Home » Walt Disney Needed to Figure Out a Way to Keep Families from Leaving Disneyland. The Solution was Explosive

Walt Disney Needed to Figure Out a Way to Keep Families from Leaving Disneyland. The Solution was Explosive

Loud noises and shiny things, these are two of the most basic joys of life. From a young age, everyone learns to love fireworks since they deliver the euphoria that comes from illuminating explosions. And when theme park tourists think of fireworks, a certain brand is the first to spring to mind. The Walt Disney Company has provided brilliant light shows to their loyal customers since virtually the inception of Disneyland.

Walt Disney himself put his stamp on fireworks barely a year after his first theme park opened to the public. From that point forward, Disney visitors have come to expect the end of the evening to include a wondrous, fiery display in the sky. The company has offered several variations of the idea over the years, and they haven’t always included structure. To wit, the original fireworks display at Disneyland was really just one guy shooting off fireworks in the parking lot. In the rich history of Disney, there’s somehow a fine line between a groundbreaking nighttime display and a random dude with surplus bottle rockets in the trunk of his car. The maxim is true. From humble beginnings come great things.

Today, Disney’s idea of how to perform a nighttime show is still evolving. The latest version, Rivers of Light, can’t even use fireworks in a conventional sense. Such loud noises would agitate the animals that live at the fourth gate. For this reason, Rivers of Light will illuminate the dark in a historic fashion, focusing on a splashy lights show that utilizes technologically impressive LED lights. As you anxiously anticipate your first/next viewing of Disney’s latest evening production, already described as a masterpiece by people who’ve enjoyed test performances, this is the perfect opportunity to look back at the history of Disney’s fireworks displays that have concluded unforgettable nights at their theme parks.

Uncle Walt’s problem

Image: Disney

The early days of Disneyland were an odd combination of wildly successful and extremely frustrating. That was the perspective of Disney park planners who were attempting to drive consistent traffic to their novel business enterprise, the theme park. Since Walt Disney wanted to present his project as more than a simple amusement park, he constantly tweaked the park behavior during these early days. So, when you complain about all the changes transpiring at your preferred Disney theme park today, you should appreciate that this constant state of flux has existed since Black Sunday, the opening day debacle that remains infamous more than 60 years later. Change is a given at Disney theme parks.

During the 1950s, in order to find the perfect concoction to keep his new theme park in the black, Uncle Walt was willing to consider any new idea. He was a business leader who devoutly believed that every idea is innocent until proven guilty, a strategy now trumpeted by successful people as diverse as Warren Buffett and Bill Belichick. During the 1950s, Disney’s willingness to embrace the unknown wasn’t simply novel. It bordered on unprecedented. Then again, his entire company grew out of caricatures he loved to draw as a child. He somehow found a way to develop a lucrative business plan from his illustrations, even if he needed a few attempts to launch a stable business.

Once Disney had his business model of hand-crafted intellectual properties in place, he extended his brand with an emerging technology, the movie theater. Mickey Mouse short films were the first step, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became the bold step from which Disney never looked back.  It was the beginning of a run of dominance the company still claims today, with features such as Inside Out and Zootopia.

Disneyland as a series of character-themed regions represented the natural evolution of the brand. All the most iconic creations from Uncle Walt and his team were on display at his new 85-acre playground. They would provide the incentive to entice loyal Disney fans to visit the park early and often. There was just one problem. The Anaheim theme park stayed open later than its guests wanted to visit.

Image: Disney

Think about the situation from the perspective of both parties. Disneyland cost virtually every cent of Walt Disney’s fortune to build, and he was previously one of the richest entrepreneurs in the world. With a price tag of $17 million in 1955, it’s the equivalent of $150 million today. While that might not seem like much in an age when single attractions can cost that much and more, it was a shocking investment for an endeavor never guaranteed to turn a profit. After all, the term “theme park” that we toss around so casually today was basically unprecedented until the moment the gates to Disneyland opened for the first time.

In order to maximize Disney’s investment, he needed guests to line up in anticipation of the park’s opening then stay until it closed. This is the normal behavior at Disney parks today. During the first year of Disneyland, however, few families stayed until closing time. That’s why their perspective is so important to consider. Families had no experience from which they could formulate opinions about how to spend a day at Disney. They simply followed the herd in these first days at the park.

