Thank you Megan for this write up!
This particular vacation occurred in June 2019 with my husband, our daughters (7 and 5), and my parents. We stayed at Art of Animation and went to Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. All of us are experienced WDW visitors, so this particular trip we wanted to focus on doing “extra” events/experiences. My mother LOVES all things fireworks and celebrations, so I knew she would want to see the Happily Ever After Show. In order to find a REALLY awesome spot to see the projections (yes, I know you can see the fireworks from a greater distance away from the castle-BUT you do have to be near the castle to see/appreciate the projection portions), you have to claim a spot and then STAY there until the show starts. As a parent with young children, this then becomes prime time for my children to do one of the following: fall asleep or fight with each other. ENTER THE DESSERT PARTY!!!!!!!
The checkin process was easy at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant- just make sure you go to the correct booth. The Garden Plaza Viewing booth is the one further up the ramp (if you are entering from the plaza/courtyard) and the seated Terrace booth is the first booth you will encounter. On other sites it is suggested that you should arrive 30 minutes before your reservation to make sure you get first dibs on desserts and first pick on a spot at the plaza- in fact we were late for our reservation and did not go down to the Plaza until 30 minutes before the show started- AND WE GOT GREAT FOOD AND AN AWESOME SPOT (see the pictures!!!). IMHO- do not get there earlier then your reservation- spend more time riding rides and visiting characters!
Desserts/Food: There were lots of options for desserts ranging from healthy (cheese and fruit) to building your own cupcake and cookie bar (kid favorite). My favorites were the chocolate covered gigantic strawberries, pudding shooters, and vanilla sundae. My husband enjoyed the make your own s’mores bar and my 5 year old loved drinking a “special” drink (sparkling apple cider out of a champagne flute). It was an all you can eat buffet and we went to it MANY times.
Garden Plaza View: I really enjoyed our view point. It was sectioned off and all of us had personal space to watch the show. We were not sardines in a can! You have a front row view of the show from the garden plaza. Due to the large open space of the garden plaza, our girls were able to make friends and play with other children on the artificial grass before the show started! AND it is the cheaper one of the dessert parties!
Extra: As a parent, I enjoyed having a seated/covered cool place to enjoy eating treats with my family. I especially enjoyed having a bathroom close that was only used for the dessert guests, therefore it was not crowded and easy for us to use. ALSO, I did enter the seated Terrace dessert party section just to see the view from middle and back tables. If you do not get the handful of the front tables (which do not sit larger parties), your view of the castle is a slight skewed/angled one.
Verdict: It is worth the $ if you want a great view of the show without having to spend precious time in the park getting/saving a good spot!