Drone show set for Disney World this summer

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida announced a brand new drone show called “Disney Dreams That Soar” thats set to run through summer 2024. Even better? It’s free to watch.

Kicking off on May 24, 2024 and running nightly until September 2, 2024, this high-tech spectacle will feature drones lighting up the sky above Disney Springs, which is the free-to-visit shopping and dining district on Walt Disney World property. A curated soundtrack will accompany the whole experience.

Rather than flying over places where people walk, the drones will fly over Lake Buena Vista, which is the lake that borders the shopping center. Expect the best views from the skies above the West Side of the massive outdoor retail district, which spans 120 acres.

A history of Disney World drone shows

It’s been more than seven years since Walt Disney World last hosted a drone show. Back during the 2016 winter holiday season, Disney Springs hosted another drone show. Called ‘Starbright Holidays’, the show was done in partnership with Intel, which at the time was among the most robust drone light show companies in the world. That Disney Springs holiday drone show ran twice every night and lasted six minutes. Re-live the 2016 show on YouTube, here:

But while this is only the second-ever drone show to arrive at Walt Disney World in Florida, the company is no stranger to drone shows. Among its biggest and best drone shows yet is the Disney Electrical Sky Parade. Held in France over at Disneyland Paris, the drone show pays homage to the iconic Main Street Electrical Parade. That parade launched at the original Disneyland theme park in California in 1972. In that French show, drones resemble iconic parade floats (albeit in the sky) including a train and Elliott from the 1977 film “Pete’s Dragon.” Check out that show here:

Previous Disneyland Paris drone shows include Disney D-Light and Avengers: Power the Night.

Theme parks like Disney World embrace drone shows

Who says Disney is just for kids? This news should pique the interest of tech enthusiasts, making Disney World a spot for adults to vacation in, too.

And it’s no secret that The Drone Girl is a huge Disney fan. Alas, that here means this drone show necessitates its own blog post. But this nightly summer series is just one of hundreds of drone shows around the U.S. in 2024. Major festivals, sporting events and community holiday celebrations are set to include drone light shows this year. That includes a show for the popular Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a show at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, and shows at various MLB baseball games (check out my recap of last year’s Star Wars drone show at the Oakland A’s game in August 2023).

Other theme parks including Dollywood and Universal Studios have also embraced drones. Unlike Disney World, those parks have actually held drone shows inside the gates.

How to watch the Disney World drone show

The Aerophile balloon at Disney Springs

Simply head to Disney Springs, which is free to visit. Even standard self-parking is free at the Disney Springs area.

You’ll best see the show on the West Side. That’s also where you’ll find Aerophile, the massive, hand-painted helium balloon. Aerophile is tethered to the ground but also floats over the water. Since there’s a massive walkway along the water, it should be pretty easy to find a viewing spot. Plus, the show is in the air, so you likely won’t worry about someone blocking your view.

And while the Disney World drone show is free to watch, know that Disney World trip costs aren’t cheap. Especially if you stay at a Disney-owned hotel and end up buying theme park tickets (and on-property food, too), budget at least $300 per person per day. That figure includes food, a hotel room and theme park tickets.

Then again, it doesn’t have to be expensive. I once did a 5-day Disney trip for two people for just $1,600.

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