Welcome to guest author Mark Diehl with an illuminating review of an Epcot dessert party he created to honor the “mothers” in his life! He also inspired our upcoming WDW Foodie Fest Snack Attack dessert and fireworks event on October 4th — stay tuned as tickets will be going on sale today!
This was the second Mother’s Day we spent in Disney World, so I did some research and finally settled on an event we all could enjoy: a private IllumiNations Dessert Party.
It was not cheap, and while it was successful enough that I would want to do it every year, it was expensive enough that it was probably once in a lifetime for us. I got all of the information from Disney World private dining and once my contact Chris Ware (highly recommended, he was fantastic) sent me the sample dessert menus, I decided I needed to make my own custom dessert menu.
After bouncing around a number of ideas, I was able to narrow it down to 2, and ended up going with…neither of them.
The first idea was a dessert menu from the countries of Epcot. Each country was to be represented with a dessert item. The following was my menu proposal:
School Bread from Norway, Apple Strudel from Germany, Napoleons from France, Churros from Mexico, Sticky Toffee Pudding from UK, Tiramisu from Italy, Kaki Gori from Japan, Baklava from Morocco, Caramel Ginger Ice Cream from China, Campfire S’mores from Canada, Funnel Cake from USA.
The price for this menu came back at $95 per person. That may not sound bad, but when you consider that this was only for food and did not include the location rental, table set-up fee, or drinks, you can see it adds up fast.
The second idea was a dessert menu based on the popular Disney Food Blog. This menu consisted of DFB favorites including:
Mickey Ice Cream Bars, Pineapple Dole Whip, School Bread, Ghiradelli Ice Cream Sundae, Popcorn, Cinnamon Roll, Funnel Cake, Churros, Carrot Cake Cookie, Butterfinger Cupcake, Zebra Dome, Mickey Rice Crispy Treats, Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Sandwich, Mickey Soft Pretzels, Turkey Legs, Grand Marnier Slushie, Yak Attack, Lapu Lapu
This one came back at $135 per person. Even more expensive than the first, so now I had to do some compromising.
And that is when it hit me. This party was supposed to be for the Mothers, not for me. So I went down both lists and picked out the favorites of everyone who was going to be there. My Mom loves carrot cake. My wife must have the Popcorn every time she goes to WDW. My grandmother often orders Tiramisu when we go out for dessert.
Add in some ice cream for the kids and a treat for me.
The final menu:
Carrot Cake Cookie
Coffee, Tea, Water
Soda available for $4 per person
$35 per person! So, I added a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate.
I chose a spot in Morocco, which was appropriate for our small party.
When we finally arrived in the Morocco pavilion that night, we were all blown away by the setup.
I could not have anticipated how great it would look. Chris was even there to meet me as we walked in to make sure everything was just how I wanted it.
Finally, what you have all been waiting for……the food!
While it did not appear that the food was actually from the locations that I requested (Editor’s Note: At private events, Disney’s catering departments will often re-create the menu items), it was all delicious. All of the adults agreed that the carrot cake “cookie” was amazing, and I don’t even really like carrot cake. My youngest child, the chocolate lover, dove right into the Butterfinger cupcake while my oldest child and my wife just kept eating the popcorn. Of course, we also enjoyed some Mickey Bars and the bubbly.
Before we knew it the fireworks began and we really did have an amazing view.
When the fireworks ended we hung around for a while just eating and talking before heading out to catch the last monorail back to the TTC. It really was a magical evening for everyone.
Thanks to Mark for this great idea, and for the inspiration for our upcoming WDW Foodie Fest Snack Attack event! We hope you all can join us! We’ll be announcing ticket information today.