Disney Dining Review: IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party
What do you get when you combine the best desserts and sparkling wines from Epcot’s World Showcase with an exclusive front row viewing area for the Illuminations fireworks show,
A whole bunch of awesome! AKA, The “IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party.”
We attended the party last night. (The things we are willing to do for our fans.)
Here is our exclusive first look and photo gallery:
Finding the party was a little tougher than it should have been. For starters, calling Disney Guest Services was a bit confusing to say the least. The person who answered my call read from a vague script that did not really describe where we were supposed to meet. When I pressed for a more specific answer I was told, “just ask a Cast Member when you get into the park.”
The challenge is, when we got to Epcot we ask three different Cast Members and we received one “I am not sure” and two different answers from the others. Ironically, neither of which was correct. I realize the party is a new feature, but it seems a “memo” is in order to let everyone know where the party is held. As we all know, Epcot is a big place.
So where is the location of the party? If you come in the front gate of Epcot, go to the entrance of the World Showcase hub and take a left. The check in is directly on your right behind the large gift shop called Disney Traders. Disney is so great at the magic part, but disseminating information about new offerings always seems to lag just a bit. I can give them a pass on this for now. Mainly, because the rest of the evening was so amazing.
We arrived ten minutes early for the 8pm start time. Check in was fast and simple. We only had to provide the last name of the person who booked the reservation. We were given wrist bands and escorted into the roped off area. The entire process took less than a minute.
Guests were lead to nice but smallish standing tables draped with clean white table cloths. There is probably enough room for four people at each table. The tables are not reserved and are on a first come first serve basis.
The party itself was amazing. (See photos below.)
For beverage choices they offered two different types of Champagne. One was a dry “Michelle Brut Champenoise.” The second was a sweet sparkling “Prosecco Brut Maschio.” As you can see from the pictures below, the glasses we plentiful and we may or may not have made a few trips back for more.
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In addition, hot tea, iced tea, lemonade, water, and coffee with various flavors were offered to guests.
On the dessert front there was a surprisingly large selection.
- Baklava from Morocco
- Shortbread Cookies from the United Kingdom
- Chocolate Grand Marnier Vanilla Pot de Crème
- Tiramisu from Italy
- Flamed Churros from Mexico
- Fried Doughnuts sautéed in butter, brown sugar with Meyers Rum.
(The fried doughnut is the item you will be talking about the next day, and the day after that.)
In addition, there was chocolate ice cream, (goes great on the fried doughnut), and various classic Disney Ice Cream favorites for the kids. Or, the kids at heart.
Did I mention the fried doughnuts?
The view for the IllumiNations fireworks was second to none and since there is plenty of space and room between the tables, it does not feel crowded at all. It was the most relaxed and casual Disney fireworks show I have ever been a part of.
On to the big question we always get about premium Disney events, is it worth it? Opinions will vary, but the answer for me is usually, if you can afford it, you should at least try it once. It really is an awesome experience and it takes one of the most hectic theme park experiences, trying to grab a spot for the parade or fireworks, from sheer drudgery to a relaxing and magical end to great day at Disney.
If there is one small complaint we would have it would be that you stand the entire party. After a full day in the Epcot park, standing for another 80 plus minutes, is tiring to say the least. Which why about half the people at the party were sitting on the concrete 40 minutes in. Some simple stools around the tables would have taken this event to five stars plus.
The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party costs $49 for adults and $29 for children. and began March 15.
To book or learn more, call 407-WDW-DINE or visit Disneyworld.com/spring.