Since families were the life’s blood of Disneyland back then, something that’s slightly less true today, familial behavior was counterproductive to Disney as a company. 1950s families didn’t want to stay out late after a full day. They went to the park, paid for the individual rides that appealed to their children, as was the ticket practice at the time. Once everyone felt satisfied and tired, they went home. It was the de facto park behavior, the herd mentality that damaged Disney’s bottom line.

Each second Disneyland guests chose not to spend at the park stood as a financial loss to Uncle Walt in terms of opportunity cost. If the park is open, it’s using power and other utilities. Vendors are offering food that isn’t selling. Most important, Disney is paying staff that they don’t need. That’s a moderate financial loss each day that accumulates into a massive one over the course of months and years. The only way to address it was a seemingly impossible one. Disney would have to change the expected behavior from its park guests. In other words, the park’s planners must fundamentally alter the herd mentality about when to exit Disneyland. The tactic they employed had shocking ramifications that still include ripple effects today.

The Jason Pierre-Paul solution

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Disneyland was immediately popular. Five million guests visited the park between July of 1955 and October of 1956. The trick was NOT to persuade visitors into attending Disneyland. It was simply to keep them there once they arrived. When Walt Disney and his team pored over the first year’s numbers for their new venture, they quickly deduced that the easiest way to maximize revenue was by keeping people from leaving.

Since Disney had to trap people lawfully, by which I mean willingly, their options were limited. At the time, they didn’t have any extra incentives of note. They wouldn’t promise Extra Magic Hours to guests staying onsite. That strategy wouldn’t exist for decades. All they could do was identify ways to convince people already at Disneyland that it was even better after dark. Since parents didn’t want to do this after an exhausting day of E-ticket attractions and unprecedented crowds, Disney needed a hook. Actually, what they specifically needed was a match.

During a park planning session, one of the Imagineers suggested to Uncle Walt that fireworks could prove desirable to guests. They’d also stand as a competitive advantage over amusement parks that lacked any engaging nighttime activities, not that Disneyland was especially worried about competition during the 1950s.

There were, of course, concerns with this unusual strategy. Disney had to research the noise ordinances in the community, even though they owned most of the land in the surrounding area. As folks who live in cities with Disney theme parks know, the fireworks are ridiculously loud even many miles away. In addition, many parents can provide anecdotes about how much their young children hate fireworks due to the noise.


Image: Jeff Kern, Flickr (license)

Finally, the smoke from fireworks large enough for thousands of guests to see wouldn’t simply evaporate. It had to go somewhere, and that somewhere could be in the eyes, noses, and mouths of park guests. Imagine how well that would have gone over with 1950s theme park tourists. Yes, Disney had plenty of reasons to believe that fireworks could backfire as an enticement to keep families in the parks. Nobody knew for sure, as Disney had nothing to research on the subject. All they could do was speculate.

How did the Imagineers respond to this issue? They were plucky as ever, deciding that the only way to know for sure would be through a process of trial and error. This led to a comical testing phase, the likes of which Disney has never seen in the interim. The very first fireworks display at Disneyland wasn’t much of a display at all. Instead, it was one employee waiting until after the park closed. Then, he went into the empty parking lot and started the test phase, lighting each firework by hand.

The criteria were plentiful. Uncle Walt needed to verify whether several aspects of the test succeeded. The smoke couldn’t cause coughing among guests, the show had to be impressive enough to bear the Disneyland stamp of approval, and the noise couldn’t disrupt guests or the Anaheim residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. The most important of these criteria wasn’t even one of the problems mentioned yet. It was that Disney could launch fireworks high enough into the sky that guests across all regions of the park could view them simultaneously. Without a positive on this test, there was no point in field-checking the other concerns.


Image: Jeff Kern, Flickr (license)

You’ve likely already guessed the issue with such a test. How can one person validate the viewing conditions across all the sections of the park? Obviously, they can’t, which meant that Disney’s after-hours project for a significant period of time was basically a bunch of grown men watching fireworks after dark. It’s great work if you can get it. Disney’s staff would take up residence at various parts of the park while the fireworks expert attempted a proof of concept.

Mickey Aronson, who had no true training or expertise in this field by the way, became the Disneyland Fireworks Guru, pretty much by default. Disney hired him as an outside expert, even though his prior experience with fireworks was not of an appropriate scale. Each night, he would launch flaming projectiles into the sky. Then, other employees would confirm or deny their ability to enjoy the fireworks from their locations. It was the most low-tech solution imaginable, but it was the best that even the great minds at Walt Disney Imagineering could invent for such a unique situation.

