Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 36
  1. #1

    • Sock Puppet
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    104

    how the fireworks work

    Good evening Micechat, I have been lurking this site for a while now and decided to join, I work in Disneys pyro department and I'd like to share with you all how we bring you our show and some of the procedures along with the show. I have seen many threads and questions reguarding our show so here is some cool tidbits and info you'll find enjoyable....

    While I cant say the name of the company we get our pyro from, I can say that the 25 foot truck we get backing up daily is full of pyro boxes for us to sort out and load, unloading from truck takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on what show we're loading for. Pyros are ordered on a daily basis. All our shows are governd by the ATF. Loading a show can take 6-8 hours, we start loading at 11 am or sometimes noon, getting pyro loaded is first priority, the senior techs on the crew while we load check to make sure our system is running smoothly without any issues, also they make sure each timer is set appropriately. anytime after 8 PM is considered showtime, this is when the crew gets in their dedicated positions, the backstage crew goes for cover in covered areas or as we call them, pyro bunkers, to protect us from fallout, he senior techs test wind direction and wind speed leading up to showtime, one our many test stations is atop of Matterhorn mountain, we also release big white balloons to determine which way the wind takes it. Wind direction and speed are key to our firework show, state regulation says any wind speed at more than 30 miles and hour and we must cancel the show but Disney has it set at a wind speed of 20 miles and hour due to the distance of mortar to audience, speaking of mortar to audience ever wonder why certain areas of the park are blocked off? Thats because we must have a clerance space of 100 feet from mortar to audience. Disney also has the ability to aim the mortar tubes according to what the wind is doing, if the wind is breezing east and it may be and issue, they can mechanically aim the tubes west. Our fallout radius varrys from show to show, sometimes its a radius of 600 feet and sometimes we narrow it down to 300 feet, like I said, it all depends on what the wind is doing. During the show everyone is in contact with one another, the backstage crew is responsible for getting fallout info to show control, it can be exciting to listen to cannons going off for 15 minutes but it can also be very dangerous, training for pyro department is a long and tiring process, I have witnessed people being burnt from fallout, its a very demanding job. Anything else your interested in knowing, please ask and I will do my best to answer, I cant answer it all but some I can

  2. #2

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Mohave Valley AZ
    Posts
    273

    Re: how the fireworks work

    Thank you for that great info

  3. #3

    • Sock Puppet
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    104

    Re: how the fireworks work

    My pleasure

  4. #4

    • SORCERER
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Anaheim
    Posts
    195

    Re: how the fireworks work

    Great info, was a good read.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there also a station in the Employee Parking Lot? They seems to have it closed off during the fireworks show, and it always sounds like gun shots going off when you pass there.
    Last edited by BradleyC; 08-18-2012 at 10:23 AM.

  5. #5

    • Sock Puppet
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    104

    Re: how the fireworks work

    If there are mortar tubes in the CM parking lot, Ive never loaded there or seen anything in the parking lot. It could be the echo of the fireworks going off, alot of the times the sound reflects off of the surrounding hotels

  6. #6

    •   
    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    372

    Re: how the fireworks work

    Do u also load fireworks for fantasmic?

  7. #7

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11

    Re: how the fireworks work

    can you tell me anything about Fantasmic pyro, also why are some shows more smokey than others? Thanks

  8. #8

    • Silent Lucidity
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    PNW Coast Town
    Posts
    1,669

    Re: how the fireworks work

    What's the craziest mis-hap you've experienced that you could tell us about as it relates to your pyro department during an evenings show?

  9. #9

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Anaheim
    Posts
    1,230

    Re: how the fireworks work

    Cool information, thanks!!! And great job. I've been so spoiled by DL fireworks that every time I see another show I'm utterly disappointed.

  10. #10

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    16

    Re: how the fireworks work

    how did you get a job as a pyrotechnician. its a difficult field to get into.

  11. #11

    • Sock Puppet
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    104

    Re: how the fireworks work

    sorry for the delay in responds.... Work

    Fantasmic has their own loading crew, usually the mortars are loaded and then put on the boat and are shipped out to their position, the reason why it would be more smoky than other shows sometimes is most liekly the amount of powder the shell contains. The biggest misshap I have witnessed? Like I said in my OP I have seen techs get struck by fallout and burned, thats probably the most serious I've ever seen it, but shells often shoot and dont explode in the air, that can be dangerous as well considering I wouldnt want it to strike me in the head. Shows that are cancelled we wrap up each shell sperately then we store them in a safe spot and keep them for another showing, the rumor that we can't reload shells once they are set is a false statement, shells that shoot but dont light we send them to be checked out and if the shell is reuseable we can reload it, as long as its safe to do so, shells sometimes only light halfway if thats the case we cannot risk lading the shell and having something go wrong with the rest of the fuse. The path to get into pyro is very hard, you have to train with the anaheim fire department for months then you have to train with disneys fire department for quite a long time and a bunch of OSHA safety testing is required, on the job training, how to load, the list goes on and on, I would suggest that you find an independently owned pyro company and apply with them and get hired onto a seperate crew then when your well trained with them, go to apply with disney, it would make the process alot less stressful than what it already is

  12. #12

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11

    Re: how the fireworks work

    This is really cool, Can you tell us any more about how Disney can make each and every show so consistent and accurate? It seems like each time I watch the show it is so perfectly timed to the music and the display always looks perfect. Is there some special kind of control system or do you have to fire by hand like old school shows? again very interesting line of work always love to hear about other peoples jobs.

  13. #13

    • MiceChat Round-Up Crew
    • Nikon +Disneyland = :)
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    12.5 minutes from Disneyland
    Posts
    14,009
    Blog Entries
    9

    Re: how the fireworks work

    Thanks for all of this great info! I'm wondering if they really have to explode all of the fireworks after hours if the show doesn't go off the previous night due to high winds etc. I'm also hoping that they can tweak the three shells that make up the Mickey face so that a much larger shell makes up the face and two smaller ones make up the ears. I've heard the timing on Mickey is extremely tricky and I've seen all sorts of variations on it. I think Mickey really looked a bit more like Mickey a couple of years ago, but for the last few months, his ears and face look to be about the same size, or his ears don't quite meet the head before everything fades. I still have no idea how you folks manage to put together such and AMAZING show every night and get the timing down so that it matches the music. I know it's done with the computer, but I'm still astounded at how accurate these bursts can be. Keep up the good work and please pass along the many thanks and compliments to your co-workers!

  14. #14

    • formerly very helpful
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    My new house in Southern California
    Posts
    5,634

    Re: how the fireworks work

    Great info. I understand they have to keep people away from the mortars. Is it possible to design a show where they don't have to shut down such large parts of the park?

    I realize that is most likely not your part of the job. I'm just wondering, in general.

  15. #15

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    203

    Re: how the fireworks work

    Thanks for a great thread. I'd like to know if they use compressed air or powder to launch the fireworks.
    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
    Mark Twain

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Question] How does "Fantasmic" work behind-the-scenes?
    By Mark Dewd in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 09-07-2009, 02:50 AM
  2. Guest Car Of The Day. How does that work?
    By ExJungleSkipper95 in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 01-30-2007, 02:36 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-20-2006, 08:09 AM
  4. How Many People Work at the Disneyland Resort?
    By WRDup in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-12-2006, 07:33 PM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-26-2005, 01:38 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •