Monday, September 19, 2011

Wishes Fireworks Cruise

This year as a special treat, I booked us a cruise for the Wishes fireworks.  Our cruise left from the Polynesian at about 8:00 pm.  The boat is a 26' pontoon with seating for 10.  Since we were only 8, we were quite comfortable.  Bagged snacks, bottled water and cans of soda pop are provided.  I had heard mixed reviews about the cruise, and was hoping for the best.  Our driver, Juan Carlos, was a very personable and well-informed young man.  I had requested that the boat be decorated for Bubby's and Krissy's birthdays, and it was complete with a banner and balloons.  We boarded the boat, and settled in for our cruise.  After a short cruise around the lake during which Juan gave us the history of several of the small islands, he moved us to a point on the lake where we were directly in front of the train station with the castle in the background.  Since I had booked the deluxe cruise, the sound was piped onto the boat.  And then the fireworks began.  They were more impressive than you can imagine.  Just beautiful.  We were so sad when they ended.

 Then Juan Carlos informed us that we were heading for the Grand Floridian.  He showed us the Wedding Pavilion and talked about the cost of a "Disney Wedding".  And then positioned the boat so that we could see the Electric Boat Parade.  We had heard of the boat parade, but had never seen it.  The Parade consists of 7 barges with screens of lights.  There is a fire breathing dragon, a whale, a turtle, a dinosaur, dolphins, and King Neptune complete with his carriage being pulled by sea horses.  Suddenly the music stops, the lights go out, and when the lights come back on,  some of the barges are American flags and others are multicolored stars.  And a medley of patriotic music plays in the background.  It was a wonderful evening.

What was the cost?  I was $346.00, which seems like a lot for a two hour cruise.  But we all agreed that it was worth every penny.  Juan Carlos was a fantastic captain, with a great sense of humor.  He teased all the girls, winking with every tease.  He regaled us with stories about Disney, its history, showed us some "hidden" animals in some of the resort lights, and made the time pass so quickly.  I had heard that you captain could make or break your cruise.  And we had the best!  Last year we had done the Wishes Dessert Party.  It was about $26 per person.  The eight of us were crammed at a table designed for four, the desserts left a little to be desired, and you couldn't see the fireworks unless you stood up.  We swore that we'd never do that again.  The cruise was a little more expensive, but we got our moneys worth.  It's an evening I will never forget.


Retired Knitter said...

Wow, sounds like a wonderful cruise. We were there in the 90s and I will bet that a whole lot of stuff has changed since then.

Pat said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful treat! We had seen the boat parade many years ago when room costs were very reasonable and we could afford to stay beachfront at The Poly (as it was only $70 a night you KNOW this was a long time ago...I think around 1978). We did enjoy that boat parade a lot and I'm glad you got to see it, too.