First Look and Review: Ferrytale Wishes Fireworks Dessert Cruise at Walt Disney World

Set sail on the Seven Seas Lagoon with us today as we take a first look and review a brand new premium offering at Walt Disney World — Ferrytale Wishes, A Fireworks Dessert Cruise.

Ferrytale Wishes Dessert Cruise Logo

The special event is still undergoing testing as Disney works to get all of the bugs out before the event’s official debut on Monday, October 5.

I had the opportunity to experience the cruise for myself last week while I was at Walt Disney World for the kickoff of the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Of course, I was anxious to check it out ahead of the opening. I know some of you have already booked the experience, so I’ve been excited to share with you a first look. Let’s head to the boat!

Ferrytale Wishes, A Fireworks Dessert Cruise

The Cruise departs from the Transportation and Ticket Center, so I was instructed to park in the Magic Kingdom parking lot.

I checked in at a location near the entrance to the Ferry Boats Dock. Don’t worry; Cast Members are there to help you find your way. :-) As you approach the TTC, just head left as though you plan to board a ferry to Magic Kingdom, and you’ll be in the right place.

Gangway to the Ferry

Gangway to the Ferry

Boarding began at 7:45 PM, and we were scheduled to sail at 8:00 PM promptly. Sailing time will change, of course, as it depends on when Wishes will be scheduled each night. Be sure to pay attention to the information for your particular booking.

Captain Joe Fowler!

The General Joe Potter!

As we boarded the ferry, I could see that seating was very limited. VERY. They didn’t bring in much extra seating for the event, so seating was limited to the benches that are already on the ferry. That’s just a PSA for those who would prefer to sit and enjoy their desserts — this will mostly be a standing cruise.

The tables were the “highboy” type, and were scattered on both the upper and lower decks of the vessel. They were lit from within, though. I thought that looked pretty cool against the darkening sky.

Lit-Up Highboy Table and the Beverage Table

Lit-Up Highboy Table

As expected, there were a variety of Beverages available, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. N/A Drinks were largely self-serve, and included Punch, Water, Hot Tea, and Coffee.

Beverage Table

Beverage Table

Check out the Flavored Syrups that you could add to your coffee as well. I loved the Pumpkin Spice option!

Coffee and Tea Service

Coffee and Tea Service

Alcoholic Beverages were prevalent and your ticket includes as much as you’d like. They included varieties of beer, wine, and a Lemon Blush Punch, which you could have with either vodka or prosecco.

Lemon Blush Punch

Lemon Blush Punch

Keepsake, Light-Up Champagne Flutes were a fun addition. These work the same way that the Glow cubes do; push a button on the bottom to change the color, or set it to alternate between all of the different shades.

Sparkling Wine in Light-Up Souvenir Champagne Flutes

Sparkling Wine in Light-Up Souvenir Champagne Flutes

It was quickly time to check out the Desserts. The theme here is definitely Magic Kingdom-centric; all of the desserts bear the name of one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts, or are an icon of the Park itself.

Another Dessert Table

Dessert Table

A quick survey of the Dessert Table — one of several located around both the lower and upper decks — yielded several of the desserts I expected to see.

Desserts, Fruits, and Cheese

Dessert Table — Up Close

Up close, you can see some of the featured desserts, including Grand Floridian Key Lime Tarts, Polynesian Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Mini Fireworks Cupcakes, and Magic Kingdom Balloon Tarts. (The Balloon Tarts came in several colors and flavors, so you didn’t have to try these creepy blue ones if you didn’t want to.)

Desserts -- Up Close

Grand Floridian Key Lime Tarts; Polynesian Pineapple Upside Cake; Mini Fireworks Cupcakes; Magic Kingdom Balloon Tarts

In addition to the sweets, there were also platters containing an assortment of Fruit and Cheese. Beside the platter were baskets of Bread Slices.

Fruit and Cheese Assortment -- Up Close

Fruit and Cheese — Up Close

Here is one of the Dessert Tables located on the second tier of the ferry, which included different selections from the first one I showed you.

Center Dessert Bar Set Up

Dessert Bar Set Up On Second Story

Sugarpaste Cinderella Slippers contained delicate Orange Financiers. FYI — you can’t eat the slipper. I tried. It’s super hard. And impossible to bite. I even tried to lick it several times to see if I would make any headway. Nada. So, while those are the showstopper by sight, they’re pretty blah by taste.

Cinderella’s Sugar Slipper with Orange Financier

Cinderella’s Sugar Slippers with Orange Financiers

No Sugar Added Florida Mango Panna Cotta was pretty, but forgettable.

No Sugar Added Florida Mango Panna Cotta

No Sugar Added Florida Mango Panna Cotta

I decided to sample a little of all of goodies. In addition to the other selections, you can see the Spiced Chocolate Cake from the Contemporary here. Look — it’s shaped just like the hotel! And it was ah-mazing. It was super duper creamy and pretty delicious.

The chocolate balloon tart below was delicious, so if you’re having a balloon tart, make it this one!