By the summer of 1956, the amateurish fireworks show at the Disneyland parking lot was ready for final approval. After literally hundreds of fireworks launches, the tester wanted to perform in front of an audience of one, the only vote that mattered, Walt Disney. After a few minutes of launched bottle rockets and flares, a conflicted but intrigued Uncle Walt eventually shrugged his shoulders and gave final approval. His lukewarm response was, “Let’s give it a try.” He felt he had no better options, and so he hoped that his staff could turn the premise into something worthwhile over time. Had he chosen differently, the fireworks show might never have exited the testing phase, which means you’d never have seen Wishes, Fantasy in the Sky, Fantasmic!, or Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The debate was that divisive among Imagineers. Had Uncle Walt felt differently, an entirely different type of nighttime enticement might remain in vogue today in lieu of fireworks.

A modest display

Image: Jeff Kern, Flickr (license)

The early days of the Disneyland fireworks show frankly weren’t as good as anything you’ve seen in your city during an Independence Day celebration. In fact, you may have neighbors who put on a better fireworks display than Disney managed during the 1950s. Aronson was only one man, and the responsibility of the nightly fireworks was entirely his own. That meant he was in charge of lining up each bottle rocket and flare, pointing them in the correct location to provide the best view for everyone in the park, and lighting them. And again, Aronson had virtually no experience in this field. As a rookie, he did the best that he could, but the early days of Disneyland fireworks were more of a novelty than a viable park draw.

Over time, Uncle Walt deduced that the core concept worked. Disneyland visitors during the 1950s enjoyed a good fireworks show just as much as people do today. The problem is that it was impossible to hide the amateurish nature of the original nighttime display. A single person can only go so fast, and humans make mistakes. If you’ve ever been to a disappointing fireworks show, you understand that even a temporary disruption in the proceedings will take you out of the moment entirely. One man trying to launch enough fireworks for the many acres of Disneyland was effectively a single person set up to fail.

Somehow, Aronson gamely performed his duties for an extended period of time. Disney stuck with the hand-launched fireworks method for the body of a decade. They trained additional cast members on how to perform the nightly “show,” alleviating some of Aronson’s burden. The backdrop for the event was Sleeping Beauty Castle, and even in its most basic form, this nighttime display still dazzled the eyes thanks to the majestic backdrop. Disney fans behaved exactly as park planners had hoped. They started to stay longer, spending more money in the process. Thanks to the modest cost of some low-grade fireworks, Disney was now accruing larger daily revenue totals while simultaneously satisfying more park guests.

Upping the ante


Image: Jeff Kern, Flickr (license)

The fireworks show was a huge success, ridiculously amateurish though it was. In time, Disney went so far as to give it a name, Fantasy in the Sky. While I dispute whether a single person launching bottle rockets into the air qualifies for such a grandiose title, the humble beginnings evolved into something spectacular over time. If you’ve been a frequent visitor at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you’ve likely seen some version of Fantasy in the Sky.

The presentation ran in Anaheim from 1958 to 1999 and has since returned briefly in both 2004 and 2015. At Magic Kingdom, it was part of the opening attractions in 1971, lasting until 2003. In fact, even Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland have offered their own variations of the nighttime spectacular. While other fireworks exhibitions are now synonymous with a Disney visit, Fantasy in the Sky was more than just the original. It was also the predominant option throughout the history of Disney theme parks, and the math suggests that it’ll remain that way until at least the 2040s if not permanently.

Of course, the show had to improve over time to shed its status as an unskilled production. One of the key moments in this transformation occurred when Disney deduced a way to program the fireworks. They implemented an automated system that would launch each projectile at a designated point during the proceedings. That may sound like a modest achievement today, but it was roughly the equivalent of steel roller coaster tracks at the time. The programmable sequencing fundamentally altered the type of show Disney could put on for its late-night guests. The days of one guy using his own matches to shoot fireworks into the sky for thousands of park visitors were over.

Back to the drawing board with The Big Mooseketeer

1st Season MC

Image: Disney

The missing ingredient for Disney’s nighttime display was obvious in hindsight. Fantasy in the Sky enjoyed musical accompaniment from virtually the start. During the first few years of the performance, the five songs played during the show were Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Heigh-Ho, Mickey Mouse March, Whistle While You Work, and You Can Fly, You Can Fly, You Can Fly.

