3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery Party – 2011

Last year, we attended Party for the Senses for the first time. We had briefly considered it in previous years… usually along the lines of “might be fun, we’d need at least one other couple to go with us.” Then we heard about the Wine View Lounge and decided “well, that would mean we aren’t fighting over space and food.” Luckily, Al & Judy (Judith) expressed an interest… actually, Judy was very excited… and off the four of us went. We had a lovely time, but you can read all about it over here.

This year, Judy expressed a strong wish to attend the “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery event! Al got a little tired of ferrying messages back and forth between nora and Judy, so Judy called nora and the planning was ON. (Now we all had something extra special to look forward to sharing.) It was about this time that Al’s Big Sis was included in the planning, yeah! another party member :) (3D is typically held on Friday nights in the World Showplace)

So, that sent nora + nick off in search of any information on the internet, especially to see if there was any “extra paid perk” like the Wine View Lounge available.

  1. There weren’t a lot of reviews of 3D online because it was a newer event started in 2010. The general consensus was that although the desserts weren’t uniformly fabulous, the event itself was fun, there weren’t huge crowds, and that the value was better than the Party for the Senses
  2. This year Disney was offering “Sweet Seats” – pretty much the same as Wine View Lounge, excepting that the only extra alcoholic beverages were coffee drinks.

The Day Of…

After flight delays for Judy and Big Sis and a busy morning for us, we met up at Epcot early enough to actually enjoy a lap around the World Showcase. Good Glory! It was BUSY and CROWDED at Epcot… are they closing all the schools in Florida on Fridays for the Food & Wine Festival? We all enjoyed a few adult beverages and a few items from the kiosks — although it was crowded the lines weren’t horrendous (that would occur the next day, Saturday).

We all left mid-afternoon to go back to our hotels to change and freshen up for the evenings event. This is where our dear niece’s mantra kicked in: “when things start badly it means that it’s going to end up good because you get rid of all the bad first.” Well, some things started badly. Al, Judy and Big Sis didn’t have any problems changing quickly and hopping a taxi over to our place. We were all able to sit and visit and enjoy more adult beverages (yes, this is a theme to weekend, all that we were missing was the matching tee shirts and sharpies for keeping count). Nick had called our taxi driver to come and pick us all up with a van, allowing for plenty of time to get to Boardwalk and walk into Epcot. Well, there was a large convention in town and although our driver had allowed for that when making a pick up at the airport, he hadn’t counted on that fare not knowing what hotel they were in or even what part of town they were in. So, he called a friend to come and get us, uh oh, that guy was in a similar situation. Next, he called dispatch and told them to send a van to pick us up. After lots of phone calls back and forth between nick and our driver, it seemed like it was all sorted. So, we go out to get in the van – uh oh – no van. Nick sees a cab and goes over, after a bit more confusion and another phone call, turns out this guy was here to get us. We all piled in and made it on time. Whew!

3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery Party

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Walked straight up to the World Showplace gates, were granted our sparkly wristbands, and went right inside the venue (Sweet Seats get admitted to the venue about 15 minutes before general admission). At Party for the Senses/Wine View Lounge, we were greeted in the lobby with champagne and small tables to stand around while we waited for admittance… not so this time, simply stand in line. When we reached the doorway, they took our party name and we were escorted to our table inside Sweet Seats.

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View of Sweet Seats area from our table

Once we were settled, Big Sis was a bit agog at us having our own table in a special area. Then nick said “now, we have this to ourselves for about ten minutes, when they open that curtain the hoardes are going to descend on the food, so go and get you a few plates and drinks right now to hold you until the surge is done.” Her eyes darted around and then she got up and went to town gathering food & drink (well, the rest of us did too!)

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One of the many stations

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Preparation for the mini chocolate soufflés offered in the Sweet Seats area

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Specialty chocolates in the Sweet Seats area - nora sampled all of these

We soon noticed, thanks again to nick’s instructions, that the food offerings were repeated at different stations, so we didn’t have to go to each and every station to find what we wanted (at this point, we hadn’t even looked at the menu card).

Food

There were six stations, each of these had at least 3 of the following:

Doughnuts and Coffee

  • Flambéed Cinnamon Doughnuts with Red Stag Infused Sundried Cherries served with Red Stag Ice Cream
  • Iced Coffee Cream with optional Jim Beam Bourbon Pipette
  • Chocolate Malted Milk with optional Devil’s Cut Bourbon Pipette
  • (it was also possible to get the bourbons by themselves as cocktails)

Sweet Classics

  • Espresso Panna Cotta
  • Strawberry Guava Bavarois
  • Chocolate Laced Eclairs
  • Linzer Diamonds
  • Sugar Dusted Bavarian Cream Puffs
  • Chocolate Chip Cannoli
  • Mini Assorted Whoopi Pies

Savory

  • Ocean Spray Craisins Polenta Cakes
  • Gorgonzola Muffins with Prosciutto Struesel
  • crave Chocolate Chile Muffins
  • Seasonal Cinnamon Pumpkin Buttons
  • Sliced Prosciutto, Smoked Ham and German Sausages

Cheese and Fruits

  • Display of Four Artisan Cheeses with Dried Fruit, Chutney, Breads and Crackers
  • Warm Guyere Cheese with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Capers served with Boiled Potatoes, Cornichons, Onions and Crusty Bread
  • Golden Pineapple, Ripe Melons, Grapes, Apples and Driscoll’s Berries with Agave Greek Yogurt Parfait

Confectionary Factory

  • tubes of colorful candies
  • Werther’s Original Caramels
  • Cotton Candy
  • Assorted Fresh Baked Cookies
  • Crispy Rice Treats
  • Warm Funnel Cake Bread Pudding with strawberry sauce and chocolate sauce (we were not overly impressed with this and thought it strange that the warm bread pudding was with the “kids” treats)

