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Fourth of July at Disney World (fireworks, treats, & tips)

Fourth of July at Disney World (fireworks, treats, & tips)

Walt Disney World is famous for its firework spectaculars, so it is not surprising that they take their already amazing displays up a notch for the Fourth of July. But fireworks aren’t the only way you’re able to celebrate at the parks.

If you are lucky enough to find yourself traveling to Disney World for Independence Day, you’ll find lots of ways to mark the holiday.

Check out your options for the Fourth of July at Disney World below!

What to Expect

First things first, as you can imagine, the 4th of July at Disney World will be busy – likely VERY busy.

In fact, our 4th of July trips have been some of the busiest of the summer as folks use the holiday to extend their vacations or long weekends.

And, we can’t forget to mention the heat.

You can just about guarantee that it will be h-o-t with July seeing average high temps around 90°F / 32°C.

In years past, park capacity limits might have come into play, but the Park Pass Reservation System has kind of eliminated that “problem”. As long as you have a Park Pass Reservation, you will get into the park you have selected.

If you couldn’t get the park reservation you wanted and were planning to Park Hop, it is important to note that Park Hopping is not guaranteed and is based upon availability.

There have only been a few times when Disney has restricted Park Hopping access, but it is a possibility that we might see it happen again at Magic Kingdom on the 3rd and/or 4th. That means you’ll want to show up as close to 2 p.m. as possible if your goal is to hop there.

Tips for Surviving the Fourth of July at Disney World

  • Try to watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom on July 3 instead of July 4. The crowds will be slightly lighter, and that frees you up to watch fireworks over at Epcot on the Fourth of July.
  • July at Disney World is very hot and humid, and afternoon storms are common. Be sure you plan ahead, so you can handle the weather.
  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. And use sunblock. And then hydrate some more.
  • Pack your patience. Heat + crowds at Disney World can lead to short tempers.
  • Visit less popular attractions or ones with low waits (especially if they are indoors!)
  • If you don’t have reservations for meals, try to eat counter service meals during off-peak times. We recommend lunch by 11 and dinner by 4:30 to avoid the heaviest of crowds.
  • Mobile Order whenever possible, and do it early as spots can fill up.
  • The fireworks at Magic Kingdom are extremely popular, so if you have a large group or you are particular about your view, you’ll want to snag a spot early (at least 90 minutes before they start).
magic kingdom dessert parties

4th of July Fireworks at Disney World

You’ll have a couple of different options for fireworks on the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World:

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom will be extremely busy on the Fourth of July.

If possible, we recommend watching the Celebrate America! Fireworks here on July 3, which will then free you up to catch the special holiday fireworks over at Epcot on July 4.

Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky

  • Date(s): July 3 & 4, 2023
  • Time: 9:20 p.m.

The main event at Magic Kingdom is the spectacular “Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” fireworks display.

How to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from outside the park

There are lots of places outside the park where you can catch it.

During special displays like this one, however, the resorts frequently restrict beach access to resort guests, so if you aren’t staying at one of the monorail resorts, your best bet is to watch from the Transportation and Ticket Center dock.

magic kingdom fireworks map transportation and ticket center

Dance Parties

Disney loves a good dance party, so you can bet they won’t waste a holiday without throwing one (or 2!).

As the night falls, look for dance parties to kick off in both Tomorrowland at the Tomorrowland Stage and in Frontierland near Country Bear Jamboree.

Other ways to celebrate the Fourth of July at Magic Kingdom:

Liberty Square

Liberty Square is a permanent part of Magic Kingdom, but it has special appeal during the Fourth of July.

There you can check out the reproduction of the Liberty Bell (which was cast from the same mold as the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia), visit the Hall of Presidents, or take in a meal at Liberty Tree Tavern (reservations needed).

hall of presidents

Carousel of Progress

Is Carousel of Progress a “classic”? Of course. But that doesn’t mean it can’t also have some *ahem* problematic elements.

