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Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise

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Starting Monday, October 5, you can see the Magic Kingdom's Wishes fireworks in a whole new way -- on Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise.

The cruise, which sets sail from the Transportation and Ticket Center ferry dock, is on the General Joe Potter ferry, and makes a circuit around the Seven Seas Lagoon while guests nosh on an assortment of sweets treats. The cruise comes to a halt in front of the Magic Kingdom, affording a perfect view of the Wishes fireworks, then returns to the dock.

I had the opportunity to take this new cruise last week in advance of its official start date, so I thought I'd share some photos and video.

As I said, the cruise starts at the Ferry Dock at the Transportation and Ticket Center, where you check in with a Disney cast member.

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Your boarding time varies according to when Wishes will be performed that night. The evening of my cruise, Wishes was going to start at 9 p.m. We had to check in at 7:45 for an 8 p.m. sail time. For 10 p.m. Wishes, everything shifts an hour later.

After checking in, you're welcomed with a glass of sparkling cider or champagne in a glowing plastic flute.

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About an hour before the fireworks, you board the General Joe Potter, named for the Disney legend who developed the canals and underground utilities that made the operation of Walt Disney World possible. There are only about 150 guests sailing with you, so boarding wasn't rushed, nor was there a crush of people -- a nice change after a day in the crowded theme parks.

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As you board you're given a menu and a souvenir plate that's notched to hold your beverage, which definitely comes in handy. Beverage stations along the walls are stocked with coffee, ice water and soft drinks, while at the far end are stations with alcoholic beverages: beer, wine, and two versions of a spiked pink lemonade, one with prosecco, the other with vodka.

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Both high and low cocktail tables are scattered around the lower deck, the latter to accommodate children and guests in wheelchairs or ECVs. There is also a table with some desserts, and even more can be found on the upper deck.

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Tables are loaded with desserts made by and themed to the resorts and theme park that encircle your cruise route. They're a departure from the usual Disney dessert party fare, showing a bit of whimsy and imagination. You have:

"The Grand" Key Lime Tart from the Grand Floridian...

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Contemporary "Traditional with a Twist" Spiced Flourless Chocolate Cake...

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Polynesian De-constructed Pineapple Upside Down Cake (that's it in the middle; sorry, didn't get a photo of it on its own)...

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"Main Street" Mickey Balloon Tarts in a variety of flavors...

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Mini "Firework" Cupcakes with a Pop...

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No Sugar Added Florida Mango Panna Cotta...

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and the showstopper -- at least it was to me: Cinderella's Sugar Slipper with Orange Financier (which is a ...

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How beautiful are those slippers? I wanted to try one on, they were so perfect. They are pure sugar, though, so while you COULD eat them, you really wouldn't want to. Such a shame.

A nice inclusion on the buffet is the Fruit, Cheese and Cracker spread, for those who may prefer a little less sugar that late at night...

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The ferry slowly cruises past the Magic Kingdom resorts for about an hour, allowing you plenty of time to take in the beauty of the illuminated grounds while sampling all the sweets. Trays are replenished frequently -- in fact, I never saw a tray less than half-full at any point during the evening. Periodically cast members circulate with other treats, such as Mickey bars and ice cream sandwiches. There's definitely no skimping and no shortage of treats on offer.

Shortly before fireworks time, the boat "weighs anchor" at the Magic Kingdom, so that you're positioned right in front of Cinderella Castle. (We noticed that we were also right in front of the new bungalows at the Polynesian Village Resort -- probably obscuring the view of the guests in those rooms.) As the show begins, I realized that the music and voices I was hearing were not coming from the park, but were being piped in via the boat's sound system so that we could hear everything perfectly.

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Once the fireworks conclude, the ferry makes a fairly speedy return to the dock. I didn't check my watch, but others said we were back at the TTC by a little after 9:30 p.m.

As you disembark, cast members offer a tart but refreshing frozen Olaf strawberry-lemonade ice pop. Certainly made me pucker, but was a nice way to cleanse the palate after all that sugar!

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The price for the cruise is $99 for adults, $69 for ages 3 to 9, including tax and gratuity. While the desserts and beverages are plentiful, I have to say I think that is a little steep, especially for children who probably shouldn't be eating $70 worth of sugary snacks right before bedtime. Having said that, though, it is a fairly exclusive event -- a limited number of guests, unlimited desserts and beverages (even alcoholic ones), and a terrific view of one of the best fireworks displays I've ever seen. As an added bonus, a cast member told me that on nights when Wishes is performed at 10 p.m., you'll also get to see the Electric Water Pageant as it makes its way around the lagoon. (We noticed it waiting to set off as we were pulling into the TTC dock.) The cruise could be a nice splurge for a birthday or anniversary, for example, or an ideal new thing-to-do for the frequent Disney-goer who has done it all before.

