Let Them Eat Cupcakes! Disney Dining Review.
Part 1: Epcot Resort Cupcake Walk
Walt Disney World is not immune to the cupcake craze that is sweeping the nation with gourmet and specialty cupcakes found in many locations throughout the parks and resorts. On a recent resort only visit that my family made to the World I thought it would be fun to explore some of the deluxe resorts and make a game of it by sampling cupcakes along our journey. Tough assignment, right?
On a beautiful spring afternoon we headed over to the Epcot Resorts—an area I love to walk around anyway. We drive to Disney, so we had our car and parked at the Boardwalk. Since the Boardwalk has several restaurants and other entertainment options there is ample parking available there for non-resort guests. It was a busy time, so we did have to park in the “overflow” lot across the street, but it was still a quick walk to the Boardwalk itself. If you do not have a car with you on your vacation you can reach the Boardwalk by cab, or by taking Disney Transportation from your resort to one of the parks, then catching a bus to the Boardwalk. My choice would be taking a bus from your resort to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then taking a relaxing boat ride on one of the Friendship Boats over to the Boardwalk.
Once we arrived at the Boardwalk it was time for cupcakes! Currently the Boardwalk Bakery is closed for refurbishments (slated to reopen in late April I believe), but there is a temporary location in a tent right along the Boardwalk. Inside there are refrigerated cases filled with bakery treats including the cupcakes. My self-imposed rules for this walk was that it had to be a “special” cupcake—no plain yellow cake for me!—and, of course, no repeats.
There is ample outdoor seating along the Boardwalk, some is even shaded. It is a delightful place to sit and watch the boats along Crescent Lake, or just people watch. In the afternoon it is especially un-crowded and relaxing.
At the Boardwalk Bakery’s temporary location I selected the Oreo Cupcake, this one is a staple as I’ve seen it here before, and the seasonal Strawberry Cupcake. These specialty cupcakes have a standard price point across the board at the resorts: $3.99 plus tax (or a single snack credit for those of you using the Disney Dining Plan). For $8.50 I walked away with two scrumptious cupcakes ready for my waiting family to devour (and review).
The first cupcake up was the Oreo Cupcake. This is a chocolate cake with a dense cookies and cream filling. The icing is a standard white icing garnished with two Oreo cookies and chocolate shavings. When the regular Boardwalk Bakery is open I’ve seen these served with the Oreos standing up like Mickey Mouse ears, but since they were being served from the refrigerated case in a “to-go” container the ears were flat. This made for a very mushy bottom cookie layer, so the cookies went uneaten (my 9-year-old took care of the cream filling).
Everyone deemed this cupcake a success. The filling was the best part, and it would’ve been better with more of that to balance out the chocolate cake which was moist and light.
Next up was the seasonal Strawberry Cupcake. This was yellow cake with a strawberry cream cheese type filling (with chunks of strawberry). The icing was a swirl of strawberry and cream cheese topped with a sliced strawberry and red sprinkles.
Although the cake itself was light and moist, this one was not as big of a hit with my family as the Oreo cupcake. On a hot day, however, it would certainly be a lighter option.
With one resort down after completing the first two cupcakes in our quest, we took a stroll over to the Yacht and Beach Club. It is always a lot of fun to walk along the Boardwalk.
The cupcakes at the Beach Club are located in the Marketplace, just off the lobby. This is the catch-all location for souvenir shopping, grab-n-go food, and the Beach Club’s quick service eatery. Just behind and to the left of the quick service ordering area you will find a refrigerated case; it is easy to miss as the unassuming “Grab ‘N Go” case is a mixture of beverages and baked goods, and doesn’t draw attention to itself. Among the baked goods are luscious key lime tarts and slices of decadent chocolate cake all prepared by the Yacht and Beach Club’s pastry chefs. But—we are here for cupcakes.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a variety of cupcakes awaiting us here. We often stay at the Beach Club and I’ve been disappointed to find only plain yellow cupcakes or the occasional Red Velvet. Today they had Red Velvet, yellow cake decorated for Easter, and a Chocolate Peanut Butter variety, along with some mini-cupcakes.
My Reese’s-loving self couldn’t resist the Chocolate Peanut butter cupcake, and I also got an Easter cupcake for my 9 year old. The “plain” cupcakes like the Easter one are only $2.29 plus tax. After making our purchase—at one of the regular registers here—we took our cupcakes around to the area of the resort where Beaches & Cream is located. There are several seating areas right around the Marketplace including a covered outdoor area, but two of our family members were at Beaches & Cream getting milkshakes, so we met them there. Plus, it is always fun to look out on Stormalong Bay and wish you were there.
The Easter cupcake was pretty basic—yellow cupcake, with icing. The elaborate decoration with Easter “grass” & “eggs” made it special and my son enjoyed it.
I chose to spend my calories on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake. This was a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing garnished with chunks of peanut butter cups, Reese’s Pieces, and chocolate drizzle. Yum! I was surprised that this one did not have a filling, but it didn’t need it. The cake was light and moist, and the peanut butter icing was the perfect consistency.
I love the specially designed to-go containers for these cupcakes. By the time we got around to these, we were only able to eat half of each one. These handy containers let us take the remainder home for later.
Having completed the Epcot Resorts, we walked the rest of the circle around Crescent Lake ending back up at the Boardwalk.
Out of all of the cupcakes we sampled the Chocolate Peanut Butter was the winner in my book. It had a great blend of flavors, and the textures were spot on. Of course it doesn’t help that I am a little addicted to peanut butter cups of any variety. Keep in mind that the cupcakes are mostly seasonal, although a few seem to be go-to flavors that are around all year. I know in June we had a Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake at the Boardwalk Bakery that was different than this seasonal Strawberry Cupcake, and I think better. So, as you tour around the resorts you may find different varieties to tempt your taste buds.
If you are looking for something different to do on an afternoon or evening in Walt Disney World, if you want to explore some of the deluxe resorts, or if you just want an excuse to eat cupcakes, I challenge you to the Epcot Cupcake Walk. Additional stops could be made at the Swan and Dolphin; although not Disney owned they may have some tasty cupcakes too. And just think, walking around Crescent Lake will help you burn off all of the cupcake calories! Or, if you need more of a workout you could rent one of the Surrey Bikes for a ride around Crescent Lake to work off your cupcake indulgence.
Stay tuned for Part 2, the Magic Kingdom Resort Cupcake Challenge!