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View Full Version : Walt Disney World Fireworks - Two of my joys in life.



SeanMcBoom
01-04-2016, 05:54 PM
I would love to know more information about the WDW and DL fireworks. Do any of you know any details about the shows, products, positions, systems, etc? How about info about the smaller shows (stage shows, Lights Motors Action!, etc)?

I found this video as a start. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqe_5KUITMU

pyroandy
01-04-2016, 06:33 PM
There is a lot of stuff if you google "behind the scenes disney fireworks"
Here is the top hit;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8YPD_X5JKY

pyroandy
01-04-2016, 08:00 PM
Here is another good one;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F21rqKNU2k

EvilNotion
01-04-2016, 08:11 PM
If I remember correctly - WDW uses compressed air mortars to launch their large shells and a digital accelerator/altimeter to burst at specific heights. I can't watch the YouTube videos here at work, but I remember catching a bit on it and finding it fascinating.

wrtiii
01-04-2016, 09:16 PM
As I recall it, compressed air is used at Disneyland (CA) and at some of the launch positions on the lakeshore at Epcot in WDW (FL), but not for the rest of the WDW displays. Their press releases said that some, but not all, of the shells used a "chip" to control the burst. Whether it was an altimeter, an accelerometer, or simply a timer was not specified in anything I read.

gcijeff
01-04-2016, 10:27 PM
As I recall it, compressed air is used at Disneyland (CA) and at some of the launch positions on the lakeshore at Epcot in WDW (FL), but not for the rest of the WDW displays. Their press releases said that some, but not all, of the shells used a "chip" to control the burst. Whether it was an altimeter, an accelerometer, or simply a timer was not specified in anything I read.

I recall that they used the MagicFire chips for a while. Not sure if they still do. These chips were configured to burst the shell a preset time after the shell left the tube. I think they used a shunt break of some sort to start the timer when a set of leads got ripped out as the shell was propelled. Rozzi played with these for a while, and used them in a few shows about a decade ago.

There was a really cool special on Nova (or one of those PBS / communist programs) where Rozzi was testing a flight of these to Beethoven's 5th I think. The finale had a bout 100 salutes each fitted with MagicFire that each hit on individual beats that were like 100ms apart. Really cool on TV!

Does anyone else remember that special? They were set up and doing a daytime shoot in Kings Island's parking lot in the winter.

Anyway, the Wishes show is excellent, but the Christmas show this year was ... damn. And word on the street is the Hollywood Studios nightly show will be 2x the product that Wishes shoots!

matandch
01-04-2016, 10:46 PM
Compressed air. That ain't real fireworks. Black powder is real fireworks!

SeanMcBoom
01-04-2016, 11:22 PM
Anyway, the Wishes show is excellent, but the Christmas show this year was ... damn. And word on the street is the Hollywood Studios nightly show will be 2x the product that Wishes shoots!

I watched a video from the first night of that show. It is Star Wars themed. I believe it was the night before the SW movie came out. I was impressed with it. I don't know how much product they used, but it was definitely a full show! I'd like to see a professionally placed and shot video of it. (Who am I kidding...I want to see it live and I want to be a part of shooting it!)

MHPyro
01-05-2016, 12:17 AM
I'm a big fan of Disney and take the family fairly often. I was there for Thanksgiving this year and saw Wishes at WDW. If you use google earth you can find the firing location of the big shells behind the castle.

pyroandy
01-05-2016, 12:54 AM
Yes air lift to eliminate ground smoke and tails with battery powered altimeters and igniters developed from the model rocket community.

SeanMcBoom
01-05-2016, 01:16 AM
I'm a big fan of Disney and take the family fairly often. I was there for Thanksgiving this year and saw Wishes at WDW. If you use google earth you can find the firing location of the big shells behind the castle.

494

After 6 modifications to the screenshot so it would let me attach it, here is what I think is a possible launch site. It is 700' from the back of the park. The ScreenSavers video had a guy saying the largest shell that WDW shoots is 10". Also, the angle measurement line leads to Bay Lake Towers and sweeps just past Space Mountain in a similar angle to many videos shot from the BLT showing the origination of the tails.......so I think this might be the place...


Edit to add: I used Street View on Bing Maps to get a look at it from ground level. The gate has a "Danger: Explosives" sign and it definitely looks like a couple bunkers in the back.

MHPyro
01-05-2016, 02:53 AM
494

After 6 modifications to the screenshot so it would let me attach it, here is what I think is a possible launch site. It is 700' from the back of the park. The ScreenSavers video had a guy saying the largest shell that WDW shoots is 10". Also, the angle measurement line leads to Bay Lake Towers and sweeps just past Space Mountain in a similar angle to many videos shot from the BLT showing the origination of the tails.......so I think this might be the place...


Edit to add: I used Street View on Bing Maps to get a look at it from ground level. The gate has a "Danger: Explosives" sign and it definitely looks like a couple bunkers in the back.


Yep, that is the location I was talking about. I took some pics of Wishes with my phone but they look like crap so I wont bother posting them. There are good videos on youtube, anyway.

Ok, how do I get hired on the pyro crew at Disney World? lol

MikeO
01-05-2016, 03:16 AM
Ok, how do I get hired on the pyro crew at Disney World? lol

I think shooting the same stuff from the same tubes day after day would get old pretty quick. The shows are awesome, shooting them probably another story. I know at least one guy in FPAG that is a former Disney employee that would agree.

