This one’s much more heartwarming than the others I promise. Let’s talk about Disney at night. To most, Disney at night is a whimsical experience of light and sound. For the most part this is true, but even the happiest place on earth has a few little spooks up its sleeve.
Fireworks are a common staple among all Disney Parks across the globe. Many assume when they go to one of the theme parks, their nights will always be filled with an explosion of color in the sky. Its pretty much always been this way. Fireworks were first introduced to Walt Disney World on October 24th, 1971 in celebration of the official opening of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. At the time they were called “The Fantasy in the Sky Spectacular.” Fantasy in the Sky would stick around in Magic Kingdom up until 2003 when Disney decided it was time to evolve.
On October 9th, 2003, Disney’s Cinderella Castle showcased a light show that not only lit up Main Street, but also in the skies above. Disney’s Wishes is one of the most well-known (and well-missed sniff sniff) firework spectacular that Magic Kingdom has ever had. Wishes became so popular, it was even developed into holiday varieties such as Hallowishes and Holiday Wishes! But of course, Magic Kingdom nostolgic fans were rocked to the core when they announced the ending of the Wishes! nighttime spectacular in 2017. Replacing Wishes! came Happily Ever After in Spring 2017 and is Magic Kingdom’s current nighttime show. New Halloween and Christmas nighttime firework shows are to come later this year.
Now what might all of this have to do with ghosts? Well get ready for your heart to grow three sizes in an unexpected way.
When Walt Disney died, Disney World was still in the works. That’s when his brother Roy Disney was determined to finish the dream that Walt created. He took over the responsibility of overseeing the biggest project since Disneyland and watched Disney World come to life. On opening day, Roy Disney dubbed the theme park Walt Disney World in honor of his late younger brother. Roy’s statue can be found sitting on a bench with Minnie Mouse at the end of Main Street U.S.A., opposite end of the famed Partners Statue.
Now it is said that Roy had a clear deep connection to Walt Disney World and especially Magic Kingdom because he knew he was making his brother’s biggest dream a reality. It is said that during Wishes! (and maybe even Happily Ever After now), that guests would often times seeing a man standing among the crowd with them looking up at the spectacular in the sky. What was different about this man is many people wouldn’t recall him being there before the fireworks start. Now of course crowds are crowds, people move and push and shove, so it seems odd that they found a new face in the crowd weird right? Well what if that face was one of an older gentleman, looking up to the sky with such a proud expression on his face that he even is sometimes seen shedding a tear? What if this man looked very very very similar to that of the late Roy Disney? But most importantly, what when some look again hes gone or even more so when some down the second half of his body just seems to fade out of existence? Yup.
The legend goes Roy Disney can sometimes be seen watching the fireworks and seeing all the joy his brother has dreamed up for others. He is overcome with emotion because he is simply so proud of what Walt Disney World has brought to families across the globe. He is only said to be seen during firework shows in the crowd.