On June 29, Disney Parks Blog announced the schedule for Walt Disney World’s Independence Day festivities. Disney’s celebration of America’s birthday includes fireworks at three of its four theme parks, a Fourth of July concert, characters in holiday costume, and special touches throughout the resort.
For many people, celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks is a big part of the holiday tradition. And Walt Disney World goes big with its fireworks spectaculars through the year but especially for Independence Day. Disney’s patriotic firework displays for the holiday include two days of celebration at Magic Kingdom, as well as Fourth of July celebrations at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney’s Animal Kingdom does not offer a fireworks nighttime spectacular.
At Magic Kingdom, a 14 minute Fourth of July firework spectacular lights the night above Cinderella Castle on both July 3 and 4 at 9 p.m. “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky,” which premiered in 2008, includes perimeter fireworks that surround the park and the spectacular is set to a patriotic score.
At Epcot, the theme park’s classic nighttime spectacular “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” will include special patriotic finale, “The Heartbeat of the Nation.” IllumiNations begins at 9 p.m. on July 3 and 4, followed by the 5 minute fireworks finale.
Epcot also adds some special patriotic touches to its observations of the holiday on July 4, with the festivities centered on the American Adventure pavilion of World Showcase. The Voices of Liberty, the a cappella group offering traditional American music, offers its Fourth of July concerts at the America Gardens Theatre at 12:30, 1:45, and 3 p.m.
Voices of Liberty also perform at the American Adventure pavilion at 4:15 and 5 p.m.
In addition, Epcot’s Sounds Like Summer concert series for the holiday is Don’t Look Back, A Boston Tribute Band. The band takes to the stage of the American Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Special patriotic character greetings, such as Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin, and Disney characters in their patriotic finery, will also take place at the American Adventure various times throughout the day.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party leads up to a “Rockin’ Fourth of July Celebration” fireworks show. Billed as a ‘rock ‘n roll trip across America, this pyrotechnic spectacle includes a DJ who starts thing off at 5:45 p.m., entertaining crowds until the fireworks commences at 10:15 p.m. The park’s regular nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic, takes place at 9 and 11 p.m. on both days.
Fourth of July activities also will be offered at select Walt Disney World resort hotels. The holiday fun include such things as patriotic poolside activities throughout the day (for resort guests), Fourth of July-themed crafts and games, pool parties and outdoor movies. Walt Disney World resort guests should check with their hotel concierge for specifics.
In addition, guests staying at one of the Seven Seas Lagoon resorts, Disney’s Polynesian Village, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Space, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness, and Disney’s Contemporary, might which to take advantage of the opportunity to view the classic Electrical Water Pageant. Although the water parade takes place regularly, its floats and medley of music offer a bright display (in the style of the Main Street Electrical Parade) marked by patriotic elements is particularly well suited to the holiday.
For Disney guests seeking souvenirs and special treats related to an Independence Day visit, Walt Disney World will sell holiday merchandise, including U.S.A. shirts, trading pins and red, white and blue socks, as well as a few specialty treats themed to the holiday. These items will be available in various merchandise locations.
Fourth of July at Walt Disney World is considered one of peak times with Disney’s busiest seasons. Expect it to be very crowded at all parks, especially this year. In 2015, July 3 falls on a Friday, making the Fourth of July weekend a holiday weekend. Parks fill to capacity early in the day.
Keeping the crowds in mind as well as the Independence Day festivities, Walt Disney World has extended its theme park hours on July 3 and July 4, 2015.
- Magic Kingdom, the busiest of the parks, will be open on July 3 from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., with evening Extra Magic Hours until 3 a.m. for resort guests. On July 4, Magic Kingdom will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Epcot, with some of the most patriotic elements at the American Adventure in World Showcase, will be open on July 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.. The park will offer evening Extra Magic Hours from 10 p.m. to midnight on July 4.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers its rock ‘n roll version of the holiday with park hours on July 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight. Extra Magic Hours for resort guests on July 4 between 8 and 9 a.m.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom holds regular hours during this two-day holiday celebration, open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.