Disney Photography Spots – Wishes Desert Party

By Paul Gowder on July 14th, 2010   |    Posted in:  Disney Photo Tips   |    6 Comments

In my opinion one of the most challenging parts of shooting fireworks at WDW is your location.

The first time I setup to shoot fireworks I found a spot and was in place about an hour before the show. Having read tips on other WDW sites, I setup on Main Street USA near a trash can, and I’m glad I did! Because with only a few minutes before the show a 6’ 10” giant showed up with a child on his shoulders! So I boosted my tripod up on top the trash can and shot away. Then it started raining—the never ending fun of us WDW photographers!

So when you don’t have time, patience or weather to stake out your spot, buy it!

The Wishes Dessert Party has reserved seating for the fireworks and an incredible spread of delicious sweets. The seating for this special event is at the Tomorrowland Noodle

Find out more about the party please visit WDW Info

During the first few minutes of the party I nervously ate while looking to see where I could secure a spot to view the fireworks with my tripod and camera. The guests, however, mostly stayed in their seats for the fireworks. A few stood at the rail with me but most continued to enjoy the cheesecakes, brownies and other delectable goodies. Almost all tables had a great view of Wishes providing for a view free of shoulder to shoulder crowds, and giants.

Good Points

The Tomorrowland Noodle Station provides a great view of the Castle and Wishes. With the water between you and the Castle, there are fantastic options for creative compositions. Plus the water assures you a clear, head free view of Wishes. You are also protected from the occasional Florida showers. The view also provides you a somewhat unique angle on the Castle, different from the straight down Main Street shot.

Bad Points

The desserts and views are great but come at a real cost. The Wishes Dessert Party is $21.99 per adult. The location is at an angle to the Castle so you the fireworks don’t line up perfectly with the Castle. This spot is not where you’ll want to try your first Wishes shots. Even though there are hundreds of images on the net of Wishes looking down Main Street, I always want to have my own take of these classic views. But after you have shot Wishes a few times, this will provide you with a unique vantage point.

Imagineering the Shot

The white glowing fan of fireworks behind the Castle is my favorite parts of Wishes. So during the Dessert Party I knew I wanted to try and capture them with the reflection in the water. I shot the entire show in Manual mode with the shutter speed set to Bulb. Using a remote trigger I was able to hold the shutter open for varying amounts of time.

Magical Post Production

As others have said, post on fireworks shots is usually minimal. I used a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to crop, adjust exposure, levels, and saturation.


Food and fireworks! What can be better?
The Wishes Dessert Party gives us photographers a few more minutes to enjoy an attraction or shoot more images of Tomorrowland instead of guarding a coveted piece of Main Street an hour or more before the show.

Enjoy a class of cold milk with warm cookies while watching Wishes and share your photos from the Dessert Party with us!


  1. Adam Hansen   |   Jul 14, 2010

    Great post Paul. I am actually thinking of doing the Desert Party when we go in August (if they extend the dates). I originally figured if we did it I wouldn’t bother to bring my camera but now I see it may actually be a good idea to bring it along.

    • Paul Gowder   |   Jul 14, 2010

      Just remember to eat a light diner! You need to go this thing hungry!

  2. Carolyn Anderson   |   Jul 14, 2010

    This post made me very happy, like Adam I am thinking of doing the desert party next month if they extend it. I was worried though that it would not be a good vantage point – but your photos just proved me wrong. Now I am really hoping they do extend it.

    Loved how you listed the Pros/Cons also – very informative post. I am enjoying this site more and more each day. Great job to everyone involved!

  3. Scott Smith   |   Jul 17, 2010

    Great post!!!! And I’ve always wondered how good that Dessert Party is.

  4. Dogstardaddy   |   Sep 23, 2011

    Thanks for a great article. We are going to be doing the party for the second time in December, and I am still taking aby steps with photography. I was wondering what possibilities there were for photos at the party.



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