LeeCa
01-05-2016, 03:27 AM
A former crew member from Disneyland Anaheim ( Raven Marquez ) made it very clear that they NEVER used a chip in the Airlaunched shells to fire the shell payloads. But because they had full control of how high an Airlaunched shell could go they could control when the shell payloads would ignite .Advantages to using an Airlaunched system was that you could shoot smaller shell like 3" & 4" higher than there're conventional counterparts that depended on the limitations of a lift charge to control how high the shells could go. Also larger shells could be set to shoot lower or higher than their conventional counterpart shells.

Over the years there has been ALOT of bad information put out about the Airlaunched systems and when and were they have been used.

The system was originally designed for Disney Hong Kong because of complaints about pollution and noise Disney developed the system to make the people of Hong Kong happy. Disney also does the majority of its new shell product testing in Hong Kong.

MHPyro
01-05-2016, 04:56 PM
I think shooting the same stuff from the same tubes day after day would get old pretty quick. The shows are awesome, shooting them probably another story. I know at least one guy in FPAG that is a former Disney employee that would agree.

Good point. I was looking at their job openings just for the hell of it. While it does not list specific salaries in that field; some of the other fields are a lot less than I had imagined at $10-13/hr

SeanMcBoom
01-05-2016, 06:34 PM
Making $10-$13 an hour doing pyro?!?! I've never made THAT much! Sign me up!

LeeCa
01-05-2016, 10:08 PM
My dad worked for Disney until he retired after 20 years, myself and almost all of my local relatives worked there at one time. They never paid shit. It was a good place for a summer job during high school years I guess. Two girls to every one guy Lol. They had some nice fringe benefits.

Oh and the pyro shows change up daily no two are alike and they constantly evolve.

pyroandy
01-06-2016, 12:27 AM
Over the years there has been ALOT of bad information put out about the Airlaunched systems and when and were they have been used.
I agree there is a lot of misinformation out there like this article (http://www.thatdroneshow.com/disneyland-fireworks-filmed-high-above-via-drone/) that says Disneyland California started air launch systems in 2004 to help appease their neighbors in Anaheim, but yet the Hong Kong Disneyland Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_Disneyland says it did not even open till 2005. So I would think the air launch system started in Anaheim in 2004. Is this not right?

pyroandy
01-06-2016, 12:54 AM
A former crew member from Disneyland Anaheim ( Raven Marquez ) made it very clear that they NEVER used a chip in the Airlaunched shells to fire the shell payloads.
I don't know how you would get an air launch shell to burst in the sky without a chip.
Every thing I have ever read talks about the Chips.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IllumiNations:_Reflections_of_Earth
http://kisspatent.com/x/magicfire-inc-patents-that-set-off-fireworks
http://allears.net/ae/issue565.htm
Here is an old Pyro U discussion on Disney fireworks, Bassicaly saying some sites used chips and others did not. Maybe that's where the conversion comes in when talking about Disney fireworks in general, clearly not all there parks are the same.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?
q=cache:FD44d2SIUHgJ:www.pyrouniverse.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-35201.html+&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:FD44d2SIUHgJ:www.pyrouniverse.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-
35201.html+&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us)
The second video I posted clearly shows how chips are used in their shells.
So I still wonder how they make air lunch shells burst without a chip or a charge of some sort.

LeeCa
01-06-2016, 03:05 AM
If you want to refer to the e-match as a chip then I guess you are correct. When I think of the chip fired shell I think of a chip that is in the payload and replaces the time fuse.

The shell still has to get lit....

A conventional shell has a fuse that goes to a lift cup that holds a charge of powder to shoot the shell into the air.

The lift cup has a Visco fuse connected to it OR and e-match. In the Video that Chip is in the lift cup so it is more or less an e-match.

http://www.pyrofan.com/album/data/500/Disney_Shell.jpg

Once a lift cup has fire passed to it with either Visco or an e-match it in turn lights a TIME FUSE that goes from the lift up to the Payload inside the hemisphere of the artillery shell.

The TIME FUSE is what controls when the payload gets fired after the shell has been lifted.

I do not doubt that shells have been made that do not use a TIME FUSE and that they use a chip instead. But the shells in the Airlaunch systems that Disney uses do not use them per Raven Marquez who’s has been working for Disney Anaheim for over 20 years as a pyrotechnician. Raven has recently retired from Disney

Raven has had classes she did at Western Winter Blast and showed all attending some of the cut-away shells that Disney used and the payloads did not have a chip, just a time fuse. (And yes Disney has many shells with custom time fuses)

That is how they can do Micky Mouse whenever they want...

http://www.thatdroneshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/df.jpg

Blaisepyro
03-23-2016, 03:25 AM
I don't know who is right and who is wrong about where the air system for Disney started and if the shells have cips or not. I have read this before http://www.google.com/patents/US5339741 and if it is correct then the patent for their system would show that it does have chips in each shell and the patent was submitted in 1992 so they were thinking about an air system way before 2004 when Hong Kong and Anaheim came up.

goneshootin
03-24-2016, 02:03 AM
I think shooting the same stuff from the same tubes day after day would get old pretty quick. The shows are awesome, shooting them probably another story. I know at least one guy in FPAG that is a former Disney employee that would agree.

I'm doing that only 11 times a year (not 365 or whatever Disney does) for the past couple years and it is boring. The one nice thing about that type of show is you can usually leave the guns in place.

I remember seeing an ad for a Tech (pyro) at Disneyworld and the pay was $12 something an hour to start. That was probably 10 years ago...they might be up to $15 by now