EPCOT’s Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party

By , September 27, 2014 6:36 pm

We’ve watched Illuminations many times now from various places across the World Showcase Lagoon. Germany, Morocco, Mexico, England, China, America and right in front at both Wheelchair sports and the FP+ viewing area. We’ve even watched it from FutureWorld in our private rose-garden with glasses of champagne in hand. It’s one of our favorite lights,fireworks, water, music show in the World. One thing we have never done is attend a dessert and champagne party.

This is a new event for EPCOT. Part of Management’s controversial “Upsale events”. Meaning you will pay extra but get a good view and a buffet of food & drink. Cost was a little over $100 for both of us. It included all the desserts and drinks we could consume.

Because we were only getting desserts we made sure to stop off in Canada and Greece to pick up some real food munchies first. Hot cheese soup and filet mignon from Canada and Spanokopita with griddled cheese & honey from Greece.

Location for the party had us baffled a bit. We thought it was located in that veranda area beneath the bridge to France. It’s actually right in the center of the World Showcase entrance where the old Candlelight Processional Viewing area was. Check in is at a kiosk next to the Port of Entry store.

Once checked in, they let people into the crowded pre-entry area just behind the store. Had me worried because quite a crowd was gathering and it didn’t seem anyone cared for a short little wheelchair user to see anything or be able to maneuver anywhere.

A kind CM told me not to fret. They would let everyone in soon and there would plenty of room. Sure enough by 8:45 (more than an hour before fireworks), they opened the gates and a line of people calmly and orderly walked in. The pedestrians seemed to have a bit of a rush mentality trying to grab whatever bar-height table they could find, but we wheelies were ushered to a number of ordinary chair height tables clearly marked with the Handicap symbol. There was a small crowd of us (about 6 ECV users to 3 wheelchair users), but we were a fairly polite and accommodating crowd. No one missed out on having a table in hand.

When you first arrive, besides the bar height tables, you will notice several food & drink tables lit up in eerie LED blue. There’s a table for non-alcoholic drinks (coffee, tea, lemonade, iced tea), one for champagne (three different kinds served) and cocktails, and several tables for desserts. The theme is drinks and sweets from around the world. The champagne came from France, Spain and America. You got berry cobbler and cookies from the US. Rice treats from China, Tiramisu from Italy, Churros from Mexico,¬†Ice Cream & Dried Fruit¬†from the UK, chocolate Garouche Tart from France, and a signature event Sparkling Blue Velvet Cupcake with White Chocolate Buttercream Icing. There was more than enough food and drink to go around. So much that after the initial rush to fill your plate, people could easily go back for more and more throughout the entire night. They even had extra leftover when the fireworks had finished and everyone left.

I helped myself to several glasses of champagne. so many it more than paid for our admission price. We had so many sweets even we were tired of feeding our sweet tooths. (We did pack up a couple to take home though. I hate wasting food.)

Now the view of fireworks was very good. Where they put the wheelchair tables was off to the side a bit though. Meanwhile the view from the champagne table was higher and more centered. I suggested to managers they add a couple wheelchair tables up there since it (a) isn’t crowded and (b) has a higher viewer. Because of the closeness to the fireworks they will not allow any guests to go directly to the gates by the water. This front walkway area is roped off the entire night. It’s just too close to where the cinders and sparks land.

I took a video of the fireworks and walking around the party just to give you a feel for the event. We had such a good time, this one goes on my Repeat list for future visits. It can be a bit costly so not something I’d do with my entire family, but it’s great for just GpaM and myself.

And thankfully Mother Nature held off rain for the night. It was so enjoyable, I spent the last hour of the park (after fireworks) riding around taking pictures and soaking up the night time atmosphere. I cannot wait to come back and do some more Food & Wine Festival.

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