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Sunday Brunch

Easter Sunday Brunch: Surprises at Pizza Planet

8 April 2012

Happy Easter Sunday, faithful readers! Whether you're celebrating the religious aspect of Easter or the generalized celebration of spring, the Easter season is a time of renewal. At the Walt Disney World resort, we find renewal in seasonal treats and this year, the pastry chefs at Disney's Hollywood Studios spring some interesting flavors into the season.

I came across today's surprise topic for Sunday Brunch while meeting with's very own Brent Dodge for lunch at Pizza Planet ('Pizza Pla-not' article to learn more about this restaurant). Expecting to just order a vegetable pizza and salad, I was tickled to see this sign as I had just been thinking if I should do an Easter themed Sunday Brunch.

Pineapple in a Bunny Cupcake? No way!

Not only was this an Easter themed Sunday Brunch article waiting to happen, it was a cupcake with my favorite fruit! Without giving it another thought, I told the cast member 'I want one of those!' Cupcake, Easter, Pineapple, blog anxieties, deadlines'there was no question I had to have this cupcake that I didn't even think about the $4.99 price (though typical for Disney, outrageous for my wallet).

Before we get into the magic that blossomed from the flavors of this cupcake, I did a little research and learned that this holiday treat was the work from the creative minds of the Disney's Hollywood Studios Production Bakery team. The Pastry team prepares, bakes, and makes the desserts for both table service restaurants and quick service locations, amounting to 17 locations in the park and also Disney Quest at Downtown Disney. For the Easter Cupcake, Pastry Chef Andreas Born tasked his team with the idea for an Easter cupcake and the pastry cooks and chefs set to work to trying different flavors and looks for the cupcake. Chef Assistant Arvella Germany came up with the winning recipe of a Pineapple-Coconut cupcake.

With bright pastel colors and the inevitable rabbit ears, the Easter Cupcake takes the visual cues of the fun and festive, supermarket holiday dessert. Like most things at Disney, this cupcake is taken a step further by its unexpected, out of season flavor choice. The yellow cupcake has a fresh pineapple filling in ample amounts so that one can enjoy pineapple in almost every bite. I may be biased, but pineapple is always a great flavor to accompany with cake (e.g. pineapple upside down cake).

The cupcake is topped with a very light buttercream. Many cupcakes these days are ruined by an overly sweet buttercream, though this cupcake's topping was sweetened by the crystal sugar and Mickey sprinkles on top. This was definitely a welcome change to the other typical sugar rush birthday party cupcakes you encounter in the parks. The rabbit ears and pink and white polka dot bow are a single piece of fake chocolate, always unappetizing in my book, but still a cute, edible decoration.

I do have one minor complaint with the cupcake. Pineapple and coconut naturally go well together, both being tropical tastes that complement each other. Typically, coconut flakes are toasted to bring out the flavor, though this was not done for the Easter Cupcake. In terms of taste, I would have better appreciated the addition of coconut had it been toasted. At the same time toasted coconut would have been aesthetically unappealing in this application. The stark white coconut can be thought to represent the freshness of the Spring and the renewed beginnings of the Easter season. Though flavor was sacrificed, I think the look of the cupcake benefited from this creative decision.

This cupcake was such a delight and a surprise to find randomly in the park. I enjoyed it immensely, though this was just the icing on the cake (pun intended). Another surprise from my recent trip to Pizza Planet was that I almost got this cupcake for free! When I received my order from at the Pizza Planet counter, it arrived on a green tray. Nobody really thinks about tray colors when picking up food, though at Pizza Planet, this is something special! The cast member handing me my food told me this was the 'magic tray.' I was super confused why she was telling me this, then she Disney pointed to my cupcake and said 'well you've already got dessert, so I can get you a free mug!' I was still trying to process what exactly was happening and realized, that other guests were receiving brown trays. Apparently, the green trays are rare, so as part of a magical moment, if your order comes on a green tray you get a prize! Either a free dessert or a free Pizza Planet souvenir mug! This was such a nice surprise on top of the surprise of the existence of the Easter Cupcake. It was like getting an Easter Basket!

For those of you who read my March 4th article on Pizza 'Pla-NOT,' you are well aware of my frustrations with the counter-service restaurant and its overall unrealized potential. Though during this recent meal, Pizza Planet surprised me with a special holiday treat and a Pizza Planet prize. Brent told me that apparently this happens at other quick-service restaurants, but I realized this magical moment to win-a-prize-for-playing-a-game-you-don't-even-know-you're-playing is especially fitting for the arcade restaurant theme of this particular location. As if right in time for Easter, my faith in Pizza Planet has been renewed.

Additional Resource:

Riggins, Alayna G. 'Too sweet to pass up.' Walt Disney World Eyes & Ears. Mar 22 ' Apr 4 2012. Vol 42. No. 6.


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