Every time we go to Disney World, we always try to include that something extra, the "new experience" that will help make that vacation unique and different from the previous trips. This year we decided to do the Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios. This was going to be our first time seeing the new Hollywood Studios nighttime show of the same name, and so we thought this would make the evening extra special. Full disclosure, although my husband and I have seen all the Star Wars movies and enjoyed them, I wouldn't put us in the 'avid fan' category just yet, so this review is definitely more from a non Star Wars fan perspective.
First of all - The boring but important key information...
The Dessert party is $69 plus tax per adult and $39 plus tax per child. It is held inside the Star Wars Launch Bay, and then 15 minutes before the show is about to begin all guests are escorted out to the reserved viewing area. When you make your booking, which you will need to pay for in full at that time, you will be sent confirmation via email of the scheduled start time and location for check in. For our night, the party began at 7.30pm and there was a podium in front of the entrance to the Launch Bay where you checked in. One thing I would definitely recommend is to get there as early as you can. There are no reserved tables, so if you arrive at the scheduled start time you will have a better chance of getting a table. You will also get to enjoy the party for the maximum length of time, getting the most value from the event. When you check in you will receive individual dessert party bands that will show the Cast Members inside that you are with the dessert party group. It also means you can leave the venue and return easily if you need to. There are no restrooms inside Launch Bay, so you will need to leave the venue and return if only for this.
The party is located just past the meet and greet area inside the Launch Bay, with all the dessert stations and the bar area located down the steps. This is also where the majority of the tables are situated. There are no seats, so it is standing room only; which for us with a small child was a small negative. Near the end, there were many people sitting on the floor. After a long day in the parks a seat would have been nice! Moan over! There are also some small tables up the steps along the corridor too. One thing to point out, only the area down the steps is restricted to party guests; if you choose to eat at a table upstairs, you will have passing traffic! You may encounter an envious guest exploring the Launch Bay, eagerly eyeing up one of your cupcakes. Not really that big a deal, but it was something some people may not like. However, as the evening went, less people passed through and the majority were party guests only.
Lets start talking food ...
The desserts station had a huge range of yummy options which included cupcakes, cookies, rice crispy bon bons and other mini dessert treats. Many of the items, including the cupcakes, were all extremely well-themed to match the occasion and were definitely worthy of the many photos being taken. There was also a freeze dried Nutella truffle dessert station, which was as cool as it sounds and extremely yummy. It was a small scoop of Nutella mousse dipped into a pool of liquid nitrogen. Within seconds you were handed a frozen chocolate mousse dessert with additional options of toppings and sauces. Lastly, there was a station with hot bread pudding served with additional sauces, berries, cream and toppings. A delicious option if you like your puddings!
There were also some tasty savory options available which included flatbreads with hummus and dips, cheese and olive skewers, tomato and mozzarella skewers, and fruit 'saber' skewers. I thought the inclusion of some savory options was a nice touch for people with less of a sweet tooth.
Rice Crispy Bon Bons
BB-8 Lemon cake with Vanilla Buttercream and candy rocks
Cheddar and Green Olive Sabers
Now For The Drinks...
There were unlimited fruit juices, water and sodas available. For anyone wanting something stronger there were also unlimited alcoholic beverages, which included four Star Wars themed specialty cocktails. There was the Galactic Punch, a rum based cocktail with mango syrup and passion fruit juice; the Cosmic Citrus Twist, a vodka based cocktail with water melon lemonade; the Light Speed Margarita; and finally the Swamp milk, another vodka and melon liqueur concoction. My drink of the night was the Galactic Punch, partly because I like rum cocktails and partly because I really liked the name! As good a reason as any! Well, it was a very good cocktail although they were being very generous with the rum, as it was on the strong side. So you may need to make sure you have eaten enough cupcakes before you venture to the bar!
Star Wars Character Interaction ...
Aside from all the food and drink, there was character interaction. Stormtroopers patrolled the area and interacted with guests and posed for photos when asked. The Jawas were also around to meet and interact with guests. Our little boy really wasn't too sure of these odd creatures so it turned into a hide and seek game for him! But many older children and adults seemed to enjoy their presence. You could also use this time to fully explore the entire Launch Bay and all that it has to offer.
Finally drum roll please - Its time to start the show ... The Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Show ...
Unfortunately, it was nearing the end of the dessert part of our special evening and the Star Wars show would soon be starting. At around 8:30 pm a Cast Member came through to inform us that at 8:45 pm, fifteen minutes before the show is scheduled to start, the dessert party guests would be escorted out of the Launch Bay building to our reserved viewing spot. The Cast Members were great. One thing to note is that no food and beverages will be offered to you once you leave the Launch Bay. The Cast Members were going out of their way, however, to encourage everyone to take whatever they wanted with them, in terms of food and drinks, to be able to continue to enjoy whilst watching the show. I thought this was a nice touch. So with my cocktail refilled, a couple of sodas, and a dessert for the road, we joined our group and walked to the viewing spot. This is where we received our souvenir for the evening, a Chewbacca souvenir stein. We received one each, along with a bottle of water. Although strollers aren't allowed in the Launch Bay, you were allowed to bring it into this reserved area. The reserved viewing area gave us great views of the show and was also a great area to be in for a quick exit when it was finished. The show itself was amazing and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
R2 D2 Vanilla cupcakes, Darth Vader Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes.
The Verdict is in...
We really enjoyed the desserts and the drinks offered, and although we aren't true mega fans (yet!) of Star Wars, we were still able to enjoy and appreciate the Star Wars theming. The character interaction was also fun. However, having the reserved viewing spot for the show was probably for us the biggest plus of the evening. Having to deal with a two-year-old plus stroller around fireworks and crowds can often be challenging and stressful. Having the reserved spot meant we could enjoy the show without the stress of waiting in a good spot for ages. The cost of the party, however, was definitely on the high side and honestly, as good as the desserts and drinks were, you would really have to eat a lot to feel like you got your money's worth. It would therefore depend on how much you are happy to pay for the reserved viewing spot. So was it worth it? For us, factoring in the novelty of this event and that we got to enjoy our 'new' thing, I believe it was worth it. We had a lovely evening and got great views of the new show. So if you have never done this party before, and you would like to experience something new and special, then I would recommend this. As I said at the outset, we always like to do something new each trip; so it may be a while before we enjoy this particular event again, but I do believe at some point that we will be back!
The 'Star Wars' Galactic Spectacular Fireworks Show at Hollywood Studios