Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebrations are officially underway!
You can now enjoy a new fireworks show in EPCOT, a new fireworks show in Magic Kingdom, a new kite show in Animal Kingdom, and MUCH more! If you’re looking to experience some of the magic of the 50th anniversary OUTSIDE of the parks you can do that too. Recently, we got the chance to experience the brand NEW fireworks dinner party at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Is this new experience worth the cost? We’re bringing you all of our thoughts right here.
Starting October 2nd, 2021, Disney’s Contemporary Resort started offering the NEW Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors & Fireworks dinner party. The event is essentially a cocktail party that allows guests to enjoy food, drinks, and music before enjoying the fireworks.
When the fireworks begin, guests then get the chance to stop out onto the private observation deck that is reserved exclusively for Celebration at the Top guests. Then, fans will get to see Disney Enchantment from this unique view. The lights will dim and music will play on the deck, fully immersing guests in the fireworks show from outside the park.
The event is similar in many ways to the Celebration at the Top — Savor, Sip and Sparkle event that used to be held at the Contemporary. That event was held in the private Sonoma Room and Napa Room of California Grill on select days, and allowed guests to enjoy sushi, small plates, and more before watching Happily Ever After from a private observation deck.
The event has now been revived but with a unique 50th Anniversary spin!
Reservations for Celebration at the Top are already open and are highly recommended. Same-day reservations can be made on a limited basis depending on availability.
The dinner party costs $129 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Note that Disney specifies fireworks aren’t guaranteed as part of the experience as evening fireworks (on rare occasions) may be rescheduled or canceled.
One important thing to note about Celebration at the Top is that there is a dress code since it is considered a signature dining experience. You can always dress fancier if you’d like (heck, go full ballgown if you’re feeling it), but these are the minimum requirements according to Disney:
- Men must wear khakis, slacks or dress shorts and collared shirts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition. Sport coats are optional.
- Women must wear Capri pants, skirts, dresses or dress shorts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition.
- Not permitted are tank tops, flip-flops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and T-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.
Be sure to pack clothing to fit these requirements in your suitcase if you’ve booked this experience! Alright, now that we’re done with all the technicalities, let’s get into the FUN STUFF!
As part of the experience, complimentary valet parking at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is included. So you can live your fanciest life by arriving at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and valet parking your vehicle.
After that, you’ll head into the check-in area. Check-in takes place at the California Grill podium, which you’ll find on the second floor at the Contemporary.
After you’ve checked in, a Cast Member will lead you to the area reserved for dining party guests. The event takes place in some of the private rooms at California Grill and you receive a wrist band that shows that you’ve checked in.
Once you arrive in the private room, you’ll find several tables spread out around the space.
You’ll pick up a name placard and put it on a table.
When you get up to grab food, you don’t have to worry about losing your table!
During this dinner party, Disney has shared that you’ll get to enjoy “sushi, small bites, favorite dishes from the California Grill menu, desserts and even some odes to our past.” Guests over the age of 21 will also get to enjoy drinks from the complimentary bar, including California wine, beers, and cordials.
After the fireworks, you’ll also get to munch on some petit four desserts, as well as enjoy cordials and coffee.
Eats and Drinks
During our time at the party, we got a little bit of almost everything to sample (for science, of course). There is an assortment of alcoholic beverage options.
An assortment of California wine, beer and cordials are served complimentary pic.twitter.com/UxER7QjubK
— Disney Food Blog (@DisneyFoodBlog) October 3, 2021
The Artesian Beef Slider with Heirloom Tomatoes and Crispy Potatoes was a little bit dry but the flavor was great and the toppings gave it a nice little bit of crunch! We advise you to wait until fresh ones come out.
The Tempura Shrimp Roll with Orange-Mango Sauce had lightly fried shrimp and a very fresh mango flavor that led to a delicious, unique bite! We’re not always big on sushi, but this one was a winner.
The Vegetable Rolls were a simple bite that was light and delicious! It’s a good option for vegetarians who come to the party.
Other options included Tiradito of Yellowfin Tuna, Hamachi, and Salmon…
…and Blue Crab California Rolls!
The Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Fennel Broth, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Shiitake Mushrooms is based on California Grill’s iconic Goat Cheese Ravioli and was pure perfection. This was full of great cheese and herbs and had a light sweetness from the broth.
