Best EPCOT Forever Fireworks Viewing Spots
This viewing guide highlights the best & worst viewing spots for EPCOT Forever fireworks at Walt Disney World, which recently replaced Harmonious. Here we will provide some general tips about the best locations, and point out the best of these on a map of World Showcase. (Updated April 5, 2023.)
I’ve watched and photographed EPCOT’s fireworks way too many times and can say that not all viewing spots were created equally. For this post, I’m going to highlight my 5 favorite spots (see map below), along with some alternatives to those spots, and general discussions about choosing a spot for watching the EPCOT Forever fireworks.
What we recommend doing is grabbing dinner from one of the best EPCOT counter service restaurants or festival food booths in World Showcase around about 8:15 pm. After that, stake out one of these spots, enjoy your meal, as well as the pre-fireworks ambiance along the promenade and in World Showcase lagoon…
Choosing a prime location for EPCOT’s fireworks is actually easier said than done, as certain variables, such as the direction of the wind and where there might be fireworks dessert parties or private events that eliminate potential viewings areas as options for regular park guests change often
Unfortunately, unlike my Best Magic Kingdom Fireworks Viewing Spots post, which contained an easy to follow map with color coded areas of good, bad, and okay spots from which to watch Happily Ever After, the same really isn’t possible for EPCOT. This is because within a span of 10 feet, you might have both an awesome and awful viewing spot, due to trees, food carts, or other obstructions.
The first thing you should do when arriving at any potential viewing spot is to survey the area above and around you to see if there are any torches, light poles, or trees blocking your view of the Lagoon. If so, and you still have the time to find a different spot, do so.
The good news is that, obstructions and weather aside, since EPCOT Forever takes place in the center of World Showcase Lagoon, if you pick a spot that can see the lagoon, you will be able to see EPCOT Forever.
It isn’t like Happily Ever After in this regard, as some spots that have good views of Cinderella Castle actually are poor views of the fireworks due to perspective distortion. There’s no perspective distortion with the fireworks at EPCOT. The other good news is that with IllumiNations (and its globe) gone, there’s really no longer any reason for a “front row” spot along the rails around World Showcase Lagoon.
That pretty much covers the basics, now let’s take a look at my favorite specific spots…
#1 – Front of the House: The best view of the show is known informally as the “Front of the House,” and is located between the two gift shops at the entrance to World Showcase. Supposedly, this is the view around which the show was designed.
Previously, this was the FastPass+ viewing area or reserved seating for special events. Thus far, it has not been converted to a Genie+ Lightning Lane or dessert party viewing area, which we keep expecting to happen. That means it’s a great, wide open view for the time being.
I’m a huge fan of this spot not only because it’s a centered viewing but also because it doesn’t require a front row spot for a great view. In fact, you’re better off towards the back (ignore the crowd that congregates up front) because of the way the area becomes elevated as you move away from the rail.
#2 – Mitsukoshi Department Store: This spot is a great combination of great and unique views. This view is available from the second story of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan pavilion, right outside the Tokyo Dining windows (contrary to popular belief, Tokyo Dining is not a great spot for watching the fireworks).
The torii at the edge of the water in Japan does obstruct the view a bit, but it also makes for more interesting photos, as does the elevated perspective. Word has really gotten out about this location (and it’s incredibly popular with photographers), so even though it’s off the beaten path, don’t expect to be able to show up here at the last minute.
This location in Japan often fills up 45 minutes before the fireworks, so it does require a bit of a commitment–and one that may not be entirely necessary unless you want the perfect elevated vantage for photos of EPCOT Forever. If you don’t care as much about photos, you can easily show up at the last minute and grab a great spot in the open courtyard or even an elevated one on the steps.
Alternatively, ground level back deeper in Japan anywhere between the pagoda and department store provides a great view, with the torii gate in the foreground as an interesting photo-framing element. This is our new go-to last minute spot, and we typically snag somewhere here at the very last minute right after dining at Katsura Grill.
We love doing this because there’s rarely anyone else within 10 feet of us, and since EPCOT Forever doesn’t have anything on the water that is necessary to see during the fireworks, it’s a perfect and somewhat secluded spot that requires minimal effort to snag. Above is the approximate view from this area, which we think is pretty good!
#3 – France Bridge: The bridge between the United Kingdom and France is an incredibly popular spot and you’ll see people camping out here well before EPCOT Forever begins. The France Bridge is a good spot because it provides a bit of elevation and an unobstructed view.
