Remember last week when we told you about the brand new “Sparkling” IllumiNations Dessert Party in Epcot? Well, we’ve got pics from the very first event! Many thanks to DFB reader Tricia Noble and her husband, who snapped the photos on Saturday night and wrote up a review!
Tonight my wife and I went to the first night of Epcot’s Illuminations Dessert Party. Being the first night of an event, we expect that things will change and adjust according to the feedback Disney Events receives.
The party location was right as you enter the World Showcase, between the two gift shops at the edge of the lagoon. The view for Illuminations from here is fantastic. However, the location is a bit more public than we were expecting for a ticketed “private” party.
In addition, the slope in the area meant that there were no chairs. The ccktail tables scattered around were not sufficient for the number of attendees, and not usable by young guests and those in scooters or wheelchairs. I expect that to be addressed quickly (more tables were brought out just before the fireworks started.)
Now for the desserts. The party was billed as tastes from around the World Showcase, but unless I miss my mark, the countries represented merely inspired, rather than provided, the offerings.
I would have liked to either see more variety or better pairings between the wines and the desserts. The fresh fruit was nice and flavorful, and a good palette cleanser between the other confections.
Offerings included Cronuts (called Cronis here, apparently), strawberry sauce, Tiramisu, Pot de Creme, Baklava, fresh fruit, shortbread, and ice cream goodies like Mickey bars, Mickey ice cream sandwiches, orange creme pops, and other ice cream novelties.
The English shortbread cookies were quite good, and even more tasty when covered in the aforementioned strawberry sauce.
The American cinnamon-sugar mini cronuts were pretty good, especially with the included strawberry sauce, but would have been much better had they been served warm.
The Moroccan baklava was very good. Not overly sweet, but still very flavorful. This was probably my favorite offering.
The French vanilla creme seemed more like a pudding, and lacked either enough vanilla or some counterpoint to make it truly interesting.
The Italian tiramisu was distinctly lacking in coffee flavor. It’s as if the ladyfinger bits were lightly drizzled with espresso instead of soaked. As a big fan of good tiramisu, I was rather disappointed in this.
Notice what was missing from this list? Yep. There was no chocolate dessert until you got to the ice cream. The ice cream included a couple of regularly-available-in-stores fruit bars, a Mickey bar, and a Mickey ice cream sandwich. Disney really missed the boat here by not having some French ice cream or Italian gelato at the event.
Drinks were unlimited, and included a brut champaigne and a Prosecco, which was sweet but not overly so — at least until we started eating the desserts.
Non-alcoholic drinks included coffee, tea (both hot and iced), lemonade, and water. (Hint: mix the lemonade and Prosecco together.)
Was the event worth the $49 price of admission? As of tonight, I’d say no. I have done the Magic Kingdom fireworks dessert event in the past and that’s what I went in expecting. This event was no where near up to that level.
I suspect that the events staff will be doing some retooling based on the feedback they received tonight (and not just from us). It will be interesting to see if the event changes or improves. For now, I’d say give it some time to “earn its ears.”
The details: this event will take place on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 7:45-9:20 pm. The cost is $49 per adult, $29 for children. Booking is now available, and parties started March 15th. Interested in more information or reserving your spot? Dial 407-WDW-PLAY. No word yet on discounts or how long the event will be running.
Is this an event you’d like to try? Let us know in the comments below!