My Plate of Goodies

My Plate of Goodies

As if all of this weren’t enough, Cast Members also passed platters with Frozen Treats, which included Mickey Premium Ice Cream Sandwiches, Olaf Frozen Lemonade Strawberry Bars, and Orange Cream Bars.

Frozen Treats Were Passed by Cast Members

Frozen Treats Were Passed by Cast Members

And, by the way, I have one other thing to share with you. If you’ve spent anytime on a Disney Ferry, then you know that there’s one thing conspicuously absent: bathrooms.

Funny story there. On the earliest test Ferrytale Wishes Cruises, many guests all had the same feedback: you can’t take people out into the middle of a lake, especially with drinks, for over an hour, and not have a bathroom. And so, toilets have been installed to accommodate cruise crowds. They’re pretty basic, however — kind of a stationary porta potty — so be prepared. (I took a picture of it for you, but I didn’t think it was appropriate to share on a food blog. So if you want to see it, just email me!)

But something I loved: the addition of portable hand sinks where you can wash up, wash out your souvenir cup for toting in your purse, etc. I really liked this feature.

Portable Handsink

Portable Handsink

The Cruise Itself

If you’ve done a Disney fireworks dessert event before, then you know that they’re pretty quick. You arrive, descend on the dessert tables for 25 minutes, watch the fireworks, and then leave. However, this event was different. We cruised around (and around and around) Seven Seas Lagoon for over an hour, which was nice (if a bit disorienting in the dark); but if you have restless kiddos who just want the fireworks to start and who have nothing to do for the 55 minutes they’re not eating dessert it can seem to drag on and on. I hate to give the feedback that this was a little bit too long since I think the other dessert parties could definitely stand to be lengthened, but I personally felt that if I had kids with me it would have been a bit too long trying to entertain them before the show.

Wishes is viewed from the middle of the Lagoon, so you’re not actually all that close to the Magic Kingdom. The music and show is piped onto the boat, so you can definitely hear everything happening. But I wish the boat would have been closer to the park. As it stands, your view is more like that from the Polynesian Beach than anything else.

Overall

All of the elements are there: A cruise — check. Fireworks — check. Desserts with plenty of variety — check. Unlimited alcohol — check.

But here’s the thing: the price is currently a little steep for what you get, in my opinion. And that’s especially true if you compare it to a privately booked Fireworks Cruise on one of Disney’s pontoon boats, which cost about $350 with all the bells and whistles and room for 10 adults. You get all you care to enjoy desserts and alcohol on the Ferry, but is that enough to justify over $330 for a family of four when you’ve got to share it with 100+ other people? You have to be the judge there. Me and my introverted self would rather book a private pontoon boat cruise for my family and a few buddies, bring a couple of bottles of wine and a few desserts of my own choosing, and come out ahead financially.

For me, while it was a fun experience, it’s not something that I’ll be rushing to do again. But I know you may have a vastly different opinion! And I’m anxious to hear it. Also, let’s note that they’re still tweaking and making updates to this cruise, so guest feedback is going to be very important and there will likely be a few more changes before the first official cruise sets sail next week.

Will you be booking a Ferrytale Wishes Fireworks Dessert Cruise in the near future? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

I was a guest of Disney during this testing phase of Ferrytale Wishes, A Fireworks Dessert Cruise. However, I was not obligated to provide a review, positive or otherwise. Read more about our disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. Dana says

    I was so excited about this, but for $99 a ticket, I might skip it. For that much money, my husband and I could pay for a dinner at California Grill and watch the fireworks from there.

  2. Kelly says

    Do you get to keep the dessert plate. I saw another post with it and it is similar to the Epcot F&W plates. Would be a neat keepsake. My guess is no, but thought I would ask.

  3. Dejia says

    Skip it. I agree too pricy . Thx for telling me about option to rent private pontoon didn’t know u could do that at night. Can u give more info.

  4. Sarah says

    I think the thing that gets me most about some of these events is the lack of seating. If I’m going to pay $100 to go to something like this, I’d at least like to be able to sit down if I want to- especially if the event is over an hour long.

  5. Blair says

    I wondered what the advantage of doing this over a private fireworks cruise would be. I guess they provide the food & drink? Can you book a private cruise that includes food & bev?

  6. Iowa Tom says

    “Dessert Bar Set Up On Second Story” – On a boat, it’s the second deck. In this case, it’s the top deck, right?

    And___ “you can’t take people out into the middle of a lake, especially with drinks, for over an hour, and not have a bathroom.” I didn’t know you could bath in some of those small toilets or restrooms, water closet, etc.
    In my case, I usually need to do laundry though. Getting the food stains washed off before they become permanent is what I usually need to do. (I should have a bib.)

  7. Angela from Ohio says

    I would rather do the pirate and pals cruise out of the contemporary again. Snacks and meeting Captain Hook first , quick bathroom trip, and then boat ride with long bench seats and funny pirates to entertain till the fireworks began .

  8. Essie says

    I like desserts and I’m glad for any kind of boat ride, but it would be according to the final set price. It’s nice that it’s unlimited and I like that they have a fruit and cheese tray besides the treats. I think the light up champagne flutes are really cute, also. The wash stands are a wonderful idea, but they should provide more seats for a longer ride like that.

