This is a wonderful way to watch the “Happily Ever After” fireworks at Magic Kingdom or Epcot’s “Illuminations,” soon to be a new show, without being in the crowds or needing park tickets. You are on a pontoon boat that holds either 8 or 10. There is also a Grand Yacht, but I have never done that. Cruises for Magic Kingdom leave from Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridan, and Wilderness Lodge marinas. Epcot cruises leave from the Yacht and Beach Club Marina. The cruise includes assorted snacks and soft drinks (pretzels, chips, rice crispy treats, and Coke products). You can also pay for private dining extras like cakes and so on. You can also have banners and balloons for no extra cost. We have had birthday banners for my son. Prices start at $299 for the 21 foot boat that seats 8, $349 for the 25 foot that seats 10, and the Grand Yacht starts at $399 per hour. Prices are higher for holidays and have seasonal pricing. You call 407-939-7529 to reserve. You need to be at the dock one hour and 15 minutes before the scheduled fireworks.
A great way to help with the cost of this is to find a “share.” A cruise share is where someone has booked a cruise for their family and they will then open the cruise for other families to join them. The first time we did this, someone had booked an Illuminations cruise and did a Facebook post that they had room for 8 other people to join them. The cost of the cruise was divided by 10. I have now booked two different cruises and opened them up for others to join. We are a family of 3, so that allowed room for 7 other people to join us. The total cost per person for the July “Illuminations” cruise came out to be $37.17 per person. I did ask that each family/group give the boat captain a tip also.
The cruise to Epcot leaves and heads up to Hollywood Studios. Depending on the time of year, you may see some higher fireworks from Hollywood Studios. In the summer, you don’t see any fireworks, but have a great view of the back side of Tower of Terror. You then go to Epcot and tie off under the bridge for a front row view of the fireworks and show. I will say that depending on the direction of the wind, you may get smoke from the fireworks. However, I have never found it to be that much of a problem. For the Magic Kingdom fireworks cruise, the boat goes out and parks in front of the Cinderella Castle. This view allows you to really take in all the fireworks and realize just how spread out they actually are. You do not appreciate this when you are watching from within the park.
This is such a great way to view the fireworks. We have made some great friends by doing fireworks cruises. When I have done a cruise share, I tell people that they can pay me cash there or they can PayPal me the money. Everyone has always paid ahead of time. You do have to pay in full at the time of booking. ¬¬There are also fireworks dessert cruises and a “Pirates and Pals” fireworks cruise as well. I have not done a fireworks dessert cruise, but I have done the “Pirates and Pals” cruise. With the “Pirates and Pals,” you have dessert at the Contemporary and meet Captain Hook and Smee. After the cruise, Peter Pan meets you when you return to the dock.