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Old 01-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
DisneyLvr55
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Question Wishes Cruise v. Illuminations Cruise

I'm thinking of doing one of these on our upcoming trip (October). The Wishes Cruise would be the cheapest one out of the two for us since we will have 5 adults and 2 children (7 & 8), but price is not my primary concern.

I'm looking for the best, most memorable experience for all of us. I would conder doing the private dining on it if its worth it - Do they accept DDP, and if so, is it 2 credits? How do they time that - Do you have to be on the boat extra early for the dining, or do you eat while watching the fireworks? About how long is the entire trip, with and without a meal?



Opinions on all three experiences are appreciated!!
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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I can't comment on all of them, so I will comment on the one thing I did -- Wishes cruise.

I thought it was a great experience. We saved some money by teaming up with a family that we met here. It was great to meet them, and we had a nice time chatting with them during the cruise.

I thought the best part of the cruise was simply hanging out on the boat, as well as the anticipation you felt as you waited for the fireworks to begin. I will say, though, that the best view I ever had of the fireworks came from sitting down in a prime spot in front of the castle. Actually being in front of the castle can't be beat, no matter wherever else you go --- top of the Contemporary, Wishes cruise, etc. It is much more "powerful" up close.

With that said, although I think the experience of watching Wishes is better from the castle area, I think being in the boat is a great experience too.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
Wendybird55
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Illuminations Cruise! We did Illuminatons and Pirates and Pals..I was a bit disappointed in Pirates and Pals experience...snacks were so, so and the quality of view on boat depended upon where you were seated (seats were assigned).

Personally, I think there is something magical by sitting on main street and watching the fireworks in the park with the castle. Though you can see the castle and get a good distant view of the fireworks, the distance takes something away from the experience for me,,,plus I think you have to be careful of making sure you get a boat that has that has the music on board.

Illuminations on the other hadn is up close and personal..you are right there on the water with the fireworks. It was great. They park the boat under the bridge by france. Yes if it's a windey night smoke from the fireworks may blow your way and obstrct view a bit, but I think it was a great experience.

A couple of other great exepriences which are less expensive are Wishes Dessert party (I think better way to enjoy MK fireworks than cruises) and the 2hour fishing excursion. We've done the fishing twice and plan on doing it again when we go this summer. My son (6) loves it. We alwasy catch alot of fish. We take the excursion from YC (you can take from other places as well). We fished by WS and also DHS...plus Birbaum usually has a 20% off coupon in the book. Just make sure you get the current year.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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Oh, how I wish you were coming in March! We have exactly 7 seats open lol.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:06 PM   #5
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Oh, how I wish you were coming in March! We have exactly 7 seats open lol.
To bad - That would be perfect! lol
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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I have been On Illuminations and on Wishes and I prefer Wishes by far. Yes I agree seeing the fireworks from main street in front of the castle is great but I really enjoyed the cruise and we got up close to see the Water Parade as well. I met up with a family from here on the DIS whole had an extra seat and let me join in with them it was awsome. I have also watched it from the beach at POLY as well and that was great too. The only good view of Illumination is right in front of the showcase in my option.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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For those of you who have done it - Is this something that you must book at 180 days out, or can you book a few days before? Does it get sold out each night?

Also, what happens if it rains, and its canceled??


TIA
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #8
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We're looking to share a cruise!!!!

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Oh, how I wish you were coming in March! We have exactly 7 seats open lol.
When in March? We are a family of 5 and would love to do a cruise share!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DisneyLvr55 View Post
For those of you who have done it - Is this something that you must book at 180 days out, or can you book a few days before? Does it get sold out each night?

Also, what happens if it rains, and its canceled??


TIA
The Illumination cruises typically sell out in a few minutes at 180 days, like the castle breakfast. And they still cruise in the rain.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
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I will be there march 29th thru April 5th if anyone has room for 4 to share.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #11
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We did Illuminations a couple of years ago for my parents anniversary. At the time DD was 5 and DS was 3. The view wasn't fabulous and it was really loud. Both kids ended up in our laps and one was in tears. I think it was due to the noise level.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:59 AM   #12
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We did Illuminations a couple of years ago for my parents anniversary. At the time DD was 5 and DS was 3. The view wasn't fabulous and it was really loud. Both kids ended up in our laps and one was in tears. I think it was due to the noise level.
What was so bad about your view? I don't want to pay $$$ for a bad one!
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyLvr55 View Post
I'm thinking of doing one of these on our upcoming trip (October). The Wishes Cruise would be the cheapest one out of the two for us since we will have 5 adults and 2 children (7 & 8), but price is not my primary concern.

I'm looking for the best, most memorable experience for all of us. I would conder doing the private dining on it if its worth it - Do they accept DDP, and if so, is it 2 credits? How do they time that - Do you have to be on the boat extra early for the dining, or do you eat while watching the fireworks? About how long is the entire trip, with and without a meal?



Opinions on all three experiences are appreciated!!
Haven't done either yet, but would think being up close with illuminations would kick butt. We plan to do one in August on our trip so I'll keep listening for more info.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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I have done Wishes once and Illuminations 4 times. That tells you which one I like better. I think the view from the boats at Illuminations is much better than the view you get from Wishes.

Unless I was taking out the Grand I Yacht, I would not dine on one of these pontoon boats. Just holding the sodas and eating a bag of chips is a pain in my opinion.

Don't forget to include the cost of the tip for the boat captain.

I've never done it where I fill the boat. It wouldn't matter so much for Wishes because everything is in the air but Illuminations has so much at water level and the seats at the back of the boat are going to be far inferior to those at the front. I wouldn't be happy if I was sharing a cruise and paying the same price and I got those back seats. We have never had more than 6 on ours so that everyone gets to sit up front.

Also another thing about Illuminations is that if the wind isn't in your favor, you could pay a lot of money to eat smoke. We've been lucky all 4 times that the wind was going away from us.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:56 PM   #15
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Our family did the Illuminations cruise in December 2010. There were 10 of us, so we got our own boat. It was an awesome experience. We thought the view from under the bridge (next to France) was great. They lined up like 4 or 5 boats right there. The snacks were great, our captain was fantastic, and we really enjoyed the relaxing, scenic cruise down to Hollywood Studios and back (before the fireworks). We all thought it was well worth it.
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