Florida Lobster Bisque was a very lobster-heavy soup; this one wasn’t our favorite, but it’s a good choice if you like lobster.
The Poached Shrimp in Pineapple-Jalapeño Sauce was very light, well-cooked, and had a nice freshness from the sauce!
There were also Smoked Salmon Tartines with Creme Fraiche, Cucumber, and Dill!
Here is our entrée spread! We got almost everything on the menu!
After the fireworks, party guests will come back in for dessert. The Sour Cream Cheesecake with Strawberry was our favorite dessert of the night! This was light, creamy, and had a nice touch of sweetness from the strawberry and a little bit of crunch from the cookie base.
The Brownie Espresso Bar was VERY rich and had a strong espresso flavor that’s perfect for chocolate and coffee lovers. If you aren’t a fan of coffee, steer clear.
The Hazelnut Pot de Crème had a nice hazelnut flavor (similar to Nutella but nuttier) and was super creamy. The EARidescent sprinkles added a nice crunch!
The Key Lime Tart was super tart in the best way possible. The creamy filling paired well with the crunchy tart shell!
The Tropical Fruit Tart was delicious and very mango-forward. The texture was smooth and creamy.
Here’s our delicious dessert spread! We were supposed to receive a special champagne flute as a gift from the party, but they did not arrive in time. Cast Members told us that they would be mailed to guests later on.
And that’s a full look at the food for the Celebration at the Top 50th Anniversary dinner party!
Now, let’s talk fireworks! We constantly rave about the fireworks view from California Grill, so it’s not surprise that we really enjoyed the show from up here! Of course, we got to see the GORGEOUS new Disney Enchantment fireworks show!
The best part of the view up here is the fireworks themselves. Similarly to the Ferrytale Fireworks Cruise, it is pretty hard to see the projections on the castle and Main Street, U.S.A.! If that is a very important part of the show for you, this might not be your favorite view.
Here’s a look at Disney Enchantment in action!
Disney Enchantment, from the 15th floor✨ pic.twitter.com/IgkixDgjdf
— Disney Food Blog (@DisneyFoodBlog) October 3, 2021
Nosh or Not
You should dress up and stop by this dinner party if:
- You want to enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks in an upscale setting without the hectic nature of the parks. One of the biggest benefits to this experience is that you get to enjoy your food and drinks calmly, in a relaxed and upscale environment. You also don’t have to deal with any of the crowds you’d normally have to experience in the parks. It’s a nice way to have a quiet evening with some tasty treats and gorgeous views.
- You are looking for a way to “plus” your Disney experience with something special. If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or special event, adding this dinner party onto your trip could be a great way to really make the trip special.
- You want the best Disney Enchantment dinner party food. This dinner party definitely has some of the best party food at Disney World, especially if you want to watch Disney Enchantment. There are lots of dessert parties that only offer sweets, but you can make a pretty delicious meal out of the food here.
You should skip this dinner party if:
- You’re on a budget. $129 per person plus tax and gratuity isn’t cheap! You could grab a cheaper dinner at any of the Magic Kingdom resorts, and there are plenty of other places to get a great fireworks view like the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
- You want to experience the FULL fireworks and projections show. Disney Enchantment includes fireworks, projections down Main Street, U.S.A., and more. To get the true, full effect you’ll want to be in the park. So, if you’re trying to see the whole show up close and personal, this isn’t the choice for you.
- You’re looking for less “fancy” experience. This dessert party’s dress code and more adventurous dishes make this experience a little bit more “fancy” (and expensive) than the other Disney Enchantment dessert parties.
Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors & Fireworks is one of the best dessert parties for watching Disney Enchantment in terms of food and ambiance. The food was delicious and you could actually make a dinner out of California Grill’s offerings. Of course, since all the food was coming from the chefs and kitchen of California Grill, the food was held to a high standard at this event.
On the flip side, this is an event more suited for adults or folks with older kids who would enjoy a more sophisticated dessert party experience. Between the food and the upscale atmosphere, this would be an excellent choice for anniversaries, honeymoons, or any special occasion that warrants a fancy meal.
If you’re looking to see all the projections and effects on Main Street during Disney Enchantment, a dessert party, in general, might not be the best idea. This dessert party gives you a great view of the fireworks themselves and some of the projections on Cinderella Castle, but it’s more about enjoying the atmosphere and food with a side of fireworks.
Would you pay for this fireworks dessert party? Tell us in the comments.