The most magical place on Earth is about to get a little bit more magical. Today, Florida's Walt Disney World announced that its newest show, Happily Ever After, will be the park's most impressive yet. Integrating new technology with Disney World's iconic Cinderella Castle, the fireworks spectacular is set to make its debut on May 12.
"The show will take guests on an emotional journey as favorite Disney characters set out to pursue their dreams, encounter obstacles (and villains!) to ultimately prevail and find their 'happily ever afters,'" Disney explained on its Parks Blog.
While Disney's fireworks shows are the stuff of theme park legend — estimates put the cost of each spectacle at $41,00 to $55,000 per night, and guests line up hours before showtime — Happily Ever After is incorporating a particular innovation: projection-mapping technology. While this isn't the first time Disney has used the tech in its nighttime show, this is the most immersive experience yet. Using Cinderella Castle as a screen, projectors will beam clips and characters such as those from Zootopia, Moana, and Big Hero 6 (don't worry, the classics will be included, too) using the castle's unique architecture and multi-dimensional surface for special effects. What do you get when you combine that with a soundtrack that pulls from Disney classics and, of course, those one-of-a-kind fireworks? We're not quite sure, but rest assured you will find yourself completely surrounded by lights, sounds, and magic.
"Happily Ever After is unlike any castle show you've ever seen," Stormie Dorrell, a projection effects producer, explains. "When we started this project, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find a way to make 'Happily Ever After' unique, to approach projection mapping in a way that's never been done before. And I think we've done that — I think we've looked for opportunities to really push the boundaries for what the surface can contain, and what it can become."
Check out how the show comes together with Disney's behind-the-scenes video, below.