After a time, the company learned to synchronize the fireworks to music in a way that tied Fantasy in the Sky back to the classic Disney movies of old. That was the key advantage of programmable projectile launches. Not coincidentally, Disney’s strategists deduced that they could deliver a better presentation if they treated their nighttime exhibit as an animated movie. A gentleman named Roy Williams is as responsible for the timeless popularity of Fantasy in the Sky. You may know him for a different reason, though.

Williams has one of the best hiring stories in the history of Disney. On the day of his interview, the large man spoke with a much smaller fellow he incorrectly identified as an intern. The two of them engaged in small talk, and when Williams received a job offer a few days later, his new employer informed him that Walt Disney had greatly enjoyed their conversation. It’s the equivalent of trying to get a job with Paramount today, never realizing that Steven Spielberg is performing your interview.

Image: Disney

One of the things people noticed about Williams is that he had a big personality. The studio’s animators liked him so much that he earned the nickname of Moose, and if you ever watch the 1945 classic, Hockey Homicide, you’ll note a reference to him. Since Disney instantly took to Williams, he put him to work where all the nebulous employees went. He became a storyboard artist. Inarguably his most lasting assignment was to craft the storyboards for Fantasy in the Sky.

This seminal contribution to Disney folklore is not how you know him, though. One day, Walt Disney was looking at Williams and pointed out the obvious. A man nicknamed Moose is clearly funny looking; Disney was impolitic enough to add that Moose was also fat. That made the 40-something gentleman a perfect addition to…the Mickey Mouse Club.

This is the way the mind of Walt Disney worked, for better and for worse. He had a group of teen and pre-teen kids who sang and danced their way toward indoctrinating the youths of America into the Disney lifestyle. For no apparent reason, he had someone as old as three of them combined as one of the most famous characters in the show’s history. One of the signature storyboard artists for Fantasy in the Sky was also The Big Mooseketeer from the Mickey Mouse Club.

Usually clad in a shirt with Roy emblazoned on the front, Mr. Williams also wore mouse ears religiously. When he didn’t, his giant bald head gave away the incongruity of his presence on the show. Many viewers of these programs always assumed that the man called Moose was simple. In reality, his accomplishments behind the scenes at Disneyland had repercussions that ripple to today.


Cinderella Castle

Image: Disney

The late 1960s innovations of musical accompaniment and programmable fireworks leveled up Disney’s nighttime festivities. The fireworks had always proved popular with park guests, but they storytelling capabilities were now the talk of theme park tourists across the land. With Walt Disney World scheduled to open soon, Disney correctly deduced that east coast fans would enjoy Fantasy in the Sky just as much as Anaheim visitors.

The difference between the two parks was one of scale. The much larger area surrounding Cinderella Castle allowed Disney storyboard artists to produce a greater spectacle. The Magic Kingdom version of Fantasy in the Sky almost immediately surpassed its predecessor in terms of show quality and fireworks utilized. Disney eventually followed a similar pattern a dozen years later with the introduction of Tokyo Disneyland. It too featured an improved version of the original exhibition. Even though the company originally chose to exclude it from Disneyland Paris, they soon flip-flopped on the subject, introducing it approximately a year after that park debuted. Simply stated, Fantasy in the Sky became synonymous with the end of a day at a Disney theme park, much as Wishes is today.

Disney did what they could to keep the evening showcase feeling fresh. They’d add themed displays into the mix. The Christmas overlay of Fantasy in the Sky added intrigue across the world. It proved popular even at Tokyo Disneyland, part of a country that doesn’t celebrate this particular holiday. The Japanese culture celebrates the season as one of happiness in romance. In fact, Christmas Eve is a sort of Valentine’s Day, which makes it more popular than Christmas Day. So, their version of Christmas Fantasy in the Sky played up the idea of love in the air. Disneyland and Magic Kingdom both enjoyed more traditional celebrations, but the modest seasonal additions sustained interest in Fantasy in the Sky for decades.


