Distant Fireworks at Walt Disney World


Fireworks explode over the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as seen from across Seven Seas Lagoon at the Polynesian Village Resort

Fireworks explode over the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as seen from across Seven Seas Lagoon at the Polynesian Village Resort during our 2019 Florida Summer Vacation.

As you may remember, we had enjoyed watching the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach at the Polynesian Village Resort. After that ended, we thought about heading out to leave for the night. After all, we had a few transportation hops to make before getting back to our condo room.

But then we came up with a great idea. The fireworks at the Magic Kingdom would be starting in about 30 minutes. And not too far away from the beach is the Pineapple Lanai, a small counter-service place that sells those delicious Dole Whips. Could we possibly run get a Dole Whip and be back at the beach in time for the fireworks? It was worth a try!

That must have been a good idea because apparently, several other people had the same idea. The line at Pineapple Lanai was slightly long, but it wasn’t too bad. And we figured that if we missed the fireworks and only got a Dole Whip, it would still be a win!

But the line moved fairly quickly, and we were back out at the beach well before the fireworks started. Double win!


Fireworks explode over the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as seen from across Seven Seas Lagoon at the Polynesian Village Resort

If you know me, you know I like to take photos. And of course, I could not resist the opportunity to take some fireworks photos. However, as with the Electrical Water Pageant, we really had not planned to be there that night, so I had not brought my tripod. But I figured it was still worth a try with some handheld photos, even if that meant that I wouldn’t be able to do any really long exposures.

I quickly ate my Dole Whip (a pineapple float, if you are curious) so that I could be finished by the time the fireworks started. There was a pretty good crowd there at the beach, so we moved around just a little to find a spot without people right in front of us.

The results, I think, were fairly good. As always, a tripod would have given better results, but I worked with what I had. And it was fun. Plus, I had just had a delicious Dole Whip. Life was pretty good.


Fireworks explode over the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as seen from across Seven Seas Lagoon at the Polynesian Village Resort

For whatever reason, some people near us did not stay around for the entire show, and when they left they gave up their chairs on the Polynesian beach. No one else jumped to take those chairs, so we helped ourselves and sat down for the end of the show.

The advantage to that was that I could prop my elbows on the chair arms to help steady the camera. The disadvantage was that there was a row of chairs in front of us that partially blocked the view. But as you can see, they really didn’t block much of the actual fireworks, just the trees and the water in the foreground.

As you can see, it was a good evening! Even if we were a little late getting back to our condo. It was worth it.


The more we live life (“we” being Laura and me - not trying to speak for everyone here), the more spontaneous we become in the things that we do. More and more, we go out without a plan. We just make it up as we go along. And that often brings some pretty fun results.

We could have tried to come up with a plan for that evening, and we might have even thought about watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Polynesian beach. Instead, we find that we are happier when we just happen across things. If we had planned everything out and something didn’t go according to plan, that might have been a little disappointing. But to just say, “Hey, the fireworks are about to start. Let’s grab a Dole Whip and watch them!” is much more fun.

Yes, I know that there are times when planning is vitally important. At least in our current life situations with work and parenting, we have to have a plan on when to be where and what to do most every day. And then we have to be prepared for that plan to get changed when the circumstances change, too.

Perhaps that structured life we lead at home is why we enjoy not planning on vacation. It is nice to remember the joy of just doing whatever comes along and enjoying that with the person that you love.

Spontaneity is a good practice, especially when we only have some occasions to practice.

Spontaneity is also a hard word to spell. I had to look it up instead of spelling it spontaneously. Just so you know.

Bible Verse

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" - Matthew 6:25-26

About the Photos

I mentioned some about handheld exposures and no tripod above. So if you are curious, here are the camera settings that I used for the photos.

Aperture: f/11 (Or f/9.5 on the middle photo, just to try something slightly different)
ISO speed: ISO 2000
Exposure time: 1/2 second

An exposure time of 1/2 second is a long time to hold a camera steady. Actually, I took many more photos than this, but some of them came out blurry because of the camera shaking. Which was of course due to my hands shaking.

Still, some of them turned out well. Not bad for no tripod!

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
_Lens: _ Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: June 10, 2019
Location: Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.