There are 4 main “acts” in the Carousel of Progress, and each one depicts a time period and holiday all wrapped up in an oh so casually sexist way:

  • 1900’s (Valentine’s Day)
  • 1920’s (Fourth of July)
  • 1940’s (Halloween)
  • 21st Century (Christmas)

So, while the representations are all quite sexist, at least the attraction is air-conditioned, which can come in very handy during the hot and humid July weather.

fourth of july scene on carousel of progress

Epcot

EPCOT Forever with special Heartbeat of Freedom finale

  • Date(s): July 4, 2023
  • Time: 9 p.m.

Epcot’s nighttime spectacular (in 2023 it was EPCOT Forever) includes a patriotic Fourth of July grand finale – “Heartbeat of Freedom.”

The Heartbeat of Freedom finale has been shown before, but the last time was way back when Illuminations was still around.

Fourth of July Points of Light Display

During July 4th, Spaceship Earth’s Points of Light take on a patriotic display turning into the American flag. This isn’t a show, but only a display of special lighting.

Voices of Liberty

Voices of Liberty a cappella group entertains guests daily in the American Adventure Rotunda and did the same on July 4, 2023.

In past years, they’ve even taken their show outside to the larger American Gardens Theatre.

Voices of Liberty is one of our favorite acts in all of Epcot, and listening to their renditions of traditional Americana songs is a perfect way to spend some time in the World Showcase.

Be sure to check the My Disney Experience app for daily showtimes.

Patriotic Disney Characters

Historically, on July 4, you can find Disney Characters dressed up in their fancy Independence Day costumes greeting guests at The American Adventure.

goofy wearing his Spirit of ’76 attire

In 2023, you could meet Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Chip ‘n’ Dale in their “Spirit of ’76” attire throughout the day at The American Adventure!

Be sure to check the My Disney Experience app to see if meet and greet times are posted or ask a nearby Cast Member for more details.

Other ways to celebrate the Fourth of July at Epcot:

The American Adventure

Located inside a large and elegant theater, this show combines audio-animatronics, film, and music to take guests on a 30-minute journey through American history.

Covering key events from the landing of the Mayflower, to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to the Great Depression, guests are treated to a dramatic re-telling of the American story.

The American Adventure is a permanent show in Epcot, but the history told here is especially fitting for the Fourth of July.

the american adventure - epcot

2023 Epcot Festive Fourth of July Snacks & Treats

  • Location: Connections Café
  • Item Name & Description: Fourth of July Liege Waffle: Brioche dough with pearl sugar
  • Available: July 4
  • Mobile Order Available? No
Fourth of July Liege Waffle

  • Location: Fife & Drum
  • Item Name & Description: The American Dream: Frozen Fanta Wild Cherry, vanilla ice cream, and Frozen Fanta Blue Raspberry slushy
  • Available: Now through TBD
  • Mobile Order Available? No

  • Location: Regal Eagle Smokehouse
  • Item Name & Description: Celebrate the regions of American backyard barbecue with classic dishes (Some plant-based items available on the menu) 
  • Available: Year-round
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes

  • Location: Sunshine Seasons
  • Item Name & Description: Fourth of July Shake
  • Available: July 1 through 31
  • Mobile Order Available? No

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios doesn’t have a nighttime spectacular like Magic Kingdom or Epcot, but you can get a (very) small dash of patriotism at 1 attraction and with a collection of Independence Day treats:

Muppet Vision 3D

Ok, this isn’t really a Fourth of July-themed attraction, BUT Sam Eagle does put on one of heck of “A Salute to All Nations, (but Mostly America)” in the grand finale.

Is this a bit of a stretch to connect it to the holiday? Yes. Yes it is.

But considering the Fourth is usually pretty hot, you’ll probably want a place to cool off, and catching a showing of Muppet Vision 3D is a great way to do just that.

2023 Hollywood Studios Festive Fourth of July Snacks & Treats

  • Location: Backlot Express
  • Item Name & Description: Apple Pie Cupcake: Yellow cupcake filled with an apple pie filling, topped with salted caramel buttercream and cinnamon streusel, and garnished with rainbow silver sparkle, red, white, and blue Mickey ears
  • Available: July 1 through 31
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes
apple pie cupcake

  • Location: Woody’s Lunch Box
  • Item Name & Description: Fourth of July Lunch Box Tart: Cherry pie filling, vanilla fondant, and star sprinkles
  • Available: July 1 through 31
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes
Fourth of July Lunch Box Tart

PhotoPass and Magic Shots

The following Fourth of July-themed Magic Shots were available in 2023:

tiny world fourth of july magic shot at epcot
sam the eagle magic shot at hollywood studios for fourth of july
fourth of july fireworks magic shot at magic kingdom
mickey fourth of july bokeh magic shot in storybook circus
fourth of july mickey balloons magic shot at epcot
magic shot epcot

Photos can be purchased individually or added to your PhotoPass Memory Maker purchase.

