The Disney Parks are now more crowded than ever. It is always most evident at night when every person in the party crams into a central area to watch the nighttime spectacular. The Disney Dessert Parties are a way to ensure you have the best fireworks viewing location and a little bit of personal space. They are not cheap which brings the questions “Are the Disney Dessert Parties Worth It?”
Many people have been upset with the trend at Walt Disney World over the past couple of years to offer “premium experiences” to visitors for an added cost. But the Dessert Parties, which gives guest access to a variety of treats and most importantly a VIP viewing area for their favorite fireworks show are welcome addition. I have had the opportunity to enjoy quite a few of these experiences so I am sharing my thoughts on each including which one I think is the best.
Let’s start with the basics. Like any dining reservation at WDW all the dessert parties can be made up to 180 days in advance online at My Disney Experience or by phone 407-WDW-DINE. Advanced Reservations are required and they often book up early. Where this differs from other reservations is that prepayment is required at the time of booking.
Magic Kingdom offers three versions of their dessert party for the Happily Ever After Fireworks. For all of them you check in to the Tomorrowland Terrace and are given access to a dessert buffet which includes character-themed cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate mousse, and chocolate dipped strawberries. You can also choose from a range of hot and cold beverages like sparkling cider, hot chocolate, teas, coffees and lemonades. Where the options differ is when you eat and where you watch the fireworks from.
For this reservation, you remain at your table in the covered restaurant. This option is $79/adult or $47/child and is great for those who require seating or want to ensure they are covered during inclement weather. The view is of the side of the castle and you often miss some of the overhead bursts.
Instead of sitting on the patio at Tomorrowland Terrace to watch Happily Ever After, guests are escorted to a VIP section located in Plaza Garden for “standing-room-only” views of the fireworks. I have to say not a single person actually stood during the fireworks. Instead, they spread out their ponchos and blankets and cozied up on the hub grass. In my opinion, this is a much better view as you are more directly in front of the castle in front of the Plaza Inn.
This is also a better value as the cost is $59 per adult and $35 per child (ages 3-9).
For busy times of the year it is so nice to not have to stand shoulder to shoulder with a stranger. But with the new Happily Ever After Fireworks it is extremely difficult to get a good view of both the castle projection and the fireworks bursts. Even from this location it was extremely difficult to see the projections. For slower times of the year I would recommend a spot in the middle of Main Street about halfway down in front of the Main Street Bakery or Crystal Arts.
Due to the popularity of the dessert parties, Disney now offers a third dessert party option to accommodate even more guests. With this new option, guests can experience Happily Ever After from standing room in the Plaza Garden and AND THEN head over to Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant to tuck in to an impressive array of sweet and savory treats. Snacks include options inspired by the different lands of the Magic Kingdom. You’ll find options like the S’mores Action Station (Frontierland), Pineapple Delights (Adventureland) and Macarons (Fantasyland). Savory snacks include cheeses, mini eggrolls and more. The cost to attend is $69 per adult and $41 per child (ages 3-9)..
This dessert party takes place in EPCOT at the Port of Entry. This is the area where you enter the World Showcase directly across from the American Adventure.
I personally have not experienced this party since it transitioned from Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party. There is currently a temporary show in EPCOT called EPCOT FOREVER which is getting pretty mediocre reviews. I have never been a big fan of any EPCOT fireworks becayse from most vantage points your view is blocked, usually by trees or speakers. The viewing advantage you get with the party is definitely a great one.
I used to love the international inspiration for the menu but now guests can enjoy Kristoff’s Kransekake Almond Cookie, Wandering Oaken’s Eclairons, Hans’ Key Lime Tarts with Orange Glitter Glaze, Troll Rock Crispy Bon Bons, Elsa’s Blue Velvet Cupcakes, Kristoff’s No Sugar Added Lemon Curd with Blueberry, Freeze Fried Salted Caramel Popcorn, Olaf’s Warm Double Chocolate S’mores Pudding Cake, Anna’s Warm Cottage Pudding with Salted Caramel Glaze, Hand Dipped Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Sven’s Fresh Fruits with Berries, Grand Pabbie’s Mystical Winter Spiced Snack Mix and Duke of Weselton’s Cheese Fondue—served with country bread cubes, broccoli, and grilled flatbread.
Summer drinks like margaritas and pina coladas are served as well as a selection of beer and wine. Water, iced tea and lemonade are also served with coffee and tea available. The big draw of this party is that after the fireworks you’ll be escorted to the Norway Pavilion, where you will get exclusive access to the popular attraction Frozen Ever After.
The event happens on select nights and is $99 per adult and $59 per child (ages 3-9)
This is Disney’s most affordable and only on-the-go dessert party option. You are given an opportunity to enjoy VIP seating at Fantasmic!, Hollywood Studios’ nighttime show You will check in at a special area of the Fantasmic! theater to pick up a prepared snack tray featuring sweet and salty treats including chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheese and crackers as well as make-your-own “worms and dirt.” Included with this treat is a speciality drink served in a souvenir cup which can include alcohol for those 21 and older. After picking up your beverage you’ll be escorted to the VIP viewing area where your seat is waiting for you. The event occurs nightly and the cost is $39 per adult and $19 per child (ages 3-9).
The Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks are my favorite fireworks at Walt Disney World right now. The size and layout of Disney’s Hollywood Studios do not lend itself to nighttime entertainment and this show also has many viewing obstacles. This dessert party would be worth the cost just for the view it gives you of the night time spectacular. Everything else that is included is an added bonus and there are a lot of bonuses.
Guests check-in at Star Wars Launch Bay about an hour before the show. You are treated to an incredible arrangement of Star Wars themed desserts including an amazing bread pudding and liquid nitrogen fried nutella. You have exclusive access to the Launch Bay including the character meets. There is also an open bar serving Star Wars Themed cocktails. Yes … you read that right, I said open bar!
Then just before the fireworks, you are escorted by storm troppers to the VIP viewing area right in front of the Chinese Theater for a central view of the fireworks. You are given a Chewbacca stein to take home and the fireworks begin. The cost of this event is $69 per adult and $39 per child.
Now the age old question… Are the Dessert Parties worth it! If the fireworks are important you and your family and you don’t want to stake out your spot hours before… possibly. I would definitely skip the Magic Kingdom parties, you can get much better viewing on your own and their desserts left a lot to be desired.If you are a Star Wars Fan I absolutely think the Hollywood Studios Party is worth it. Frozen Ever After is a fun way to experience the attraction without a wait but carries a large price tag for a single ride.
One of my favorite Disneyland Bloggers, Fairytale Mindy recently tried a dessert party each night of her Walt Disney World vacation. To check out what she thought of each head to her blog post.
If you would like to talk through the options and figure out if a dessert party makes sense for your trip schedule a call by clicking the button below.
Budgeting is such an important part of trip planning, but it can be difficult to find the time to sit down and actually work out the real cost vs a package deal. My ‘Should You Add the Disney Dining Plan’ guide covers everything you need to know to make the right dining choice for you. From what is covered in each dining plan, and who it will best suit, to the average cost of each restaurant and even calculate your savings!
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