Nightly firework shows are one of the most beloved traditions at Walt Disney World, and the fireworks at Magic Kingdom are a definite must-do for most guests.
But, even though they are best viewed from inside the park, there may be times when you want to catch them from somewhere nearby, instead.
But where is the best place to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks outside the park?
Check out our suggestions below!
Should you see fireworks outside Magic Kingdom?
If you’ve been going to Walt Disney World for years and years, you probably remember that previous firework shows (like Wishes) were relatively easy to watch from outside the park. That was because the music and the fireworks were the main feature of the show, and most of the action was taking place in the sky above Cinderella Castle, making it easy to see from far away.
But the newer nighttime shows, like Happily Ever After and the former Disney Enchantment, add in a new element: projections.
These projections, which take place on Cinderella Castle and down Main Street, are a major component to the show.
Because of that, we do recommend that you try to catch it at least once inside the park. That way you can see the show and projections together.
However, if you have multiple chances to see it or if you are traveling with somebody that doesn’t like the sounds or crowds associated with fireworks, then watching outside of the park is a good option.
Looking to catch the fireworks for one of the specially ticketed events at Magic Kingdom like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? These are all great options to view those as well.
These are our suggestions for the best places to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks outside the park. There are other options out there, but these all have good views and the music from the show piped in which make them great choices.
Transportation and Ticket Center
Dock at the Transportation and Ticket Center
WDW Prep School favorite
Where to go: After arriving to the Transportation and Ticket Center, head towards the ferry dock (to the left of where you board the monorail).
Pros: Because of the angle of the sidewalk, there are lots of fantastic views.
Cons: You aren’t allowed to stand on the actual dock, but instead will be positioned along the walkway heading to the dock.
California Grill (restaurant reservation required)
WDW Prep School favorite
Location: Contemporary Resort
Average cost: $89.00 (adult) / $39 (child)
Link to California Grill Menu
Pros: There is a viewing deck here that allows guests to watch the show from outside. If you can’t get a reservation here during the fireworks, you can save your receipt and return before the show to watch from the deck.
Cons: Because of the angle, the fireworks will appear off to the side of Cinderella Castle instead of directly behind and over it (they kind of look like they are above Space Mountain).
4th Floor Observation Deck at the Contemporary
Where to go: Either take the elevator or escalators up to the 4th floor (same floor that Chef Mickey’s is on). The observation deck is just past the shops.
Pros: This deck is open to anybody, not just to guests staying or dining at the Contemporary.
Cons: This location is often used for private parties, which means some of the deck may not be available.
Special Note: Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owners have access to the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower for fireworks viewing. You must present your DVC Membership Card to gain access. Guests exclusively renting points (and are not owners) are not permitted to view fireworks from this location.
It is important to note that there are blackout times when only DVC owners staying at Bay Lake Tower will have access to the lounge for fireworks viewing. These dates frequently include July 3 & 4 and December 30 & 31.
Narcoossee’s (restaurant reservation required)
Location: Grand Floridian Resort
Average cost: $55.00 (adult) / $17 (child)
Link to Narcoossee’s Menu
Pros: The tiered seating area inside of the restaurant means that a large number of tables will have a good view of the show from their table. There is also a porch available outside that you can watch from.
Cons: If too many people choose to watch from outside on the porch it tends to block the view for the guests inside.
Grand Floridian dock
Where to go: After entering the Grand Floridian, head out the back of the building and follow the signs to Narcoossee’s. The dock is located right next to the restaurant.
Pros: An easy place to catch the show if you’ve been dining at the Grand Floridian
Cons: The dock area isn’t as large as other locations around the Walt Disney World Resort
Patio in front of Gasparilla Grill
Where to go: You can get to the patio from a sidewalk. After entering the Grand Floridian, head towards the back and outside. The patio is directly outside Gasparilla Grill.
Pros: A large space and an easy place to catch the show if you’ve been dining at the Grand Floridian
Cons: Sometimes the lights from the building can make it a little harder on your eyes (but this isn’t a problem for most people)
Beach at the Polynesian
WDW Prep School favorite
Where to go: After arriving, head through the lobby and out back towards the water (behind the pool). There will be spots to watch from the beach as well as just off the sidewalk.
Pros: You can buy the popular Dole Whip inside the Polynesian.
