One of our favorite things about visiting a Disney park is enjoying a beautiful nighttime show. At the Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After is a new favorite of ours and the perfect finale to an enchanting day. On our most recent trip we were able to take our night show viewing experience up a notch by booking a Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace. We couldn’t wait to sit in a V.I.P. area and enjoy some food and drink. Read on to hear more about this specialty package and our thoughts on if it is worth the price tag …
Dessert Package Info
Many probably know already that we tend to be fans of the packages that include a meal and reserved seating ticket for a show. A dessert party is a slightly different experience as it isn’t a main meal and you enjoy the package at the show venue vs at a restaurant. We actually haven’t been to a dessert party since an Illuminations dessert party at our wedding back in the day! Here are the main details about booking this kind of package:
Types of Package: for viewing Happily Ever After, it can be a little confusing as there are actually a couple different options:
What is Included: in addition to a reserved fireworks viewing area (standing or seated depending on the package) the party includes a buffet of desserts, some savory snacks, and a wide variety of (cold and hot) non-alcoholic beverages. The price is all inclusive of tax, and gratuity is not necessary. It is good to note that park admission is not included and the cost is in addition to your entrance ticket.
How to Book: Dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance by visiting the dining section of the Walt Disney world website or calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). Packages can be popular and we recommend booking sooner than later if interested. It is also good to note you pay for the package the day of booking.
The dessert parties are all held at the Tomorrowland Terrace which is located on the walkway between The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland. The area houses multiple dessert parties with the lower terrace being for the seated viewing and the upper level for the other parties where guests enjoy their dessert at the terrace and then are escorted to the Plaza grass for viewing, or vice versa. We were seated at the terrace throughout the whole duration.
We checked-in about 60 minutes prior to the show and were able to select a table. There were many little tables all adorned with black table cloths and color changing glow lights. We selected seats to the left most viewing point of the terrace (closer to the Main street side). All of the food stations were ready to go and for the next hour we were able to relax at the table and grab as much food and drink as we liked to bring back to our table to enjoy.
Being a dessert party we of course expected a lot of sweets, but we had also read there would be savory snacks as well which we were looking forward to. When we first arrived a cold drink station was out, and we were surprised at the amount of different options. There was also a table full of ready to grab flutes full of sparkling cider, although not champagne it still seemed a special and romantic touch. A little later there was a hot beverage station that appeared as well. Here is a list of all of the beverages offered:
Next we found many food stations with quite the variety of serve-yourself treats. There were a couple action stations that seemed mainly geared to entertaining kids by teaching them to play with their food. There were also a handful of some non-sweet options. Here is a list of the food offerings:
Cupcakes such as red velvet and Oreo
Tarts and dessert cups
Decorate your own cookie station
S’mores action station
Cheese and Crackers
Egg rolls (kind of an odd one right?)
It is good to note that the stations were refilled regularly and everything seemed the right temperature. The desserts we tried were all good, and many were very cute with decorations such as a castle topper or HEA logo, but once again it just was too much sugar in one sitting for us. We were glad to have a little bit of savory stuff, although we would have loved even more. We noticed that many guests filled their plates with heaps of food to take to their table but ended up not even eating it. Maybe it is the excitement of wanting all the cute desserts, or the “I’m paying a ton of money let’s eat all the food!” kind of attitude but it was sad to see so much waste. We luckily had a takeaway box from earlier that day and were able to take our few leftover treats for later.
Viewing The Show
One huge advantage of this party is reserved seats. You don’t have to try to snag a spot near Main Street and wait around for the show, your table is yours to leisurely enjoy. Plus being able to sit down after a long day at the parks was great. Another nice advantage to this area is the cover, especially given the rain showers that plague central Florida. There happened to be a downpour right before check-in and we felt so grateful to be able to hang out under the cover.
On the flip side there are some disadvantages to this area as well. The cover that protected us from the rain, also hindered some of the view. One of the reasons we chose the table that we did was to try to get the best angle possible. We didn’t realize how far off to the side the Tomorrowland Terrace is. It made for a very off center viewpoint of the show. While the sightlines of the fireworks are perfect no matter where you sit, the castle is sometimes hidden by trees depending on which table you sit at. Because Happily Ever After includes castle projections, it really does take away from the show by not being able to see the castle. It was strange to be in a V.I.P. seat and have a not very V.I.P. view. We feel that we kinda missed out on the beauty of the show to be honest.
So full disclosure: we did not pay for this party. We were gifted this experience from Disney Vacation Club as part of the “Dream it Forward” program for referring our friends who are new members. (Thanks Ben & Kathy!). Now with that being said we still would like to give our opinion with the price tag in mind. Because $84 is a lot of money. And could buy an awful lot of Mickey bars, or whatever your vice may be.
Not having to worry about finding a spot, and instead enjoying the hour pre-show leisurely: in seats! (So nice at the end of the day.)
Enjoying a variety of cute treats and drinks
It was a lot of money for food that we didn’t prefer. Now if this included more apps and could be more like a meal that would have be great. Or if alcohol was included - sold! But to be overloaded with sugar that we didn’t really want or need - meh.
The view was fairly far away and much too far to the side.
While many times we find that the value of our time, or the quality of an experience is worth a premium price tag, we decided that this particular experience was not worth the cost for us. We were glad to be able to experience it once, but if we had paid out of pocket we believe we would have been disappointed. If the menu was different we could have seen more value, especially if alcohol was included. If the view was really premium that could have swayed us more as well. We actually think the other two dessert party options would have been a better way to go. They were cheaper and you get into a great reserved space in the plaza grass. This party did feel exclusive and we suppose it could be a neat thing to do once maybe for a special occasion, but we both agree that we would rather spend that money on a killer meal or other special experience instead.