Disney’s Hollywood Studios premiered its Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party and Fireworks Show on Monday, November 7th. I was there for opening night to take part in these all-new experiences. Here is my Review of the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party and Fireworks Show along with the offerings that made my “Naughty” vs. “Nice” List.
Upon my arrival to Disney’s Hollywood Studios I headed over to the Star Wars Stage in front of The Great Movie Ride. Check-in for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party began at 5:15pm. I was directed to the courtyard of The Great Movie Ride where the party would take place.
At the check-in location, I had to give my name for a Cast Member to check the list of guests. The tables and food stations were set up in the courtyard outside of The Great Movie Ride. Upon check-in, I was given a wristband and a pair of 3D HoloSpex Glasses. The festive set-up, the check-in process, the wristband, and the 3D HoloSpex Glasses all made my “Nice” List.
As I entered the courtyard I was offered a drink. There was a Non-Alcoholic Cranberry Punch, an Apple Cinnamon Cocktail, and a Gingerbread Martini. I decided on the Gingerbread Martini and it was excellent. This was my favorite drink of the night and it made my “Nice” List along with the Cranberry Punch. The Apple Cinnamon Cocktail was a bit strong and spicy for my taste so this drink offering made my “Naughty” List. If you drink too many of these, you may not remember viewing the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show that follows the Dessert Party.
There is a side-by-side bar located in the middle of the courtyard. In addition to the specialty drinks, they also serve soda, wine and beer. There is a long table featuring non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee, tea, and punch.
Some of the more adventurous food offerings were the Kale, Collard, and Pomegranate Onion Slaw and the Holiday Antipasto. I enjoyed the Kale option and found it to be quite flavorful. The Holiday Antipasto was good but salty. Both of these options, along with the meatballs offered at this table, made my “Nice” List. There was Grilled Flatbread with a dip that was interesting, but I was not a fan of this choice. The bread and dip offerings made my “Naughty” List. Prep and Landing character Dancer was featured at this table.
The Winter Spiced Party Mix was a bit disappointing as I expected to taste holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger and that was not the case. I am not sure if they forgot to add the spice so this particular option for me was a miss. The Warm Salted Caramel Cottage Pudding was just okay. The sweet flavor did not cut the salt enough to make this option very flavorful. The Warm Chocolate Torte with Cream Cheese Glaze and Candy Cane Dust was quite good. I am a huge fan of the chocolate and peppermint flavor combination. Place a scoop of the featured Hand-dipped Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for an awesome flavor burst. Prep and Landing character Magee was featured at this table. The Winter Spiced Party Mix and the Warm Salted Caramel Cottage Pudding both made my “Naughty” List while the Warm Chocolate Torte and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream made my “Nice” List.
The Liquid Nitro Frost Bites were really good. Made with a duo of White Chocolate Mousse and Wintergreen Mousse, with Dark Chocolate Sauce and Mickey Confetti, this particular option was one of my favorites. I loved the frozen texture combined with the chocolate and mint flavors. The crunch of the Mickey Confetti completed the flavors, although if you are not a fan of these candied crunchies then you can leave them out and still have a nice treat. The Liquid Nitro Frost Bites made my “Nice” List. Prep and Landing character Wayne was featured at this treat station.
The miniature hand-held treats were very festive. The Chocolate Cupcake with Mint Frosting and Peppermint Bark was the most fun option of the evening. I am not a fan of cupcakes but I loved the white chocolate santa hat and the peppermint bark with mint frosting was really good. There was a raspberry tart that was interesting but dry. It was a bit like a soft cookie but did not boast a lot of flavor. The Lemon Meringue Tart was good but did not really seem to go with the theme as these are offered at many Disney Buffet dessert stations. The Holiday Crispy Bon Bons were very fun and I loved how they really went along with the holiday theme of the evening. These were good without being to overpowering from a sweetness perspective. There was no Prep and Landing character featured at this table, which I think is an oversight as this table was so festive and yet was missing a character representative to go along with the overall theme. The Chocolate Cupcake, the Lemon Meringue Tart, and the Holiday Crispy Bon Bons all made my “Nice” List. The Raspberry Tart Cookie was the only offering at this table to make my “Naughty” List due to its lack of flavor and texture.
Santa Goofy was the Special Character of the evening. He made the evening magical by stopping by tables to pose for pictures with guests. Two Cast Members were assisting Santa Goofy. We were told he would come to each table. However, he did not make it through more than half of the tables due to the shortness of time for this party. Regardless of that, Santa Goofy is always on my “Nice” List.
The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party is a nice option if you can fit it into your budget. At $69 for a one hour event, I am not certain that the cost justifies the value of what you get. The Dessert Party was scheduled to start at 5:45pm with check-in time beginning at 5:15pm. They began to let people in at 5:30pm and then they escorted us to the viewing area for the fireworks show at 6:30pm. While the food and drinks are all included, you do have to wait in short lines for each station. The bar area with the alcoholic drinks had the longest lines and you really needed to get a couple of drinks or waste time standing in line again for another drink. The best part about this was that upon entering, I was handed a Gingerbread Martini. That is the only drink I had time for, although I wanted to get another one. However, the line was too long and we were about to be escorted to the viewing area for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show. If they are going to continue this they need to get another side-by-side bar and extend the time a bit in order for the event to be worth the cost in my opinion. The Dessert Party is very nice, and a lot of fun. It is just not long enough because just as you sit down to enjoy some of the food and drinks, and meet Santa Goofy, it is time to go for the show.
Upon the conclusion of the dessert party, we were escorted to the viewing area for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show. The viewing area, while set back a bit, is a straight-on view of the show which is on and around the Chinese Theater. There are trees in this area, so depending on where you get to stand, you may have an obstructed view. I was fortunate enough to find a place towards the middle back of the viewing area. The special effects of the show were good and the fireworks added to the show quite nicely. The show itself features the Prep and Landing characters and takes us on a journey through holiday music, Disney characters, and projections. There was snow falling throughout the entire show and that added to the festive atmosphere. The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show and Hollywood Studios Snow are both on my “Nice” List.
You can see the Live video upload here:
The highlight of the evening, for me, took place after the conclusion of the fireworks show. There were projections on the Chinese Theater and the buildings surrounding it. When I saw the giant Christmas Tree Projection, front and center, surrounded by lit and decorated apartment buildings, I immediately thought of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The giant tree was centrally located on the Streets of America and was surrounded by decorated apartment buildings with snow machines on the roofs to create snow. Each building of the after-show features snow falling as well. I am not sure where the idea came from, but I felt that this particular display pays homage to the past as we look towards the future.
You can see the video of this after-show display here:
Overall, the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party & Fireworks Show is worth doing at least once. If you cannot attend the Dessert Party then you must see the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Fireworks Show and stick around to view the after-show display. One additional note is that there is no merchandise related to Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and that was quite disappointing. I cannot remember a time when a Disney Event did not have some merchandise associated to it. The lack of merchandise made my “Naughty” List. While my “Naughty” vs. “Nice” List is about equally balanced, I can assure you that the time you spend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for these events will be worth your efforts.
What do you think of the new Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party & Fireworks Show? Please leave your comments in the box below.