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Book a Private Fireworks Cruise at Walt Disney World

If you’re looking for a way to commemorate a special occasion at Walt Disney World, you might think about booking a private fireworks cruise.  These cruises offer a fantastic and unique view of Wishes at the Magic Kingdom and Illuminations at Epcot, without staking out a spot for two hours and then having someone show up right as the fireworks start and stand right in front of you, blocking your view.

Getting Started ~ Options and Booking a Fireworks Cruise

To get started, check out Walt Disney World’s Specialty Cruises page and see which type of cruise is right for you.  You can depart from the Grand Floridian Resort, the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Resort, or the Wilderness Lodge resort and view the Wishes fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom.  You can depart from the Yacht Club Resort and view Illuminations at Epcot.  The cool thing about choosing an Illuminations cruise is that you actually watch the fireworks show in the boat from within the park near World Showcase Lagoon.  An added bonus of choosing a Wishes cruise is that you will get up close and personal with the Electrical Water Pageant, and the boats have synchronized on board audio so that you won’t miss a moment of the show.

There are several boats to choose from.  You can choose a 21-foot pontoon boat for up to 8 guests, or a 25-foot pontoon boat for up to 10 guests.  A cruise Captain will charter the pontoon boat for you (don’t forget a tip for a job well done – not included in the price of your cruise, but appreciated) and bottled water, canned soft drinks, and snacks like chips and pretzels are provided.  If you want to go really “grand”, you can depart from the Grand Floridian Resort and sail away in the Grand 1 Yacht, which is a 52-foot yacht that accommodates up to 18 people.  You can add on professional Butler service to the Grand 1, but keep in mind that the butler counts as 1 guest, so you may then have 17 additional people on board.

There are several ways to make your fireworks cruise even more special and memorable.  You can have food served on board, everything from a full meal, to warm snacks, to cold trays and desserts, and you can even have a personalized cake or the popular white chocolate Cinderella slipper dessert.  You can also add balloons and a celebration banner to your boat.

Once you’ve chosen the right cruise for you, call (407) WDW-PLAY to book.  You may book 90 days in advance, and it is suggested that you book as soon as possible to avoid not being able to book the cruise you want.  Your credit card information will be held, and you won’t be charged until the actual day of the cruise.  There is a 24 hour cancellation policy, so if you don’t show up for your cruise or if you have to cancel within that 24 hour window, your credit card will be charged the full amount of the cruise.

If you wish to add food onto your cruise experience, you’ll need to call Private Dining at the resort that your cruise departs from.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: (407) 824-2955
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: (407) 824-2473
Disney’s Polynesian Resort: (407) 824-2165
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts: (407) 939-3160

Don’t forget to bring your camera!  The views are spectacular, and completely unlike anything you’ve seen before.  If it’s a special event, you might want to book a professional photographer to capture the memories for you so you can sit back and enjoy the show.

Our Experience ~ First Anniversary Wishes fireworks cruise

Chris and I got married at Walt Disney World in 2012, so it only made sense to return in 2013 to celebrate our first anniversary.  I wanted to do something new that we had not done before, something that we would always remember as a unique experience for our anniversary.  I learned that it was possible to book a private cruise for fireworks viewing, and I knew that would be perfect.

I did not call 90 days out to book our cruise, but I was still lucky enough to be able to choose from Wishes or Illuminations on our chosen date.  I chose Wishes and chose to depart from the Grand Floridian in the 21-foot pontoon for 4 guests.  The reasons for my choices were mainly that we had gotten married at the Grand Floridian and watched Wishes that night (this was an anniversary trip, after all!), but also the fact that the Wishes cruise offered a super up close view of the Electrical Water Pageant totally swayed my decision.  I absolutely love the Electrical Water Pageant in all its cheesy 70′s classic Walt Disney World glory.

I did contact Grand Floridian Private Dining about food on the cruise, and the contact there e-mailed me a PDF menu.  There were a lot of good choices, but in the end I decided to forgo food on the cruise, mainly because we were going to be doing an anniversary cake cutting just an hour before.  I also felt like we would be too distracted just taking in the experience to really focus on eating a meal.

I had already booked David and Vicki Arndt Photography for an anniversary photo shoot, so I just added on extra time with them to have them come on the cruise with us, too.  Photos are very important to me, and I especially wanted some really nice photos of us with the fireworks as a backdrop.  David and Vicki are fantastic people and very talented photographers.  They used to work for Disney Fine Art Photography, and they now shoot Disney weddings and family events, so they are very knowledgeable about Walt Disney World, how everything works, and how to get the best shots.  Since we were going all out with this first anniversary celebration, I booked Jessica Torres with Beaute Speciale to do my hair and makeup (she also did my hair and makeup for our wedding).

After our anniversary cake cutting and doing portraits around the Grand Floridian, we changed our clothes and headed down to the Grand Floridian marina.  I checked in and processed payment.  Our boat was already waiting on us, so we met our Captain and boarded right away.

How to Book a Private Fireworks Cruise at Walt Disney World

We started out by going around Seven Seas Lagoon and looking at all the Magic Kingdom area resorts.  We got a great view of the new DVC building at the Grand Floridian, which at the time was not officially open yet.  We saw the Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian, too.

How to Book a Private Fireworks Cruise at Walt Disney World

We then got in place for a very up close and personal view of the Electrical Water Pageant.  There is nothing quite like seeing it on the water!

How to Book a Private Fireworks Cruise at Walt Disney World

It wasn’t long before it was time to take our place on the water outside the Magic Kingdom.  The views of the entryway to the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella castle were pretty impressive.  You really are not that far away!  The music and narration started up through the speakers on our boat, and the Wishes fireworks show began…

How to Book a Private Fireworks Cruise at Walt Disney World


This was definitely a unique experience and a perfect way to celebrate our first anniversary.  We definitely want to do an Illuminations cruise in the future!

  1. I’m so glad that you had such a memorable anniversary! Great tips!

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