Disney is planning to conduct a fireworks test at the Magic Kingdom on November 16, 2020. As reported by WDWMagic, the test will take place after the park closes and will likely use the launch pad located just outside the Magic Kingdom.
Details around the test haven’t been officially released. However, reports have suggested Disney is using the downtime in nightly shows to upgrade some of their fireworks launching technology and equipment.
While it’s easy to see this news and assume nighttime shows of Happily Ever After will return soon, guests shouldn’t get their hopes up quite yet. Walt Disney World’s capacity increasing to 35% has produced some operational difficulties with notable crowds appearing in the parks. Walkways that were fairly open after the parks reopened are much more congested. Maintaining safe distancing for a fireworks show would be a large challenge and require significant staffing.
Unfortunately, we’ve already seen guests bypass markers along Main Street U.S.A. to crowd in to watch the Holiday Cavalcades. Disney would need a strict system in place for a nighttime spectacular to maintain the safety of its guests and avoid negative PR.
Epcot may be the safest bet for a nighttime spectacular given the amount of space available around World Showcase Lagoon. That’s assuming the fireworks crews are still in place following Disney’s series of layoffs.
In addition to the health and safety angle, Disney is undoubtedly reviewing the financial side of returning nighttime shows to their parks. Guests are currently returning to the parks without the draw of any nighttime shows. Would Disney bring back its nightly shows before there’s a tangible profit?