BabyCakes NYC

  • Assorted Flavors of Mini Cookie Sandwiches
  • Assorted Flavors of Mini Doughnuts
  • Assorted Mini Cupcakes

Beverages

  • John DeKuyper & Sons(tm) crave in
    • Chocolate Cherry
    • Chocolate Mint
    • Chocolate Chile
  • Cruzan Rum
    • Car #9 Cocktail (Al really enjoyed the single barrel rum, he hadn’t know that such a thing existed)
  • Thatcher’s Organic Liqueurs
    • Blood Orange Margarita with Sauza Tequila Blue
    • Apple Ginger Cooler with Cruzan Single Barrel
  • DuKuypers Cordials & Liqueurs with Coffee
  • Red Stage Hot Cranapple Pie (didn’t see this one)
  • Devil’s Cut Bourbon (did have some of this)
  • Opici  Wine Company of Florida
    • Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, Western Cape, South Africa
    • Santa Alicia Reserve Malbee
    • Santa Alicia Late Harvest Muscatel, Maipo Valley, Chile
  • Warre’s Porot
    • Warre’s ‘Warrior’ Port
    • Warre’s ‘Otima’ 10 year Tawny
  • Courvoisiers Rose
  • MARTINI Asti and MARTINI Sparkling Rose
  • Batasiolo Winery
    • Moscato Bosc La Rei
    • Moscato Rose
  • Twinings Premium Teas

At general admission entrance, there was a slight rush; the mass of sugar-searchers created lines for about 20 minutes or so. Again, it wasn’t very crowded (nothing like Party for the Senses); we had read this in review of last year’s events, but we weren’t counting on it being the same this year! There were plenty of tables outside of the Sweet Seats area. Rather quickly, you could just walk up to any station and get what you wanted.

So enough with the background stuff… what did we think about the food? the music? the drink? the fireworks with the special 3D glasses?

Tastings

nora + nick thought that the savory offerings were very good, the sweet items… eh, not so much. Granted, nora is a fabulous and imaginative baker and we’ve been known to bake over 750 cookies in a weekend in a HOME kitchen (multiple occasions), a lot of the sweets just weren’t as good as they could have been.

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nick’s savory plate (starting at 3 o’clock) = beef, german sausages, ham, prosciutto,  caraway roll, Gorgonzola Muffins with Prosciutto Struesel, and Ocean Spray Craisins Polenta Cakes. nick really liked the gorgonzola muffins and the polenta cakes.

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nick’s cheese plate (starting at 9 o’clock) = melted Guyere cheese, small potatoes, bread, more cheese hiding under the bread and more bread. nick LOVES cheese… and bread.

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nora’s meat and sweet plate (starting at 3 o’clock) = beef (nora thinks this may have been medium rare tenderloin, served cold), grainy mustard, a little peek of red cabbage, sausages, ham, prosciutto, a canolli, a crave chocolate chile muffin, and a cream puff. The beef was moist, the ham was good, the prosciutto was good, the sausages were okay they had a seasoning that nora didn’t particularly care for. The canolli tasted like a  the Krispy Kreme doughnuts with the icing cream inside and dark chocolate icing on top and the shell wasn’t crispy AT ALL – not bad, but didn’t finish it. The crave chocolate chili muffin, nora had one bite and passed the rest over to nick; not terribly impressive; it wasn’t dry but we didn’t finish that muffin and we didn’t go back for more. The cream puff was, well, a cream puff; not at all impressive and the filling had little to no flavor.

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nick’s sweet plate (starting at 12 o’clock) = peanut butter whoopie pie (at least that’s what nora says it was), chocolate whoopie pie, and a cannoli. Nick shared with Nora – these were pretty flavorless, didn’t finish any of them.

Listening

The music was very good, we all agreed that we preferred it over Cirque at last year’s Party for the Senses. The volume level was good and we didn’t need nick’s earplugs. The music was upbeat and cheerful, all sugar / sweet / candy themed. We could sing to it and you could dance to it. Much better than the musical entertainment from Cirque.

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Drinking

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Blood Orange Margaritas

We all had enough to drink and we all enjoyed what we had. Nora and Judy were particularly fond of the Blood Orange Margaritas. Al really liked the Car #9 Cruzan cocktail and the Cruzan single barrel rum. Judy and Big Sis got a kick out of sampling a lot of the wines that were offered.

Watching Fireworks

Well, we didn’t do this part of the event. We have all seen the fireworks and since Judy and Big Sis got up at 2:45 am to fly down, we were all ready to call it a day.

Wrapping it all up, the BIG Questions

  1. Was the experience worth the price? – Yes. Most definitely. We all had a good time. Both Al and Judy said they’d love to do it again.
  2. Did we like the sweets? – Not really, as we explained above. Al, Judy and Big Sis enjoyed them more than nora + nick.
  3. Did we like the savories? – Yes. Most definitely.
  4. Final Thoughts – we’ve already been talking to Al and Judy about possibly doing this again and the answer is “yes.” Much like we had already expected, if we do it again, we’d spring for the extra expense of doing the Sweet Seats; that just gave it an extra special touch and we were pleased to have our own “space” and a server to keep the table cleared and our water glasses filled.
  5. One last thing… we received special goodie bags when we left the venue — there wasn’t as much variety as in the Party for the Senses goodie bag, but what there was “is choice” (line from an old Tracey & Hepburn movie, Pat & Mike)… 1/2 lb box of chocolates, 2 Guylain hazelnut seahorse chocolates, and four Werther’s caramels.

Finally, more photos

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