Where to Eat: The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot
Written by Amanda Jenkins
For the last couple of years, I have tried in vain to book a dessert party at Walt Disney World. This year though, I was able to not only book a dessert party at the Magic Kingdom for our trip in November, I was able to book the new IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot for our trip last week. I had very high expectations for this event. I have heard so many positive reviews of the party at the Magic Kingdom that I just knew with the fabulous food that Epcot's World Showcase produces that this event would knock my socks off. Let's just say, it wasn't what I anticipated.Tweet
The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party is held in the Odyssey. An hour before IllumiNations begins, one can check in at the outside podium. You will be given a fireworks sticker and allowed to enter in. When we walked in, there were three tables in the middle of the foyer. One had sparkling wines, while two others contained fruits and desserts. Against two walls were coffee, water, and lemonade. There was an open ice cream cart near the doors leading into the main room. Inside, the room was softly lit with candles on black covered tables and blue tinted lighting. There were two hot cooking stations that had the most delectable aromas wafting through the air. Since we were in the foyer, we explored the options available here.
Now first off, I expected to see not only unique desserts, I expected to see each country along the World Showcase represented here. I did not. Both tables were loaded with the same items. There were shortbread cookies from the United Kingdom, baklava from Morocco, tiramisu from Italy, and Chocolate Grand Mariner from France. There were fresh fruits such as strawberries, grapes and pineapple spears. And that's it. ?
Where were the other countries? After all, Epcot hosts two wonderful dining events each year: Food and Wine Festival and the Flower and Garden Festival. I know that they have tons of recipes at their fingertips that would make this experience a must do for every foodie.
The ice cream cart, which seemed to me like an afterthought, contained Mickey Mouse bars, Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwiches, and fruit bars.
Inside the main room where apparently where all the inspiration had been placed. The two hot stations were creating fresh hot doughnuts and churros. That's right. Fresh. Hot. Doughnuts. And. Churros. You can even order these a la mode. I preferred mine plain.
I experienced the doughnut along with all the other items, while Chuck did the churros and others. He ate his churro so fast that I was unable to get a proper picture. He claimed though that it was delicious. My doughnut was my favorite of all the desserts. I am a sucker for hot doughnuts as it is and this was without a doubt perfect. My sons though, were extremely dissatisfied with the selection. My youngest was hoping for more cookies and some brownies. My eldest stuck with the ice cream, though he did not really want it. He too wanted more cookies to try.
Now, once you are here, you can leave if you want and rejoin the group before Illuminations begins, or even come back for more desserts. Your fireworks sticker is all you need to join the group in the selected seating. We were unable to watch the IllumiNations display due to my youngest becoming ill and needing some medicine that was back in our room. For $49 per adult and $29 per child, this is not worth the money. I expected so much more from this. Until this party offers a more varied and unique display of desserts, I would stick with using this money towards purchasing the desserts you love and scouting out a spot on your own. You will most likely save money doing this.
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