Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise is officially back in Disney World!
This experience lets you enjoy Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After Fireworks (which will soon be replaced by Disney Enchantment) on the Seven Seas Lagoon! On its opening night (or reopening night), we went on this dessert cruise to see if it’s as good as we remember and if it’s worth the price.
Admission is $99 for adults and $69 for children ages 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity included). We checked in for our show at the Ferry Station at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Sailing time will change, of course, as it depends on when the fireworks shows will be scheduled each night. Be sure to pay attention to the information for your particular booking.
When we checked in, we were given a lanyard with the name of the cruise, but there is a special surprise on the back!
On the back, there are Mickey lenses that turn the fireworks into Mickey shapes! We’ll get back to this later… .
After checking in, we boarded the General Joe Potter, our ferryboat for the night! Yep, these are the very same ferry boats you’d normally use to shuttle to and from Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center. Tonight, though, it’s your traveling nautical dessert party!
Inside, it was your standard Disney ferry, with mostly standing room and a handful of seats. Basically what you’d find on the ferries during the day en route to and from the park. So be prepared, if you’d prefer to sit while eating your desserts, you’ll have to scope out a traditional ferry bench for a seat. The plus side to being on the ferry is guests with a wheelchair, ECV, or stroller should have no issue boarding the lower level of the boat.
One question we had on our nautical adventure was similar to the last time we took this same cruise: after an evening of eating and (more importantly) drinking, where are the…onboard facilities, if you catch our drift. The Joe Potter does have a small restroom on board for cruises like this, so drink up (alcoholic or not!) knowing you’re not without options.
The Hidden Mickey Scavenger Hunt is a great activity for kids to do onboard! Ok, we enjoyed doing it, too… .😊
Guests use a special flashlight to find glowing Hidden Mickeys all over the boat! SO fun!
Early in the evening, the dessert tables were VERY busy with lots of people trying to get sweet treats! As the night continued, things got less busy. Dessert tables were set up on both the upper and lower decks, so people could spread out and have plenty of access to snacks. However, the bar was only available on the first deck. The only difference we spotted is that the second level had cupcakes and it was the bigger dessert table of the two. So you want booze? Head downstairs. Cupcakes? Head up the stairs. 🙂
Let’s take a look at how the treats tasted!
The dessert tables are all self-serve and you can have as many desserts and drinks as you want (within reason)! When we boarded the boat, we were given Blue Champagne to kick off the party!
There were two featured beverages on this cruise, the Fireworks Punch and the Liquid Fireworks, both were non-alcoholic.
We tried a few other drinks like the Fireworks Punch! This was a surprisingly good Disney drink and had a nice tart taste. It is made with Lemonade and Pomegranate Monin and was very refreshing.
The other beverage we tried was the Liquid Fireworks! It was sweet and had a nice pineapple flavor. It’s made with Blue Curacao Monin, Pineapple Juice, and Sprite.
You can also sip on wine, beer, and champagne…
…or add rum to either of the punch drinks for a cocktail!
Now, jumping into the “dessert” part of this dessert party, we headed over to the buffet tables to scope out what they had to offer. A favorite of ours was the Grand Finale Key Lime Tart! The filling was very good and creamy with that tart bite you expect from key limes. The crust was crumbly and buttery. The buttercream on top was a fun touch too (there are even tiny edible flowers!).
The Red Velvet WOW! Pies were another favorite. These were very messy but delicious! The red velvet flavor was rich and there was plenty of cream cheese filling. You can see from the tongs and plate though that these were very soft, squishy cake on the exterior. Expect messy hands with this one!
Next up was the Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream! This was good, but just a standard cupcake. It might be a good classic for guests or kids who prefer something simple and sweet. It was a very standard Disney World cupcake (nothing wrong with that!).
Then, there were the Cherry BOOM! Cream Puffs. These were alright, but nothing particularly special. If you’ve had a cream puff before, then you get the general principle behind this dessert. It was a puffed pastry shell filled with vanilla pastry cream crusted in red cherry-flavored sugar. However, instead of being a Cherry BOOM, it was more like a Cherry…boom. It just didn’t have enough filling and the cherry flavor barely there. This was fine for a cream puff though.
