The recent upgrade to the Star Wars Fireworks to the newer “Galactic Spectacular” version has created new issues when watching the fireworks at Hollywood Studios. Here’s my thoughts on using the Dessert Party and whether it’s “worth it.”
I’m regularly asked if something extra in Walt Disney World is “worth it.” Many of the add-ons don’t hold their value for me. I’ve really enjoyed the Early Morning Magic and the Pirates and Pals Cruise, but haven’t found most of the the extra cost add ons having any value for me. This could be an exception. Read on for an explanation.
The Fireworks Dessert Party portion will move to the Star Wars Launch Bay on July 10. Party patrons will be ushered to a viewing area about 15 minutes before the Fireworks. I’m not really sure how that will work out, so I’ll need to drop in to see how it differs.
How to View the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks
In the past, you could find a spot anywhere along Hollywood Boulevard, near Min and Bills or in the Courtyard for a decent view of the fireworks. I always preferred the views that were aligned with the Great Movie Ride like this one.
With this new version, Star Wars images are projected upon the Great Movie Ride and the two large tan buildings beside it. To get the best view of the show, you need to be able to see all of this area below AND the large fireworks are now shot off center to the right. You’ll see them where the far right palm tree is located below. It’s because they had to move the pyro location from the backlot area to a newly constructed site. Fireworks also appear from the tan building on the left, the American Idol building and an building even farther to the right out of the frame here. You’re pretty much surrounded by fireworks in some form.
In order to have the best view, you should be even with or in front of these large buildings. They were constructed to hold the projection equipment and controls.
Here’s a bit of a wide angle of the viewing area. It’s pretty small. I recommend being aligned with the blue projection building so you’re slightly off center to the left, but can still see the Great Movie Ride and tan buildings I discussed earlier.
If you go too far left, much of your view will be blocked by trees and you won’t see much of what happens in the center of the Great Movie Ride. You can see the large scale fireworks, but miss a lot of the show. Conversely, if you go too far right, you won’t see the large fireworks and some of the projections on the right hand tan building.
Each evening the Cast will tape off lines. You can be on the left of the left hand tape or the right of the right hand tape across from the dessert party. The tape to the right of the Dessert Party will likely be occupied 1.5 hours before the show. The entire prime viewing area is pretty congested by 45 minutes before the show with people stepping over sitting guests to find empty spaces.
Details on the Dessert Party
The Dessert Party cost me $69.00 (adult) and $39.00 (child) and you’re told it will begin 1 hour before the fireworks, but they usually allow entry at least 1 hour and 15 minutes early.
The check in area is on the back side of the red table area across from Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner. I highly recommend checking in at 8 to 8:15 pm. And wait near the benches on the left of the photo.
Your’e given a wristband with a pull off tab area. The pull off tab allows you to redeem for a complimentary Chewbacca drinking stein. It’s valued at $13.99 in the park. We were told we could pick them up as we were leaving, then were told to get them right before fireworks, then asked as we were leaving if we had them already.
The front row is reserved for guests in wheelchairs and ECVs, but the Cast allowed other guests to fill the area along the rope after all handicap guests were ushered to a table. The absolute best view is along these 2 front rows, but any table has a good view. I was among the first in and placed my hat on my preferred table.
The only downside to this experience is the lack of chairs. It would have been nice to at least have a folding chair of some sort to relax a bit and enjoy the show.
Here’s my view. Human eyes are actually a wider view, but that’s all my camera would do. See those palms on the right of the photo? That’s the place that you’ll see the big booms!
While we enjoyed some snacks and drinks, the First Order Stormtroopers mingled with guests. One guy had a horn on his ECV that amused them. They didn’t enter the Dessert Party area.
You’ll see hot water, tea, coffee, water and soda. Drink as much as you want for just over an hour. It all closes when the fireworks begin.
It’s a Dessert Party, so you’d expect Desserts, right? Here’s a mini version of the BB-8 cupcake that is sold in some counter service locations in the park.
There’s also mini Vaders that are chocolate with peanut butter icing. Makes you just want to take all the mini Vaders home, huh?
Mini Darth Maul Eclairs
Blue Milk Panna Cotta was good, but pretty sweet.
Basically just rice crispy treats with icing. Red ones leave an odd taste in your mouth though.
They offer a Nutella Mouse that is fast frozen and topped with Dark Chocolate and or Raspberry Sauce. The Raspberry sauce finishes the mouse nicely, I recommend adding a bit of each.
Each of the following punch products are tasty but they have a tang or sourness to them. You’ll likely find yourself needing a bit of water.
You’ll have unlimited access to all these traditional park frozen treats for entire hour. About this time you’re on sugar overload and your children are climbing on the tables.
The large cookie dessert with ice cream was delicious.
Those who imbibe on alcoholic beverages will find an unlimited flow of specialty drinks for an hour.
In addition to the sweets and drinks, there’s a few savory items, cheese and fruit on a separate table as well.
Cheese and tomato.
Your kids will likely have light saber battles with the toothpicks.
Cheese and green olive.
As for the viewing area. It’s a highly recommended area in front of the Great Movie Ride with a full view of all the projections, lasers, fire cannons and pyro.
Here’s my full YouTube video of the Fireworks, followed by several photos.
Star Destroyer flies over Hollywood Studios.
AT-AT Walkers on the rampage. Notice the fireworks on the right as I mentioned earlier in the post?
I love how they included the laser blasts going back and forth between the Rebels and the various bad guys.
On Friday, June 24, 2016 the designers were finally given permission to unleash the flame blasters and I was there to see it. I took this photo with my phone camera, but you can see the flames bursting 30 or 40 feet into the air. Great addition!
The First Order Storm Troopers look pretty cool on the buildings. See the projections extend to the left building and the right one is out of frame on my camera.
I love how the Palm fireworks fall over the New Hope scenes.
Everyone loves the final scene with the light saber rising from the Great Movie Ride.
The Dessert Party with the Chewbacca stein was actually a very nice experience and I didn’t feel crowded with people trying to squeeze into every possible inch of ground. You can enjoy some desserts and drinks, meet some new people and watch the fireworks with no stress. If you have it in your budget to afford this experience, it may be worth your while to book it.
Fireworks and Fantasmic
Some have asked me if they could watch Fantasmic and rush over to see this show. As my story and photos exhibit, you’ll find it pretty tough to get a full view of this show and the large fireworks will likely be out of view. If there’s 2 Fantasmic showings, visit the 2nd. If there’s only one, I would choose the Fireworks or visit 2 different evenings.
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