To give you a little more insight to the cruise, here's a video with highlights from the evening:

A few practical notes: As I mentioned earlier, the ferry can accommodate those in wheelchairs and ECVs, but only on the lower deck -- there are only stairs to the upper deck. There are, however, low cocktail tables available, and cast members are more than happy to assist with whatever is needed. Also, some of you regular ferryboat riders might be thinking, "Hey! There are no restrooms on board! That's not good." Rest easy: The General Joe Potter now has two restrooms to accommodate guests.

If you're interested the Ferryboat Wishes dessert cruise, you can make reservations by visiting DisneyWorld.com/DINE or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

(Author's Note: I was an invited media guest of Walt Disney World on this dessert cruise, but this did not affect my review. My opinions are my own.)

The previous post in this blog was Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar.

The next post in this blog is 2015 Food and Wine Festival Merchandise and Special Packages.

Comments (19)

Michelle:

Hello, thanks for the review. We have this booked for a MNSSHP night and can't wait. Funny question though, why can't we keep the sugar slippers? I have a perfectly cute sugar treasure chest from DL and would love a WDW version. Thank you :)

Deb Koma replies: I guess I need to reword this, since everyone is misunderstanding me. You CAN take the slipper with you. But you can't keep it forever, as it is made of sugar and it will eventually start to break down.

Anonymous:

How far in advance do you need to reserve?

Deb Koma replies: I have no idea how popular this dessert cruise will be, but I'd suggest booking it as far in advance as you can, if you want to be sure to get a specific date. There are a limited number of spaces (around 150) so there is a chance that a particular evening could sell out.

Tricia Noble:

Thank you for doing the review. I am now more interested than I was before. It's on my todo list.

Valerie:

Regarding the sugar Cinderella slipper - you said you "can't keep it" - does that mean if you have one and don't eat it, you can't take it with you when you leave the boat??

Deb Koma: I just meant that it won't last forever -- it's made of sugar, so it will deteriorate. You can certainly take it with you off the ship if you want to.

Wait...You can't keep the sugar slipper? That's not fair! If they're sugar, and you can't keep them, what are they going to do, re-use them?

Great review, makes me wish we'd booked, but all my dessert party money is spent!

Deb Koma replies: You can keep them if you want to! I just mean that since it is a food item, it won't last forever, it will eventually start to deteriorate. But certainly no one will stop you from taking it home with you if you'd like!

Dana:

Do people in ECV's have a decent view since they are limited to the lower deck?

DEB K REPLIES: The view from the lower deck is essentially identical to that of the upper deck. There's really nothing obscuring your view. If you watch the video, you can see what the view from lower deck is like starting at around the 1:00 mark. You can compare it to the view from the upper deck, which you can see starting at around the 2:30 mark. Hope that gives you a clearer idea.

Hi Deb -
Just a suggestion, if you want to save your Sugar Slipper, try coating it with a clear spray paint. I don't know how well it will work with the slipper, but we did this with a gingerbread house that had frosting trim and gumdrops my daughter made in when she was in 1st grade. We store it in a clean plastic cat litter tub with a snap on lid for 11 months a year. It still looks great! My daughter is now in the 11th grade.

- Jeff

Clair frankland:

Looks really good I hope they will be doing this October next year as it is when we are next in WDW x

Christinia Poyner:

Will the Ferrytale Wishes cruise still be going on in February 2016? I would love to treat my family to this!

DEB KOMA REPLIES: They told me this was going to be a regular offering -- not a limited run. So unless something changes, I would expect it to be running in February, weather permitting.

Gena Yates:

I know you said the flute was plastic , but is the plate plastic also ? I got a little excited when you said souvenir plate , hoping you meant a glass plate . Not quite sure if its worth the money ? Kids would die if they found out we did this and left them behind , and , Im not sure how i feel about allowing kids to eat $70 worth of sugary sweets at 9 PM .....Even if we are in Disney World !!!! It looks lovely though !!!

