Almost every night of the year there is a big beautiful fireworks display at Disneyland Park.
The daily show is the responsibility of John Bouman, Senior Pyrotechnician who has had a passion for fireworks since he was a little boy. With 20-years experience, he says that he loves his job as it’s like 4th July every day of the week.
He does acknowledge that fireworks can be very dangerous so should always be treated with utmost respect as they can be unpredictable and you don’t just work with pyro, you must have a working knowledge of computer programming, electronics, woodwork and be prepared to be wet, hot and generally run ragged with nerves, every day in case of a problem. The training takes around 2-years to be fully qualified.
When John started for Disneyland over 20-years ago, all the mortars were hand loaded and hand-fired using railway flares but today, they have moved into the digital arena and the fireworks are all fired and choreographed to music.
Some firework shells he accepts are a little hit and miss, especially circles as if they happen to go on one side, they look like a straight line.
The team consists of 7-members of staff and they use 1000 pieces per show and they check the setup and do a full computer check and see that the goods set up on rooftops etc are all safe to shoot.
After the show, he says that the only gratification that he needs is hearing the children squealing with delight and all saying how much they enjoyed the show. It really is hard work but very rewarding being a pro-firer.