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Florida Guide > Disney General

IllumiNations Cruise at Epcot

Have you ever stood in “France” watching the amazing pyrotechnics and lasers over the lagoon at Epcot and seen the privileged few enjoying a glass of champagne while watching the fireworks from their private launch and wondered how they managed to be so lucky?

I know I did!

Wonder no more, a friendly local let me in on a little known secret, you can book one of these launches for a mere $120 for up to 12 guests. There are only four launches and they get booked up very quickly, so if you want to be one of the lucky few you will need to book 90 days in advance by phoning Disney direct as soon as they open (7am local time) it took me nearly a week to be one of the first four callers! The telephone number at the time of writing is 001 407 939 7529. It is also worth noting that you do NOT require park admission for this cruise.

When we arrived at the Boardwalk we opted for the valet parking at the hotel ($6) and then took a stroll through the hotel and along the Boardwalk.

You can choose to board the boat from either Disney’s yacht club or from the Boardwalk, just outside The Flying Fish Café. We opted for the latter and enjoyed dinner in the Flying Fish before boarding at 8.15pm. If you decide to eat first make sure you allow plenty of time, we had a 6.30 reservation and had to skip dessert and coffee!

We had both a wheelchair user and a baby in a stroller in our party and both were easily accommodated. Children under 12 have to wear life jackets.

We took our own champagne and plastic glasses on board, and our “Captain” for the evening took us for a spin around the waterways before heading off for Epcot and parking up under the bridge by “France” just in time to watch the fantastic fireworks, lasers and the amazing globe that floats across the lagoon with scenes from around the World on it’s special curved LED screens.

We managed to take some wonderful photos and video footage, something we had never been able to achieve when watching the display from dry land.

When the IllumiNations had finished our “Captain” took us back to the Boardwalk, but not before he stopped the launch and took photos of our party with all the lights from the Boardwalk as the backdrop.

We rounded our evening off with a stroll around the shops, I was never one to miss the opportunity for a little retail therapy! Then coffee and drinks in the bar at the Boardwalk Hotel.

Author: Caroline Barnes (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 21 July 2004
Viewed 5639 times since 1 September 2008.

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