AHOY THERE MATEYS! Are you ready to set sail on the Seven Seas Lagoon on the hunt for treasure?! (Er, fireworks.)
Much like other Disney World dessert parties, the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage starts off the evening with treats, and ends with a special view of a nighttime spectacular. However, this view of Happily Ever After is unlike any other! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…let’s start at the beginning.
The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage largely takes place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Which is precisely where you check in!
The event begins one hour and fifteen minutes before the scheduled fireworks time, and it’s requested you check-in at least 10 minutes prior to the event’s start.
Check-in for the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Party is on the 2nd floor of the Contemporary. And they’ve brought in some Buccaneer Decor just for the occasion!
You’ll find a Pirate themed podium where you’ll check-in with a first mate — um, Cast Member. After you’re all taken care of, they’ll give you a boat assignment and bandanna for each member of your crew.
It’s requested everyone wear the bandanna somewhere on their person as to identify them as part of the crew — so have fun with it! Wear it on your head, your arm, or your neck. We promise your kids will love seeing you get into it! And speaking of kids, if you’ve got little ones (or big ones!) that want to dress up with some pirate gear, you totally can! ARGH!
While waiting for everyone to get checked-in, we spotted a cute kids’ activity table!
On the table, we found crayons, coloring pages, and activity sheets. These are perfect for entertaining small swashbucklers before the event really gets going.
Right on schedule we were greeted by a pirate named Patch, who welcomed us into a ballroom themed for the event!
Several standing cocktail tables are scattered around the room, draped with netting and Jolly Roger mats. We also couldn’t help but notice a few chocolate coins on the table! And if this isn’t enough booty for your liking, there’s a whole treasure chest of chocolate coins! Feel free to plunder.
Also, how cute are these trash cans! A subtle, but enjoyable touch.
Anyway, back to snacks! First up, the sweet stuff. We noticed a small cooler stocked with some of our favorite Frozen Goodies.
There are also non-chilly desserts for the taking as well! Nothing was extraordinarily exciting as far as design went. Perhaps Pirates enjoy the simple pleasures in life…
On the line we saw Chocolate Chips Cookies,
Mini Cupcakes in both chocolate and vanilla,
and decorated Rice Krispie Treats.
Not a fan of the sweets? Never fear matey — there were several savory options available as well. Though, they were about as exciting as the desserts.
For example, a treasure chest of salty faves:
You can also grab some Chips and Salsa,
or hummus and pita chips.
There was also an array of individually packed veggies and fruits for the pillaging.
Clearly, the snack selection is geared towards the youngest crew members. 😉
Need somethin’ to swallow down yer booty off the snack line? Don’t worry — there are beverages a plenty. Drink up me hearties yo-ho.
On the cold bar, you have your choice of Water, Iced Tea, Apple Juice, and Pirate Punch. Pirate Punch is yet another alias for the infamous POG juice — a refreshing blend of passion fruit, orange, and guava.
There’s also a hot beverage bar, complete with to-go cups. We highly recommend getting a cuppa to take with you — don’t forget you’re hitting the high seas soon!
On the hot bar, we found Coffee — regular and decaf — along with extras like honey and flavored syrups.
There is also tea and hot water, should that be your warm poison of choice.
Once we fixed a few plates, it was time to dig in!
We tried the savory dishes first. And to be honest, there was nothing exciting about either of the dips. In fact, we’re pretty sure it’s Sabra Brand Hummus and Tostitos Brand Salsa and Chips. Tasty: sure. Exciting or unique: no.
But of course, at a Dessert Voyage, we’re more into…dessert! The Chocolate Chip Cookie was a good chocolate chip cookie. It was gooey and chewy with fair amounts of chocolate. Not the best cookie we’ve ever had, but not the worst.
The little Cupcakes were actually quite tasty. They were perfect one or two bite-sized portions and were nice and moist. There is a little drop of vanilla icing on both, which was sweet but not overpowering. We enjoyed the Chocolate and Vanilla cupcakes, but we’re giving the slight nod to the chocolate. The combo of the chocolate cupcake and vanilla frosting is more decadent than the vanilla-vanilla in our opinion. But you can’t go wrong!