DEB KOMA REPLIES: The plate is plastic also, Gena. About the kids -- there is a nice platter of fruit, cheese and crackers alongside all the sweet treats, but I don't know how you'd keep little fingers away from those tempting tarts and cupcakes!

Robb Evans:

Thanks for your post and especially the video, Deb. We are always looking for something new and special to do during our WDW vacations, and this dessert cruise looks fantastic. One question, do they dim the lights on the ferryboat during the fireworks show? Thanks again for this update, Deb. We can't wait to experience it for ourselves.

DEB KOMA REPLIES: Thanks for the nice feedback, Robb. And yes, they do dim the lights for the fireworks, along with piping the music in.

Scott:

Thanks for the article! Your writing always bring me and my family back to the magic in between our yearly visits! This is on our list for next year's trip! Keep up the good work!

DEB KOMA REPLIES: Thanks so much, Scott! We always appreciate the feedback!

Callie Walker:

Since this leaves from the TTC, are park tickets not required? We're flying in at 5 and had planned to just check in to the Beach Club and relax but this might be a really nice way to start a vacation for just my husband and me...

DEB KOMA REPLIES: No, no park tickets needed for this. You start and end at the TTC.

Alicia Ellis:

So, I'll be the one to ask, is there a bathroom available during this cruise?

DEB KOMA REPLIES: Hi Alicia, as I mention in the next to the last paragraph, there are two restrooms aboard the ferry.

SuSan:

How about the bugs? Last time we took the ferry from the Magic Kingdom to TTC the ferry was full of bugs!

DEB KOMA REPLIES: I didn't notice any bugs at all! And it had been a fairly warm day. Hopefully you'll have a similar bug-free experience!

Jenni:

Hi there,

Great review Deb - thanks :) Sooo looking forward to doing this next year.

I was just wondering, do you get the best view from the left or the right side of the ship? - from the video, it seems that one side gets all of the view (and all of the crowd).

Thanks again, Jenni x

DEB KOMA REPLIES: Yes, you really only get the view of the fireworks from one side of the ship, and of course everyone stands on that side during Wishes. To be honest though, I don't remember which side of the ship it was -- but I don't think that matters, as it becomes fairly obvious as the ship takes its position in front of the castle.

Deb,

What did the desserts actually taste like? Did you think any of them were standouts? We have tickets in a couple of weeks, and I'm interested in whether this is worth it more from a standpoint of, "Is it worth it to go if the food and drinks are all, "MEH?"

Thanks!

DEB KOMA REPLIES: To be honest, I'm probably not a great person to ask, since I tend to prefer savory snacks over sweet ones. However, the flourless chocolate cake was pretty good, and I heard lots of people raving over the deconstructed pineapple upside-down cake and the balloon tarts. So, I think it's one of those "your mileage may vary" kind of things. I will add, though, that the specialty cocktails were great! Let us know what you think once you've done it. We've added it to our Rate and Review section here:
http://land.allears.net/reviewpost/showproduct.php?product=708

Linda:

This was the biggest disappointment of our recent 3 day trip to Disney World. Our adult party of 5 included everyone over 60 and my 83 year old Dad. Since we paid $100 per person we were expecting to sit at a nice table and enjoy coffee and dessert. This was way below Disney standards. We stood most of the time because the only seating was plastic benches that were away from the view and the only tables were the stand up kind with no seating. Everything was self serve and required standing in line. The coffee was on one side of the ferry and the desserts were in a different location. It was difficult to juggle the food and drink while standing and they issued you one plate when you boarded that you were suppose to use for the entire cruise. The drinking cup was supposed to fit into a notch on the side of the plate but it was too hard to get in and out and resulted in spilled food and drink. This is NOT a cruise for older folks who cannot manage standing and holding their food for 2 hours. There were children running loose and bumping into us which was unexpected since the cruise didn't leave until 9pm. Where were their parents? The food was pretty but tasted awful--I ended up trying one of everything and throwing it all out. The view of the fireworks (which is a big reason we went) was mediocre at best and another boat actually sailed right through our view during the fireworks. Save your money for something else. Disney should be ashamed to charge for this.

Mike:

Does anyone know if the Fireworks Dessert Cruise is running in September ? I called Disney and they can't give me an answer.

DEBK Replies: Sorry, there are no dates shown yet, but the cruise is still on the Disney website, so I don't think it's been discontinued. You'll have to check back periodically to see if dates have been posted.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 30, 2015 3:10 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar.

The next post in this blog is 2015 Food and Wine Festival Merchandise and Special Packages.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.