Image: Disney

By this point, a state of saturation was unavoidable. Loyal park visitors at Disneyland witnessed the fire in the sky dozens if not hundreds of times throughout their lives. Even with the occasional refresh of the stage presentation, Disney officials recognized that they faced an uphill battle in preventing stagnancy. For this reason, an age-old problem recurred. The entire purpose for the fireworks display at Disney theme parks was to keep guests staying until late in the evening. Once everyone was overly familiar with Fantasy in the Sky, it stopped serving its core purpose. Having watched it so many times before, Disney visitors altered their behavior. They no longer felt compelled to remain in the park after dark to enjoy it yet again.

Saturation wasn’t the only issue, either.  One of the offshoot issues of a precisely timed fireworks display is that the show ends at the same time for everyone in the park. Many Disney fans equate the finale of the show as the end of the day at the park. So, they rush to the exits, creating a mass of humanity all attempting to do the same thing. They seek transportation to depart from the Disney facilities. It’s a mob scene, and everyone reading this knows it all too well.

After people had watched Fantasy in the Sky a few times, they faced a simple choice. As a day at Disney ended, they could beat the crowds by skipping the fireworks display. Alternately, they could stay and enjoy the festivities for the umpteenth time. By choosing the latter, they’d add hours to their day without enjoying any additional benefits of spending time at Disney. All they’d get for their trouble was that fireworks display they’d watched before.

You can understand why Fantasy in the Sky started to dwindle in popularity. Even as the first major nightly exhibition of its kind in the world, its stature couldn’t save it from the economics of time calculations that plays such an important factor in the decision making of theme park tourists. Eventually, Disney chose to do something unprecedented. They pulled the plug on one of their oldest and dearest showcases. As the world approached the 21st century, park planners were ready to do something new at night.

Tokyo moves forward while taking many steps back

Tokyo Fireworks

Image: Disney

Tokyo Disneyland became the first Disney theme park to display a fireworks exhibition that wasn’t based in the Fantasy in the Sky mythos. The park planners there aren’t employed by Disney, which means they have a bit more latitude with regards to change. After only five years with the original show, they started to change it.

Their initial offering was Starlight Fantasy, a fifth anniversary celebration. Tokyo Disneyland embraced the concept of frequent change during this timeframe. After only two years of the program, they updated it to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fantasia, naming the performance Starlight Fantasy: Fantasia ’90. Less than two years later, they modified the show again to turn it into Dancing Starlight Fantasy.  All of this causes questions about the necessity of moving away from Fantasy in the Sky so quickly. Tokyo Disneyland tried three different alternatives to the original display, none of which proved successful.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland, they once again changed their lights display. This one was never intended as a permanent replacement. Instead, it was a stopgap solution entitled Magic in the Sky, which is different from a later version that you may have watched if you visited the park from 2003 to 2012. After Magic in the Sky’s brief run ended, the park replaced it with Stardust Fantasy, not to be confused with the earlier Starlight Fantasy. I could go on here, but you get the point.

Tokyo Disneyland wanted to change the fireworks exhibition from the original American one, Fantasy in the Sky, to one befitting the Asian audience, a culture that relishes fireworks celebrations. What they discovered during their umpteen attempts is what Disney learned early on. It’s difficult finding the perfect fireworks display to entice crowds to stay until late in the evening, even ones already prone to love such exhibitions.

Tokyo Disneyland ultimately needed 20 years to find the perfect program to end the night. That one was also Magic in the Sky, although both its displays and its musical accompaniment were entirely new from the 1993 version. Their various attempts to duplicate the popularity of Fantasy in the Sky merely underscored how lucky Disney park planners had been with their original fireworks display.

The end of an era


Image: Disney

Disney strategists watched with interest as Tokyo Disneyland experimented with all their fireworks alterations. What happened in Japan reinforced a longstanding fear of park planners. They had reason to fear that once Fantasy in the Sky ended, the next show might prove unpopular. It’d always be judged against the original, a beloved program that had stood the test of time over 40 years.

This thought process explains why Disney felt reticence in changing a system that worked, even if its value had diminished over time. While many guests no longer stayed until the fireworks shot into the sky, the post-show crowds exemplified that many still did. Fantasy in the Sky was a Disney classic. Any change away from it endangered what Mickey Aronson had accomplished during the 1960s when he was a single man shooting off bottle rockets from the parking lot.

Ultimately, Disney planners appreciated that change was good, and it was also necessary in this instance. Fantasy in the Sky had outlived its usefulness. It was dated. Disney officials understood that while there were risks, they could do better. Plans began to replace the vaunted nightly exhibition with something newer and more daring. The time seemed perfect since both a century and millennia were ending. It felt like the perfect moment to say Auld Lang Signe to remnants of the early days of Disneyland and Magic Kingdom.