Next, were the Brownie BURST! Bites. Much like the cupcakes, these were nothing particularly special, but still hit the spot. The colored splatters all over was really fun.
The Popcorn Push Pop looked cute, but it had an artificial fruit flavor to it that we didn’t enjoy. This seemed like the standard Disney rainbow popcorn to us just stuffed in a push pop container. Cute presentation (if not a bit wasteful with all the plastic just to hold a couple kernels of popcorn). This is one of our favorites to look at, but not to eat!
If you’re looking for something more savory, there are a variety of crackers…
…and cheese and grapes to snack on.
Another highlight of the night was the Build-Your-Own Chocolate Mousse Explosion! This was a really cute treat and was a great interactive treat with lots of flavors.
You can stop by the customization station and add Popping Candy, Chocolate Rocks, and Chocolate Cookie Crumbles Mixed with Honeycomb! This experience was available on the lower level of the boat.
Finally, the Panna Cotta with Boba Pearls was a creamy, citrusy treat! The boba on top was a nice touch that added an extra layer of texture to the dish. This was one of the prettiest presentations, we thought. Very fancy looking!
At the end of the cruise, you do a few laps around the lagoon before heading back to the dock. When we left for the night, we were given a parting gift: a Ferrytale Fireworks Cookie!
The cookie features the logo and was a nice touch to close out the dessert party. If you’ve had a royal icing decorated sugar cookie before, this is just that. It isn’t anything special but it’s thick, sweet, and a nice snack for later on in your evening.
So real quick, we’re gonna compare this to an earlier iteration of this very same cruise (back in the Wishes days!). You can read the full review here, but the big thing we noticed was the shift in food and drinks. Previously, they offered about the same amount of variety, but we appreciated that the treats all felt connected to the surrounding area. There were foods from each hotel on Seven Seas Lagoon, cute Mickey Balloon tarts, a Cinderella slipper, as many Mickey bars as you could eat, and more.
The food here was no better or worse, just different. Most of the treats were pretty uninspired — a basic brownie, a basic cupcake, etc, BUT some were pretty unique. We really enjoyed the creative interactive portion of the mousse dessert and some, like the panna cotta, were quite pretty. But nothing was a slam dunk, flavor-wise. It was all…OK. Also the takeaway item this time around is just a cookie. That’s fine, but previously it was a fun light-up plastic champagne flute that was really neat to carry around the dark ferry.
Most people won’t keep those forever, so the cookie kinda makes sense, but it also doesn’t feel as “ooooooh!” as a sparkly light-up glass you get to keep. All this said, one thing that HASN’T changed is the price — it was and remains $100 a person.
The view for the fireworks from the boat is a super unique experience, but things like the projections and Tinker Bell flying were hard to see from this distance. We wouldn’t recommend it if this is your first time seeing the show. However, if you don’t mind not being able to see the projections that well, then you’ll be okay! For something like Enchantment, where all new projections on Main Street, U.S.A. will be a big draw for guests and something cool most haven’t had a chance to see in Disney World, we think this would even more so be a “do it AFTER you’ve seen the show IN the park” type special event.
The audio from the show, which is usually played through speakers on the ferry, was a little bit hard to hear on the boat. However, this seemed like a temporary issue that resolved as the show went on.
Remember those Mickey lenses we were given on our lanyard when we boarded the ship? Well, here’s how they make the fireworks look when you peek through the lenses! A sky full of Mickeys is definitely our version of happily ever after!
Also, be sure to stake out a spot to view the fireworks ASAP! we recommend grabbing a plate then cozying up to a railing somewhere to nibble while you wait. If not, you’ll be stuck in the back with a bad view. There was also PhotoPass available before and during the cruise, but it wasn’t included in the price of admission unless you already have Memory Maker.
Nosh or Not
Take a bon voyage on the Ferrytale Dessert Cruise if…
- You’ve seen the fireworks before! If you’re a seasoned fireworks fan, then you’ll be able to really enjoy this party.
