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
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.
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