Best restaurants at Disney World for fireworks viewing

by Heather Thomas 13 comments Like the Facebook page

(Article last updated: October 15, 2016)

Many people have dining with views of nighttime entertainment (such as Wishes or Illuminations) on their bucket list of things to do when visiting Disney World, or just want to accomplish two things at once - great food with a fantastic view.

If this sounds like you, here are some tips and a list of the best dining options for viewing nighttime shows at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

General tips

  • Make your reservation for around an hour before the nighttime show is scheduled to start.
  • There is no way to guarantee a fireworks view. When you check in, ask kindly to be seated where you can see/view the show, but know that sometimes it just isn’t possible.
  • If you don’t mind waiting longer for a table, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can hold out for a spot with a view.
  • While many tables may be near windows, there are not many that have a “perfect” view. Your line of sight might include trees, pillars, etc.
  • Recent reports indicate that all the restaurants listed below pipe in music for the shows, however, there have also been reports in the past in which some have not. If having the music is important to you, it might be a good idea to confirm that the music will be there before you book.

 


MAGIC KINGDOM FIREWORKS SHOWS

While you can catch bits and pieces (and I literally mean just bits and pieces) of the fireworks from several of the restaurants inside the Magic Kingdom, your best bet to view the fireworks while dining comes from locations outside of the park.

California Grill


Location: Contemporary Resort
Cuisine: American, seafood, sushi
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service (requires 2 credits)
Average cost for an adult: $60.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: Viewing deck available for patrons in addition to fabulous views throughout the restaurant. Can eat an earlier meal, leave, and then return with your receipt to watch fireworks from the viewing area.

Cons: The angle of view from this restaurant means that you’ll be watching the fireworks from off to the side instead of straight on.


 

Narcoosee’s


Location: Grand Floridian Resort
Cuisine: American, seafood
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service (requires 2 credits)
Average cost for an adult: $60.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: The interior of the restaurant is tiered, which helps to maximize the number of tables that can see out the windows. In addition, there is a porch available for viewing the fireworks from outside.

Cons: Although the deck outside is a pro, it can also be a con since people on the deck may block the views of those dining inside the restaurant.


 

'Ohana


Location: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Cuisine: American, Polynesian
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service
Average cost for an adult: $40.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: Cheapest of the options for viewing the Magic Kingdom fireworks while dining. The view of the fireworks appear straight behind the castle and not off to the side. If you aren’t able to book an Advanced Dining Reservation that will allow you to dine during the fireworks, you can try to snag one for earlier in the evening, then move to the beach at the resort and watch the fireworks from there.

Cons: Tables further back in the restaurant will require you to move/stand in order to see the fireworks.


EPCOT FIREWORKS SHOWS

Since the World Showcase wraps around the World Showcase Lagoon, which is the stage for Illuminations, you have several choices of places from which to dine while you catch, at least, a partial view of the show.

If this is your first time seeing Illuminations, your best bet to view the show as intended will be to find one of the many fantastic viewing spots along the perimeter of the lagoon. However, if you are an Illuminations vet or you just want to add a little extra entertainment or romance to a meal and don’t mind having a slightly (or more) obstructed view, then dining at one of the options below might be for you.

La Hacienda de San Angel


Location: Mexico Pavilion
Cuisine: Mexican
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service
Average cost for an adult: $34.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: Some of the best views for dining while watching Illuminations.

Cons: Some areas of the restaurant have no lagoon view at all, meaning you would have to watch Illuminations from the back of one of the dining areas that has a view.


 

Tokyo Dining


Location: Japan Pavilion
Cuisine: Asian, Sushi
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service
Average cost for an adult: $35.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: There is an available public walkway outside if your seat doesn’t have good views.

Cons: Since there are several large pillars that can block your view, the best views are those along the windows. In addition, even though the outdoor walkway is slightly below the restaurant, you may still have people outside blocking your view from inside.


 

Spice Road Table


Location: Morocco Pavilion
Cuisine: Mediterranean
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service
Average cost for an adult: $38.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: A large portion of this restaurant is outdoors, which means there are slightly more tables available with water views.

Cons: Even if your table is outside, the low-hanging ceiling might obstruct your view of the higher fireworks. Additionally, the islands in the lagoon can obstruct some aspects of the show.


 

Monsier Paul


Location: France Pavilion
Cuisine: French
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service (requires 2 credits)
Average cost for an adult: $58.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: Since this restaurant is on the 2nd floor, there are fabulous lagoon views out the windows.

Cons: There are very few tables that are positioned in front of windows and since the windows are small compared to other restaurants, people sitting further back will have a very limited view.


 

Rose and Crown


Location: United Kingdom Pavilion
Cuisine: British
On the Disney Dining Plan? Yes, Table Service
Average cost for an adult: $30.00
Music piped in? Yes
Link to Menu

Pros: Probably the best view of Illuminations while dining.

Cons: Since this is such a popular place for dining and watching Illuminations, it can be very difficult to snag a table on the patio.


ADDITIONAL WISHES AND ILLUMINATIONS OPTIONS

Throughout the year, Disney offers premium (read: expensive) experiences that provide guests with reserved viewing locations for Wishes and Illuminations. While not a full meal, you can expect to have an assortment of desserts and beverages available while you wait for shows to start. But, understand that for many of these options, you are paying higher prices for the prime viewing location, with food and/or beverage being secondary benefits.

Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party


When: Select nights throughout the year
Location: Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant in Magic Kingdom
Cuisine: Beverages (non alcoholic), desserts, seasonal fruits and cheeses
Cost: $49 for adults, $29 for children
Note: All guests who attend get to enjoy the desserts and beverages. Guests who book ahead of time will view fireworks from the restaurant, and those who make same-day reservations will view from the Plaza Garden area.

Pros: Generally much less crowded than viewing Wishes from Main Street

Cons: Pricey for what you get


 

Premium Dessert Packages during Magic Kingdom parties


When: Select party nights (such as during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party) throughout the year
Location: Parade location is generally near the flagpole in Town Square, but the fireworks viewing and dessert party are usually at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
Cuisine: Beverages (non alcoholic) and party themed sweets
Cost: Prices for adults generally start at $69 and at $39 for ages 3-11

Pros: If you’ve attended the party before, this might be a nice way to do something a little different

Cons: Pricey for what you get (the cost is in addition to the cost of the party ticket) and it occupies several hours of the party


 

Illuminations Sparkling Dessert party


When: Select nights throughout the year
Location: World Showcase Plaza
Cuisine: Beverages (both select alcoholic and nonalcoholic options) and international themed desserts inspired by the World Showcase
Cost: $49 for adults, $29 for children

Pros: The location of the party offers a great view of Illuminations.

Cons: No seating, just tables to stand at. The party ticket is pricey for what you get.

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Have you ever experienced Wishes or Illuminations from one of these locations?  Comment below and let us know what you thought!