The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage Cruise at Walt Disney World is a fun way to view Happily Ever After, the Magic Kingdom’s nightly Fireworks from the middle of the Seven Seas Lagoon! Here’s what my reader Suzanne had to say about her experience.
This event kicks off about 90 minutes before the Happily Ever After show, and while no park tickets are required, a separate ticket is necessary to participate. You will need to verify with Disney as to sailing dates, as it does not run every day.
The adventure begins at the Contemporary Resort, where a sign at the check in desk will tell you where to go to meet. The setting of the pre-party will vary based on current events happening at the hotel. When we experienced this event, the party took place on the 2nd floor in the hallway outside of the ballrooms.
Upon checking in at the podium, our party was given a slip with our boat name and seat #s (there were 2 boats that evening), as well as Disney Pirate bandanas, and told to we must wear them ( this was how we were identified as paid participants). Some put them on their heads like true pirates, and others (myself included) tied them on their wrists.
Scattered around the perimeter of the ‘pre-party space’ were tables of snacks and cocktail tails where you could stand to eat/drink in the center of the hall. The food and drink tables were decorated with pirate theme. We were told to take as muchas we desired, and many people loaded up their bags to the brim. Snacks included pre-bagged cotton candy, boxed popcorn, individually wrapped cookies and brownies, (some were gluten free), individually wrapped cereal bars, and soda pop and bottles of water. We were also told that we could take the snacks onto the boats as well, or you could stand there, mingle and eat right there. There was not much seating in this area, just a few couches which could hold maybe ¼ of the people in attendance.
Shortly into the ‘party’, 2 pirates appeared, aptly named Patch and Patch. These pirates were the captains of the boats, and heckled each other, and tried to get the crowd going. They introduced Mr. Smee and Captain Hook, who were then available for pictures. Folks lined up right away for the photo opportunity with the characters, and Patch and Patch mingled with the guests. Make sure you take your little ones to the bathroom during this portion of the party (or before you arrive), as there are not any restrooms on the boat, and you are on the boat for about 45 minutes to an hour.
After about 30 minutes of this action, Patch and Patch split the crowd by boat, and Smee and Hook led us in a procession through the hotel out to the boat dock, where we all loaded into the boats.
Once on the boat, Patch did his best to teach us pirate speak and tell us Disney and pirate themed jokes along the way. Within a few minutes of cruising, we were on the water right near the dock of the Fort Wilderness Lodge, idling and waiting for the Electrical Water Pageant to begin. Music from the pageant was piped in to the boat, and we were able to watch as it passed right by our boat. From there, we headed out to the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom. Patch introduced some special passengers (Honeymooners, birthday guests, etc.) and opened the floor up for anyone else to add their celebrations, which guests did.
While we were waiting for Wishes (now Happily Ever After) to begin, Patch conducted a trivia game onboard, and awarded prizes from his treasure chest to the winners. My son received a plastic pirate sword, and my daughter received some treasure beads to wear. Patch also was available on the boat while we were waiting for the fireworks for photos. Guests could go to the front of the boat and pose with Patch.
Soon we heard the music from Wishes, and watched the amazing display from the boat. We were sitting on the left side of the boat, and had a better view of the fireworks than those guests on the right side. Now, of course this all depends on where the boat docks in the water. The motor was turned off, and we were able to watch with wonder, as the soundtrack from Wishes was playing on the boats speakers….pure magic!
When the spectacle was over, we cruised back to the Contemporary and were greeted on the dock by Peter Pan, who was holding a magical lit lantern (which was supposed to be Tink inside). We were sitting in the front of the boat, so we were the first ones off, and Peter Pan took my children and their friends we cruised with by the hand and walked them up the dock closer to the hotel near the pool where he was then available for pictures. Along the walk he was talking to them about Pirate adventures and Neverland. Peter was so gracious and patient, we were the first to take pictures with him, and my kids wanted more of him, so we waited to see him again. There did not seem to be a rush to have Peter leave by the character handler; he was there until all the passengers that wanted to saw him (some folks left right away though).
If you are looking for a new experience and a fun way to witness the fireworks, why not try the Pirates and Pals Fireworks voyage? Call 1-407-WDW-PLAY for availability and booking. Prepayment in advance is required and a cancellation policy is in place, which Disney will explain to you upon booking.
On your next trip, you might consider letting the kids do a Pirate Adventure Cruise.
Suzanne Manning is a self-proclaimed Disney freak, wife and mother of 2 small children from Buffalo, New York. She loves to get creative and come up with new home sewn apparel ideas for her family their annual pilgramage to Walt Disney World.