Sweets and Sounds Dessert Party Review (11/16)

f1gm3nt

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 7, 2019
We’re huge fans of Tim Tracker, and we watched his video - our food on the 16th wasn’t nearly as good as what they did for the media day (I’m guessing the 23rd??). Either they amped things up for the media, or they realized the first one had some flaws. Definitely no bread pudding at ours :)
 

FoxC63

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
We attended 11/30. It wasn't packed but there were plenty of guests attending. We arrived at Cafe LaBamba at 4:20. There was about 15 groups in front of us and TM's started putting on wristbands at 4:30pm.
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As you walk in the hot beverages are on the left. They also had a tray of hot/warm apple strudel.
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Then the cold beverages in the left corner. We were served Coke & Sprite in 20oz bottles, flutes of champagne/Asti Spumante. They also had two plates of Twinkies covered in frosting. This line grew exponentially as the event got underway.
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And two sections with Sweets & Savory items, serving from both sides so four lanes.
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You could eat outside (fenced patio), dining room or grab a bench while waiting for the parade to start. FYI - people immediately grabbed those spots first.
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After we were done eating at the patio, we went back in for bottled water and headed out to the parade viewing area. We ended up moving chairs next to the benches without issue. Many had chairs behind the benches and I don't think TM's wanted this but it really couldn't be helped. There was really no room for people to sit in front of the benches due to the fence. You couldn't see over them and it would have been rude to stand in front of those seated at the benches.

After the parade we went directly to where the Mannheim Steamroller concert was performing. I was surprised to see how much "open" space was already taken. The Desert Party Viewing area was pretty empty. At the entrance, wristbands were checked and cold beverages are available.
We headed towards the front staying near the left hand "divider". OP already mentioned the speaker which you can see on the upper right corner as well as the big screen.
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Overall, I'm glad we booked it. It was a crowded day and into the evening hours as well. Even though this is Universal's second year hosting a Dessert Party I feel they should have learned from the first one.
  • Sweet & Savory Trays took a while to be replenished.
  • Guests mixed the tongs so those with allergies beware!
  • Need more seating for the parade viewing area.
  • Need to serve a few meat choices: sausages, meatballs something to nibble on with the cheese & pita slices.
  • Need to serve cold beverages in TWO areas.
We'd give them 7 stars out of 10.
 


ninafeliz

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 30, 2001
@FoxC63 thanks for the great review, we are going this Sunday! from your description I didn't quite understand how the reserved parade area worked. Is it just an open area where some people get the front row and then everyone else has to crowd behind them, or is there space enough where nearly everyone is either sitting in front or standing right behind them to give everyone an unobstructed view? I was confused by the chairs - is it not like disney parade viewing, and everyone sits on benches or chairs they provide? Trying to decide if we should feel like we rush the party part and make it not so great to get a good parade spot, or if we will be fine enjoying the party and wandering out for the parade a bit later. We are 2 fairly short adults and 2 kids 6 and 9 so to see well we can't be in the back or a crowd.
 
  • FoxC63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2016
    Here's Cafe LaBamba on the left with green awnings. You check in at the podium.
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    You see all the red & white stripes on the left sidewalk. That's were they placed weird fencing that you cannot see through. And in between the lamp posts and palm trees were long green metal benches. Those went really quick. I think the benches were too close to the fence. If you sat in front of the benches on the ground, you would need to stand to watch the parade thus blocking those sitting at the benches.
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    Further down where you see the blue doors, that's where the parade starts. They open them up and the parade begins.

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    These grouped palm trees is also where they had additional tables and chairs/stools. Guests were moving those and placing them behind the benches to get a better view of the parade. Again the night we went it was busy at the dessert party. TM's did not tell anyone to put the stools back but after the parade guests did.
     

    FoxC63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2016
    And a photo of the benches. Notice how far back they are on the sidewalk? TM's placed them so close to the curb. Instead of using a fence, they should have used ropes like Disney. Then you could have sat in front of the benches directly on the curb.
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    Have a great time!
     

    ninafeliz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2001
    And a photo of the benches. Notice how far back they are on the sidewalk? TM's placed them so close to the curb. Instead of using a fence, they should have used ropes like Disney. Then you could have sat in front of the benches directly on the curb.
    View attachment 456578

    Have a great time!
    Not to completely perseverate, but not I’m determined to figure this out lol! So they moved these benched up close to the curb, then put a fence in front of them at the actual curb line so it doesn’t block those on the benches but does block anyone from sitting on the ground in front of the benches. Then everyone else lines up behind the benches?

    Does the parade not make the right turn that would take it by the other side of Cafe La Bamba that I see from your first photo? Why would they block off all of the area you indicated that has red and white pavement, unless the parade doesn’t go down that road or I misunderstood you?

    I imagine this will become clear when we get there instead of trying to figure it out from photos. I will try to just relax and whatever happens happens, I don’t want to be tied to a bench for 4:30 until the start of the parade.

    I had an option of a few starting times, every 15 min from 4:30 until 5:15 or something like that. I picked 4:30. Does that make a difference?
     
  • Disxuni

    "Where's the fun without a bit of risk?"
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2016
    The reason why they move the benches to the edge is to make sure that people who sit on them have a view, because if they do not, people will stand in front of them (since they cannot sit due to the dividers) and will block the view of the bench sitters. That being said, the only reason I can think of them feeling the need to put a divider up rather than a rope off is due to the fact that it's a way more sturdy way to block people out.

    It prevents people from dipping under ropes to get in and out, but also, prevents people that are not part of the party to potentially go on the barrier and try to sit on the very curb (so they get the same view without paying for it). I do not know where exactly the dividers are placed (right before the curb, or after), but if they were placed right on the curb it would be easier to sit on the curb if there was just a rope off there rather than their dividers they have.

    Those are the only reasons I can think of, as the idea of having a rope off would definitely be more of an invite for more people to sit on the ground and be able to perfectly view the parade without having to move around furniture and this and that. To me makes more sense. However, if Universal would rather block people out that would be the way to do it is by having those dividers.
     
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    FoxC63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2016
    So they moved these benched up close to the curb, then put a fence in front of them at the actual curb line so it doesn’t block those on the benches but does block anyone from sitting on the ground in front of the benches. Then everyone else lines up behind the benches?
    You understand this correctly! This is exactly how it was on our night. You may experience something different.
     

    Lashed34

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2019
    We went to the dessert party tonight. Food was wonderful and plentyful so no complaints there at all. It wasn't especially busy either so had no problems with getting food and drink or seeing the parade clearly. Was especially surprised with the sparkling wine - very nice and not sweet at all. Then we headed to the concert. We knew the reserved area was to the side but the view was ok as we had a huge screen to watch it on too. We only stayed for half an hour as we just couldn't stay sat on our backsides on the ground. They have astro turf but we're in our 50's and it was very uncomfortable. Overall a nice evening though. Was it worth $50? Yes...if you keep drinking the wine x
     

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