Other ways to celebrate the Fourth of July at Disney World

Electrical Water Pageant

This is another thing that happens year-round at Walt Disney World, but the nostalgia of the parade and its patriotic score make it especially fitting for the Fourth of July.

You can catch the Electrical Water Pageant from the shores of The Seven Seas Lagoon at the following times (but check the My Disney Experience App the day of to confirm!):

  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Beginning at approximately 8:45 PM
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (including Narcoossee’s) – Beginning at approximately 8:35 PM
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Beginning at approximately 9:35 PM
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground – Beginning at approximately 9:45 PM
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Beginning at approximately 10:05 PM; in instances when the Happily Ever After fireworks show takes place at 10:00 PM, the Electrical Water Pageant will begin shortly following its conclusion
  • Right outside the entrance of Magic Kingdom park – Beginning at approximately 10:25 PM
Electrical Water Pageant

Fourth at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

Disney’s Fort Wilderness is one of the best places to spend most holidays – including the Fourth of July.

You’ll find several fun holiday-themed events taking place over there, but note that access to the fort (aside from dining reservations) and activities listed below is usually restricted to Fort Wilderness resort guests only.

Below is typically what you can expect at Fort Wilderness during July 4th weekend. If or when we get more details we will update. You can also always inquire at the front desk for an updated and complete schedule.

Beat the Heat Summer Scavenger Hunt (All Weekend – July 1 through 4)

  • 9:00AM-6:30PM
  • Clue Guide Pick-Up & Prize Redemption at the Bike Barn The Florida heat is upon us, and it’s up to YOU to solve the mystery on the different ways to stay cool for the summer. Complete numerous puzzles, riddles, and location-based tasks to receive a prize once the challenge is completed!

Patriotic Geocaching Challenge (All Weekend – July 1 through 4)

  • 9:00AM-6:30PM
  • Clue Guide Pick-Up at the Bike Barn Navigate the Campground with the compass app on your phone to find all of our Geocaches. Those who document all the codes before 5:00PM on Monday, July 4th will be entered to win a special prize.

Red, White, & Glow Pool Party (July 2 only)

  • 8:30PM at Meadow Swimmin’ Pool
  • Light up the night with our patriotic glow-in-the-dark pool party!

Glow in the Dark Slime ($) (July 2 only)

  • 6:00PM-6:45PM at the Bike Barn
  • Make glow-in-the-dark slime (costs extra)

Stars and Stripes Field Day (July 3 only)

  • 2:30PM-5:30PM at the Meadow Field & Meadow Swimmin’ Pool
  • It’s the ultimate team showdown, where you have the chance to bring your team to victory! All Guests will be teamed up to compete in a variety of field and poolside challenges. Bring the whole family, as everyone here will be a winner!

Golf Cart Extravaganza (July 4 only)

  • 4:30-5:30 pm
  • Staging Location at the Hitch-Unhitch Area
  • Judging Location at the Meadow Trading Post For information/sign-ups, visit the Bike Barn before 6:30PM Sunday, July 3

4th of July Beach Batch (July 4 only)

  • 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Clementine Beach
  • Let freedom ring! Join us as we celebrate America with an Independence Day Beach Bash! There will be a DJ, fun games, watermelon eating contest, dances, and more!

