During our earlier visits to the Magic Kingdom Park, we would time our dinners at the Tomorrowland Terrace to coincide with the Wishes, the nightly fireworks held in the park. We would enjoy our meal and watch the fireworks as they exploded over Cinderella Castle from the comfort of our seats. We thought that we were pretty smart to think of this and it became our tradition to watch Wishes from that same location year after year. Fast forward to 2009. Being ever so wise, the Walt Disney World Resort also realized that this was a prime location and added a new dining experience for Guests to enjoy.
On June 23, 2009, the Tomorrowland Terrace Wishes Dessert Party debuted with what was to be a limited time run. However, given its popularity, the party was extended and continues on to this day. As was posted by the Disney Parks Blog, the menu changed slightly on July 5, 2015, and the buffet now includes a variety of seasonal fruit and cheese, Disney character-themed cupcakes and specialty drinks.
My family and I have been lucky enough to enjoy this event twice and will, hopefully, be booking again in the future. Our most recent visit was on June 4, 2015, which was just prior to the menu change and increase in price. Our travel party consisted of extended family members who were also first time visitors and their itinerary had them in the Magic Kingdom for one day. Our goal was to have them see and do as much as they could during the day and we all enjoy Wishes at the end of their vacation as a group.
We split our party and booked two reservations but made sure that the Disney Dining Cast Member knew that we were attending together. While they couldn’t guarantee that we would be seated near one another, they would do their best to accommodate our request. On the night of our reservation, Wishes was to begin at 9:00 p.m. and The Magic, The Memories and You Cinderella Castle Show was scheduled just prior to the fireworks. The Cast Member told us that we should arrive at the Tomorrowland Terrace around 8:00 p.m. as they start checking in Guests approximately one hour prior to the start of Wishes.
DIStracted Tip: The tables are assigned so if you do not arrive one hour prior, you will still be seated. As a matter of fact, we were in line just a little after 8:00 p.m. and we didn’t get checked-in until 8:30 p.m.
When you reach the check-in podium, you will give them your name and the size of your party. As you are checking in, another Cast Member places a wristband on everyone in your party. This will allow you to go in and out of the dessert party should you need to use the restroom or designated smoking area.
As I mentioned above, the tables are assigned and you will be escorted to your table by a Cast Member. The tables are clearly marked with a placecard so that you will be able to find your table when you return from the buffet.
There are two sides to the buffet and they are identical so you can choose either side and not miss out on any of the delicious treats that the buffet has to offer. The line can be a little long in the beginning but it does become less congested after a few minutes.
Located near the beginning of the line are coffee urns and hot water for those who want to enjoy coffee or a cup of tea. An assortment of Twinings Tea, hot cocoa mix and sweeteners are available for the Guests.
Review and Pictures
This is a review of the Wishes Dessert Party and I know that you are anxious to see the buffet offerings and you’re in luck! I took lots of pictures to share.
As you can see, there was quite an assortment from which to choose. There were cannolis, brownies, rice crisp treats, Mickey Oreo bon-bons, cupcakes, parfaits, and even fresh fruit. There were also fruit tarts, chocolate mousse, banana cream pastry puffs and chocolate covered strawberries.
For those who wanted ice cream, there was a small station where a Cast Member helped Guests dish up vanilla ice cream and top it with an assortment of toppings.
The drink offerings, in addition to the coffee, tea and hot cocoa, were two juices, milk and ice water. You may notice that there is some juice spilled under the juice container. As soon as I was done taking the picture, the Cast Member in the background immediately came over to clean it up.
For those of you who may be a bit leery of buffets, you’ll be happy to know that the Cast Members were quick to wipe the surfaces if something was dropped or spilled. They were also very attentive and if a serving utensil was placed anywhere but near the foods, they moved them back into place or even replaced them. If a dessert or drink needed replenishing, they were also quick to add to the buffet. Guests are encouraged to visit the buffet as many times as they wish and the dirty plates, bowls and cups are removed from your table often.
In addition to the new desserts that were added to the buffet in July 2015, Walt Disney World added a new experience to the event. As the first fireworks burst beyond the castle’s soaring spires and fill the night sky with enchantment, gather your family and friends to toast the end of an unforgettable day with your choice of beverages (excerpt from the Walt Disney World site). Those beverages include: sparkling cider, hot drinking chocolate and signature lemonades. Coffee and tea are still served.
Now that I’ve made you all hungry with pictures of those scrumptuous desserts, let’s move on to the view from Tomorrowland Terrace. During both of our visits, we have been fortunate to be seated on the second row from the front of the seating area. This was our view from our table.
No matter where you are seated, you can be assured that you will have a nearly unobstructed view of both the castle show and Wishes. Guests who have a table in the middle, back or even near the front can go to the railing as the show begins. The only restriction that Walt Disney World makes is that Guests can not block the exit or pathways and they can not bring chairs to the railing. When the castle show began, the other members in our party came to our table so that we could watch the nighttime spectacular together. Even when some of the other Guests stood at the railing, we could still see everything perfectly.
Our table afforded us an incredible view of Tinker Bell as she flew right over us!
During the fireworks, I looked from side to side at the other ten people in our group and I could tell that each and every one of them had been bitten by the Disney bug. This brought a tear to my eye as I was so happy to know that they had enjoyed themselves. Once Wishes was over, everyone was talking non-stop about how well done the dessert party was and how beautiful the castle show and Wishes were. They are all now anxious to book their next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. I was so happy to know that all of the hard work that my daughter and I had done to make all of our Advanced Dining Reservations, FastPass+ selections and Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party reservations had paid off!
My fellow DIStracted team member, Rachel H. also has some wonderful memories to share of their time at the Wishes Dessert Party. Rachel H. writes:
The Wishes Fireworks Dessert was the perfect option for our family when vacationing with my ailing mother, a year before she passed away from thyroid cancer. With her failing health she was unable to spend great periods of time in the parks and was usually exhausted by the 3 o’clock parade. She’d not visited since our family vacation in 1982, and I wanted her to be able to enjoy the very best of the parks, including the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to stand in a crowd long enough to hold a viewing spot and enjoy the show, I reserved the dessert party. It was worth every penny. In addition to indulging in the delectable dessert offerings, my mother was able to remain seated at our table until showtime. When the music began, she walked to the railing and did not move an inch the entire show. I routinely go back to the memory of her standing there, entranced by the show, watching as intently as a child searching for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Later, she confessed to me that our vacation to Walt Disney World had been the best time of her life, and that the evening spent at the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party was her most cherished memory of our magical adventure.
The cost of the Wishes Fireworks Dessert party is $49 for adults and $29 for children, tax inclusive. Reservations can be made online or by calling 401-WDW-DINE. Even though the Walt Disney World site states that reservations can be made 180 days prior to your visit, I have found that the booking window varies. The Disney Dining Plan is not accepted and payment for the party is made in advance.
Know Before You Go
The following is the “Know Before You Go” information posted on the Walt Disney World Resort site:
- It is highly recommended that Guests consult the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular schedule one week before their reservation date and again upon arrival at Magic Kingdom park. After reconfirming the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular showtime, please arrive at Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant for check-in 60 minutes prior.
- Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.
- An Event Party Ticket is required for all Party Nights when participating in the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party.
- Magic Kingdom park admission is also required and is not included in the price of the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party.
- On rare occasion, evening fireworks may be rescheduled or canceled. Please note that fireworks are not guaranteed. Please call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 at least 2 weeks prior to arrival to reconfirm the fireworks schedule. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.