Illuminations by boat?


#1

Has anyone in here used the boat to view illumination? I am going in February with 8 people and I thought it would be nice to surprise them with a special viewing. Oh, and what does it cost???
thanks


#2

We’ve done it 4 time, I think. It’s a very relaxing way to view Illuminations. When we did it it was $120 but I think it’s closer to $250 now. It’s too much for us to justify but it’s wonderful.

If you do book it ask for Captain Ron, he’s awesome!!


#3

It’s up to $275 now. Sadly, unlike Seven Seas Lagoon which had plenty of room for boats and 5 marinas that service it. On the other hand, there are 5 hotels and only one marina between them all. Also, there is only room for 6 boats to moor under the bridge, boats aren’t allowed into World Showcase Lagoon before or during Illuminations. This breaks down to one boat for each of the 3 Disney hotels, one boat for Deluxe vacation plan guests, and potentially the Breathless (a replica of a 1930’s speedboat). This leaves one, or at the most, two boats that “seem” to be available first to Epcot resort concierge guests first. Now, all of this comes with other hurdles to jump. Like, you can’t book before 90 days and you’d better be calling at 7 AM on that morning. And because there are so few boats, the odds are pretty good you won’t get lucky, unless you’re a concierge guest, and even then, it’s not guaranteed.

DT, you had Captain Ron too? Where’d they get him? Jungle Cruise?


#4

I always enjoyed the Illuminations cruises, but they are now overpriced. I’d rather get the Grand 1 as opposed to a pontoon boat. I know sometimes they’ve had problems renting the boats out, since the price went so steep.

Is Ron the same Ron from the Fort Wilderness Segway tour? I know he does boats as well.

Denise


#5

You are confusing Magic Kingdom based cruises with Epcot based cruises, and because of limited availability, Illuminations cruises are still always hard to book, regardless of price.
By the way, if you can get the Grand One onto Crescent Lake, I’d be very interested in how you did it. I believe the Grand One will not fit under any of the bridges on Crescent Lake.


#6

Oh, sorry - I was taking all the boats as a whole. I would rather take the Grand 1 out for Wishes (which I have been on before) than a pontoon boat for either. If you have enough people, it’s not a bad price. I was told by some recreation guys (i.e. - the guys who run the boats) in June that they were having boats sitting empty now where they weren’t before. Maybe that was just earlier this year, but I am just saying what I was told. I used to go on them every year with various groups, but the groups I was with don’t really bother with the pontoon boats anymore (in that case, usually Illuminations). The (more than) doubling in price made it not worth it.

The pontoon boats are nice, the Grand 1 is an amazing experience. And I think they can put almost 20 back on again, they have changed the yachts a couple of times since I’ve ridden (the last yacht couldn’t fit so many).

The only really bad thing about the Illuminations boats is that when you sit under the bridge, the people above sometimes spill or spit fluids down. (unless they dock a tiny bit differently than before). I have ridden the Illuminations boats a couple of dozen times, but not in a few years now.

Denise


#7

We did it last Dec. It cost me $325 with the tip, but we enjoyed it very much. I would not do it again, instead I would try to get an 8:00 ressie at R&C or just stand by the bridge in between England & France


#8

It is amazing to think how expensive they are now. We used to have 8 or so in the boat, and paid $15.00 including tip. That didn’t include any snacks, though once we did pay Disney for some cupcakes for the cruise (the funny thing was, they were supplied by Publix). :slight_smile: That must have been 6, 7 years ago at least now.

Denise


#9

How can 2 people do it


#10

How can 2 people take the boat?

Denise


#11

HI-
We did it for my Father’s bday and I have to say… sitting outside of Morocco - drinking some drinks- kids in strollers, everyone relaxed was just as nice and hundreds of dollars cheaper. Of course, that is just my opinion- but being squished against the boats under the bridge and not really having a great view is was disappointed me the most…


#12

Not a great view? Look at these pictures.

http://www.mousebuzz.com/forum/attachments/trip-reports/29177d1192161159-trip-where-nothing-really-went-wrong-except-i-couldnt-sleep-p9260148a.jpg

And I watched from the line between France and Morocco the night before.
I’ll only say, if you can get a group of 8-10 people together to all share the cost, or if you’re willing to eat the price, it’s enjoyable. If you can’t or don’t want to spend the money, there’s a good 24 excellent viewing locations around the WS lagoon.


#13

I always thought it was a pretty decent view, I never had any complaints about that. And when we split it for $15.00 each, I found it very worth it (I liked boating around the lake beforehand).

There are many good views around the lagoon, I like the area around Japan very much. My favorite view is one that a friend got us into (a number of years ago now), behind the American Gardens Theater. Best view, no music piped in. :slight_smile:

Denise


#14

When we did it, we had 4 adult and 3 children. We had the wind against us and had a face full of smoke and debris for a while. But we loved it and would do it again.

I think they “upped” the price to keep people away from buying into it - as it’s included in the premium packages. Just my thoughts…


#15

Well, if anyone goes, ask for Captain Ron!!! He’s a (retired) friend of mine, who moved down to FL to retire & ended up being a top Disney Cast Member!!! Ron is a wonderful 70+ yrs boat captain for the Epcot fireworks cruises. Actually, I’m not sure how much he’s driving now, but I know he still works in that department. I :heart: Captain Ron!!! :wub: (Can’t wait to see him in March 08!)