Walt Disney requested a fireworks show against the backdrop of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in 1958, to keep guests at the park for longer hours and provide much needed night-time entertainment. Early shows were performed by having cast members manually launch hand flares. The show was extremely popular, and became a vital component of the Disneyland experience. When the second Disney park, the Magic Kingdom, opened in Florida in 1971, it was only natural to duplicate the show there. The predecessors to Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, the company who create all the entertainment for Disney parks worldwide, were able to produce a much larger show with a bigger budget and more space to work with - Cinderella Castle is almost three times taller than its Californian cousin.
As the shows aged, many guests began to miss out the fireworks in their visits as they had seen them so many times. In early 2000, to celebrate Disneyland's 45th anniversary, the Disneyland Entertainment team produced a lavish fireworks production to replace the old show, Believe... There's Magic in the Stars. Many guests formed an sentimental attachment to the show, especially when the company created a new additional section of the show, for Christmas, Believe... In Holiday Magic. Believe was itself replaced in 2005 with a special fireworks spectacular, Remember... Dreams Come True, celebrating Disneyland's fiftieth birthday, making it the most expensive fireworks show Disney has ever developed, with shells all around the park and projects, pyrotechnics and creative lighting. Believe was actually discontinued in 2004, while WDCE were developing Remember, Disneyland Entertainment created a new, smaller show using elements from both Fantasy in the Sky and Believe was created to bridge the gap between Believe and Remember; Imagine... A Fantasy in the Sky.
At the Magic Kingdom, Fantasy in the Sky was only discontinued in 2003. Following the example of Believe at Disneyland, Walt Disney Creative Entertainment developed another show aimed at creating emotional responses among guests, and the result was Wishes. The show was an instant hit, and the theme of the show became the official Magic Kingdom song, as well as forming the base music for Remember at Disneyland. In 2005, the show was extravagantly updated with two additional tags (like the Believe holiday tag) for Halloween and Christmas respectively - both included additions such as releasing fireworks all around the theme park from launch sites surrounding the Seven Seas Lagoon, not just the castle area. HalloWishes and Holiday Wishes became hits in their own right. A third special themed fireworks show, Magic, Music and Mayhem was created in 2007 for Mickey's Pirate and Princess Party and has become a hit in its first two seasons. Two more special fireworks shows debuted in 2008 themed to Independence Day and New Years' Eve, listed below.
At Disneyland Paris, Fantasy in the Sky was discontinued in 2005 to make way for Wishes, a multimedia version of the Magic Kingdom's night time fireworks display produced in honor of Disneyland's fiftieth anniversary. Fantasy in the Sky was sometimes known as Tinkerbell's Fantasy in the Sky or Fantasy in the Sky with Tinkerbell! in Disney literature.
At Disneyland, Fantasy in the Sky was brought back from retirement to feature at the 2004 and 2005 July 4 celebrations and on New Years Eve in 2005 through 2007. A 2008 revival was cancelled due to high winds. At the Magic Kingdom, it has been performed every year on the December 30 and 31, as well as on July 3–4; the July 3 and 4 shows being held in 360 degrees around the park and the Seven Seas Lagoon concurrently. However, WDW has announced new fireworks shows to replace Fantasy for Independence Day ("Disney's Celebrate America: A 4th of July Concert in the Sky").
Fantasy in the Sky returned for Disneyland and Walt Disney World for 2009 New Year Celebration.
In early 2015, a version of Fantasy in the Sky was brought back at Disneyland Park to bridge the gap between Remember... Dreams Come True ending and Disneyland Forever premiering as part of the park's 60th anniversary. Fantasy in the Sky's last performance was on May 20, 2015.
On August 2, 2016, it was announced that Fantasy in the Sky would be returning to Disneyland Park starting on September 9, 2016.
The soundtrack for the Magic Kingdom 1990s version was released on two official albums: