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When you wish upon a star….one of the most iconic parts of a trip to Walt Disney World is the spectacular Wishes fireworks finale held each night to close a magical day at the Magic Kingdom. No matter how tired you are after doing the Disney Workout all day (One day on our trip this week we walked over 6 miles!), plan on squeezing in a disco nap for the family and closing down the park at least once during your visit. You will be so glad you did! If you’re thinking “It’s going to be so crowded and I will never get a spot”, this can be a valid point. It does get crowded and some people sit for an hour or more around Main Street securing a spot. If you want to avoid the masses who also want to see the castle light up and the bursts of color in the sky and would rather watch the fireworks in a unique intimate setting (and have cupcakes!) maybe Wishes Dessert Party is for you. You can find full information on WDW’s website. Here is our experience:
Wishes Dessert Party is a small (about 150 people) reservation only fireworks viewing party that is held most nights on the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant’s patio. You do have to pay to attend the party and make reservations ahead of time. The party is usually around $25 per adult and $13 per child but varies according to peak times and because we attended during Spring Break it was $150 for the four of us to attend. Usually, you can book Disney Dining about 180 days before your requested date but Wishes reservations only open up about two months ahead of time and they go fast. After we left on our first visit in August (Get my tips for a first WDW visit here.) I had decided I wanted to do the Desserts party after hearing good things about it from friends and so I told Amy, our travel agent, to book it as soon as the Spring Break dates opened up. We were lucky and were able to get reservations for our second night there. If you want to book your own you would use the typical 407-WDW-DINE.
Tomorrowland Terrace is located near The Plaza and while the view is not dead center and is slightly off to the side, the patio offers a pretty unobstructed view of the castle and the show. The Dessert Party starts about an hour before the scheduled fireworks show so there is plenty of time to make a couple of trips to the dessert buffet. Our reservations were at 9 and we got there about 5 minutes before and there was a line ahead of us getting checked in and getting their wrist bands. There is stroller parking as there is at most places at Disney. We were on day two of our visit and had already called in reinforcements and rented one of WDW’s pretty awesome strollers. Once we were checked in the hostess walked us to our table. One thing it is very important to note is that you can not really see the electrical parade along with the fireworks as you would if you braved the crowd. The terrace only allows views of the tops of the floats. However, you can watch the parade on another night or if there are two parades in one night you can plan the parade viewing around Wishes.
Wishes Desserts Party is casual and other than a lantern the tables aren’t really decorated, but there is sparkling grape juice in flutes and the dessert spread is varied and fun. The desserts are all bite size so you can try one of everything without stuffing yourself silly. Or at least without stuffing yourself silly on the same thing. 🙂 There are little cheesecakes and strawberry parfaits like the ones above mixed in with whimsical Disney inspired desserts like the Tink Cupcakes and the Mickey Oreo Mousse.
The desserts range from the good to the incredibly delicious. I tried a little bit of everything and there was not one bad thing. My favorite were the cookies and cream Mickey’s below. If I would have thought I could get away with it I would have smuggled a tray back to our room in our backpack. There was also cheeses and fruits among the desserts if you wanted to try to be healthy or something….but it was a dessert party! So I got more dessert. Haha! Juices, coffee, and tea were the beverages to choose from.
There were two dessert tables set up and in typical Disney fashion as soon as one was almost emptied it was replaced so there was plenty of dessert for everyone and even if you wanted to go back during the fireworks. The lines were not long and I did not feel the terrace was crowded and we had a great view of the spectacular display and didn’t need to stand. There were some people further down that were standing and it may have been because their table was under the porch.
Then the soft music started and the loud speaker announced that they were going to lower the park lights and everyone fell silent. Before the fireworks there is a beautiful display projected on the castle itself. I won’t go into too much detail because if you haven’t been there is magic in seeing it for the first time and I don’t want to steal that. We had a pretty great view as you can see and these shots were some of my favorites.
There was no shoving or standing on your tiptoes because a basketball team decides to stand in front of you which can happen watching on the street. Just sitting with those I love most in our happy place watching the fireworks. I didn’t find being closer that much louder than when we had watched on the street though we did forget Ethan’s headphones (special needs mom FAIL) but he covered his ears and sat awestruck with the rest of us. Just when we thought it was over more color would pierce the night sky. We were so fortunate there was no rain and the spring temperatures were perfect. Then it was over. Someone else gave us the tip to find a few rides or open shops after the fireworks because the crush to get out and the bus waits are equally horrendous. We got that tip the next day so I’m sharing it with you because yes, the bus wait was horrendous and navigating a stroller in the sea of Disney lovers all trying to swim upstream to the exit wasn’t fun.
What was fun however, was the photo above and all the other ones like it. Watching the fireworks with my people, eating Tink cupcakes, listening to the oohs and aahs from my kiddos, and just chilling on the terrace taking in the grand finale magic. It’s a no brainer for us to do this again. We do plan to try the Pirates and Pals Fireworks cruise when we return in December, but there is no way our first time to do Wishes Dessert Party will be our last.
All photos were taken with the Canon Power Shot SX500.