Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise
As frequent visitors to Walt Disney World, my family likes to have new experiences each trip. When we visited The Happiest Place on Earth in early February, we tried a new restaurant (Sanaa at Disney’s Kidani Village), visited two restaurants we had not dined at in 10+ years (Liberty Tree Tavern and Chef Mickey’s), and stayed at a resort we had not stayed at as a family before (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort). On our last evening, we embarked on the Pirates and Pals Firework Cruise for the first time.
We are a family of four with two boys, age six and three-quarters and fourteen. There are so many experiences at Disney that are focused on princesses that when we come across something that boys can enjoy, we get excited.
The information we were given instructed us to arrive at Disney’s Contemporary Resort by 6:45PM for check in. We arrived around 6:30 and checked in near the California Grill check in counter. We were given the run down of the evening by a Cast Member and had a scavenger hunt to complete to help pass the time. When we finished the hunt, the sheet was turned in to a Cast Member and my youngest got to pick a prize . We were held outside the event room, where the snacks, drinks, characters are, until 6:55. At that time, Patch and Patch (the pirate twins), welcomed us to the party and invited us to come inside.
When we entered the room, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee were taking photos with guests. There was raspberry lemonade, water, iced tea, apple juice, hot tea, and coffee to drink. A small freezer filled with frozen treats was available for guests. The snack buffet included sugar cookies, chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, a treasure chest full of chocolate coins, apples and carrots in single serve bags, ranch dressing singles, chips with salsa, hummus, and pita chips.
The group was in this room less than 30 minutes to enjoy the snacks, drinks, and characters. Patch and Patch rejoined the party and divided the group into two teams - Hook’s team and Smee’s team. The Patch twins, along with Hook and Smee, escorted the groups down to the dock. Each of the Patches accompanies a group on the boat while Hook and Smee stay on the dock. On the way to the viewing spot, which took around 15 minutes, Patch entertained us – he had each group on the boat introduce themselves, sang some songs, and told some jokes. When it was time for the fireworks to start, the Happily Ever After music is piped right onto the boat. The viewing spot in the middle of the lagoon is a great viewing spot for the fireworks. Guests don’t get to see all of the projections onto the castle, but it sure beats having to fight the crowds to exit the park.
Immediately after the fireworks, we headed back to the Contemporary. On the way back, we played some Disney Trivia with prizes given to the younger kids. When the boats arrived back at the dock, Peter Pan was waiting on us for a photo opportunity.
The cost of this event was $72 for adults and $43 for children, tax not included.
My thoughts: We arrived back at the Contemporary around 7:25. So from the time we went into the room for snacks until the time we got off the boat was 90 minutes. One of the perks was not fighting crowds to get out of the park. You definitely don’t get the impact of the projection on the castle from the viewing spot, but the view of the fireworks is great.
We had less than 30 minutes in the event room and it was not enough time. About 20 minutes in, they gave us the 10 minute warning to use the bathroom and the entire inside portion of the event just felt rushed. My family didn’t even do the photo op because of the wait. There was not enough seating or tables to accommodate the group, so several of us ended up sitting on the floor.
The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise is something I might recommend for a family who has been to Disney multiple times and is looking for a new experience.