Review Of The Best Terrace To Watch Magic Kingdom's Happily Ever After Fireworks at Walt Disney World
I think, without a doubt, the best place to watch Magic Kingdom's fireworks is right in front of Cinderella's Castle behind the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey (the backside of Walter).
The only problem with that location is that you get to enjoy the show with tens of thousands of people all crammed into a tiny little spot. If you are looking for a more relaxed way to enjoy the fireworks, I suggest checking out some of the Disney World area's rooftop patios. They have fantastic views of the fireworks while offering amazing meal and cocktail selections. On my last visit to our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation villa, just a 5 miles south of Walt Disney World, I checked out the 3 best terrace patios where you can watch Magic Kingdom's Happily Ever After fireworks. Each offer advantages and disadvantages.
Here are my thoughts on each:
California Grill - Disney's Contemporary Resort:
The Contemporary Resort is located at the Magic Kingdom. It's so close to the action that the monorail goes right through the hotel! Atop the hotel sits the California Grill restaurant. This signature restaurant would be an amazing date night restaurant regardless of where it was located, but the cherry on top of this sundae is that it has the best view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks anywhere outside of Magic Kingdom. If you are spending the day at Magic Kingdom and you are planning a nice meal, this is the way to go. If you are hoping to just watch the fireworks and not have a meal, this is not the place for you. The restaurant has a private elevator and the only way to get on is with a reservation. You can't just head up and watch the fireworks.
Capa - Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World
There is a beautiful Four Seasons hotel located within the exclusive Golden Oaks community located within the Walt Disney World Resort. It is located adjacent to Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. On the top floor is a fantastic terrace restaurant called Capa.
With two outdoor terraces and an elegant dining room, their 17th-floor signature steakhouse serves fresh Florida seafood, Spanish-influenced tapas and expertly grilled cuts from our wood-burning grill in a romantic setting named among the Best 100 Wine Restaurants in the US by Wine Enthusiast magazine. While I highly recommend making a dinner reservation and enjoying the fireworks after your meal, you can simply head to Capa 30 minutes prior to the fireworks and order cocktails and tapas and enjoy the evening. The atmosphere is great and the view of the fireworks, while not as good as the California Grill, is still fantastic.
Eleven - Reunion Resort
Located just 10 minutes south of Walt Disney World property is Reunion Resort. Our home at the Encore Club is located within this fantastic 3 golf course community. At the heart of Reunion Resort is the Reunion Grande, a condo style hotel housing 3 restaurants. The crown of the hotel is Eleven, an upscale steakhouse on the 11th floor. The patio outside the restaurant has a grand swimming pool (closed during dining hours) and a wonderful terrace facing Walt Disney World. On Fridays and Saturdays, enjoy live music with a cocktail, craft beer or glass of wine. No reservation is needed for the terrace and they offer free self parking. I have eaten at Eleven on a number of occasions and the meal has always been great. On the evening I attended to watch the fireworks this time, I simply had a coffee and a delicious dessert on the terrace. While the view of the fireworks is less dramatic than the California Grill or Capa, your reward will be the beautiful and quiet terrace ambience.
Most travellers to Walt Disney World typically assign a couple of days to spend time in the Orlando area without going to a theme park. Here are a few suggestions for ways to spend a day near Walt Disney World while keeping a lock on your wallet (sort of!):
Disney Springs is Walt Disney World's outside mall. Unlike normal malls back home, this mall has Disney magic sprinkled throughout. Not only are the stores well designed, diverse and fun to walk through, but throughout the day (especially after 4:00) there are many entertainers. Enjoy an evening watching singers, magicians, irish bands, dancers and string quartets. Many of these entertainers are located at the numerous excellent restaurant and patios located around Disney Springs, but some are on Disney designated stages. I would highly recommend spending an evening at Disney Springs and enjoy dinner or a drink at a pub.
Animal Kingdom Lodge:
All of the Walt Disney World resort hotels are open to the public to shop and dine and I would recommend touring all of them as the architecture is fantastic. With regard to enjoying a day off from the theme parks in Orlando, I would suggest a visit the Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge. At the gatehouse, let the guard know that you are going to shop at the resort stores or have a drink or meal at the restaurants. They will check your ID and let you through. Self parking is across the road from the hotel lobby and I challenge you not to be impressed once you enter the building. The shopping and restaurants at Animal Kingdom are incredible, but If you walk through the lobby and exit the building at the back, you will be rewarded with a park like savannah setting where you can walk around the African safari. Expect to see animals close up animals including giraffes, flamingos, zebras, gazelles, impalas, cranes, pelicans, waterbucks and wildebeest. Also enjoy s'mores by the campfire, available between 4:00pm and 6:00pm. Another great viewing area is behind the pool area of Jambo House.
In 1996, Walt Disney World began building a planned community called Celebration. It was designed to be the magical American town with Disney flare. Walking around the main street town square, you feel like you have entered the set of The Trueman Show. There are coffee shops, quant art shops, an ice cream shoppe and outdoor cafes. There's even a dog bakery. The streets are lite with old world lanterns and residents travel around in electric beefed up golf carts. Highlighting the downtown is a 1/2 mile walking trail that circles the lake at the foot of main street. I recommend taking a walking tour of the town and enjoying a meal at Columbia, our favourite restaurant in Celebration. If you aren't up for Cuban food, try any of the other restaurants around town or just stop into Celebration Town Tavern and have a drink and a chat with the locals and tourists.
Encore Resort at Reunion Water Park:
If you are a guest at our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home near Walt Disney World, you have unlimited access to The Encore Club water park. Spend the day at the 3 acre water park and relax by the resort style pool. The kids will love the Surfing Safari water structure with it's slides and water dumping bucket, while the teens and brave youngster enjoy the larger water race mats, tube ride or 50 foot trap door Aqua Drop. When your ready for a break, enjoy poolside bar and food service at very affordable prices.
Our whole family will be contributing to this Blog. We write about our experiences and news related to Walt Disney World as well as post our Encore Resort Blog and Reunion Resort Blog