Monday, April 29, 2013

Dessert and a Deluge

Boom!  Boom!  Boom!  Colorful fireworks exploded behind Cinderella Castle, casting a royal silhouette against the night sky.  I glanced down at my children's faces; their chins rested on the railing of the Tomorrowland Terrace as they stared at the Castle, pure wonder glistening in their eyes.  I breathed a deep sign of relief as a wave of gratitude washed over me; Isaac had yet to hit Florida...but he was coming.

Approximately three days before any Disney vacation, I begin to fixate on one disastrous scenario that has the potential to ruin our whole trip.  This fixation occurs like clockwork, and it serves as my motivation to prepare for the unexpected.  This time, Hurricane Isaac was my scenario of choice.  Usually, my concern dissipates as soon as we touch down in Orlando, but things were a little different on this trip.  While Orlando is so far inland that it rarely sustains a direct hit from a hurricane, Disney World can easily be inundated with constant downpours and high winds from tropical storms, even when they only graze the Florida coast.  In addition, we'd planned to spend two days on the ocean at the end of the trip.  So, needless to say, I'd been tracking Isaac's path all week.  Several times, I was able to convince myself that I needed to forget about Isaac and enjoy our trip since I had little (ok, zero) control over the trajectory of a tropical storm.  Nevertheless, Isaac had undeniably created his own tropical storm in my head, and I couldn't seem to permanently take cover from him.

But now, here we were on our last night at Disney World, and we had been incredibly fortunate, as
Our View of the Castle From the Terrace
Orlando had yet to feel the effects of Hurricane Isaac.  In fact, we'd had an incredibly memorable evening.  After dinner at Chef Mickey's, we'd hopped over to Magic Kingdom for one last night of fun.  Each of my children had picked one favorite attraction to experience again.  Then, we checked in at the Tomorrowland Terrace for the Fireworks Dessert Party.

Tip Time: We love to end our Disney vacations by attending Wishes Nighttime Spectacular (the nightly fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom).  For us, there's no better way to say good-bye than listening to "When You Wish Upon a Star" as fireworks explode behind Cinderella Castle.  What we DON'T love, however, is battling the crowds on Main Street when the fireworks are over.  Luckily, there's an alternative!  Almost every night, Tomorrowland Terrace hosts a fireworks dessert party.  Cold milk, countless decadent desserts, and reserved seating for Wishes--seriously, what could be better?  This event costs extra and you MUST make reservations, so be sure to call ahead of time (usually, reservations for this event open 30-60 days prior).  

Upon checking in at the party, we were ushered to our reserved table and instructed to help ourselves to dessert.  As we rounded the corner to the buffet, Jack and Sadie's eyes grew to the size of saucers.  Cold milk, warm cookies, hot chocolate and coffee, an ice cream bar complete with whipped cream and cherries, and an array of decadent bite-sized desserts were spread out on several tables.  Jack's eyes locked on mine, and I knew what he was going to ask before he even opened his mouth, so I answered the question that he hadn't even posed yet.  "Whatever you want, guys.  It's our last night.  Go crazy!!"

And crazy they went!  We returned to our table with loaded plates and leisurely enjoyed our desserts as we shared our favorite memories from our trip.  When the pre-show started, we strolled up to the railing and settled in--no jostling for a spot!!  And then, the fireworks began!  The view of the fireworks from Tomorrowland Terrace is not completely head-on, but it did not detract from the show at all.  Best of all, the view was completely unobstructed and our children could clearly see it on their own (there was no need to put them on our shoulders).

After the show was over, instead of joining the masses as they surged toward the exit, we hung out in Tomorrowland for about a half hour.  Then, we slowly made our way to the front, unimpeded by the hordes of people who'd left right after the show.  Because everyone had departed at once, there was no wait for a bus by the time we lined up, and we were easily able to find a seat.  Within twenty minutes, we'd arrived back at the Beach Club, and we were sinking into bed before we knew it.  I leaned over to turn off the light, closed my eyes, and listened to the sounds of the wind as it began howling outside our resort.  Then, came the rain, slowly at first...then harder and harder.  It was official.  Isaac had hit!!


  1. Meridith, how do you make reservations for that? Is it through the normal character/table meals part of their site?

    1. Hi there! The Dessert Party is not included in the dining plan (you can't use meal credits for it) but you CAN make reservations through the online dining reservation system or by calling Disney Dining directly!