Get the Best View With an Epcot Fireworks Cruise

I recently experienced a Disney World first and last in one night. For a year, I have been dreading the end of the beloved Epcot Illuminations Fireworks show and we finally bid it adieu in September. My family decided to give it a final send off by watching from an Epcot Fireworks Cruise!

If you didn’t know, you can reserve a Disney World specialty cruise which includes a pontoon boat ride and waterfront view of the show. This is available for both Magic Kingdom and Epcot fireworks. You don’t need a park ticket and when you look at the price per person, it’s a pretty decent deal. This was an amazing experience and I am here you tell you all about how to book one to see the new Epcot fireworks.

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How a Specialty Fireworks Cruise Works

First things first, you need to call Disney in order to set up your Fireworks Cruise. Since Illuminations was ending, we called very early in advance so we could secure a weekend night. However, usually you can book a month in advance, or less for weekday cruises.

After that you are all set until the day of your fireworks cruise. For Epcot, you are instructed to meet at least one hour prior at the Yacht Club. There was a bit of confusion for us with this though. Epcot Fireworks go off at 9 PM every night except for Saturday’s during the Food and Wine Festival when they start at 10 PM.

The cast member who booked our cruise told us to be at the dock at 7:30 PM and seemed convinced that the fireworks were at 9 PM that night. That seemed way too early to us, so we called again and the next person had the correct information. Make sure to check the time of the fireworks just to be safe!

epcot fireworks cruise pontoon

Once you book, all you have to do is show up to the Yacht Club dock an hour beforehand. The captain will depart as soon as you like and take you on a little tour of Crescent Lake, including over to the Hollywood Studios. If the fireworks there are later than the Epcot ones, they will often take you over for them too!

About twenty minutes before the fireworks, you arrive at the Epcot area to watch the show. If it’s raining, there’s a bridge the boats can go under and still get a view of the fireworks. If not, they go further out and you get a panoramic view of the lake. It was so great to show up right before the show, as opposed to staking out a spot an hour in advance like we usually do! There’s plenty of snacks and sodas and waters on board if you want to enjoy before or during the show. Once the fireworks go off though, you won’t want to focus on anything else! Afterwards, we got back to the dock fairly quickly without having to deal with the post fireworks rush.

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Our Epcot Fireworks Cruise Experience

We like to be early, so we arrived at the Yacht Club around 8 PM. My parents had booked a 10 person fireworks cruise and a few members of our party were meeting us there. My sister, Andrew and I decided to get a coffee from the Ale & Compass lounge, but the bartender talked us into adding Bailey’s to it. He said it would be fine for us to bring on the boat and though I don’t think it’s entirely allowed, there doesn’t seem to be a rule against bringing on your own food and beverages.

Once our party was together, we headed over to the dock at a quarter to nine, “coffee” in hand. We met with the captain, who was very friendly and gave a few safety warnings before we boarded. On board, there was an assortment of bags of chips, some cookies, soda and water that we could help ourselves too.

Since we were an hour early, we took a ride over to Hollywood Studios. Luckily it was a beautiful night and I enjoyed seeing everything lit up! We all found this to be very relaxing and there was lots of space for us to spread out.

disney world fireworks cruise

When we got to Epcot, our captain offered to take a group picture and then we were ready for Illuminations! Every spot on board has a great view of the fireworks, but to see the globe, you want to be on the far end of the boat. Since Illuminations is over, you probably don’t need to worry about it for Epcot Forever, as there is no centerpiece on the water. It can be a little tight for everyone to fit on the fireworks side of the boat though.

As for the fireworks, watching Illuminations for the last time was pretty emotional! I have seen this show almost yearly for 20 years. I have watched it on birthdays, anniversary’s and even Christmas and New Year’s Eve. My Dad and I even danced to the “We Go On” song at my wedding, so clearly this has been a big part of my life! It was an amazing experience to watch it from such a great view on the water.

Currently the new firework show is Epcot Forever, but that will only last until mid 2020 . Then the permanent show HarmoniUS will begin. If you want a front row seat to either of these shows, a fireworks cruise is the way to experience just that! I will always have the wonderful memories of our Epcot Fireworks Cruise

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Firework Cruise Options

Currently, fireworks cruises are available for Magic Kingdom and Epcot. At Epcot, there are only 4 ten person boats, so reservations fill up fast. At Magic Kingdom, you can book a cruise from any nearby hotels for either 8 or 10 people. The cost is $318 for 8 people and $379 for 10.

If you don’t have enough people to split a boat, you can post to the Disboards and see if anyone is interested in sharing with you. A Facebook group is a good place as well. You could even join my Facebook group which has a lot of Disney loving locals to find someone to share!

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As for who should book a Magic Kingdom or Epcot Fireworks Cruise, I think there are lots of good reasons too. If you are celebrating something, this is a fun way to mark the occasion. You can even order special food and drinks like chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to celebrate even more!

However, if you are short on park time for your vacation, this can be a cost effective solution as well. Instead of spending over an hour of park time saving a fireworks spot, you can get the perfect spot for just under $40 per person! Then you can see the fireworks on a day you aren’t touring the theme parks.

Know Before You Go: Disney World Fireworks Cruises

I had always seen boats lined up to watch the fireworks, but I never realized how easy it was to book my own! For Epcot, this the best way to get a great fireworks view without having to spend hours claiming your spot or paying $100 per person for a dessert party. For Magic Kingdom, you don’t get to see the castle projections from the boat, so it’s not the best view. However, if you don’t like dealing with crowds, this is the ideal way to avoid them! Lifelong Disney fans need to add a fireworks cruise to their bucket list and with the new shows, now is the perfect time to go. Here’s everything you need to know for your fireworks cruise.

  • You need to call 407-939-7529 to book your own specialty fireworks cruise.
  • For Epcot fireworks, you can get a pontoon for 10 people for $379. For Magic Kingdom, you can book an 8 or a 10 seat boat for $318 and $379, respectively.
  • You should book the cruise at least a month ahead of time. You can cancel it up to 2 days beforehand with no fee.
  • For an additional fee, you can have food, desserts, drinks or decorations on your fireworks cruise.
  • Sodas, water and snacks are included with the fireworks cruise for free.
  • Firework cruises depart from Disney World deluxe hotels about an hour before the fireworks shows.
How to book a disney fireworks cruise

Have you been on a Magic Kingdom or Epcot Fireworks cruise? I am so glad I finally took one! For more ideas for unique things to do in Florida, check out my Florida bucket list.