- You don’t have a park ticket but want to see the fireworks! This is a great way to enjoy the fireworks without a Magic Kingdom ticket. Another option is the dessert party at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
- You want a dessert party for a lower price! This party has a lower price point than some of the options at Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Skip the Ferrytale Dessert Cruise if…
- You want a good view of the fireworks! Although you’ll be able to see the fireworks just fine (and in many ways they’re extra special seeing them from enough of a distance to really take it all in), you won’t be able to see the projections or Tinker Bell well from this angle. It’s also not quite that surround sound immersive experience you feel standing feet from the Castle.
- You want a more “deluxe” dessert party! This is definitely the least luxurious of the dessert parties we’ve tried at Disney World, with more “fancy” options coming this October.
- You want room to sit during fireworks! There is very little sitting room at this party, which means you’ll have to stand up for much of the show. This can be especially tricky for little kids or guests with mobility issues.
Was this worth the $100 per person price tag? Well, it depends. If you plan on enjoying a few cocktails, eating plenty of treats, and getting a good spot for fireworks early, you’ll likely get your money’s worth, but temper those expectations. However, if you were looking for a more upscale experience and it’s your first time seeing the fireworks, this might not be the experience for you. If you don’t feel like spending a lot of cash, it might be better to watch the fireworks the old-fashioned way inside the park. If you’re willing to shell out some money, maybe consider splurging on one of the new dessert party experiences coming to Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Contemporary Resort instead. Don’t forget you can easily watch the fireworks (with *roughly* the same view) from the shores of the Grand Floridian or Polynesian Village Resorts and hear the music piped in outside. That cost is FREE (aside from possibly a Dole Whip or Lapu Lapu to snack on while you watch and maybe booking a dinner reservation so you’ll be at the hotel for the fireworks).
The Ferrytale Dessert Cruise had both its hits and misses for us. For the most part, the food was pretty good and the view of the fireworks was great (if you get up to a railing and can see clearly!). However, some of the foods were a bit standard and basic. The drink selection was also tasty but limited. We enjoyed the punches the best and it was nice to have the option to add some rum and make our cocktail.
You’re here to view the fireworks from the unique vantage point of the middle of the lagoon, and it certainly accomplishes that, but you also ARE standing around on a ferry boat the whole time with little sitting room. Compared to other firework parties where you’re at a dedicated location set up for the show, it’s hard to ignore you’re standing on the same ferry boat that was recently shuttling hoards of guests to and fro all day. They do their best with it, but it’s still a chill party on floating Disney transportation. 😂 It’s still quite fun but not as much ambiance as, say, a dedicated viewing area on land could be.
At points during the fireworks show, we found it hard to see (or hear) any other parts of the show besides the fireworks. And you know how much we LOOOOVE the Happily Ever After music! But we’re hoping it was just a technical difficulty on that first cruise. It was also a bit tough to get a good spot to see the fireworks (thankfully, someone was kind enough to share their spot with us). But if you prefer to sit or have tykes with you, you’ll need to stake out a spot well in advance to ensure you have a good view, and in the end, you might find yourself sharing elbow room with your neighbor. When you’re paying $100 bucks a person, you kind of expect you’ll get a great view of the show, but that wasn’t a guarantee here like it practically is at most other firework parties we’ve attended. It also got crowded at the dessert tables at the beginning of the night, so pace yourself or head up to the second level where the large table is stocked.
If you’ve got the cash to blow, we think you’ll enjoy the experience. As for us? We’ve now done this trip multiple times and walked away satisfied enough but not blown away. It’s not a repeat event for us, just like it wasn’t the first go-round (yes, we realize we ended up back here. 6 years had passed — we had to check it out for you!). Compared to the first version of this cruise we experienced, the earlier version gets the edge for us simply because it felt a bit more coherent and planned out. Again, if you’re in the market for a dessert party, this will do fine, but it’s pricey for what it is and there are better options out there. For our money, there’s a lot of better ways to spend $100 in Disney World AND still enjoy the fireworks.
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What do you think about the Dessert Cruise? Let us know in the comments!