Cons: The audio here is notoriously soft. Stand near one of the speaker for the loudest sound.
‘Ohana (restaurant reservation required)
Location: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Average cost: $55 (adults) / $33 (child)
Link to ‘Ohana Menu
Pros: The view of the fireworks from here appear straight on and not off to the side. If you aren’t able to book an Advanced Dining Reservation that will allow you to dine during the fireworks, you can try to snag one for earlier in the evening and then move to the beach to view from there.
Cons: Tables further back in the restaurant will require you to move/stand in order to see the fireworks.
Premium experiences cost a bit more and require advanced reservations.
Celebration at the Top: Sip, Savor, Sparkle at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Cost: $129 per person (plus tax)
Book the Fireworks Dessert Party at the Contemporary Resort
Pros: Adult feel with a larger selection than what is found at the dessert parties inside the park, including savory items served before fireworks and desserts after. Alcohol is included.
Cons: Costly. Depending on how you typically order, you may spend less if you opt to just book a dining reservation at California Grill.
Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise
Location: departs from The Transportation and Ticket Center
Cost: about $130 for adults and $100 for kids
Book the Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise
Pros: More “adult” feel than the Pirates and Pals cruise and since it takes place on a ferry boat you’re free to move around. Alcohol is also served on this cruise. Read our most recent review on the Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise.
Cons: Costly and very limited seating, only available on select nights (currently just Wednesdays and Saturdays)
Private Fireworks Cruise
Location: Boats depart from the Marinas at the Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Fort Wilderness, and Wilderness Lodge resorts (for Happily Ever After viewing) and from the Yacht Club/Beach Club (for Epcot fireworks viewing)
Cost: starts at $399 for a 25-foot boat that seats up to 10. Tips extra.
More information on specialty cruises
Pros: The price for these cruises are the total cost (not per person) so they can be a great option for a premium/special evening without breaking the bank. If you are celebrating something special, you can even add banners and balloons to your boat.
Cons: For Happily Ever After, the boats for this cruise are positioned further away than those for the Ferrytale Fireworks and Pirates and Pals cruises.
Although many things in the parks have returned, there are still a few enchanting extras that remain unavailable:
Pirate and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage
Location: departs from Contemporary Resort
Cost: about $72 for adults and $43 for kids
Book the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Party
Pros: This is more than just a fireworks cruise. Before boarding, guests that book the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise are served a variety of snacks and drinks. Also during this time, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee make an appearance to meet and greet their pirate pals.
After boarding the ship, guests are treated to trivia and songs as they await the fireworks from a prime location in the water just outside the gates of Magic Kingdom. At the conclusion of the evening (weather permitting) you’ll be able to see the Electric Water Pageant as you disembark and meet up with one final special guest – Peter Pan.
Cons: Outside of the cost, guests have reported that the people on the side of the boat furthest away from Magic Kingdom can sometimes have their view obscured a bit.
Highway in the sky Dine Around
Pros: Unlike the other premium options for viewing the fireworks outside of Magic Kingdom, this isn’t a cruise. Instead, it is a progressive dinner that starts and ends at the Contemporary with stops for courses at The Polynesian and Grand Floridian. The grand finale is dessert while you watch the fireworks from the 4th floor deck of The Contemporary.
Cons: We do not recommend you do this option as one of the best places to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks outside the park since you can often view the fireworks for free from the exact same observation deck offered in this package.
Our favorite places to watch the fireworks outside the park
Although you have several options for viewing the fireworks outside of Magic Kingdom, we have 3 favorites:
Best free options:
If you want someplace free to watch, go with either the beach at the Polynesian Resort or the Transportation and Ticket Center dock.
The beach at the Polynesian is nice if you are already planning to dine there that evening or if you want a place where you can also grab a drink or snack, do some exploring, or even some shopping.
The dock at the TTC is great for people that want to leave the park early but still want to watch the show (and get a head start on heading to the parking lot) or for people that just want an easy spot to watch with no fuss.
Best paid option:
If you’re looking for something extra special, however, you absolutely can’t beat the experience that California Grill offers. Fantastic food, amazing views, and top notch service. The trifecta of perfection!
VIDEO: 3 Great Spots to View Fireworks OUTSIDE of Magic Kingdom
What do you think? Do you have a suggestion not on the list above for the best place to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks outside the park? Let us know in the comments!