Last week we spent Thanksgiving on our 3rd Walt Disney World trip. We were lucky enough to get tickets to the sold out (for that holiday weekend) new Jingle Bell Jingle Bam dessert party which started earlier in November. Here is my honest review from a die hard Disney’ lover’s point of view of our experience of the party and the show.
We loved Wishes Desserts Party at the Magic Kingdom so as soon as I learned of Jingle Bam and another opportunity to feed our face with delicious Disney inspired desserts and watch one of their shows, I started trying for tickets. The show was sold out for Thanksgiving weekend but I tried the My Disney Experience App several times per day leading up to our trip and lo and behold someone unfortunately had to cancel and I snagged the tickets.
We checked into the party at 8PM and the check in process was very smooth. The party took place on the patio of the Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios. We stood in line and gave our names and received our wristbands to enter the party and then the Jingle Bam show later. After standing in line for a short time we filed into the party with the other guests.
The Jingle Bam desserts did not disappoint with a great selection of holiday treats. There were multiple tables set up to make sure the lines weren’t too long and that everyone was able to sample every treat. Some of my favorite selections were the gingerbread, the adorable Mickey Santa cupcakes, and the holiday bon bons that almost looked like Christmas lights. The desserts were as delicious as they were adorable.
One thing that I actually thought Jingle Bam did better than Wishes was that along with offering more desserts than you know what to do with, they also featured some yummy savory offerings such as Artichoke Dip and Hawaiian Meatballs. The desserts are wonderful but can become a little rich so the savory offerings were the perfect taste break. The food was set out on nicely decorated tables accented with cute elves and reindeer. There were no long lines and the food was replenished quickly so it was no problem to go back for more of those we liked best.
One of the coolest things at the party was liquid nitrogen ice cream. My little science guy loved the smoke coming off the cauldron and I tried a sample and not only was it fascinating to look at but it was rich chocolatey goodness as well. A great touch for kids and grownups alike.
The tables for the party were pretty and festive with red and white table cloths and green Christmas tree luminaries. There were plenty of tables for everyone and families like us with strollers were able to bring them in. The tables were a mix of standard restaurant style tables with plastic chairs and tall bistro style tables with no chairs. The only thing I wish they had done differently at the party was that there would have been enough chairs for everyone like at Wishes. We were in the middle of the line to get into the party and by the time we got in all the chairs were gone. We managed by letting the kids sit in their stroller but it was awkward for them to have to keep getting in and out for their food and drinks. I didn’t trust them not to spill anything holding it in their laps. It also would have been nice to sit for the 45 minute party after we walked the parks for the last two days. It’s a relatively minor glitch and would be an easy fix.
One of my favorite touches of the party and one that I would love to see incorporated at Wishes was a station for the kids to do coloring sheets. They had Disney holiday coloring sheets and little gingerbread men cutouts. It was a great way to keep the kids busy after they had their fill of desserts while we waited for the time for the show to begin. It’s a keepsake as well. We took the kids’ gingerbread men home and they will go in the scrap book to remember our Disney holidays.
The highlight of the party portion for me and another aspect I wish Wishes would take a cue from was a character visit. Christmas Goofy and his handler stopped at every table and I loved seeing the joy on the kids’ faces meeting Goofy dressed up as Santa. The lighting wasn’t the best for photos (as evidenced by all of these photos so my apologies) but the party is at night so there is not much to be done about that. Still a great holiday moment.
After about an hour it was time to go from the party location to the Jingle Bam show location which was the stage directly in front of The Great Movie Ride. I was a little disappointed to find that our reserved spots for the show was actually a roped off area among people who had not paid extra for the event. It is a standing event and there were no seats which was disappointing but seeing the location for the show I’m not sure it would be possible to set up seats as it’s a stage that’s in a high traffic area. The roped off location was in the middle of the crowd which was probably the best location possible because if you are too close you would not be able to get a full view of the stage and the roped off spot meant that our spots were secured but a standing event with small children proved to be a challenge.
Our kids are 4 and 6 and so once all of the adults were standing the kids could not see past them to see what was happening on the stage. The actual show consists of a mix of fireworks, lasers, and a Holiday film with favorite Disney Characters and the big guy in the red suit projected up on the stage. The fireworks and lasers easily visible to everyone even the kids because they were in the air. The kids had trouble seeing the film on stage though. We still had the stroller so we let our son who is 6 stand on the ledge of it with the brake on and that sort of solved the problem for him but he still had limited visibility. My daughter is 4 however and a good 5-6 inches shorter than my son so even the stroller didn’t help her. My husband picked her up to hold her so she could see and then the lady behind us said that she then couldn’t see because of my daughter. It was a no win situation. Someone was not going to be able to see.
Everyone at the party received a pair of 3D glasses and I won’t spoil the surprise but there was 3D fun all around and as you can see by the look on Caitlin’s face she definitely loved the Christmas Disney Magic. And that somewhat made up for the lack of visibility of the main show. The show featured Christmas music, the fireworks and lasers shown above, and a fun Christmas film projected on the stage. Even with the visibility problems for the kids (which I don’t think parents of older taller kids would experience) it was a fun show that will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.
The show had a grand finale and featured some white stuff my Texas kids had never seen and so the looks on their faces as it came down was a highlight of the evening for us. The video below captures 30 seconds of the show without any big spoilers.
I thought the dessert party portion was excellent and while I was disappointed in the visibility for the kids, the show itself is very good. We had actually watched a Frozen show on this same stage on our first Disney trip. We watched it from tables at a nearby café and while we still couldn’t see the full stage we had seats and the kids had room to move and dance. That’s an option we might consider for future shows at this spot, such as if they have one for Halloween when we return next year. We would just attend the party which we loved and was still a good value for the money and then watch the show from the less crowded café where we had chairs and the kids didn’t seem to mind as much not being able to see.
We are die hard Disney lovers and have already booked a 4th trip. This is a new show and when things are new even at Disney, there are kinks to be worked out so I’ve tried to present both the positive and the things that may need a little work. And Disney cares about everyone’s experience. I have already received a survey on the Jingle Bam because they do value their guests feedback and want to improve when their is room to do so. I will watch for news on any updates or changes to the event and update this post. There were so many positives to the event but I value my fellow Disney loving readers and thought it important to mention the visibility issue for those with young children. Have a magical holiday season and Christmas!