Lastly, the bite-sized Rice Krispie Treats! They are standard (read: delicious) Disney Rice Krispie Treats, pre-cut into bite-sized squares and topped with a thin layer of vanilla frosting and pirate-colored sprinkles.
Overall, the desserts were incredibly simple, but also well-executed. They weren’t anything unique or exceptional, but they weren’t bad either.
As we were eating, a few special guests showed up…
What’s a pirate party without pirates?! Captain Hook and Mr. Smee joined the room and were available for photos (including PhotoPass!) and autographs. They also mingle with the tables and guests, as time allows.
When it was time to set sail, Patch joined Hook and Smee and chose a small buccaneer to help carry the pirate flag. And then it was time to head to the docks!
It’s important to note that rain doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t set sail. As long as it’s just raining (no thunder or lightning), you’ll be handed a poncho and off you go. If inclement weather is going to cancel your cruise, guests are given the choice to rebook based on availability, cancel and receive a refund, or stay for just the party and characters for a 50% refund. Also note, it’s highly recommended to book the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage in advance by dialing 407-WDW-DINE or on the Official Disney Website.
Once we got to the Contemporary boat docks, we spotted our vessel: the Calm Seas.
This is where the boat cards we were given at check-in come in handy! They let you know which ship you’re sailing on and which row your crew will be seated on. During our voyage, only one boat was necessary as we had a small gang. But on busy nights, multiple boats will set sail as a fleet.
Patch the Pirate joined us on the ship and led the entertainment as we began to sail the Seven Seas Lagoon. He led sing-alongs, Disney and pirate trivia, and told horrible (in a good way) pirate jokes. Spoiler alert: most of the answers involve shouting ARRRRRR.
While sailing towards the Magic Kingdom, we got the BEST VIEW EVER of the Electric Water Pageant! This was certainly a highlight of our voyage.
After the oldest running parade in Walt Disney World sails by, you drop anchor with a gorgeous view of the Walt Disney World Train Station and Cinderella Castle. And now…it’s time for the main event:
FIREWORKS! During our cruise, we saw Magic Kingdom’s normal fireworks spectacular: Happily Ever After. However, during special times of the year, you may be seeing Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular or Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.
The soundtrack is piped into speakers on the boat, and this is truly a breathtaking view of the show. While you can’t see the castle projections very clearly, it’s still a very special way to watch Happily Ever After.
After the fireworks finale, it’s time to cruise back to the Contemporary. Patch led the crew in a few last games, and handed out pirate prizes to the winners!
But there was one surprise left — as we reached the dock, a final guest was waiting for us!
It’s Peter Pan! He was waiting on the Contemporary Boat Dock, with Tinker Bell in hand. As we disembarked, Peter led us to a courtyard area.
Peter spent a good amount of time talking to each family, before posing for PhotoPass photos and signing autograph books. It was a wonderful surprise and conclusion to a magical evening!
The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage is certainly a unique and enjoyable experience. But before we get into the pros and cons, let’s look at the numbers. Currently, the event is $76.44 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $45.66 per child (ages 3 to 9), including tax and gratuity. However, next year the party price will increase, along with the other Magic Kingdom Dessert Parties. Starting February 1, 2020 adults will pay $83.83 and kids $49.87.
The biggest pro of the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage is the incredible view of Happily Ever After. As someone who has seen the fireworks show dozens of times, I was blown away by this unique perspective. That said, if you’ve never seen Happily Ever After before, we’d still recommend getting a good spot on Main Street (or even considering the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party, which is comparable in price.) We also enjoyed the fact that we got to meet THREE characters — including Captain Hook and Mr. Smee who are generally only out for visits on special occasions.
The biggest con of the event is the food. The offerings are pretty generic and nothing stands out as a must-eat. We do appreciate the mix of savory and sweet, and to be fair, we’ll never turn down free (well, included) ice cream.
Dessert Parties are a great way to splurge or upgrade a Disney vacation or celebrate a special occasion! And for a pirate loving kiddo, or someone who wants to mix it up, the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage just might be a great choice for your crew.
Want more info on Disney World Dessert Parties? Check out this helpful DFB video!
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So check out the video and then let us know: Have you ever attended a Disney World Dessert Party? If so, which one?