’m just wondering what the warehouse looks like where they store all the fireworks.  Talk about a no smoking zone!

The post How Much Does Disney World Spend On Fireworks? was published first on Pizza in Motion

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DaninMCI February 13, 2017 - 10:52

You didn’t include the cost of fireworks on the Disney cruise ships. I’m not sure they do them nightly but the do the Fireworks at Sea show fairly often.

Edward Pizzarello February 13, 2017 - 11:08

Dan, I still haven’t been on a Disney cruise. How are the fireworks shows?

DaninMCI February 13, 2017 - 11:14

The fireworks are interesting at sea due to the reflection off the water and stark darkness of the sky, usually. Here is a recent Youtube on this
I think Disney Cruises are overpriced but if you’re a big Disney person or have kids that are then it might be worth it.

Edward Pizzarello February 13, 2017 - 11:19

Dan, I can’t be sure they’re overpriced but they seem that way compared to other cruises we’ve been on. I’ve thought about one splurge for the kids but haven’t committed as of yet. Thanks for the video!

Kris February 13, 2017 - 14:53

I’ve been on several Disney cruises as well as one on Norwegian. For me, at least, I find the price differential worth it on Disney, but not everyone is the same. One of my favorite aspects is that they tend not to nickel-and-dime you the way some other cruise lines do (for example, fountain sodas are included, as are all on-board movies and shows).

Based on my recent experience with Norwegian, I also find the service levels to be better on Disney – the staff seemed better trained and more skilled. The cabins are also noticeably larger on Disney cruises for similar category levels. But Disney is definitely more expensive than others such as Carnival and Norwegian.

For the Disney fan, however, it can be a fantastic experience: tons of character opportunities, and the overall ambience can’t be beat. Even if you’re not that into Disney, the theming, while there, isn’t as omnipresent as in the parks – it’s more subtle overall. And I’ve definitely come to appreciate the added bonus of Castaway Cay as a changeup from the ship.

Edward Pizzarello February 14, 2017 - 09:25

Kris, thanks for the detailed thoughts. We’ve only cruised on Royal Caribbean recently and really enjoyed it. But, as Disney fanatics we’re still curious about a Disney Cruise.

Benjamin February 13, 2017 - 11:00

As a former Disney employee in the Corporate offices, I can attest to the roughly 30k per show for the Wishes show, but with regards to the other 3 parks, the cost per show is nowhere near 30k, minus Hollywood studios Fantasmic which cost more than 40K, some of which is actually extra insurance for a show with that many moving parts. Animal Kingdom did not have a fireworks show, due to concerns and laws surrounding noise and wildlife, and Epcot used a less expensive firework due to the fact that their shows take place around a body of water. What makes the Wishes show so expensive is a special “dusk free” firework has to be fired due to the close proximity of the people and the amount of trees in the area. This being said, any show that disney runs is going to be expensive, the real savings is in the amount of people that have to be paid for running a projection show, versus a fireworks show

Edward Pizzarello February 13, 2017 - 11:11

Benjamin, thanks for the great info! If Fantasmic really does cost more than Wishes, we’re still talking almost $40MM a year for fireworks at WDW. Wonder how many folks it takes to pull off the fireworks show on a nightly basis at Magic Kingdom.

Lee @ BaldThoughts February 15, 2017 - 10:06

We’ll be visiting Disney World in Orlando next month, so I thought this was a pretty cool stat.

Edward Pizzarello February 15, 2017 - 10:12

Lee, where are you guys going to be staying when you’re down there?

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[…] How Much Does Disney World Spend On Fireworks? – We’ll be visiting Disney World in Orlando next month, so I thought this was a pretty cool stat.  You’ll never believe how much they spend each year! […]

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M February 22, 2017 - 02:05

Got a tour of the fireworks blastoff location in Disneyland and it’s amazing what they’ve done with firework technology alone. They developed ways to shoot the fireworks higher, more consistently night after night, and with less debris using compressed air tubes to launch them. Each firework shell (the size of a softball) gets its own tube all lined up nice and even. It’s really cool actually.

Edward Pizzarello February 23, 2017 - 11:51

M, I’d totally want to do that tour!

Disney Family January 30, 2018 - 08:46

There are two firework locations at Walt Disney World. One of them is an ammunition depot across from Orlando International Airport on Tradeport Drive and the 2nd is by the Chinese Pavilion in Epcot.

Edward Pizzarello February 2, 2018 - 12:37

Disney Family, what do you mean? Those are where they store the actual fireworks?

Al August 21, 2018 - 16:24

I thought the bunkers off of Maple Road were where the fireworks were stored. Lots of lightning posts around those buildings!

Mark ward March 5, 2018 - 21:01

Since ther s a fireworks and display show every day, where do the plan and practice the shows. Do the have a duplicate castle ect somewhere.

Edward Pizzarello March 11, 2018 - 22:37

Mark, I’m not sure where they practice the shows. That’s a good question. The night show doesn’t have much in the way of characters (Tinkerbell). But, the daytime ones must have a practice set somewhere.


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