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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out the Flavored Syrups that you could add to your coffee as well. I loved the Pumpkin Spice option!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
In addition to the sweets, there were also platters containing an assortment of Fruit and Cheese. Beside the platter were baskets of Bread Slices.
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.
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.
No Sugar Added Florida Mango Panna Cotta was pretty, but forgettable.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.