2023 Disney World Resort Festive Fourth of July Snacks & Treats

No other resort goes as wild for the Fourth of July as Fort Wilderness, but you will likely find specially themed activities at your resort. Plus, you can usually find these Fourth of July treats, too:

  • Locations: Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Item Name & Description: Sweet Summertime Favorites: Hot dog éclair with chocolate buttercream, iced sugar cookie ‘fries’, and raspberry dipping sauce
  • Available: July 1 through August 31
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes

  • Locations: BoardWalk Inn (BoardWalk Deli and Carousel Coffee)
  • Item Name & Description: Independence Day Cupcake: Cinnamon cupcake, apple pie filling, and vanilla mascarpone cream
  • Item Name & Description: Freedom Cheesecake: Red velvet brownie base, vanilla cheesecake, sweet cream, crisp pearls, and white chocolate garnish
  • Available: June 27 through 4
  • Mobile Order Available? No
Freedom Cheesecake

  • Locations: Contemporary Resort (Contempo Cafe)
  • Item Name & Description: Fourth of July Fruit Tart: Blackberry custard topped with fresh berries and a vanilla panna cotta popsicle
  • Available: July 1 through 8
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes

  • Locations: Caribbean Beach Resort (Centertown Market & Spyglass Grill)
  • Item Name & Description: Star-spangled Brownie Bar: Graham cracker crust and chocolate chip fudgy brownie topped with a brown butter caramel mousse, popping candy, and chocolate décor
  • Available: July 1 through 31
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes

  • Locations: Old Key West (Good’s to Go) and Saratoga Springs (The Artist Palette)
  • Item Name & Description: Fourth of July Layer Cake: Layers of red velvet cake with white and blue buttercream filled with a patriotic sprinkle surprise
  • Available: June 27 through July 4
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes

  • Locations: Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside (Riverside Mill Food Court and Sassagoula Floatworks)
  • Item Name & Description: Star-spangled Brownie Bar: Graham cracker crust and chocolate chip fudgy brownie topped with a brown butter caramel mousse, popping candy, and chocolate décor 
  • Available: July 1 through 31
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes

  • Locations: Riviera Resort (Bar Riva & Le Petit Cafe)
  • Item Name & Description – Bar Riva: Patriotic Wave: The Mediterranean Wave with the addition of blue curaçao and hibiscus to celebrate both Independence Day and Bastille Day
  • Available: June 30 through July 14
  • Item Name & Description – Le Petit Cafe: Patriotic Top Hat: Vanilla bean cheesecake with morello cherries on a Riviera brownie
  • Available: June 27 through July 4
  • Mobile Order Available? No
patriotic top hat cheesecake for fourth of july

  • Locations: Wilderness Lodge (Roaring Fork)
  • Item Name & Description: Lemon Mousse Cake: Lemon cake and white chocolate lemon mousse with a blueberry compote center and chocolate star décor
  • Available: June 27 through July 4
  • Mobile Order Available? Yes

  • Locations: Various Disney Resort hotels
  • Item Name & Description: Red, White, and Blue Colada: Bacardi Raspberry Rum blended with flavors of coconut, pineapple, and raspberry purée topped with a float of Bols Blue Curaçao
  • Item Name & Description: Red, White, and Blue Gin and Tonic: Empress 1908 Gin, tonic water, and cranberry and pomegranate juices
  • Available: June 30 through July 9
  • Mobile Order Available? No
fourth of july cocktails at disney world

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Do you have plans to spend the Fourth of July at Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

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Allyson Koerner

grace f

Monday 18th of June 2018

i am arriving on july 4 at 9:30 am, approx. getting at PO french quarter and eating lunch around 11-12, then we have ADR reservations at MK and fastpasses as well, starting 1:50-2:50. if we arrive in MK from 2-2:30, do you think we will be allowed in with park closures? we're using WDW transportation as well. what else can we do to make sure we get into the park, as we still do want to eat at french quarter for lunch, as were only staying there for one night. i've also read stage 4 park closures haven't happened on july 4 since many many years ago. please help!!!

Kat

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

You'll be fine to enter the park. I usually show up around 4:30/5:00 on the 4th. Not allowed onto Main Street...but shuffled around to Tomorrowland. Park not closed but if you want the Main Street spot, you will need to get there early.

Shannon K Wells

Friday 15th of June 2018

We will be there this year and are so excited!!! I am looking forward to seeing the fireworks and staying at the Beach Club resort! It will be amazing!!!

Sarah P

Monday 1st of July 2019

We’ll be at Beach Club for the 4th as well...so excited ?