Perfection in the Imperfect
I realize this is hardly the best shot of the Summer Nightastic fireworks show, but it's special to me for the memory of that particular evening, and for that reason, it is somewhat "perfect" despite its glaring imperfections.
Sarah and I had ADRs for California Grill that evening, and were getting sick of the crowds and heat, so we began making our way from Tomorrowland to the park exit almost an hour early to see if we could be seated early. As we left Space Mountain, it began to pour. By the time we got to the monorail, we were both drenched.
The rain subsided during dinner, but it was still lightly sprinkling afterward. We took our time, as our waiter informed us that the fireworks had been delayed. We intended upon watching the show from the observation deck, so we waited. At the time, it looked like it might clear up, but I'm no meteorologist, so that was pure speculation. At around 10:15 p.m., I said to Sarah that we needed to make the call: if we waited too much longer, we wouldn't be able to get back into the MK, and would miss any after-hours shooting; however, we might also miss the fireworks during the trip back to the MK. We decided that it was likely that the fireworks would be canceled since they had been delayed so much, so we cut our loses and headed to the MK.
When we arrived, we fought the herd of people exiting (there was only ONE entrance turnstile open...it actually took a while to find), and made our way towards Space Mountain. At this point, no one was even waiting for the fireworks. Their cancellation was a foregone conclusion.
After riding Space twice, it was 11:05 p.m., and thus the park was closed. As we began setting up for our first shot in Tomorrowland, we heard the announcement, "In just 10 minutes, the Magic Kingdom will present the Summer Nightastic Fireworks..." I looked, wondering if the announcement was mistakenly played. Rather than ponder the question too long, we briskly moved towards Main Street.
There couldn't have been more than 200 people still in the park, which mind you, had been closed for 15 minutes, at the point when the fireworks began (I realize this story is already long, so I won't elaborate on how I think this is a huge testament to Disney's incredible guest service; how much did that show cost...and for only that many guests to see it?!). Not wanting to miss an opportunity to shoot the show on an uncrowded Main Street, I set up my camera, improvising a Rain Sleeve from my poncho. Sarah said it was a terrible idea to risk my camera for a few fireworks shots, and it probably was, but after much frustration the previous nights in shooting amongst crowds, I wasn't missing the chance. Thanks to rain getting all over my lens, it doesn't hold a candle to most of my other fireworks shots from the trip, but thanks to the circumstances, I will always remember getting this shot. I can't say that for most of my other fireworks shots.