by Tinker Belle Diva
The first day of our Walt Disney World trip was not quite long enough to justify adding a park ticket day, but long enough that we had time for something special. I searched dining reservations for the evening of our first day, and the Pirate & Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage popped up as an option. I am so glad I decided to take that reservation as it was one of the highlights of our trip! In summary, this experience includes a scavenger hunt, comedic pirates, character meets, snack food, a lagoon cruise, and fireworks. That is really packing a lot into just a couple of hours.
How to Get There The event starts and ends at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. If you are staying there or at any of the monorail resorts, it is an easy trip around the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Contemporary. What we did is take a resort bus from our non-monorail resort to the Magic Kingdom. From there we boarded the monorail (TIP – make sure you board the resort monorail and not the Transportation and Ticket Center monorail), and the first stop is inside the Contemporary Resort. You do have to go through security/bag check to board the monorail or walk to the Contemporary, so those rules for what you can take with you will apply. From there, we took a couple of escalators down to the 2nd floor where the convention rooms are located (there are elevators available as well). There we found the check-in desk. You could also take a short walk from the Magic Kingdom on a well marked path to the Contemporary and enter through the lobby. From the main lobby, take the escalator to the second floor. On our way back to our resort, we took this path and it was well marked and easy to travel even at night. Our check-in time was 6:45 pm. We left our resort on a bus at 5:45, took the monorail, and arrived at 6:15 at the Contemporary Resort. They had not yet set up the check-in booth, so we spent some time inside the resort to view the Mary Blair murals and do some shopping.
Pre-Voyage Activities What I found that made this experience special was that it had so many different activities for us. To start, we checked in and were given each a pirate bandana to wear so that they knew we belonged with the crew, and then they provided optional scavenger hunt clues to find objects and items around the floors of the Contemporary Resort. Once we completed the hunt, we returned to the check-in booth and our kids each picked a pirate themed prize. They both picked a foldable pirate frisbee, that we then used in the convention room hallways prior to the doors opening to the dessert room.
Those doors to the dessert room opened with great fanfare from our two new Pirate pals, named Patch and well, Patch. The room has several high top tables without chairs and then chairs lined the edges of the room, so those are your two options for enjoying the snacks. And so many snacks!! Cookies, chips and salsa, hummus, apple slices, bags of pretzels, Smartfood popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, frozen fruit bars, cupcakes, and ALL THOSE CHOCOLATE COINS! The coins were everywhere and plentiful! TIP – Take some snacks with you! While snacks are not allowed to be consumed on the Voyage, we each brought a bag of pretzels and some chocolate coins to be consumed later in the evening. Drinks included water, hot chocolate, tea and coffee. We opted for the chairs along the edges of the room and as we just sat down, the guests of honor were introduced! Captain Hook and Mr. Smee arrived for photo ops and autograph signing. We waited until the line was about over before we took our photo. This gave us plenty of time to have a BUNCH of snacks, and there was still more time for snacks before they gave us the “last call” to use the restroom. TIP – use the restroom! There are no opportunities once you leave for the Voyage!
The Voyage At check-in, we were each given a card with a Pirate name and based on that name, we lined up with a Patch the Pirate (remember there are two!) to start the short walk outside the Contemporary Resort to the boat dock.We boarded our boat for a cruise around the Seven Seas Lagoon. During the cruise, Patch led us in a series of songs and then his version of Pirate trivia. Each child was given an opportunity to answer and get a pirate prize (and each child will win!). We then docked front and center to the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Patch spent quite a bit of time asking each party where they were from and get to know us. Our Patch was SUPER entertaining and a great comedian!
Right on time (8:00 on this night), the “Happily Ever After” fireworks show began! Music is piped into the boat and the view was great for us! We were on the port (left) side of the boat and that was perfect for us to see the fireworks unobstructed. Those on the starboard (right) side did have to see past us. No standing on the boat, but lap sitting for kids is OK. This was a spectacular and unique way to watch this show! Once the fireworks were over, our boat headed back to the Contemporary Resort boat dock.
Leaving your Voyage Once back on dry land, we were told one more special guest was waiting for us. We walked back towards the resort (TIP – there is a bathroom on the way back that we found and used!) to see who this special guest could be! SPOILER ALERT!!! It is Peter Pan.
Interacting with him was fun, as well as having another opportunity for photos and autographs. We left Peter Pan at about 8:30 pm and headed back into the Contemporary Resort, took the walking path outside the front lobby entrance to the Magic Kingdom, and then boarded our bus for the return to our resort. TIP – On certain nights, the Electrical Water Pageant can be viewed from this Voyage! You’ll see it is based on the timing of the fireworks and the Pageant that night. Be sure to check the Walt Disney World schedule to see if the times coincide. They did for Fancy Free Diva and you can read about that in her review.
TIP: This Voyage is best for those that like a variety of activities, that can stay up late enough to enjoy the entire experience (some small kids were falling asleep), and want special character interactions. We really loved this and found it to be a great activity to end that first day at the Walt Disney World Resort!
Need help planning your Disney vacation to include this Voyage? Patricia at All 4 Dream Travel is here to help! Contact her today for a quote.