Oh, the pun! We’re not going to lie, we really like this one. Could skippering a Jungle Cruise boat be in our future? With puns like this how can not? It will all make sense in a minute, trust us. Anyways, you’re not here for puns, you’re more than likely here to learn more about Project Nugget. When word came out on August 10, 2020, about a new permit Disney World filed called Project Nugget, everyone wondered what it could be. From potential work on Big Thunder Mountain to a new fireworks show, rumors were all the board. To make it simple, it’s almost certainly a fireworks show. Now you get the pun, pretty good right? Bang, firework, ah-ha! But, could there be more to it? That’s what we’re here to talk about. The door is a knocking, let’s see what’s behind it!

permit associated to Project Nugget

The Permit

What makes the Project Nugget permit different than the average Disney World permit is the naming convention. Most Disney World permits for projects usually are simple, like Project “A” or another letter. This leads most to believe that this permit is for a larger project that’s associated with the Magic Kingdom. Additionally, it’s assumed it’s fireworks-related as the address on the permit is the fireworks station behind the park.

The permit itself doesn’t provide a lot of details beyond electrical work, materials, and labor. Pretty standard things. It’s the name that is giving the rumor all its momentum.

Why A Fireworks Show?

Disney World is just over a year away from its 50th Anniversary on October 1, 2021. In true Disney fashion to celebrate the monumental occasion, a new nighttime spectacular is a must. Say hello to Project Nugget. It may or may not be known that the current nighttime show, Happily Ever After, was supposed to be a temporary show. However, it became a huge success, and Disney World filed away its replacement for a rainy day. Whether or not Project Nugget will be this show is currently unknown.

What we do know is the new show is only supposed to run for the duration of the 50th Anniversary. About 15 months. Whether or not that holds true, time will tell. Similar to Happily Ever After, it will all depend on guest satisfaction.

How Big Is the Project?

That’s the big question. Right now, Happily Ever After centers around the castle, whereas the previous show could be enjoyed throughout the park. We’re looking at you, Wishes! The majority of Happily Ever After involves projections on the castle to help tell the overarching story. Well, that may not be the best thing going forward.

We love the castle projection shows! However, when everything changing due to COVID-19, having the majority of park guests pack into a small area in front of the castle may not be the best idea. This leads us to believe that Project Nugget will more than likely not center around the castle, especially since we still don’t fully know what the world will look like in 2021. At the time of writing, nothing has been announced by Disney around Project Nugget.

In the DVC Duo house, we believe the new show could still involve both projections and fireworks. Remember when Disney was 3D mapping the parks prior to their reopening? If not, definitely check out our article, as it could definitely relate to Project Nugget. One of the ways Disney Imagineering could use the 3D mapping is for both projections on other areas of the park, say Main Street USA, as well as vantage points for a new fireworks show. Projection mapping on Main Street USA is nothing new, as Disney does this today at Disneyland. However, maybe they extend that to other areas of the park to allow guests to spread out for the show. Disney could then designate different areas around the park for viewing and help with the necessary social distancing. For example, the back of the castle or Space Mountain. Additionally, each area could have a similar but different projection show, increasing the rewatchability of the spectacular.

This should be treated as just blue-sky ideas as we’re looking to connect the dots. However, if we’re right, you heard it here first!

Our Thoughts

This is a very good thing! As we spoke about in a previous article, one of the top items on Disney’s list to bring back to the parks is the nighttime spectaculars. This was confirmed when word came out of fireworks returning to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea on September 1, 2020. These are the first two parks with fireworks since March 2020. We should continue to find out more in the coming months, as Disney will more than likely need more permits associated with Project Nugget. Until then, we’ll keep an eye peeled for more guests banging on the door!

UPDATE: On November 16, 2020, Disney did two hours of firework testing at the Magic Kingdom. It’s unknown if the testing was related to Project Nugget and the work they’ve been conducting on the firework station. We can assume it is, but nothing has been confirmed. This firework testing is similar to the testing Disney has been conducting at Epcot for HarmoioUS. Whereas, there were no show elements associated with the testing, just the launching of fireworks.

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