Since most of the dining is fabulous at Walt Disney World you will expect the desserts to be as well. Unfortunately at too many restaurants the desserts are more cookie cutter (pun intended) than imaginative. You’ll find cheesecake, pies and cookies at many different places. They’re all delicious but they might not be what you would expect to end your meal. There are some desserts that go above and beyond, choices that you will tell your friends about once you arrive back home. Those are the desserts that made this list.
I purposely stayed away from the Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party while compiling this list. That is not a dessert, it’s an experience. I also stayed away from the buffets, including the dessert bar at the Fresh Mediterranean Market. (That was a nice surprise when my family and I had lunch there.) Mickey Bars and Dole Whip also are not on the list. I tried to stay away from ice cream, although three dishes with ice cream did find themselves on here. The bakeries are also off the list, although it was hard not to include the cupcakes from Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC at Disney Springs. I have tried to include a couple of options from each park so that you can satisfy your sweet tooth no matter where you are spending the day.
All of the restaurants listed are full service, which means that reservations are highly recommended. Make them by visiting http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining or call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). If you’ve arrived at the parks and don’t have a reservation, visit Guest Services and they will be able to tell you if there are any openings.
9. Sparkling Volcano, Rainforest Café
Entrance, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Marketplace, Disney Springs
A perfect combination of simple classics, the Sparkling Volcano is the Rainforest Café’s signature dessert. You will see pictures of it on your table and you will know when someone has ordered one because the restaurant staff will all yell “Volcano!” as it is delivered. Meant to be shared, it is made of chocolate brownies formed like a volcano and filled and topped with vanilla ice cream. Chocolate and caramel sauces create the “lava” flowing down the sides, and a non-edible sparkling decoration creates the illusion of an eruption.
8. Chocolate Cake, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
Main Street U.S.A., Magic Kingdom
Chocolate cake is a classic dessert to begin with, it’s almost like comfort food. What makes this dessert even more special is the chocolate-hazelnut filling. The unique filling takes a good dessert and makes it great, everyone in your party will enjoy it. You won’t make a mistake with any of the other dessert choices at Tony’s, they all hold their own special charm.
7. Maple Crème Brulee, Le Cellier Steakhouse
Canada Pavilion, World Showcase, Epcot
You can find crème brulee at several different Disney restaurants, but Le Cellier arguably has the best. It’s a simple dessert, consisting of custard and brown sugar. It is the maple syrup that sets the Le Cellier version apart, it’s more of a hint of maple flavor rather than something that is overpowering. It is a simple, perfect ending to a meal.
6. Mango Pie, Yak & Yeti Restaurant
Asia, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The Mango Pie is a deliciously different treat. It is a cream pie with a small amount of fruit served on the side. It is similar to key lime pie but different as well. The serving is quite large so if you didn’t save much room for dessert you might want to share. Then again, once you taste it you will probably want to eat the whole thing yourself.
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5. Cannoli, Tutto Italia Ristorante
Italy Pavilion, World Showcase, Epcot
The cannoli is a well known Italian dessert and Tutto Italia does it right. Yet another Disney restaurant with no wrong dessert choice, the cannoli stands out. It’s a simple crisp pastry filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate. A small piece of candied orange on the end adds to the overall enjoyment of the dessert.
4. Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, Liberty Tree Tavern
Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom
How could a dessert called Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake not be incredible? Start with vanilla cake that has a toffee filling. Top it with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and toffee pieces. This creation is as sweet as it sounds. It is only available on the lunch menu, at dinner you’ll have to settle for Johnny Appleseed’s Cake for dessert instead.
3. A Brown Derby Original! Grapefruit Cake, Hollywood Brown Derby
Hollywood Boulevard, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
A signature dessert, you will not find anything even close to it anywhere else on Disney property. You need to try it to believe it, especially if you love grapefruit. Unlike many desserts, it’s not overly sweet. The cake itself is a yellow cake and the icing is a cream cheese and grapefruit blend. There are several layers to each slice of cake. It’s a mixture of sweet cake and tart icing, giving your taste buds a real treat.
2. Almond-crusted Cheesecake, Narcoossee’s
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
It seems like cheesecake is everywhere at Walt Disney World. You can find classic cheesecake, no sugar added cheesecake, tie-dye cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, lemon cheesecake and probably a dozen or more other choices. All of them are delicious. For a cheesecake to make this list it needs to be extra special, and that is exactly what you will find at Narcoossee’s. Crushed almonds replace the traditional graham cracker crust. There’s also a hint of almond in the cheesecake part, which is lighter than you might expect. It’s topped with a Lambert Cherry Sauce. If you want to try only the dessert instead of ordering a full meal you can order it at the restaurant’s bar.
1. ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, ‘Ohana
Disney’s Polynesian Resort
While the rest of this list stays away from buffets and all you can eat options, an exception needs to be made here. The ‘Ohana Bread Pudding is a guest favorite, it keeps people coming back again and again. It is served with vanilla bean ice cream and bananas. You’re given a small container with a warm, decadent banana foster sauce to pour on top. You’ll use the whole thing. ‘Ohana turns a simple dish into a masterpiece. Plan your dinner about an hour or so before Wishes at the Magic Kingdom, then head out to the beach and watch the fireworks. Or if your table is by a window you can catch the show from there. It’s the perfect way to end your day.