  9. Roger A. says

    This looks like the kind of corporate event I’d skip if I could. Except those are free. This is so not free.

  10. Mike V says

    WAIT…..So excuse me that I may have missed the original article when you tell the prices, but I can only conclude from the 330 for family of 4 that they are approx 100 adult and 65 for child?

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME……c’mon Disney, your making a KILLING on these things and just outpricing too many.

  11. Mary says

    This looks like it’d be nice for our family of all adults, but I think it’s to expensive for what it is, at $100 per adult I doubt we’d try it though unless the price changes. Here’s a question is there a way for a person in a wheelchair to get to the top deck? I can’t remember if there is a ramp to the upper deck of the ferry or not.

  12. Charles B says

    We don’t travel with 10 of our close friends to rent a private cruise. Plus I gather the availability of those is severely limited. So… $200 for two adults for a special one-time trip, yeah we’re paying it. We’ve booked for second week of Dec. Thanks much for the preview and the warning about the seating and restroom options.

  13. Cliff says

    Thanks for the review. I’d really like to do this, but $99 is too much even including alcohol. I mean, how much can you really consume in an hour? Two glasses of wine?

    I’d do it for $60.

  14. Kelly M says

    My major issue with this (apart from Disney upcharging yet again) is that it holds you up getting out of MK.
    My sister and brother in law were kept from leaving on a Ferryboat for half an hour. Once again the ‘regular’ guests being treated as second class citizens. (I do love you Disney but come on – we are all paying to visit/park/eat anyway…)

  15. Liz says

    I’m really excited about this. Too many things at Disney are shortened/dumbed down to make them more kid-friendly. I’m thrilled that there is a more adult-oriented option for enjoying the Fireworks.

    As a kid going to the parks, there was more restaurants and activities that were more adult-oriented. It was also a time when more parents weren’t taking their kids to the latest dining reservations. Obviously, I expect to be around kids at Disney World (I was one once!), but it’s nice that they are adding back things where adults can have a nice quasi-romantic kid-free date night.

    When I planned my first trip with my BF, it was difficult coming up with a real grown up “date night” reservation without doing Victoria & Albert’s. Now it’s getting a little bit easier and that makes me happy. (As an aside, I wish the “date night”/”romantic dining”, and other themed lists were updated more often on this site. IMO, it’s a basic guide and some of the restaurants listed have a different atmosphere now – we love California Grill, but at all hours there are kids in there now vs Citricos which has a more quiet atmosphere.)

    I made reservations for this cruise as soon as they were announced as the party inside the park seemed more kid-friendly by comparison. So glad I trusted my instincts! I think he’ll be really surprised and we’ll have a great time!

    I really really don’t mind kids – at WDW or not. Just with Disney trying to make more money and with changing society – kids up all night, be pulled out for school would have been unheard of years ago – it’s become more difficult to have a ‘real’ quiet and romantic date night at the parks.

  16. Deb. C says

    The pontoon boat I booked could fit 8 people and was $361. It included bagged snacks, bottled water and canned drinks. You could not bring your own desserts/wine. You had to order anything else from Private Dining. Since our boat left from the Grand Floridian dock, the birthday cake and dessert samplers I ordered came from there. While the desserts I ordered were delicious, we didn’t need them, and it was a bit awkward serving them. You get a more personalized experience with the pontoon boat (they even added balloons and a birthday banner), but as someone above stated, it’s more cost effective to do the new ferryboat dessert cruise if there are only 2 or 3 of you. Plus…you get alcohol and a seemingly good assortment of desserts.

  17. Jean Anderson says

    GREAT review!! I was very curious about this offering, and I feel like I understand it a lot better now. (However, I’m very curious about the little restrooms. That was my biggest concern with Disney being able to pull this off.)

  18. Emma says

    I think it sounds fun, thinking about taking my girls on this, its a bit pricey but most things are on a disney holiday.

  19. Jody says

    Thank you so much for this review, we were scheduled to go on a Ferrytale cruise and had to cancel about a week out. I was going to reschedule and you have just helped me make up my mind. The candid nature of your review makes it truly helpful, not negative at all. Just allows me to leave room for others that may find this experience is something they are looking for. Thanks!

  20. Taylor says

    e cruise, and it was a great experience. Delicious desserts. Cool souvenirs fancy glow necklace & flute, appetizer plate, and even a keepsake PIN! They offered entertainment by providing a hidden Mickey scavenger hunt. Fabulous view of Wishes. The cast members were extremely accommodating, and they even had 3 busses waiting to take us back to the resorts at the T&TC. Would I book this every time? No. Would I do it again? Most definitely. Top notch and a wonderful way to celebrate turning 30.

  21. Farrah says

    Do you pay in advance or make a reservation and pay upon arrival? Definitely interested in booking this for our fall trip!

  22. says

    Farrah — You can book online at Disney.com, or you can give Disney a call at (407) 939-3463 to book. Good luck! Let us know how you like it!

  23. Leslie says

    My husband booked this cruise for my birthday. I am so excited, it looks wonderful!

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