The biggest downside is that it’s often packed, and arguably not worth the wait or crowds on busier nights in EPCOT. Additionally, its location is a bit farther back than any of the other waterfront spots, making you feel a little less like you’re a part of the action.
Alternatively, try for the the Lagoon seating area behind the Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom pavilion for stellar waterfront seating (albeit seating that’s often not available due to private events).
#4 – Mexico: This isn’t nearly as specific as the other recommendations on this list, but that’s because there is no single spot in Mexico that stands out. Rather, there are several really good spots, plus the entire area between Norway and Mexico, as it has little in the way of obstructions.
The best spots in Mexico are La Hacienda (the restaurant with the best view in World Showcase) and near the boat dock (if you’re lucky, you may actually be able to watch from the boat dock, as some guests are selected to sit out there each night).
#5 – Italy Isola – One of my absolute favorite spots for EPCOT’s fireworks is the Italy Isola, which is the raised part of the Italy pavilion near World Showcase Lagoon that juts out towards the water. However, it is used for private dessert parties so regularly now that it falls to the #5 slot since it’s almost never available.
It’s a very immersive location that feels close to the action. The photo above demonstrates the immersion of this area, but not really how great of a view it is. The first actual photo in this post was shot from the Italy Isola…that should give you a much better idea of the view quality.
If you’re wanting to watch from this area but a dessert party is taking place, typically there will be some room between Italy and the American Adventure that has nearly as good of a view.
Or, you can simply step back a bit deeper in the Italy pavilion and still have a great view of the pyro. Along with the Japan pavilion, deeper in the Italy pavilion is a great low-stakes, last-minute spot for watching EPCOT Forever away from the crowds!
There are other good locations for watching EPCOT Forever all around World Showcase Lagoon, and really anywhere that offers a reasonably clear view to the center of World Showcase Lagoon is going to be perfectly fine–especially if you’re primary there for pyro and not low-level effects.
Other large areas of unobstructed viewing include Canada–even the elevated area in Canada isn’t half bad, Rose & Crown’s seating area, and portions of the waterfront between China and the Outpost.
One final bonus “spot” is really not a single spot at all, but rather, anywhere deeper in the World Showcase pavilions. If you step away from the rail at the edge of World Showcase Lagoon, you’ll get away from crowds and can have some potentially interesting photos of different parts of the world with fireworks exploding overhead.
With a lot of these spots, you’ll have far more breathing room and enjoy the show in a more intimate setting, and don’t really compromise much in terms of what you can see. Most guests flock to the railings, and those definitely offer a better view, but it’s not a huge advantage if all you care about is fireworks. EPCOT Forever is primarily just fireworks; unlike its predecessors, having a view of the water isn’t really important–just the sky is key.
To that point, most of the pyro in EPCOT Forever is visible even from the front of the park! The easiest location is simply straight backwards from World Showcase Lagoon, stopping before you get to the monorail track. This will also make leaving the park easier, as you’ll beat the crowd exiting. Just don’t try to watch up by Spaceship Earth, as it will mostly block the view of the fireworks.
The bottom line is that EPCOT Forever is much easier to see and significantly lower stakes than Harmonious or IllumiNations before it. This is very much an interim fireworks show, and not a fully-fledged nighttime spectacular. EPCOT Forever is definitely worth watching–the pyro is fantastic–but there’s no need to put in a ton of effort or overthink your viewing location.
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Have you watched EPCOT Forever from one of these spots? What did you think? Any favorite spots of your own to add? Any questions you have about viewing EPCOT’s fireworks? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Are there good spots to view Epcot Forever from the Crescent Lake area, a la the Poly beach for MK fireworks?
I laughed at the “water tacos” description; albeit fitting. Do the NYE countdown fireworks use the stargate and tacos?
I am curious if you are aware of any handicap locations for viewing the fireworks, in both Epcot and Magic Kingdom. We are going over NYE this year and want to be prepared for where to go instead of walking around aimlessly trying to ask a cast member who may likely direct us in the wrong direction. Thanks!!
We sat near Norway and it was nice. I was able to find a bench for my mother who is in her 60’s to wait at until the show started. We got our spot about 1 hour ahead of time. All other straight on spots were taken well before that!
Where are the best spots if you are not inside Epcot?
What is the viewing like from the boats that you can reserve? We will be celebrating a birthday and the boat reservation looks like a great way to celebrate. Thoughts?