The replacements


Image: Disney

Disneyland became the first North American Disney park to move away from Fantasy in the Sky. Believe… There’s Magic in the Stars debuted in February of 2000, although it proved to be a bridge show rather than a long-term solution. It ended less than four years later in November of 2004. The point was always to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Disneyland before the company moved to a more permanent exhibition.

Amusingly, Disney changed their mind on this subject by offering another temporary event, Imagine… A Fantasy in the Sky. It was only operational for a few months, so even many diehard Disneyland fans missed it. The end goal was always to craft an “E Ticket in the Sky”, and that ultimately became Remember… Dreams Come True. It ran for almost a decade before ceding way to Disneyland Forever, the current fireworks show, and one whose name indicates that it should be around for a long time to come.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney World stuck with the classic fireworks version until 2003. The replacement is one that younger Disney fans consider synonymous with Disney after dark. That’s Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, which is in year 13. In a future article, I’ll discuss the history and behind the scenes details of Wishes and Fantasmic! in greater detail. What’s important for now is that the introduction of Wishes solidified the Disney nighttime fireworks exhibition for another generation of fans. They even deduced a way to improve one of the issues that had proven problematic going all the way back to 1958.

In 2004, Disney inventors patented a system that simultaneously addressed two different problems with nightly fireworks. Their “air launch pyrotechnics system” became the first environmentally friendly system popularized at a major theme park. It reduced noise and air pollution, filtering smoke in a manner Mickey Aronson wouldn’t have dreamt was possible back when he was shooting fireworks from the ground, worrying that his boss would kill the entire show due to concerns about the smoke. Disney was so proud of their development that they opened the patent so that other developers could reduce their environmental footprints while performing such nightly exhibitions. It took from 1956 until 2004, almost half a century, to solve the problem but like so many other seemingly impossible situations, Disney eventually found a way.

Disney’s greatest hits


Image: Disney

With Fantasy in the Sky an accepted part of Disney folklore, fans lamented its absence. What they’d taken for granted for most of the 20th century suddenly went missing. Fans predictably clamored for its return. Always in search of ways to place additional onus on theme park tourists to visit, Disney gave the people what they wished for. It occasionally returns for command performances, generally on major holidays such as Independence Day and New Year’s Eve, classic American dates for fireworks.

Partially as a tribute to the park’s history, Disneyland’s build-up to its 60th anniversary celebration also included a few months of Fantasy in the Sky. Magic Kingdom even added a new flare to their performances. The presented a 360-degree angle perspective when they present it for the major holidays.  Even in retirement, Fantasy in the Sky keeps getting better.

This obsession with improvement is what has led Disney to invent all the memorable shows in their current nighttime lineup. If something becomes popular, they update their story to include it. This is precisely what transpired with Disneyland Paris. Their nightly production of Disney Dreams! opened in 2012. When Frozen fever overwhelmed both sides of the Atlantic, the park added an entirely new scene in 2015. Meanwhile, they can also stick with something popular long after they say they’re getting rid of it. That’s what has happened at Tokyo Disneyland. The park celebrated its 30th anniversary by adding a fireworks display called Happiness On High in 2013. Not only did it not close as planned in 2014 but park execs are now indicating this exhibition will continue through the 35th anniversary in 2018. So, you have plenty of time to watch it if so inclined.

Rivers of Light

Image: Disney

As for the immediate future, all eyes are on Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Rivers of Light will become the quietest Disney presentation to date. It’ll focus on dazzling colors rather than loud noises so as to avoid spooking the animals who reside onsite.

When you think of an evening at a Disney theme park, watching the fireworks is one of the most unforgettable events. None of that is possible without the fascinating journey that started in an empty parking lot just outside of Disneyland. Walt Disney took a chance on a single man with a modest resume and grand ambitions. Then, he added a man who looked like a moose, some programmable fireworks displays, and some classic Disney harmonies. Since then, an amateurish exhibition evolved into Fantasy in the Sky, a timeless classic that the company still proudly delivers to its fans on special occasions today. All the amazing nightly celebrations that have come since then share the same origin of bottle rockets in a parking lot. Truly, Disney can turn even the most humble of ideas into a timeless classic.