Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!
It's the oldest nighttime experience at Walt Disney World and it doesn't even require a park ticket to enjoy - in fact it's not even in the parks!
Of course, I'm talking about the Electrical Water Pageant, which first premiered October 26, 1971 (thought it was not available on opening day, Oct. 1, 1971).
The Water Pageant, originally created to celebrate the dedication of the Polynesian Luau, can be seen nightly (weather permitting) along the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. It usually begins it's performances around 9 p.m., unless there are fireworks set for the same time at the Magic Kingdom. In that case, the Water Pageant will begin about 20 minutes later.
The Water Pageant consists of 14 small barges, each containing two sets of lights arranged to form different shapes and set to music from Disney songs from The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan (among others). Most include some simple form of animation.
The first four displays create a sea serpent breathing fire, followed by a whale spouting water, a turtle taking a drink from the water, an octopus waving his arms, three jumping dolphins, a dinosaur chomping on some greenery, a crocodile and finally King Triton being in his chariot being led by four seahorses.
After these 14 barges complete scene one, all the barges change to display either the United States flag or a set of stars, while playing patriotic music.
In total, the Electrical Water Pageant runs less than 10 minutes. The first performance usually begins in front of the Grand Floridan Resort around 9 p.m. The best place to watch is by the dock near Narcoosee's (if you have an ADR at Narcoosee's for that time - it's a great vantage point). Following the Grand Floridian, the pageant moves to the Polynesian at around 9:15, the Wilderness Lodge around 9:40, Fort Wilderness around 9:50 and the Contemporary (Bay Lake side) a little after 10 p.m. If there Magic Kingdom is still open around 10:20, the Water Pageant will have a final performance in front of the main gate.
These are general times. Check with the concierge desk or guest services at any of the Magic Kingdom area resorts for specific times the day you plan to see the pageant.
While it's a simple show, especially considering all the advances lately in audio-animatronics, the Electrical Water Pageant is a nostalgic reminder of the origins of Walt Disney World and one evening activity not to be missed.